Jamie Nakagawa Boley

“Images of land and water run through these works. I am as the dry and thirsty land. In momentary loss I am breaking my horizon. This is nothing new. It’s always been.”

-Jamie Nakagawa Boley, 2020

Jamie Nakagawa Boley’s work crosses boundaries of media, time, and place in order to take us on a journey- one that is by nature uncomfortable, and yet beautiful in its starkness.

To experience her work is to sink in, the be immersed, to be overwhelmed. To lose the navigational aid of the horizon, and the histories we thought we knew.

Here, we find evidence of the human in the landscape; the water in the rock. The landscape is unsteady, shifting, there are cracks in the earth. The hand of the artist, the motions of the paintbrush, reflect the hand of the human on the landscape, force it into our attention. What was, and what is, collapse into each other in our sight.

Here, we are simultaneously walking through a past and a present that are not comfortably stratified or categorized. The layers interleave. The horizon breaks, the distinctions break down. This is beyond encounter; it is confrontation with the Anthropocene, in which the intertwined histories of human and land collide, often violently.

And yet, within this instability, there lies a tenderness. The sweep of a charcoal line delineates a face with infinite care; brushstrokes are evidently quick and furious, but also slow and considered. This is what gives Jamie Nakagawa Boley’s works their power: the immense tension between competing forces of annihilation and generation.

Entropy, and love.

-Carlye Sina Frank
September, 2020