Sharon Gannon: The Art of Norahs Nepas
Book with illustrations by Sharon Gannon; 158 pages, hard cover.
Approx. 30 x 30 cm (11,8 x 11,8 inches)
"One of the maddening things about Sharon Gannon’s artistic process is that she seems to be having fun. I have seen children having fun creating art, although I have no memory of such an experience myself. I have spent many hours in studios where very serious artist types angst and weep with production, resolution, color palette, theme, style, expression, consistency, and other grim issues of professionalism.
Finding art is what Sharon does. The art hides in her hands, eyes, nervous system, paper and print. When she sits at her table there is a palpable excitement and anticipation of new realms, new friends, and when the mystery is revealed, a celebration ensues to welcome the unexpected visitor or to survey newly discovered realms.
When I have experienced her dance choreography there is a similar approach to the movement spectrum, like a box of colored pencils and watercolors whose interactions are infinitely variable combinations of time and space. When I listen to her improvised music and her singing there is a continuous presence, bearing witness to the ebb and flow of universal themes. She paints with sound using the same fresh ability to uncover and reveal what was always there for anyone to uncover-if we could only break our box, challenge the tunnel vision, and as she says, ” Go to all space.”
If it were possible to stylistically classify the art of Norahs Nepas, aka Sharon Gannon, the words that come to mind are eclecticism or even anarchy. As you turn the pages of this book, you truly do not know what to expect from page to page, The images are consistently surprising, engaging, colorful and smart, but never predictable. This is truly bad news for art historians who want to classify and define, or for art dealers who want to speak to genre, predictability and investment prospects.
It is possible that there has never been a clear delineation of any artists’ early, middle and late periods – blue period, African period, or any other period, until some critic or so-called connoisseur had a need to justify their job/place/investment by constructing false delineations. The existence of a true polymath like Sharon in a society of reification and specialization is a heresy that can liberate all of us from the sad confinement of focus that is forced upon us. She is both a teacher and an example of liberation. In this book we have divided her art into early, middle and later periods primarily to provide handrails for the stairway of a lifetime of finding art.
I cannot make sense of this book for you, but I can suggest that you encounter each page without expectation and with fresh eyes and delight-ability. Sharon wanted to make this book to pay respect to her friends emerging on the page from other dimensions, odd visitors and mysterious cosmic transients, who she discovered out of her own need to be delighted. For her there is never a blank page as much as a being, a pathway, a hieroglyphic message, struggling to break out of another realm into this realm.
Just when you’ve decided that her art is figurative, you turn the page and find geometric experiments with squiggly interlopers. Just when you have processed the geometrics you turn the page and find a transparent face with the facets of another dimension crashing into visibility. Just when you figure this art is naive, it turns the corner toward bold wisdom. So climb aboard the roller coaster and take that grim look off your face. Laugh and celebrate, throw a party to welcome these visitors; cats, birds, people, stars, giraffes, gods, goddesses and elfish creatures – all the characters of dreams and other dimensions gathered at the borderline and yearning for a chance to BE."