Elizabeth Pratt, The Best of Intentions

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Elizabeth Pratt, The Best of Intentions, 2020. Oil on Paper, 30 x 22 inches.

Elizabeth Pratt writes, "I am a visual artist with a focus on painting and drawing. Making art has been a means of understanding and engaging with my world since I was a child. I work with traditional materials: oil paint, charcoal, paper, wooden panels. I like the simplicity of these materials, their natural characteristics. Soil, seeds, trees: these things have life in them. My process is highly intuitive and open, evolving in the moment, like a living being, a wild thing. Inspiration comes to me in many forms: a color, a word, a stranger on the street. It can come from an emotion or an idea, or something as simple as the act of holding a pencil. The origin doesn’t really matter; where it begins is only the beginning. What is more important is where it goes and what happens along the way, what gets recorded, what gets erased. I love the living world in all its forms, the temporal and changing nature of being, the wild, mysterious, and the unknown. I live in Philadelphia.

These paintings are from a series about anxiety and ritualistic healing. Using knots as symbols of anxiety- stomach knots, muscle tension- these explorations provide an opportunity to examine negative emotions and find beauty and positivity in them as a path to wellness. Knots also have a constructive aspect; they connect things, and symbolize unity and a desire to hold together what seems in danger of falling apart. Thus deprived of their negative symbolism, they are rendered innocuous. The healing ritual is furthered by untangling them and weaving them into something that gives warmth, comfort and protection. Traditionally undervalued as a women’s craft, weaving is a powerful expression of egalitarianism and a necessary antidote to the hierarchical and authoritarian thinking that threatens our very existence. Translated into paint, these weavings lose their functional value and become symbols with larger implications."