February 2017

Karen Swenholt

Karen Swenholt’s expressionist sculptures are not only vibrant representations of the human form, they are also the result of physical struggle onto the surfaces of the medium and internal struggle within the artist. The physicality of the human body, the textured surface of the sculptures, and the positions of the figures all contribute to the portrayal of that physical and internal struggle. Each sculpture engages with the viewer through its presence in the shared space.

Gallery EDIT welcomes you to our exhibition of Swenholt’s work — EDIT: Life. You are invited to look deeply at each work of sculpture, consider the way it interacts with you in the space, and connect the artist’s process with your own experiences. Although the sculptures are physically static, through texture and pose they convey a sense of movement.

In the book of Job, the story of a man who endured almost inconceivable trials and tests, he speaks about the good deeds of the Lord, even in the midst of personal difficulties:

Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:9-10

If Job, who lost nearly everything, can see the Creator’s life-giving power, then we can certainly see the goodness and provision He has lavished on us. Failure, disagreement, and a number of other struggles in life can alter our perspective away from the Good Father. Our emotional, spiritual, and physical being is all connected: emotional turmoil can make us feel physically sick, and spiritual weaknesses can affect our feelings and mental perceptions. But just like Job said, the hand of the Lord is life, and He gives breath to all mankind. His presence is a comfort in the midst of struggle experienced in the physicality of the body, the subconscious and conscious mind, and the inner spirit.



Suzanne by Leonard Cohen

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever
And you know that she’s half-crazy but that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her
Then he gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer that you’ve always been her lover

And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind

And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

And you want to travel with him, and you want to travel blind
And you think you maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with her mind

Now, Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river
She’s wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning

They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds her mirror
And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind

Line Walker

 Feet lightly questing decisive, now firm step
Each footprint claiming destiny’s ground
Locked into paths long laid out before her
Rising above Earth treading th’ eternal plane.

Stakes getting higher
falling or flying

Risking forever She’s so sure He can hold her
Giddy dependence anoints
The joy of the ride
Line Walker
Tracing her paths in the sky.


Death and the Maiden

As life confuses and exhausts the young, the seduction and resonableness of death becomes more and more persuasive.

In her moment of being overwhelmed
(In her own strength trying to negotiate life)
Without God
She reaches out to
Beyond reason

For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved
Romans 10:13