By Patricia Frischer
In conjunction with Just Breathe art installation at The Studio Door, MDFerrera shared stories about the series, including a behind the scenes look at the journal entries and music that inspired its creation. The artist spoke to the importance of art to our individual and communal mental health.
MDFerrera admits to having a “hurricane of emotions.”, Anxiety and depression are part of her life. But art centers her. Journaling is an important stabilizing element for her work usually but in this pandemic time, music saved her. She has too many jumbled words to sort out in her brain and music and its lyric and visual arts helped work through the emotions. The lyrics are now part of her journal and appear on wall labels with the art.
Her painting are mostly done on wood that she buys but she has used scape wood which has more challenges. The grain of the wood is an integral part of the image. Her father was an artist and used wood and so even the smell of wood is nostalgic for her. Sanding and perfecting the wood surface keeps her hands busy which is also calming for her.
Music supplies the rhythm when she takes dance breaks with her daughter. Movement frees her energy up. She embraces that flow. She does not know when she sits down to work what will come out, but the work is all autobiographical. The idea is not to force the work, but to encourage it to remain organic.
When asked about this latest work, MDFerrera said, “I think the intensity and necessity of creating it, is what makes this series different from past work. Not all the pieces in this series are pretty to look at, but they are necessary to healing. It's like if you were to rip out those difficult to read journal entries. True you may not want to relive them, but in order to get over any hurdle, you must face it and go through it. If you think about it in terms of healing, you can't look at your polished self without reflecting on the journey, the process of getting there. It's the full circle effect.”
The Studio Door is
presenting works by MDFerrera on view from January 8th until February
The Studio Door also prepared this short video for the SDVAN Mission Federal Art Walk Scholarship. MDFerrera was the recipients of this scholarship for 2020 and we hope to see her work at the Mission Federal Art Walk in 2021, pandemic permitting.