“THE NIGHT OF THE GINKGO”
Opening Reception | Saturday, May 30, 2015 : 6-9pm
Show runs May 30 – July 5, 2015
Special Musical Guests : Los Mysteriosos
presented by Vans
“Whenever it is, each tree will have its own Night of the Ginkgo. Few people will see this—most of us will be asleep—but in the morning the ground beneath the ginkgo will be carpeted with thousands of heavy, golden, fan-shaped leaves.”
– From “Night of the Gingko” by Oliver Sacks,
The New Yorker, November 24, 2014
Emotional and atmospheric, O’Connell’s canvases, painted in acrylic and oil stain, create an ethereal quality in which time seems to stand still. The eighteen paintings presented in “The Night of the Gingko” demonstrate the intensely personal exploration O’Connell is known for, though this is the first time the artist presents a true and developed narrative visual journal.
O’Connell’s “The Night of the Gingko” humanizes the story of the ancient tree’s mystifying annual leaf-shedding process. The two-hundred-million-year-old species perplexes modern botanists with the way it drops its leaves: always in a single night, and never for any apparent reason discernable to humans. “This is a symbolism that applies to my life right now — letting go, shedding the things that aren’t real,” says the artist. “The gingko is the oldest living tree on the planet, and they all know when it’s time to let go. It’s so beautiful.”
The journey in O’Connell’s series begins on a vast canvas with a small figure diving into the great unknown: letting go of everything, with no going back, in order to come into one’s own. Like a stripped-down gingko tree newly void of its leaves, the painting is a fresh tableau of pink. Titled “To Become Spring,” it is about enduring winter as the only way to become spring.
Says the artist:
“I’m growing a gingko from seed because I’ve now become obsessed with them. I planted the seed the first day I started the first painting. I want it to be the whole process of starting something new, and where that goes. One of things I’m really focused on is how the right soil and nutrients and the way you take care of yourself changes everything. I was not born in the right soil. I had to uproot and find the soil that makes me the best strongest I can be. Acknowledging who you really are and what you thrive on is so important.”
About Casey O’Connell:
Casey O’Connell’s work has appeared in The New York Times, New American Paintings, Juxtapoz, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has exhibited her work in San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Culver City, and Costa Mesa, in addition to creating numerous commissions and murals in the Bay Area. She studied at Flagler College in Saint Augustine, FL. Most recently, O’Connell created a mural in San Francisco at 3704 Folsom and showed at Reaves Gallery in New York in a solo exhibition. She now resides in Leucadia, Calif. After having gone on a three-year hiatus from showing in galleries, O’Connell feels AR4T is the right gallery for her return to the gallery setting.