Contemplating the work of artist Grace Fechner, I am reminded of a yellowing copy of Greek Myths - specifically the Edith Hamilton edition that I read obsessively in middle school. It exploded my imagination and helped to teach me as a child that there exist worlds within worlds and stories within stories.
To my mind, in written stories, because language can be so specific, there are clear paths through a narrative (especially myths). With visual work the imagination is guided in a different way. There is more room to create and define one’s own path. This seems especially true with this artist’s work. She opens up a world and then provides enough room to explore without fear of getting it wrong. Her characters are both universal and specific.
Some pieces (‘As...’ or ‘Hello’ ) are a riotous celebration of color, while others (‘Escape’ or ‘Monstrosity’) have a dark mystery. All have a dreamlike aspect: disjointed, dashed with randomness, each inducing floating, spinning, falling… an uneasiness but also a desire to go BACK and remember the dream, experience it again, understand it, and solve its mystery. Alas, a dream can never really be fully recalled; that is part of its magic and power. In the same way, the work of Fechner grabs at the edges of consciousness, pulling one into the memory of a story heard or a dream had long ago.
In life, there are tales to tell and tales to hear and it is difficult at times to know if one should be doing the telling or the listening. The very special quality of Fechner’s work is that it does both at the same time.
Grace Fechner is an artist based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. More information can be found at her website: gracefechner.net