A Year Inside – Leslie Parke "Almost every painting I made this year, was either black or grey. I painted the frost on the studio window, sequence fabric, and several landscapes, all in that palette. In a year when our lives were reduced to a room, I painted the window -- not what was beyond it, but what was on its surface -- the invisible barrier and the cold. I painted some of these on large canvases and took weeks navigating my way across the frost like it was a vast deeply frozen landscape. I had nowhere to go, no one to see; I could take my time.
Night after night as I peered into my Netflix world, I started to travel through the winter landscapes on my screen. In the background of numerous northern police procedurals, I moved like a tourist snapping the view out their window, or behind their victim frozen in the snow. My landscape was as 2 dimensional as my life. With my painting of sequins fabric, also in the same grey palette, I latched onto the light it reflected back to me. It also reflected my grey world and it reflected me. Ram Dass would say --Be Here Now. This year in my room left me contemplating the edges of my world, the barrier, and the reach. I turned my room into a transporter room where I could enter the constellations on my windows, the landscapes on my screens, and the reflected light of my fabric".
Leslie Parke’s paintings and photography challenge our perceptions of the visual world. Themes of light, transparency, and reflection are explored through everyday objects – shrink-wrapped cargo, discarded cans, a tangle of threads – creating a tension between what is real and what is perceived. An artist from upstate New York, Parke is a recipient of the Esther and Adolph Gottlieb Grant for Individual Support, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest grant as artist-in-residence at the Claude Monet Foundation in Giverny, France, and the George Sugarman Foundation Grant, among others. Her exhibits include the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusettes; The Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont; the Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas; the Fernbank Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; the Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; and the Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She currently exhibits in Boston, MA, Milwaukee, WI, and Houston, TX. Parke has a BA and MA from Bennington College. Her work is in numerous corporate and private collections.