Emma Bissonnette

← Return to The Space in Between: 2021 Senior Art Exhibition



There is nothing quite like an enchanting story complete with epic journeys and characters that become your dear friends. The act of prayer creates a similar space for discovery and re-centering, carving room for the wonder of childhood to return to one’s adult life. In prayer, there is freedom to dream without boundaries, to journey and find belonging. With my faith as inspiration, I describe my painting practice as Material Prayers. In creating Material Prayers, I replace my thoughts and speech with oil paint. I use layers of color transparency, hidden text, and various textural media to imitate the conversational, unpracticed sincerity of a prayer journal. Within my Material Prayers, I give the formless states of my mind imagined landscapes in which to reside. Each landscape is familiar yet fantastical, blending the line between the physical world and the intangible space where my prayers take place. I assume the role of a storyteller, creating visual narratives that describe my experience in conversation with and my wonderment of God. Each painting gives breadth for viewers to reflect on wonders beyond and within their own everyday lives.



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