sen·ti·nel /ˈsent(ə)nəl/ A soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch. We are the guardians of our world, our dreams, our memories. Like clouds in the sky, we are ever-evolving in form and purpose. Travelers. Sentinels. Despite the various forms expressed throughout our lives, we maintain a notion of self. Yet the memories often contain a version of us, perhaps strange or foreign to the now. Just as a cloud is seen as a novel form when viewed from many different perspectives, the framing of our experiences helps to establish who we are, and guide the forces that grow and thrust us into our next moments. “Sentinels" is an autobiographical and surrealist exploration of the experiences in the life of artist Matt Wilson; the isolation of COVID, loss of life, and self-discovery. Each scene, each cloud, is frozen in space & time like a statue in a grand gallery locked away, long forgotten. The worlds that surround them are intended to set the stage for each moment.

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Traversal

Sentinel #1

“Please...sit, rest. Speak & be heard. Allow me to introduce you to a mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, partner, wild child, friend and listener. The world might seem barren and scorched at times, but here in the shade where these many Sentinels traverse and many paths cross, may you find solace and a place to be renewed.”

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Solace & Discovery

Sentinel #2

We recreate ourselves many times during our lives, constantly pulling down barriers in search of the truth. Perhaps we are fortunate in that we can still recognize the way. Both the route and the walls define us in these cycles. However, when we choose to think outside the box and seek to see potential in its genuine form, we discover that it is actually shapeless.

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Arise

Sentinel #3

COVID froze the world around us. Together we sunk into a collective hibernation, closed off from each other and ourselves. Finally as the sickness thawed and we began to search for the new version of our lives we lifted our faces into the sunlight and felt a familiar warmth. Even in the frozen, dark and cold places that many of us went and perhaps still are, we rise together stronger.

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Juniper

Sentinel #4

Juniper was the name we had dreamt of giving our second child who did not make it into our world. While there is mourning symbolized in the alkaline water, this image is not about loss. It is about strength and healing. This is the Sentinel who guards over my life and protects our family... my wife and partner Alexandra. I made this place to cherish, admire, grow, heal and dream beyond the horizon. Madonna.

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Passage

Sentinel #5

Deep in the darkness of Joshua tree, we found a passage in the stars. Sitting there in the cold, together under the light of the Milky way, we laugh and cried and dreamt of the future. We hadn't realized it then, but his little feet were just on the edge of life. There he stood, listing to the story of our lives together, waiting to become part of it. Waiting for his turn to take our flame and become the guardian of his destiny.

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Mirror

Sentinel #6

Mad Song,
By William Blake

"The wild winds weep
And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
And my griefs infold:
But lo! the morning peeps
Over the eastern steeps,
And the rustling birds of dawn
The earth do scorn.

Lo! to the vault
Of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
Make weep the eyes of day;
They make mad the roaring winds,
And with tempests play.

Like a fiend in a cloud,
With howling woe,
After night I do crowd,
And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas'd;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain."

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44th & 2nd

Sentinel #7

As our days in NYC come to a close and a new chapter begins, the memory of madness and revelry can be seen in so many familiar places. Bodies dripping with dark sequins dashing through the fog of night. This vespertine gate and its travelers will be forever burned into my mind.

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Petrichor

Sentinel #8

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Persistence Of Dreams

Sentinel #9

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Mornvan

Sentinel #10

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Sleeping Giants

Sentinel #11

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Maelstrom

Sentinel #12

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