Blog / 2015 / The Good Thing About Mistakes

March 16, 2015

It can be painful to think back on mistakes, but I choose to take comfort in the things I’ve done wrong over the years. This vlog talks about the importance of just keeping on keeping on as an artist, and this one provides tips for how to stick with it even when it gets hard.

before and after portraits of transgender woman
Gwenn Seemel
Before and After: Gender Confirmation Surgery
2006 and 2007
acrylic on bird’s eye piqué
30 x 54 inches (combined dimensions)

At the exhibition of Swollen, each of the pairs in the series was presented with text to invite viewers to think about the earth changes and the changes happening for the subjects. This was the paragraph for Before and After: Gender Confirmation Surgery:

Forget wooly mammoths and times long past, the earth is now-today-presently in an ice age and, more specifically, in a warming period of that age. And it’s not just ice ages that we fail to understand, but all permutations of our planet’s climate. The complex combination of factors which dictate global temperature trends, wind velocities, and precipitation patterns are easily misunderstood and, as it turns out, easily politicized. The earth’s climate is not simply a matter of hot or cold.

Though I count the titling of Swollen as one of my bigger mistakes, it is by no means the only one I’ve made in my career, a thought that makes me wince and smile at the same time.


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