Artist Statement

By: Stephen Gehring & Alexis Kenyon

About three years ago, I went out surfing at Indian beach, Oregon. It was a perfect sunny day with only three of us in the water. I caught wave after wave, then about ten feet behind me, I heard splashing. I looked over and a shark fin flopped out of the water beside the other surfer’s board. He yelled at me to get out of the water and we started paddling for a our lives. We both managed to make it out of the water.

A few days later, a tornado struck Manzanita. I drove down to check on a friend. I could hardly see the road through the heavy rain. A bolt of lighting cracked down in front of my car and when I got to their beach house, I was shaken.

This series of events, happening within a week of each other, got me thinking about how short life is. We can spend years disconnected from the wild and our mortality. As comfortable as we may be, remembering where we came from and our connection to nature can make us truly appreciate living in the moment and how precious life is.

In all, these pieces celebrate nature’s otherness, its chaos, and my connection to it. Through this study, I can be more present with the natural world and my place in it.