Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Old but new: Handlebar dress

Dimensions: 73 cm x 61 cm
Material: Cotton
(The ends of the open sleeves are sewn into slits on both sides of the skirt’s hem)

I’ve been re-working the small red dress I crocheted ages ago (for previous incarnations see here, here and in a purely virtual fashion here) and that just never looked right. Tried filling it with all kinds of things, took something away, added something else, still not right, then was on the point of unravelling it completely (angrily, as it didn’t yield to me) and simply reduce it to a ball of wool, ha! Just about held back and in the end gave in again to my fascination with arms and what they might be made to imply and here it is.
Funny how in my visual art I am so often concerned with a girl’s world – this morning I finished a small text about a very old woman. It made me think about what I am trying to do in both my art and my writing. My work does have a narrative thread, I am trying to tell stories, but not with beginning middle and end. Anything resembling chronology, cause and effect, conflict and resolution is not my thing. I am more interested in producing a prolonged accumulative snapshot of being, of inner life, raising questions in the viewer’s/reader’s mind about how ‘it’ became what it is and what ‘it’ is going to become. I want to arrive at a concentration, an essence – think of a sauce that you’ve got on the stove for ages and let simmer until it is reduced to just the right consistency and taste.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

All about love

I want to starve myself down to the bare bones and see what emerges. A wild insect soul springing out. A screeching hissing furry thing. A sharp-toothed clawed hairy creature, all flailing limbs and high-pitched howls.
I want to feed her on wine and chocolates and watch her grow fat and inebriated, an old hag with fleshy folds hanging from her body, heavy fleshy folds and bushy mounds. Spittle dribbling from almost toothless mouth.
I want to feed her on chocolate and wine and watch her become the most beautiful of all and hear her sing a song about life filled to the brim with love and feel her body close, so close.
I want to feed her on bones ground dry and make her choke on them and spit everything out that she ever took in, spit, puke, cry it all out until she’s empty and just her own brittle self. I’ll cradle this new old being and hum on her with my warm breath and make her pulse and throb and then I’ll kiss her all over, that bare hollow lovely one and
I’ll feed her tender bits of spicy meat and nuts and marzipan and kiss her again and again, little butterfly kisses that make her skin spring to life and I’ll hear her little chuckle and my happy tears will wash her clean. And then I’ll guzzle her down and I’ll carry her safe in me, warm, content, tickled with love, and feel her tiny gulps of laughter ripple in my belly. I’ll love her and love her and let her grow into whatever she wants to be.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Ecstasy and memory

Went for a miniscule walk yesterday, drawn out by the rays of the autumn sun as if by golden reins. Stood under the silver birch (oh, isn’t the name already beautiful!) at the end of my block, sniffed its cracked white bark and looked up to the long trailing branches floating like strands of hair in the soft wind that was more like a gentle breath out. The rustling of the wind in the leaves sounds different now, it’s more of a crackling sound, you can hear the dryness of the leaves. Stepped away from my lovely tree when my time was up and walking towards home I kept turning back and saw that there was a lovely gradation of colours in the foliage: around the crown’s tip oranges and ochres prevailed, below yellowish tints spread and furthest down just-still-green hovered.
Today I haven’t got enough steps in me to take me out of the house, so it’s just as well that I can get some of yesterday’s ecstasy back by writing about it here. For a moment I lamented that I hadn’t taken my camera then but actually the process of writing engraves these images in my brain more clearly and more permanently. I have to work to conjure them up again and find just the right words - through that small and delicious effort I relive the experience whereas with a photo I’d lazily stay on its surface, I think. So with every word I write here I imprint myself with the look of that tree, the feel of that gentle breeze, the scent of that bark.