Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Summer walk

A slow walk on a hot summer’s day, excursion beyond the realm marked by silver birch. My steps almost in tune with the heat, stately speed, syncopated by stick’s rhythm: one crisp beat to two measured steps. In time they become halting, energy trickling out of me fast, traceless. More rest-points on way back, sit on fences, walls, parapets; savour stillness in air that comes with heat. Turn face towards pale blue sky dabbed with thin washes of cloud. Breath in, breath out, steady now. Up again and onwards, slower and slower, teetering, every so often scuttling sidewards like crab - waste of precious steps, but also little involuntary dance, celebrating the spot I tread around. A memory alights, of school-outings, where some of us would link arms and temporarily walk in step, chanting: ‘Ein Hut, ein Stock, ein Regenschirm,/und vorwärts, rückwärts, seitwärts, steh’n.’ And again. (In the interest of maintaining innate iambic rhythm I translate as follows: ‘A hat, a stick, umbrella too,/and forwards, backwards, sidewards, still.’ Shout out and let right leg swing and stop, like a 3D-pendulum.)
Home seems to recede. I trail a straight line, thrown just for me. Time to sink nose into cup-sized purple bell-blossoms on high stalks, nameless to me, and clusters of tiny blue flowers whose sweet-scented loveliness I share with a bee. Finally I see my door, touch my keys, let home reel me in.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

View of a room

Ambiguity pulsates with the lifeblood of the imperfect. In these figures the real interweaves with the dreamt, the actual touches the imagined, the beautiful and the monstrous exist as one. The unexpected shapes, the extra, the different sit comfortably with the ‘normal’ ones. Useless barren arms hanging by a figure’s side like dried up lianes, a hooked hunch on the back in which a pair of wings might be enfolded, heavy lumpy shapes growing from limp wrists, bulbous breasts hanging over fleshy folds, buttocks that extend into solid pear-shaped humps, a thin raised arm, a round pregnant belly - there is a degree of innocence (in the sense of unworldliness?) here, not least in the small size of the figures, but anchored in and evocative of bodily things, instinct, desire, pleasure, pain. (extract from my text for the catalogue, which I originally wrote in English and struggled to translate into German, my mother tongue, ending up with an awkward, stilted and offside text - rescued by my friends A. and W., who helped make it flow and sound German)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Good tidings –

I'm back and all went well, really well in fact: The exhibition papier = kunst 6 (ten artists) at KunstLANDing in Aschaffenburg looks very strong, one of my figures was chosen for the exhibition poster, I was there for the private view, my family came, friends who I hadn’t seen in years attended, feedback was positive. That the packing up and arranging for transport and other preparations took me the best part of a month and left no energy for anything else, not even to receive visitors, is another story. I got it done, with blinkers on, in slow motion, bit by bit, and I got there too. After years of mailing work to exhibitions which I couldn’t attend and where I had no influence on the presentation of my work this was a delight. And left me tired and greedy in equal measure.
I’m not content anymore with sending my art into the world, my emissaries - standing in for me while I lie on my living room floor. I guess it’s a sign of better health and energies – when you’re all exhausted you stop even wishing. But while my energies improve incrementally my wishes/urges/longings/hopes grow exponentially. They’re like a big young dog lunging forwards sidewards onwards, ready to sniff out new territories, dragging behind her, just about hanging on to the leash, her lame mistress.

Photo: unpacked figures, waiting to be placed, courtesy W.K.
More to come.