When I first began reading about ‘biophony I learned that I’m not the only person to be deeply affected by sound: turns out that whole species disappear from landscapes in response to humanity’s noise pollution. I began a painting hoping to explore soundscapes  – the neighbor’s maddening mulching machine, the crickets calling from shoes. When not painting I had been managing operations for a solar panel installation company; soon enough my paintings’ mountain refuge suddenly spawned rooftops! And someone appeared on the roof – a woman with braids. I took to calling her the little Solar Soldier. I battled with her body – and the figure surrounding her body, some kind of estranged creature. I showed the painting to my German gallerist and she said, “Oh it looks like my Russian grandmother!” A week later my parents showed up with news that my 94-year old grandmother had developed cancer. And I went to visit her. And we argued! Who argues with a 94-year old grandmother with cancer?! Me! This all happened before the Jewish New Year, when one seeks forgiveness. When one remembers that, but for the grace of You Know Who(m?) we are all human, trying our best…In my 43rd year on earth I continue to struggle with releasing and renewing relationships so, thought I could work on this project in perpetuity, I “finish” this painting and release it to the world. As a puzzle. Forgiveness, as I have discovered, is itself a form of renewable energy… Perhaps you’ll help me understand what it means to be merciful. I look forward to your letters!

xo, Sarah Jane Lapp,  December 2015

© Sarah Jane Lapp, 2024