loud colors

the art of Cory Jaeger-Kenat

The Living Stones Project

The Living Stones Project is an endeavour to splash an oasis of color and peace into our rundown, high-crime neighborhood. The goal is to create a breathing space of outdoor art that will bring a presence of hope and calm in an area where gunshots and drug dealing are sad realities.

The last few years have been an exhilarating time of discovery for both my husband and I. He is finding out that he has an exceptional green thumb and a vision for a native cottage garden that blooms with every wheelbarrow of mulch and manure on our once sour, hard-scrabble soil. I have discovered that cinderblock and spray paint are a magical combination and that my painting can be a part of the outdoors, too. Every day is something new to marvel at, as our little village of bees, butterflies, birds and ladybugs slowly grows. We make the acquaintance of neighborhood cats, say hello to the bunnies, and yesterday, sat on our park bench for hours watching Chester B. Toad enjoying the shade of the bachelor buttons.

As I grow more comfortable with new methods, I would like to branch out into larger scale and mosaic work. Gracing a far corner of the garden is a free-standing rough wooden cross, about three feet high. A mysterious passer-by left a pendant hanging on it, so we know it must be touching someone out there. On the drawing board of my mind is a tile piece that would use inspirational words and discreetly flank this eloquent feature. All in good time.

Spring--Spring Tile Panel and the Forget Me Not Garden

So far, I've set out the first of my totems, constructed of hand-painted tiles. I have never been good at thinking in three dimensions, so transferring my flat paintings to weather-resistant glazed tile seemed like the best way to get my work outdoors. This one depicts 'Spring', and is heralding three more upcoming panels of the other seasons. This is just a small example of what I am envisioning. The final phase will involve a cinderblock enclosure reminiscent of a grotto, where the panels will be sheltered from the elements and give a sense of a meditation and sanctuary.

I am also experimenting with recycling found objects, and used five rusty lawn lamps to create a memorial garden. The more I worked on them, the more they became deeply personal and significant, representing five people I have lost in my life, and were an absorbing exploration into an almost Mondrian-like break-down of the obviously symbolic forget me not blossom.




web creation and design:cory jaeger-kenat, 2022