Backyard Love opens at Martine Chaisson GalleryNew Orleans
August 4, 6-9 PM
Including an Ensemble Dance Performance of Backyard Love, 7:30 PM
Why so scrawny, cat?
starving for fat fish
or mice . . .
Or backyard love?
                        Matsuo Basho (1644-94)


My studio stands indifferent in the backyard, open to fluctuations. Inside I hear the feral sounds of children screaming on the nextdoor playground. Two jays are locked in mirror dance. Mosquitos teem in the purple black greenery. Light falls like a blessing on a broken tree limb, I paint it in washes of black. Broken lines and tangles, pale to dark. I try to plan but can’t listen. I jump up and down and cry out to the loud indifference of a backyard full of sounds.

Backyard Love is a riotous celebration of life in times of death. Everything is loudly living and dying around my studio, and inside it, I am trying not to leave anything out. Can we bloom like that?


For Caroline Wright, dancing is part of the painting process. Working with postmodern dance pioneer Deborah Hay has instructed the way she sees, moves and works, in relation to others and alone in the studio. Says Wright, “My dancing body is braver and more awake than my ideas about what I can paint, so it is my dancing body who needs to paint.”

During the opening, Wright will be joined by other dancers from around the country whom she met while studying with Deborah Hay. This performance will be their first together, exploring the techniques they have practiced in workshop. At 7:30 pm during White Linen Night, the dancers will move through the gallery, embodying the overgrowth of ecstatic foliage. This dance is an extension, a coming out of the work. It is a glance into Wright’s working process, the riot happening behind the paintings.