Charleston, SC painter Ashley Freinberg writes an emotional explanation behind "Seven Sunflowers", one of two abstract floral paintings that are currently on display at The Parliament:
Bouquets are given as gifts in times of celebration but also in sorrow. Silently left alongside a memorial to express gratitude and respect to someone lost. These bundles of texture, form and light express sentiments that words cannot describe. When I paint flowers, I am painting a handful for each person who needs to be handed one. At this very moment, these sentiments echo within me strongly where I currently reside in Charleston. This feeling is abrupt and overwhelming while frightening all of us- how this could be, here, us in a church? So much unnecessary, meaninglessness, pointless hatred. Still though, Charleston has continually proven together through each step it is stronger than the former-- the hatred. Unfortunately, in the last few years, I've found I must paint my way through these tragedies to endure the pain. I was in graduate school at Boston University in 2013 bouncing around the crowded streets of young joyous college students shortly before the bombs exploded on Marathon Monday. In my immense anger and fear all I felt I could do was take refuge in my studio. The act of aggressive hatred upon a celebratory group was assaulting. How do we begin to heal from this place? I continually channel these emotions while I paint. These paintings contain all of my hopes and prayers as I walk and paint my way through this world.