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Christina Fenner, July Exhibit

History Retold

I’m an introvert. For me, any new relationship is an endeavor of compromise and stubborn self-discovery. Each new interpersonal encounter may or may not expose the all too familiar awkwardness of my personality. It’s like the day after a hard workout. Stiffness and pain arising in places I never knew existed. In the end on both counts, I suppose I’m better for it. That’s what I’m told anyway.

I spent the winter of 2014 traveling around Western Europe. Strolling through the galleries and castles of Florence, Madrid and Edinburgh there is no shortage of awkward, ill-advised and often tragic figures.

As I walked through the gilded seating rooms and tiny bedrooms of Holyrood House I found myself captivated by the hapless life of Mary Queen of Scots. There, her life unfolded on its unfortunate path. I thought about the many people that influenced and manipulated her. Her trust and her trying relationships tore her life apart. I wished I could reach back in time and tell her to be strong, to trust no one but her own convictions. But time is linear and were I there, would I really reach outside of myself to say all of this to a stranger? Alas, Mary’s fate is immutable.

Worlds can be altered through art, however, and wrongs can be made right. Mary’s fate inspired me to alter the timeline. To bring to life unlikely relationships that may reshape history, to offer some degree of understanding and acceptance to some of my fellow wallflowers, narcissists and loners. It’s not a utopian world but a place where advice is given and appreciated by unlikely characters. Creating a glimpse into a new world is one of my favorite things to do as an artist. In my own life, interacting with new people is a challenge. So when I can share a part of my imagination, a part of me, for a brief moment the viewer and I meet. I delight in thinking that in that short meeting they discover a new part of themselves.

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