Article in the Commentary by Michael J. Lewis I couldn't help but find myself nodding in agreement to much of what was said in this article. I find it very difficult to openly voice my criticisms and even to write them down, but this article made sense to me (those who have spent the time mastering literature I admire whether I agree with it or not). I found it via a blouin artinfo site who was criticizing Lewis' article (I read only a few hours ago), but which now seems to be denying access to the article (so sorry if you cannot read it either).
The article then lead me to have a look at the Michael Lewis' Visual Images in a Verbal Culture. All of humankind has lived on storytelling since the beginning of time. I don't think that there is visual without verbal. It is when I see things like this I am again so so grateful to Graham Coomber who gave me the appreciation and love of art and colour and form and line and echo and pattern and repetition and on and on and on I could go.
I bought this book on iTunes a week ago because it was reduced cost and looked interesting. It was published in 2007. I have just finished reading it and found myself very moved by every last page. I have to write about it here because I found so many elements of the book that I found relevant to me (as many women would) but more interestingly parallels in my artwork. The emphasis on the richness that women find in each others company. How grateful I am having been gifted a mother and other strong female role models that have given me their time in stories and in keeping my hands constantly busy in making with fabrics, food and any other material that comes to my hands...with unconditional love regardless of circumstances that inevitably arise. Also, I have studied natural medicines(a constant through the book) and still prefer such remedies over more modern orthodox medicine wherever possible. I have been drawn to the subjects of the vessel (a gift my mother gave me for my 21st birthday made by a local artist in the Clarence Valley), which turns out to be a repeated subject of interest for many artist to represent the womb. The vessel lead me on to my interest in water. These and the array of emotions we go through from childhood, to childbirth, being a mother and the relationships we have until our death repeated through time was magically written in the words of this fiction.
Some of the words from the book:
p.444 of 506 'I am honored to be the vessel into which you pour this story of pain and strength'
p448 of 506 '[We]...laughed in her honor, recalling her delight in surprises, jokes, food, and all the pleasures of the flesh. I hoped that she would continue her enjoyment of these in the life to come, which she believed to be much like this world, only deathless and eternal'
p456 of 506 'I set aside my spinning and sat quietly, watching the water lap against the shore, my mind as calm and wordless as the surface of the river. I inhaled the loamy smell of the river and listened to the sound of the water on the hull, which was like a constant breeze.....the water soothes my heart and settles my thoughts, and it is true that I feel at home by the water, but I found my joy in dry hills'
p477 of 506 'Death is no enemy, but the foundation of gratitude, sympathy, and art. Of all life's pleasures, only love owes no debt to death.'
p478 'If you sit on the bank of a river, you see only a small part of its surface. And yet, the water before your eyes is proof of unknowable depths. My heart brims with thanks for the kindness you have shown me by sitting on the bank of this river, by visiting the echoes of my name.
The authors words when interviewed
p 481 Women's accomplishments, until the very recent past, have been 'written' on the bread they baked, the clothing they fashioned, the children they bore and reared. These are monuments that crumble into dust...
p483 I see my book as an expression of the spirit of our times
Oh, i just watched a documentary on this woman on iView. Diana Vreeland, fashion editor and visionary. Loved it!
Jude Roberts does beautiful work see the below link to see part of her process
"For me, as an artist, what's important is to cover everything from the emotional to the literal, and sometimes that means I give myself a very hard time." Page 2 of Art NOW Vol 3 Edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth. Published Taschen 2008
I have just recently read two books, written by Australian authors. Lost and Found by Brooke Davis. The second was Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke. The last short story of the book Foreign Soil, is written in a very clever way, outlining (I guess) the authors process of writing fiction. She writes about a publishers fictitious comment 'Unfortunately, we feel Australian readers are just not ready for characters like these' p.270. Australians need to be ready for characters like these. These characters represent part of real Australia.The book has been well received (it is on the Angus and Robertson top 20 list). I will be thinking about these characters for a while longer. I was a little bit more heart broken after each story. Good books do come up and these are two of them.
We have a lot of really abstract emotions not caused by anything in this world....you can wake up in the morning and you are happy. Extraordinarily happy with no traceable cause.
Prints mimic what we are as humans. We are all the same and yet everyone is different. I also thinks there's a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying rosaries
-Kiki Smith, 1998
Taken from GriffithREVIEW 43 (published Autumn 2014, Marilyn McMeniman AM).
Essay written by Lynn Jenner. Thinking about waves. Knowing when to leave. Page 105
Our sea is made up of certain blues. Sometimes, just before the weather changes, our sea is so pale it fades into the sky. At these times, the sea is almost silent. Sometimes our sea is bluer than a cornflower. These blues are inside us, enshrined beyond anything conscious, alongside the smell of hot sand and the sound of waves arriving from thousands of miles away.
I was reading this last night and still thinking about the opening sentences this morning. What a beautiful description.
Page 56. 'Art has value because people imagine it does. Art is a fragile and consensual fiction that requires great practical care while pretending to not care about practicalities.' Part of David Humphrey's essay in 'Living and Sustaining a Creative Life mentioned in last post.
This was brilliant and then some. Conversation between Kentridge, Peter Galison and Sebastian Smee. Galison is a Pellegrino university professor in history of science and physics at Harvard University, who collaborated with Kentridge, Philip Miller and Catherine Meyburgh (and many others....including Anne Dudley, composer) in producing the installation The Refusal of Time. Galison's book Empires of time, would shed more light on the artwork and the process of how aspects of the piece came about. Kentridge described working this piece and working in general as 'starting with the literal and then see what it (the work) suggests' and a 'balance between knowing what you are doing and stupidity'.
The conversation was hosted by Sebastian Smee (Australian), himself a Pulitzer Prize winning art critic, who has worked for numerous Australian papers and international papers including the Boston Globe. Also has a few book titles I am certain to look up to read.
Hope I got most this information right and I could not have expected more, I feel lucky!
Brisbane visual artist