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Timothy Wilson | Fear of Death Disturbs Me

  • Steven Amedee 41 North Moore Street New York, NY, 10013 United States (map)

Inspired by the sublime beauty of swamps, marshes and purgatory as historically depicted, the rich, earthy pallet of Wilson's new body of work evokes other-worldly scenes that invite the viewer to experience the beauty of light and darkness at once.



During a recent bout of dark, personal reflection, I found myself in a state of limbo and feeling, in some way, outside of time. I naturally gravitated to a nearby marsh and the coastline of Maine, famous for the forceful energy of waves that propelled previous work. Only this time I was influenced by a different imagery.  Contemplating the steady wax and wane of the tide in protected coves, the landscape appeared to be something out of a myth. The Asphodel Meadows was a theme in Greek Mythology, a place in Hades ...beyond the place where dawn rises... that foggy place the sun never shines. In a word, purgatory. The Romantic authors glorified its imagery, but in a previous context it was a place of grit and difficulty where dead souls wandered without future. There is a beauty in the stillness, the calm, but there is also an inherent darkness within that becomes increasingly unsettling the longer you allow yourself to remain. The marshes are a place where dead things collect, molder, re-assimilate; a place where life begins, and passes through. The things that stay become forgotten. The scent is undeniably one of something sour, but the salt air is a cleansing elixir and triggers the process of rebirth.

This work began as an exploration within this context, a process of rebirth from that bed of marshy silt that became a form of abiogenesis, an evolution of life from inanimate substances, or the natural process by which life arises from non-living matter, according to Wikipedia.

Fear of Death Disturbs Me is a term used in historic poetic works from the Latin Timor mortis conturbat me, most famously by William Dunbar. To look upon the marshes and quiet beds of seagrass one must confront death, masked in silence and muted tones, and realize the inherent beauty within.