One day a friend took me to see the work of a then-emerging artist who was hesitant to call her work “art” or herself an “artist.” When my eyes settled on the pieces tucked in her back bedroom and kitchen, I felt a tug of heart and a wrench of stomach. I was riveted and enthralled. I immediately journeyed to places of horror and wonderment. I knew I was looking at the work of an artist ordained to create for the betterment of individual and global dignity.
Lorraine’s work was an emotional and psychological walkabout, depicting the fracturing of self from the horrors of childhood sexual torture and the reparative processes toward wholeness. It revealed the parallel social and political constructs that support both the violence and the healing. That she was timorous about her work as real art bespoke her humility. This was real art being real.
That was some fifteen years ago. Since then I have had the immense honor of encouraging her to keep making art, to keep examining the juxtaposition and correlation between interpersonal and global madness, and to keep honing her craft.
Today, Lorraine’s subjects and style continue to speak a truth that few others have the courage to express. She uses her art to present the tenderness that awaits our willingness to know it. Her art decries the terrors of violence that assail the psyche through brutal penetration of the soul’s readiness to find a stilled peace.
Her body of work is infused with profound intellectual examination, commingled with emotional forthrightness and creative artistry. Lorraine Bonner is a visionary artist whose living work is both a witness to inhumanity and an unrelenting call for us to act according to our greatest potential as human beings. She does this with amazing artistry and dignity.