Nina Gaby

Essays, art, and healthcare


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“Mixed States: mood and attachment

“Existence of Imprint” 12×12 Porcelain sheet, porcelain slip, sulfates, vintage Japanese ephemera, 2021

After spending lots of pandemic time working on these collages, ignoring the serious issues that seemed to intensify during the pandemic (big house things that we can’t get anyone to fix, and health issues that seem to creep along) I realized that these pieces kept me sane. Gave me focus. Allowed me to enter a “zone” where all that mattered was the work and the playlist. Oh yeah, and lunch. 

I had a deadline. It almost reminded me of when I was young, a fulltime artist, my work (and therefore me, I guess) in great demand. It’s different now.

After installing the show “Mixed States” on Thursday at The Little Cafe Gallery in my hometown of Rochester, NY, I felt oddly deflated. Some relief that the delicate work survived the car ride and the schlepping to and fro, of course, but while my sister, with whom I’m sharing the gallery, seemed celebratory and excited, my mood flattened. “It’s a beautiful show!” 

As I drove back to Vermont the next day, I felt like I’d left something behind. This pandemic has affected us all in ways that pop up at the strangest moments. In attachment to inanimate objects–as if I were assuaging this isolation with my art, which I realize that is exactly what I have done.

I hope to sell pieces, of course, a permanent goodbye. And there is plenty to do next–stack a few cords of wood for the winter, pack up other inanimate objects for either the dump or the thrift store, work on my memoir, sign up for Continuing Education Credits for my licensure. And then the show will come down. In the meantime I’ll post a photo a day on Facebook and keep close to my sustenance. 

“Mixed States: new work by Nina and Sari Gaby”

now at The Little Theater Cafe Gallery, Rochester, NY.

9-2 through 9-30, reception 9-26 from 2-4