There is a school of thought that says we can only know the world through the senses. What we see and hear and feel is not just an impression of a more objective world – what we see and hear and feel is the world.
But what happens when the senses are confronted by contradiction? What happens when we aren’t sure what we’re seeing or hearing or feeling? How do we reconcile the facts that seem to say that the world is not one thing, but several things at once?
June Marie Milham’s current gallery show at Sagebrush Café wades into questions like these, using vibrant colors, mixed media, and complex geometries to approach the concept at the heart of her show – “Reconciling the Horizon.”
The work in “Reconciling the Horizon” brings to life a line from Allen Ginsberg:
Detach yrself from Matter, & look about
At the bright snowy show of Iowa
Earth & Heaven mirroring
This isn’t Iowa, but Milham’s art evokes Ginsberg’s very intentionally as a means of exploring the ways that the horizon is a location of collapsed concepts, a place where earth and heaven are no longer distinct but instead become blended into one sensory experience.
There is an emphasis here on elements of composition. There are tricks of colors, weighted one against another. There are layers of paint (and language too) that play like memories within the moment of each piece, just like memories inhabit each moment of our own waking lives.
In her statement for the show, Milham talks about how the horizon is a site where things that we usually see as opposites actually meet, pushing us to reconsider the relationship between present and past and between emotion and intellect.
At the horizon, we see that these notions really do mirror one another. Opposites, yet somehow complicit in the very essence of that which exists on the other side of the line.
But there is a high and a low. There is a sky and an earth. These opposites cannot stand together. They must stand apart. Our senses tell us this is our reality. But the theory that our world is only what our senses tell us won’t suffice as a full explanation of what happens along the line of the horizon, that site where opposites collapse into one another.
Milham’s new work takes up this idea as a focus and offers a fluid set of responses – some joyous, some calm, some challenging and wild – and she invites us to reflect with her on this strange place of division that, by some magic, is also a place of reconciliation.
Showing at Sagebrush Cafe
42104 50th Street West
Quartz Hill, CA 93536