TARA CRONIN

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Location: New York, NY / South Kona, HI
Nationality: United States
Biography: Tara Cronin, B. 1981, New York, NY There are places that are part of what we call Home. I explore ways to discover that Place, a memory of a place that could be both standing in our world and yet have never quite existed. There is something to... read on

|| Where is that place? Somewhere, with a capital S. The place. A Place that while impossible to find, is Home, and that in the end, has been with me the entire time. ||


Setting the physicality of our exterior [ in nature ] and also inner [ anatomical ] worlds alongside, or literally - inter-layered with the more invisible language though which we experience this we call Life - this is the crux of this body of work. 

Separated by modernity from our lamb-sacrificing ancestors, Do we still turn to Myth? Yes; often and without realizing; and always as an innately healthy—and necessary—response to the world surrounding us.  The language mythology uses is the same as always; what changes throughout time are inputs - referring once to the realm of the gods many today refer to a singular deity, or others to a broader unknown, a nebulous yet rich spiritual world with an equally strong pull.  In many ways this reflects it is not Humans who change; it is the tools we use, the technology we develop, the problems we choose to address. For me this is beautiful.  In the countless forms we enter our world our being placed here has are shaped by this language: A seemingly nonsense saying, ‘Step on the Cracks, Break your Mother’s Back!’ is so silly and so playful we overlook that this absurd phrase from childhood reflects but also engrains societal views on larger things such as the roles of women, the expectations of children, the position and hierarchy of parents, elders, and mothers. Whether or not we agree with the inputs/perpetuation of certain life lessons is another discussion. Reminding us of intuitive knowledge we forget to listen to, this language interwoven throughout the fabric of our experience lets us have a Reason and a path. This timeless struggle and simultaneous gift of futility-in-Life, that gives us Choice and Hope to make our lives what we wish, this is an intrinsic question within my work. Resulting coping mechanisms, anxieties and fear, dreams—waking or otherwise; these are also themes I sift through in the work. 

I used to hate laughing.  Not any laugh, but a joyous laugh, with others, that lets my spirit free for a moment. For 3 years I did not sleep - about once every 5-9 days.  The underlying causes and the resulting 9 years of this spiraling mess created a completely lost Tara, in and out of psychiatric hospitals, doctors giving up on my case, years alternative and also chemical treatments to no avail. I turned to art making and writing as a survival method. People tend to associate gravity with mental illness. I don’t blame them. I am trying to find a vehicle to talk about the only way to pull oneself out of that thick swamp of illness. Not an easy way, and not always reliable, but also not impossible.  Just hard.  Through this work I hope to talk of the playful, the hopeful and compassionate curiosities of humanity because though we all appreciate these, we function by way of repetition and reminders of the richness Life has, despite the ugliness that comes as part of the package – because it this small reminder, in dozens of forms over many years, that I believe saved my life.  

Starting with large format film images, I combine anatomical substances such as my own blood [ which can also be seen as using my medicines - their vehicle of transport is my blood ] or reconstituted hemoglobin powder, chlorophyllin, or dust, either directly onto the negatives or prints, or via digital collage.  I have methods to keep things sterile and clean during my work. It’s a basis on which to build an understanding and appreciation of the one world we have, our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – and everything within it.  I love this this contrast about which we all seem to have an unspoken agreement to almost ignore, because to bring it to the forefront would be to shatter our reality and our way of going about this Thing called Life.  This contrast is the one between the world of the physiological and anatomical, and that of the emotional/ spiritual/ psychological - we have many names for this - the world of our daily experiences. It is a way to sort out and organize our experience wading through this Thing Called Life. I believe it may be a reaction we might have biologically, evolutionarily developed - for millennia we have reacted and continue to react in patterns recognizable sociologically and psychologically that support the necessity of mythology in our personal and interpersonal survival systems - after all, the body and mind were never separate.  

Beneath our conscious we are so much and yet something so seemingly unrelated - Beneath our Humanity, our Stories, we are Blood, Sinew, Synapse, Myth, Bone.

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