August 9 – Oct 25, 2019
Opening reception: August 9 | 5 – 7 p.m.

“Existential Psychoanalysis (What is Life)” is a series of portraits by Bemidji artist Tawnee Corning, with images of outer space and nature projected onto them to portray the feelings that come with the struggle of finding the meaning and purpose of one’s life.

Inspiration for the psychedelic themes of Tawnee’s paintings come from her love of 1960’s & 1970’s music, poster art, and psychedelic light shows.

Artist Statement

In my latest series “Existential Psychoanalysis (What is life?)”, I am examining the haunting void felt in day-to-day life, consequential to directing the attention towards thoughts of the unknown. Specifically, the mysteries of how our universe, and our life as a whole, came to be.

Through this series of portraits, I have depicted the ways in which those thoughts and feelings of uncertainty assist in shaping us as individuals. Who am I? Who are you? Where did I come from? Why am I here?

The individuals in the paintings have their vision obscured, enhanced, or altered in various ways. They are often lost in thought, or looking up towards the sky.

In creating this series of paintings, I hope to encourage others to think of thoughts larger than themselves. We are merely a speck of dust in the timeline of the universe. Take time to look at the stars. You’re not as busy as you think.


This project was funded, in part, by an Individual Artist’s Grant from Region 2 Art Council, 2018.

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