It’s not often in life that you get invited to be a part of something that, from the first moment, you sense is going to change everything. This was one such occasion when Tobia Makover and Lori Vrba invited me, together with artist Dawn Surratt to be a part of an installation pop up show in Savannah GA. Tobia had presented her own work in this space before in a stunning solo show called Sheltering Skies. It’s an old house that she had bought for precisely this purpose, a space for herself and other artists to share and present work.
I have admired the work of all three of these women for some time. Tobia and I met through Lori, at Lori’s Pigs Fly Retreats on Ossabaw island in Georgia and felt an instant connection. I had known Lori for some time having discovered her through her poignant and moving book The Moth Wing Diaries. Spending time with Lori on retreat in Georgia and discovering her generous and dedicated spirit allowed a friendship to flourish and I now consider her a dear friend and mentor. Dawn Surratt was the only artist I hadn’t met in person, but I knew of her through her sensitive and beautiful work on Instagram and had always felt a strong intuitive kinship.
The spirit of connection that the four of us felt through our work continued through the evolution of the project. Every phone call and decision fostered a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration that became the heart of the exhibition.
During installation we all stayed at Tobia’s house, (thanks to her generous husband and family) which brought us closer together over wine and free-wheeling conversation. We knew our work shares an aesthetic, but it also a philosophy. As Tobia explains:
When you visit the show you can see how whilst each artist has their own moment within the show, there are many spaces where the work becomes seamlessly intertwined with only the smallest notation indicating where one begins and another ends. Putting this together became an exciting puzzle, weaving narrative and form throughout the work in the room.
I am so profoundly grateful to have found these women, and had the opportunity to collaborate with them. We are fellow artistic spirits, looking for creative ways beyond the traditional gallery model, to come together, make and present work. Truly - we are kindred.