Friday, 12 October 2007

Between a whisper and a hiss



Today is a very tired day, feel sick, body heavy, legs and arms only half functioning, my balance is shot and I’m hugging the walls as I walk through the corridor which seems miles long. Brain doing only slightly better. I so want to be lying down (mumbles my body) and I so want to be up and about (hisses my mind). Everything is slowed down, and even the crocheting hook seems difficult to operate. Piecemeal-work, minutes at the computer, lie down, more minutes at the computer, lie down, on so for the rest of the day and wondering if I ever will get this post done.
Over the last few days looked (back) through my sketchbook-cum-diary and found that I ordered the first batch of wool for my long-sleeved dress at the beginning of October 2006. It’s really taken a whole year to finish, almost to the day. Worked on the dress with lots of breaks pauses interruptions. While its body grew slowly, stitch by stitch, towards its imagined shape, shrunk dramatically when I wretchedly unraveled the mass of stitches that made up the not-quite-right-looking skirt and then steadily grew again, it took on various spectral forms in my head, some of which I sketched down, each time changing its meaning slightly.
It is my biggest work to date (since I fell ill that is) and finishing it exhilarated me and made me panic too. While working away at something - and I’m sure that’s true for any medium - you invest the object with potency, energy and almost magic powers, after all it is to be sent out into the world to move, challenge, please, and of course to represent the artist and her faculties. Once declared complete it’s time to assess whether the work can indeed stand up for itself and the artist steps out into the limelight, feeling not quite fully dressed.

9 comments:

daniel said...

I mis-read your title as "between a whisper and a kiss", which somehow seems to fit - like redredday i see love and some kind of narrative in that beautiful dress.

cally said...

M, it is a fantastic piece, and all the more so for the difficulties you've overcome/worked through/been hindered by in the making. I want to come and 'play' with it. Or rather I want it to play with me, in my house in it's fantasy finished state (still very clear in my mind if not in reality) where it would look amazing with the sun shining through it, seen from the inside (i like to hide in fabrics that you can still look through - loose knits/weaves etc.)

Having my health finally confirmed has been frustrating (all those years of not being thought of as lazy) and liberating (feeling I'm finally 'allowed' to slow down without having to justify myself to others). My Doc wants me to take Prozac but I have to say it freaks me out as I would hate to do anything that could potentially deaden my creativity (not to mention the other, scarier, side effects). I think thats partly why I've started to show more of my old self on the blog, work from my original 4yr bout of M.E. A reminder of what I acheived when I dealt with it the way that felt right for me and got my degree as the icing on the cake.

I've got firefox set up to open your blog each time I log on, but the way you write is so inspiring and thought provoking that I've not had the energy to do justice to the reading yet as I know I'll get all involved in what you are saying.

But after your lovely comment today I had to just pop in again to say thanks and let you know I'm enjoying the visuals and hoping for a day when I have the concentration to do a full catch up read. I hugely miss reading blogs regularly but you know how it is. Sorry to hear you are so tired just now. You'll totally understand how it's taken me 4hrs to get this comment written. Crazy eh.

redredday said...

hi Marjojo! you got me hungry with your comment too. just finished eating. the sun is just coming out as i am writing this too. :). been feeling really tired and sleepy but better now. it's like what you said about the greyness of autumn.

but. seeing your drawings make me happy! i've been coming back to look at them. at first, they almost looked like the real thing. it's interesting to me how the flare of the skirt is closely related to the arms - when the arms are out, it flares out more but when they are down, there is less of a flare. and the rolling of the arms make a happier flare too, no?

also interesting is Daniel's misreading of the title. boy, what a difference one letter makes, huh? with the word 'kiss', everything just feels more softer, gentler, and accepting maybe? particularly, with regards to the heaviness of the dress, the arms, and that caused by M.E.
but with the word 'hiss', so much is intensified and i can understand better that inner struggle and angst.

i have mixed feelings about the writing added to the previous post. maybe feel that it fits these drawings more? the final piece feels stronger to me standing on its own. or maybe just the last paragraph is enough? i'm not sure and wonder if it is just because it was initially shown by itself without the words and i already fell in love with it? it's strange how the mind needs to get adjusted to changes. well, at least, my mind.

btw, thanks for the clarification of Manipelt. my careless reading. phew. it is a relief but funny how that works.

right now, am a bit out of sync with my own work, so not sure what to make out of some of what you wrote in your feedback. i do like the idea of talking jars and things transforming. i think that is what those clay creatures became but they are not enough. too small maybe...

Marjojo said...

Daniel: Kisses and hisses and near-misses. And those unfurling arms definitely have a story to tell, just not sure yet what kind.
Cally: Delighted that you think the piece fantastic. Your comment has also made me think again about talking about being ill in the context of showing finished work, for me obviously it's inextricably linked, but I do want my work to stand up in any context, simply as itself, and not because I've had to overcome obstacles making it or whatever. I know you probably didn't mean that, but I'm wondering if I'm biasing people if I talk about my circumstances, at the same time they are a fact. Will need to think a bit more here.
Mien: Just what you said about your mixed feelings about the writing for my last post (for a moment I felt pierced by not having made a perfect post, always want you to get a kick out of what I do...), you made me realise that I often don't make clear when my text is a finished one, and when I'm trying to feel my way somewhere. That here was a collection of words, associations, a churning out of ideas and connections, just all kinds of stuff that went through my mind thinking about the dress. As it's such a new work I haven't formed a clear idea yet about how to talk about it, the words will grow in me with time I hope. Need to think about how to clarify that in future posts, writing is so important to me and I do want to get it right.

Cathy said...

I am pleased you are able to share your experiences of illness and how that affects your creativity, I really find it personally helpful. And your work is so inspiring. Thank you.

MoonChild said...

hey!!! take more care for yourself!
don't leace your artworks alone, they need to be born! so you better dont get sick!!
God Bless!
i love the very long sleeves dress!
i can imagin there are numerous way to play with it! and i think it can take many gorgeous photos!!
Plz keep on, although it may take long time to finish, but it worths it.

ps.Thanks for your greeting, i'm surprised that you do remember!! so touching ^)3(^

Anne-Laure said...

I haven't had much time on the internet lately, and I have missed seeing and reading your posts. Somehow they always leave me with a sense of calm, I guess something I feel when things are in order, as though I can manage with things being not all ok, as long as they're in order somehow.
I love the dress, as well as the drawings you made. Maybe it's because of the size of the dress, I couldn't help trying to imagine who or what kind of fairytale creature would wear the dress, about how she would look and her personality, and the drawings kind of add to that, being full of movement.

Anne-Laure said...

oh, yes, I almost forgot, I loved your comment about the tiny animals leaving footprints, it made me smile. I never thought specifically about animals, but I often imagine that it's someone or something shrunk so small and they go on various trails, hopping around.

redredday said...

hi Marjojo! just a quick one before responding to your latest post and comments - i just saw a post of your red long arms dress on Whip Up! yay! you know about it, right? it is beautifully presented there. the large image and text selected to go with it is just right and everything. never mind my mixed feelings about your writing of it. i think i just did not like the leaking leaking part because it makes me think too literally of a woman's period and not much else from those repeated words (but that is just my personal association and queasiness with blood).

i hope for the whole world to discover you. the arms are sure reaching out, aren't they? :).