Thoughts Behind the Margin Series

Painting is my voice, my language. It is the truest version of myself that I can only describe in words as a sacred communion of emotional, spiritual and physical presence, serving as a bridge that connects me at a greater level of consciousness with myself and the world around me. 

A teenage girl nervously sits at her desk. She feels small and stupid. A revelatory studio session jolted me back to memories of my days as an anxious high school student when learning became increasingly arduous for me. I would retreat to the margins of my paper daily and pack them with rhythmic lines and patterns. In retrospect, I believe it was my coping mechanism to help alleviate the state of my severe stress and anxiety.  This recollection led to further exploration of new work involving these comforting methods that I relied on as a teenager and it dawned on me that I was revisiting an entity that consequently contributed to my lifelong feeling of intellectual inferiority.  This paradigm shift in my work has seemingly altered how I approach painting.  The morphing of the process from that which previously consisted of spontaneity and color, to the integration and intentionality of new mediums, repetitive lines, shapes and directional patterns has pushed me off the precipice of comfort.   How I employ linework in this new work is a direct correlation to youthful days of self-deprecation and self-preservation.  On a larger scope, these works question the longevity of labels (self-appointed or other), the personal and collective experiences that lead to these false narratives, the value we place on labels, how much we personally contribute to them as well as the impact they have on our lives. Appropriately titled “Margins”, this series of paintings cast emphasis on the stigma and global issues of marginalization,  particularly those associated with mental health, but on a more personal level, serve as a reminder that perceived classifications of failure can be unlearned revealing that truth, courage and vulnerability have the power to recreate the story.


We are all interconnected by something greater than ourselves and I believe that it is in that space where we feel the deepest connection. My works  embody the struggle between false constructs and the unapologetic rise to truth by means of disintegrating past and present masks and labels that we shackle to ourselves and others with a fierce unknowing. Encountering the divinity that exists within each of us at a human level, necessitates the dissolution of these false narratives and prompts us to see through the deafening fear to the one commonality that declares: we are all the same.

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©Christina Sorace MacKinnon 2020.      

Contemporary Artist