Merrilee Challiss' Spirit Animal Taxidermy
Merrilee Challiss' work is a meditation on the fact that everything going forward must be either an elegy (for what we have lost) or a celebration (of what we have left). Or both. Challiss' paintings picture her mind's tableaux of imagined realms, abstracted from reality and real forms.
"The paintings are failures of my attempts to represent energy and consciousness in its various stages, respective to the subject," she writes. "What is left of our world, despite our best efforts to destroy it, is still rife with wonder and beauty, fecundity and meaning. I see all natural systems, Man, Animal, and Spirit as connected and constantly overlapping and co-existing on conscious and unconscious levels. I locate myself and my role as artist, in a meditative state, in the liminal realm between elegy and celebration, where the spirit and the unconscious trump our waking reality."