Grief is an ocean of tears formed over millennia -- a cumulative repository of our collective sorrow. This exhibition, we are built in water, is an immersion into mourning research.
Early in 2016, my husband and father died within days of each other- a teardrop of sorrow compared to the worldwide grief that followed. Since then, millions of people have lost someone through pandemic-related illness, war, violence, climate crises, and even divisions of opinion. We are mourning globally, collectively. My work became a salve for the daily ruptures, and a meditation on what is lost or waning.
During these six years, a specific phrase, "In the end, all that's left is love–" would surface at odd moments. I instinctively knew this was true. Through a deep dive into grief's chaotic rhythms, I found that grief is a sacred art, and it is impossible to grieve what we cannot praise or love. If the last six years have cemented one point, it is this; we are all intimately connected to the earth and our collective spirit. Love and praise of humanity with all its warts and problems is the ballast of peace. This mourning cry, this instinctive symphony of praise, is the sound of deep life-affirming love.
Connie Noyes, a multidisciplinary artist, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Psychology and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. Among Noyes' many notable solo exhibitions and residencies in the US, she has also gained international recognition with exhibitions in Germany, France, Austria, and the UAE, where she represented Salwa Zeidan Gallery at Art Abu Dhabi. She participated in residencies at Arteles, Finland; CAMP, France; the TransArt summer program in Berlin, Germany; Thupelo International Workshop, Cape Town, South Africa. Noyes' work is in the collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; The Ekstrom Library of Photographic Archives Special Collections, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Greenville County Museum, Greenville, South Carolina. She currently lives and works in Chicago, where her work and life seamlessly intertwine.