Bethany Shelagowski-Cliff

individual, ENTITY.2802
Life Dates:
b. 1981
GVSU Alumni Status:
GVSU Alum, 2007
Artist Biography:
"When traumatic events happen; constriction occurs. A state of surrender overtakes a person and causes their state of consciousness to be altered to remove themselves from the situation. They create a place in their mind where they can exist while the affliction occurs. Along with terror, victims can reach a state of detached calm where time moves in slow motion. I convey this concept by rendering spaces that are quiet and desolate, real, but forgotten, places where no one lives. When trust is lost, traumatized people associate themselves with the dead more than the living. These spaces are moments in between places that are held in disregard. You may not be noticed, you may be able to hide, and in that you find the comfort of being alone and far away from the situation you can't endure. Traumatized victims often remember memories as photographs, a way to disassociate themselves from the event. This is why the work is in small format and mostly in black and white. While traveling on trains I notice these moments and capture them. The quality of the surface lends itself to the idea of dealing with repressed memories. As the paintbrush drags across the surface it erodes the charcoal as if it's trying to erase those memories, but in the end the charcoal is suspended in the medium, dry and unable to be erased. Permanence."