It Was Hot, We Stayed In the Water
It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water (title borrowed from The Microphones' album (2000) of the same name) is a collection of works discussing the artists’ push and pull between two juxtaposing concepts that have remained present in her work since her undergraduate thesis: (1) intellectualizing her struggle with PTSD induced depression and anxiety through creating paintings attempting to visually represent feelings triggered by this disorder and (2) documenting her experience from a straight forward, autobiographical perspective. This being accomplished through intentionally awkward mark-making, overly-saturated (non-palatable) color choices, the utilization of transparency, and the employment of cut-up poetry, song lyrics, or quotes from conversations that stimulated feelings of discomfort as titles. It Was Hot is a collection of four different series of works: loving my city like a stranger, from this a pillar of salt, all of my bad days got together (and stood in a row for me), and i’m sorry i asked you to love me more (when you put your bad days together, it gets rough) (2017).
I. loving my city like a stranger (2017)
While working through loving my city like a stranger, Bickel noticed a guttural and
bodily excitement (as opposed to a intellectual intrigue) in arranging fabric, paint, and paper in a way that physically resembled painting— a feeling that the artist realized she hadn't felt with painting in over a year. She found that this physical excitement shared the some experiential / emotive qualities with certain self-destructive tendencies (substance abuse, sexual aggressions, and the like). The concept of 'bodily interest/ excitement' stems from Jungian philosophies around addiction— that the addict is searching for wholeness or completeness after a trauma.
II. from this a pillar of salt (2017)
from this a pillar of salt is a series of linoleum block prints inspired by the last line of the prologue from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, representing the gestating of an idea. These prints are another form of the artists’ investigation with her internal battle with painting through a means other than painting itself. It was an integral step in her foundation of development of all of my bad days got together (and stood in a row for me) and the entire collection of works from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water.
III. all of my bad days got together (and stood in a row for me) (2017).
Evolving from loving my city like a stranger emerged all of my bad days got together (and stood in a row for me)— a group of paintings made in direct response to loving my city like a stranger— discussing the artists disengagement with painting, with paint; thus circling back to an intellectualized understanding of an intuitive process whilst engaging in, what could be perceived as, an overindulgent and obsessive / repetitive activity.
IV. i’m sorry i asked you to love me more (when you put your bad days together, it gets rough) (2017)
i’m sorry i asked you to love me more ( when you put your bad days in the same place it gets rough) (2017) is a culmination of the work put into the rest of the series’. It is the beginning of an investigation with textiles such as silk and velvet— the utilization of such fabrics a visual representation of the artists attempt at reclaiming her bodily ownership after sexualized trauma— thus the artist attempts to make all four parts of It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water a non representational explanation of her experience with mental health issues, as well as an explanation of how she processes them.