John Mckaig Woodcuts & Caroline Allen Collage
John McKaig creates pictures that help him explore the idea of escape, sexuality and ideas of mortality and passage after life, and about how to deal with trauma and healing from that trauma. HIs use of the figure explores his identity as a queer man that is still expected to justify his experiences and basic human identity. He uses the human figure in order to communicate essential ideas of how we relate to each other, how we affect each other, and how to move to space that is empowering and encouraging. He often depicts the figure (or figurative elements or components) in situations or stances that allude to ideas of fighting back, play and wonderment, as well as stoicism and quiet resolve. John McKaig also explores the idea of “passage” and “journey”, not only to communicate ideas of healing and working through trauma, but also to communicate the idea of growing beyond limitations and definitions of being – without the suggestion of irony or cynicism. With her paper collages, Caroline Allen tries to capture the spirit of short stories by Kia Penso using images conjured up by the stories, research into Caribbean flora and fauna, and conversations with Penso. With each new collage, suggestions and remnants from other collages push shapes and colors into new relationships, some more abstract, others more illustrative. There’s always a bit of chance, intuition, and play involved in her collage making. Allen’s collages are being used to design multi-colored linocuts for the NEA funded KBAC letterpress publication The Ghosts, a limited-edition book of short stories by Kia Penso.