Visible Mending

by Karen Goetzinger

Finding beauty in imperfection is a supposition quickly gaining momentum. It manifests itself in a renewed interest in the Japanese ancient art of repairing broken ceramic and porcelain objects with gold called kintsugi, the densely layered and stitched patchwork called boro, and the desire to mend contemporary clothing rather than throwing it away and buying new. All are methods of visible mending, with simple tools, that intentionally highlight imperfections.

We too bear signs of visible mending. It is often the simple, seemingly inconsequential things of life that can become a gradual healing balm: the first day of spring that gives hope for the future, the recognition of the swaying adaptability of the willow, the random words or acts of kindness from a stranger. The mending can be slow, yet with increasing visible restoration to the attentive eye, resolute resilience can be found in what may at first seem insignificant.

Visible Mending is an exhibition of gestural abstraction paintings that expressively capture frequently overlooked, modest moments that illuminate our humanity and our longing to connect with each other.

This collection of emotive large-scale paintings includes some un-stretched pieces, hanging in the manner of weavings or tapestries. Several of the paintings consist of canvases that have been pieced together, with hand stitching, from smaller pieces of canvas, thereby creating a symbolic correlation to the mending of textiles. They reinforce the proposition of visible mending and further support the idea of the beauty found in “imperfection.

Meet the artist

Karen Goetzinger

Karen Goetzinger

Karen Goetzinger is an abstract painter who resides in Ottawa, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design with an emphasis in Fine Arts from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work is exhibited by public and commercial galleries throughout North America, in cities such as Milwaukee, Toronto, and New York. It has also been shown in exhibition spaces in China and Australia and hangs in both private and corporate collections internationally.

Recent recognition for her work includes a 2019 ARTicipate Endowment Fund grant and exhibition award at the Shenkman Arts Centre LaLande + Doyle Exhibition Space in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her work has been funded by both the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Karen has taught at the Ottawa School of Art and by invitation in Australia and New Zealand. She was appointed to the Ottawa Arts, Culture, and Heritage Investment Program Steering Committee and was unanimously elected to the Arts Network Ottawa Board of Directors, serving two consecutive three-year terms.