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The Lookout – Solace in Mountain Solitude Exhibit Video

Posted by Leonard on November, 25, 2015

I recently had the opportunity to film a lecture given by a dear friend. Tori Karpenko’s exhibit ‘The Lookout – Solace in Mountain Solitude’ at the Traver Gallery in Seattle is a uniquely beautiful collection of paintings, spread around a to scale model of an actual forest fire lookout. Tori built the lookout in Twisp WA where he lives, and reconstructed inside the downtown Seattle art gallery. In the wake of his divorce and his young son moving 4 hours away, he sought solace from the emotional crisis in the North Cascades mountains. In his words, “The vast silence of raw wilderness gave me a place to bring calm to a troubled mind. Empowering solitude led me to the stories of three poets; Gary Snyder, Phillip Whalen, and Jack Kerouac, who spent summers in the 1950’s as fire lookouts experiencing their own profound personal transformations. The simple Lookout cabin, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic hermitages, became a crystalized form that could encapsulate the sanctuary that I too found in the high peaks.” On this special night in mid December, Tori discussed his collection of paintings which were anchored in the gallery by the lookout itself, landscapes of the local mt wilderness, familiar to hikers of this region, heavy on reflective lakes and streams, the foliage and geology of our local mountains where I too love to spend time hiking and backpacking. This particular night had a focus on poetry, with Tori reading some of the beat poetry he was inspired by and special guest Saul Weisberg, the co-founder and executive director of the North Cascades Institute Link reading some of his own poetry and reflecting on his own journey in the North Cascades over time and the poetry and prose it inspired in him. It was a lovely night, a full house with a lively QnA that I was happy to have recorded on video, to help Tori tell his story and promote his work, and the lecture simply as a beautiful portrait of an artist.




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