Collection: Hope Is A 4-Letter Word

Hope Is A 4-Letter Word- New Works by Jo Carol Ciborowski

When I started to plan for this show, the pieces I envisioned were bright and cheery; but then the coronavirus hit, and the world didn’t feel so bright and cheery. As we all strive and hope to reach our new normal, I decided to use my art as a vehicle to explore my tenuous relationship with the word “hope”.

Spiritual gurus from Eckhart Tolle to Caroline Myss to Tara Brach implore us to live in the now. Stay present. Be in the moment. But they also teach the importance and necessity of hope. And I’ve long found it difficult to reconcile those two dialectical ideas. Being present means living in the moment, but hope is an emotion that lives in the future. When you hope, you’re no longer in the present; you’re wishing for something you don’t presently have.

For several months, I saved every Facebook post where the word hope was mentioned; and surprisingly, it was mentioned quite a lot. I wanted to discover how others viewed the concept of hope, and I wanted to make art about that. Everyone seems to experience hope differently and I can’t say I definitively know what it is, but I like to think of it as a slender thread connecting the present with the future. In this body of work using mixed media (from oil and cold wax to acrylic and collage), I delve into that fleeting concept of “hope”.

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