The Red House Series of work by Annie Guldberg
These images explore the jagged side of life. Looking at our emotions and experiences directly in the face. Examining how difficulty, pain and struggle makes us who we are and effects how we see the world.
See each image below followed by a statement for each piece.
La Maison Rouge (The Red House)
It’s not really snow, but my mind knows what it is, even though it doesn’t really have a name… This piece is about the storms in the mind that seem to blow around and over us as a blizzard. Completely blocking out the rest of life for a while, giving you a bit of tunnel vision or isolation. Suddenly, it’s quiet, and you see the blizzard is over and the storm has created such intricate beauty you almost cannot take it in.
Those sudden jagged crevasses that can appear: in our lives, relationships, work, church, or anywhere we thought we were on solid ground– but it turns out we weren’t. This is the main part of looking into what you are avoiding. By confronting it and staring into it, you will see the bottom and be able to climb up and out.
After The Rift
When a permanent rift that has occurred. We’ve all done it. Built our house on shifting sands in one way or another. Damaging or unhealthy habits, relationships, patterns, jobs, friends, people… every once in a while (hopefully) you come to understand you are at the point of no repair. Built on a fault line, this was destructive and doomed from the start.
The Bridges We Build
That ground seemed so firm and sound. Yet the crack grew and grew. We are more similar than we are different, yet we are suddenly so far apart. The bridge must be made, rickety at first, but the fact that it’s there will mean everything.
This piece is showing the way to move forward. Start taking that action towards repair. Step by step, that rickety bridge will seem more and more sure. Reaching out a hand of peace is almost never returned by a slap. If so, recognize the fracture and leave the bridge to be used by future ones on the same journey.
Hope in the Depths
You’re in the depths and hitting the bottom, but even at the bottom God can still reach you. Furthermore, God provides hope, healing, forgiveness, mercy and restoration right there in the pit and helps you climb up and out.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Wounds from a Friend
Fresh, new wounds. The ones that whizzed across your nose without warning. Blunt, but accurate- straight to the core. Not a single one has missed the target. The piece is raw, crusty and full of the dried dull drips left by wounds that are only a few hours old. It’s framed with memories of it all- as everything will be for a while. The grass is green, but just beneath it the battle is still easily visible.
Suit of Scars
The wounds that are in everything we are, everything we do. We all walk around carrying healed wounds with us, and it changes and defines us. Scars swirl on and around us, creating a tapestry of who we are and how we see the world. With healing and restoration the wounds become something beautiful with time. The flawed, scarred suit we all wear is part of our story and gives us the strength to walk the path that has been laid before us.
Same Tree, Different Branch
All the whys. The unanswerable questions about the fairness of life. Why some receive success, some failure. Why seasons are life are filled with joy or full of sorrow. We’re all here in this life together, but each life will have a different experience- even if they are in seemingly identical circumstances.
The sun rises on the evil and the good every morning, and rain falls on the just and the unjust. If you notice, there are 7 houses in this painting. You can look up for yourself and fall into a rabbit hole about the significance of the number seven as it relates to God. To me in this piece, I chose to include 7 houses as a symbol to the fact that only God in his wisdom knows why some lives are full of suffering and tragedy, while others follow a much easier path. Though I think i’ve learned that no matter how easy someone’s life may appear from the outside, it’s never the full story.
Beneath the Surface
What is seen is not always the full picture. Radiating with a white lie presented as the truth- but so thin it doesn’t really cover it anyways. Scratches beneath the surface, scars. Memories happy, sad, and everywhere in between. Visible or covered. What’s beneath the surface is as important as the outside, if not more.