Upon Viewing the Forces of Nature Exhibition, Halsey Gallery, Charleston, SC October 2006
A white wall illuminates a centered slice of tree. Concentric rings coil out to infinite ranges; warping, with each, age and might. The heavy brown and knotted bark deepens to story. Thread winds freely, tracing the solid rings – it spirals out like the spider’s web, mapping the meat of the tree’s life. In dark bindings, a book with gaping holes of measured circles waits. The black print, missing in chunks, fades into the design. The knowledge peels away – layered. The words, their pressed meaning, hold no more truth for the tree. There is a projected picture, a c-sectioned tree, one with red marker, stepping stones of eroded plaster – white squares – more thread. My mind is like the thread. It twists delicate in a breeze but holds tight to the needle’s eye, driving into the fibers, griping and hemming – Or like sand, sifting & sinking as it conforms itself to the print. The weight of my body rolls heel to toe as I walk among these thoughts, each successive ring between my teeth, eating away at the bone.
The blog destroyed my formatting, but I think it’s actually easier to read this way. To expand on the thoughts of my last post, I felt I should include an example of a poem that I wrote about an art exhibition I found to be particularly compelling and insightful. This poem and the photograph pictured above (which is one of mine) have been instrumental in creating Forest and Fin and also inspired my wood panel painting series back in 2009. I think it gets to the heart of what I mentioned in my last post: the interaction of imagery included in this particular art exhibition paired with descriptive language generated a new idea or association (the thread being like my mind or me chewing on my thoughts as I try to get to the heart of my ideas) that I found inspirational. I found the photos pictured below of the actual exhibition on Flickr here to give you a little context. The Halsey Gallery has this to say about the exhibition: This unique exhibition was a grand collaboration between seven institutions in North and South Carolina and ten contemporary Japanese artists. The artists lived in the Carolinas for six-week residencies, creating work using natural materials or processes and were installed at their host institutions. You can read more here.
*These three photographs are from the “Force of Nature: The Exhibition” Flickr group.