Sunday, 29 May 2011

One and one walked hand in hand

I'm thinking about art and narrative, story-telling. Had been crocheting this little duo for weeks, and suddenly a poem flew into my head when a friend took me to the sea-side. Don't see them as one meaning the other - look at them side by side!

Materials: crocheted from wool/acrylic mixture and cotton
Dimensions: outfit 1: 48 cm x 57 cm, outfit 2: 38 cm x 44 cm


One and one walked hand in hand
an apple to share, a rag doll to tend
and much too much to say

of leering elders, God on their tongues
while fingers fondled, shadows clung.
Away, they walked, away.

They'd heard of the sea, the end of the land
followed a murmur, or was it a scent
or colours they'd never seen?

And the apple was eaten, the rag doll dropped
but no-one was beaten and the sea never stopped
to promise its clear embrace.

On and on they went. Not a word was spoken
'till one said 'I' and the other 'yes?'
and the spell was finally broken.

They tore words off their tongues no child should know
told of places where nothing but silence grows
and weariness, worn like a hole-riddled skin.

Did they walk in circles? Was the sea near?
Their steps were steady, breath fast with fear
of the elders' all-seeing eyes.

They slept in forests, slept in fields
on cool dark earth, its scent so sweet
and moon's milky light wove a blanket.

Finally, there, a salty smell
the sound of waves, soon pebbles and shells -
a lightness lapped at their hearts.

And the sun warmed their skin, but did not touch
the wind kissed their faces, but not too much
and two remembered their names.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The show is over

but still resonates in many ways, illuminating these rather tired days. As per usual I didn't sell but I learned a lot from all the processes leading up to the exhibition. And from trying to answer fairly challenging interview questions, which made me think deeper and harder about my work and its temporary encounter of and entanglement with Tom Butler's and Aly Helyer's. The sensitively considered curation by Rosalind Davis and Jane Boyer came as a revelation too - in the clever groupings of pieces and the ensuing conversations between them the show positively pulsed with life. Connections were made across media between painted things and real ones (we all have an obsession with hair), textures, patterns and colours, openings and orifices… With our shared interest in the unconscious, in the refutation of the borders between the imaginary and the real, it sometimes seemed like the work came from one brain and three pairs of hands. I saw my work in a new light - it sat very well with paintings and drawings, and its materiality, its thingness shone. The audience seemed to engage strongly. Feedback was very good. One day I'll sell. At a good price. In the meantime I'm crocheting away, plotting new pieces and wishing for an abundance of hands or at least a pair that is never tired.

PS. Eye-rhyme, a video I shot 1998, and which I hadn't watched for years, was selected for the exhibition too, which was rather wonderful as it allowed me to reconnect with work made before I fell ill. A good piece, even if I say so myself. It made complete sense to have it there - I could discern the continuity in terms of subjectivity and sensibility pervading all my work. What a delight.