Disfigured, distorted bodies float underwater. A man is having a bloody dance with a chain saw, an axe, or a bow and arrow, but remains calm despite the gore. A cello wails a hauntingly beautiful song that complements these images, and draws you inside.
The bodies, the gore, this is trauma as Kate Vrijmoet (pronounced “vry-moot”) sees it, as shown through her “Accident Series.” Not the initial impact of trauma, but the scars it leaves behind for the rest of one’s life, whether psychological or physical. This trauma is the subject of her new exhibition at CoCa Ballard Gallery (6413 Seaview Ave NW), “Essential Gestures.”
(Artist in center wearing blue)
“I observe life,” she said simply, when asked about her inspiration. Her paintings depict “people as defined by their bodies, their minds, their self-awareness as well as trauma and scars,” according to an informational card available at the exhibit.