Lena Schmid





About the Artist


When I threw her in there were berries on the bush. 
Water so low you could walk across. 
I watched her sink with the summer sun. 
We’re all going down.

This song, Fiske, is one that I recently wrote.  Like any good folk song, it holds two meanings.  On the one hand it is a classic murder ballad where a body is disposed of in a lake. On the other hand it is about an embodied connection to nature. I am both the person dumping the body and the body being left.  The lake is complicit in the crime; it conceals and protects, mystifying senses of place and time. 

I investigate the collusion of the body and nature through a series of drawings and song. The images refer to mountains, breasts, eyes, rocks, touch/pressure, grasses, and bodily openings. They illustrate moments of release or insight informed by a bodily experience of nature. In them I am examining my relationship to my own body, one that has changed under the structure of chronic pain. The cleaving movement depicted in the pieces is reflective of that relationship: a constant, slow, breaking apart and coming together.

I am interested in iconic images that defy definition. My pictures slip from mountains to breasts, from coming to going, from moon to hole. There is nothing stable about their references; they open and close in the blink of an eye. This reflects an ongoing investigation into things familiar and unfamiliar. My body, ordinarily a most familiar home, has become strange to me. These works make a connection between the kind of slow, strange change experienced in a space long inhabited: be it a body or a well known landscape.


2017–2018 Winter Residency


Photos by Walker Esner