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HOPE IN THE SHADOW OF FIRE For the past twenty years, my relationship with the unique landscape of the North Cascades has grown into a deep wellspring for artistic inspiration as well as emotional and psychological wellbeing. I love this place that I call home and care deeply for it. I want the ecosystem that I know most intimately to be whole; a vibrant, interconnected web of life. When the places we hold most dear to our hearts are well-tended and in balance, we too are offered the opportunity to be whole. My life is grounded in the power of place and connection to natural rhythms. The microcosm of my community and our shared intentions connect me to the ever-unfolding story of human collaboration, while the macrocosm of vast mountains nearby connects me to the greatest story of all - creation itself. My tiny role within this totality is not insignificant when magnified by many with a shared dream. The solace of wilderness feeds my artistic vision and inspires me to share it with the greater community; to bring the mountains to the city. This show is the third installation from a five-year body of work that explores the healing power of mountain wilderness through visual immersion into that remarkable landscape. My story arc began with personal healing and recovery from grief and loss and expands with recent work to a focus on our collective struggle to remain hopeful in times of increasing ecological despair. The main characters in this chapter of the story are fire and water, and the work for this show is a prayer for the return to balance in their ancient dance. Tori Karpenko

The Sky Draws Near, 2019 22 x 13 x 2 inches

Limmerance, 2019 24 x 16 inches

Forever, 2019 36 x 48 inches

Weight, 2019 24 x 32 inches

BALANCE FIRE Over the past five years alone, the Methow Valley has witnessed over a half a million acres of forest burn and endured the largest wildfire in recorded Washington state history. This has led to the destruction of dozens of homes, immense loss of life, and displacement due to devastated habitat. When living with fire, the acute danger of ‘do I need to evacuate?’ is surrounded by the increasingly grim experience of living with weeks and weeks of acrid, smoke-filled skies. The emotional state of the community sinks rapidly as the blue above us becomes eclipsed by a claustrophobic color of despair. Themes like this are common in the West, and it is impossible to avoid a feeling of fear and dread, knowing that our future holds so much potential for large catastrophic fires to become the new normal. WATER On the dry slopes of Eastern Washington, water is not something we take for granted. Water is the antidote for acute fire danger, it is essential to life, recovery, and regeneration. In wild places where water can be experienced in a pure, pristine state, its generative potential for new life shines as a visual opposite to the charred remains of the destruction left by wildfire. Our mountain lakes endure as a sacred source of hope that a healthy ecosystem is possible. Tori Karpenko

Somatic Resolution, 2019 74 x 22 x 15 inches

Microcosom of Here, 2019 22 x 13 x 2 inches

The Color of Hope, 2019 24 x 48 inches

Echo of the Ancient, 2019 70 x 26 x 22 inches

Infinity, 2019 31.5 x 60 inches

The Sun Will Rise Again, 2019 23 x 17 x 12 inches

Portal, 2019 13 x 29 x 2.5 inches

Desire Lines, 2019 15 x 35 x 2.5 inches

Dear Sun, Do We Still Trust Each Other?, 2019 13 x 29 x 2.5 inches

Fire Ghost, 2019 19 x 15 x 12 inches

Tiny Hero, 2019 36 x 48 inches

Balance still exists deep in the wilderness

Whisper, 2019 16 x 24 inches

on a timeline far beyond any one lifetime


all artwork by Tori Karpenko copyright © Tori Karpenko, 2019


Profile for Traver Gallery

Tori Karpenko: Balance  

November/December 2019 at Traver Gallery This November and December, Traver Gallery is honored to present Balance, a new exhibition of pain...

Tori Karpenko: Balance  

November/December 2019 at Traver Gallery This November and December, Traver Gallery is honored to present Balance, a new exhibition of pain...