The Valley So Low, 2018, acrylic on panel, 60x48


Tori Tinsley: Down in the Valley

ON VIEW: November 15 - January 19, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, November 15, 6 – 9 PM


HATHAWAY is proud to present Down in the Vallery, a solo exhibition of new works by Tori Tinsley. Tinsley (b. 1980) is best known for her color-saturated paintings depicting two abstract figures hugging within surreal landscapes. With the use of exaggerated facial features and dark humor, her work explores the layered emotions involved in caring for another. Since 2010, she has produced animations, paintings, drawings, and sculptures around the continued loss of her mother to a rare form of dementia. After receiving a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant in 2016, she has been creating works in response to being a new mother herself and the transitional space between caring for an ailing parent and nurturing a newborn son.

Down in the Valley

My new paintings and sculpture offer abstracted representations of lyrics taken from the American folk song “Down in the Valley”.

After hearing a version of this song over and over again while visiting with my mother, who suffers from a degenerative brain disease, I learned the lyrics so that I could sing it with her and also have it in my back pocket for the inevitable funeral service I would need to coordinate. The funeral has not taken place, but I did have a baby in the interim and found myself singing “Down in the Valley” while rocking my newborn to sleep.

This bittersweet connection point offered me a space in which to explore the themes of mother and child, life and death, fear and hope. The expressive nature of my new work extends from that place of all-consuming love and highlights how painting can expose the urgency and sincerity of such intimacy.