I will be participating at Sunset Community Centre on July 1. Thanks to the fantastic Program Director, Cyndy Chwelos, we will be creating a giant, collaborative, maple leaf sculpture outside on the grounds of the community centre, with the help of community members and visitors to the Canada Day Celebrations. That’s Sunday, July 1, 12:00 – 4:00pm. The maple leaf will be made entirely out of incribed rose petals. Each participant will be asked to incribe his/her first name or initials and birthdate on a rose petal. Or, just a pattern or a design can be created on the petal if so desired. Each participant will then place the petal(s) into the already prepared maple leaf outline (made out of rose stems). It should be fun and if we’re lucky, great visually, given its 10′ x 10′ size, especially against the green of the lawns. And of course, made of out natural material, it will be ephemeral and totally environmentally friendly. Will the gods of weather cooperate?
I’ve taken these words from the opening paragraph of Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay “Paean to Aphrodite,” (Multiple Arts, Muses II). Taking one concept, one name—Aphrodite, he traces an intricate map of the goddess and her trajectory (physical, linguistic, mythic) through her various appellations and manifestations. He asks, “But why does the beautiful never let us go? When everything is ugly, all that remains of it is a memory.” I am interested in that phrase, “what remains.” Renmants— unsaid, undone, unknown, invisible. What remains?
The text in the image above, I’ve drawn directly onto my studio wall. The small pile of objects that form part of this installation are the renmants of the dried, inscribed, white rose petals I used for the magnificat project that I did last year. (See my post of May 11, 2011, “re-inscription in progress”).
I’m putting together and arranging images from my most recent drawings. Still working with fragments of text from Jean-Luc Nancy, stuck as they are in my imagination, I begin with one image and then build around it, working on a narrative and expanding the initial text-idea. I’m borrowing from my Withdrawn:scribing Nancy series, from the Greek images, and from the even earlier drawings of birds. What is this? Drawing as a daily process and an eclectic search for form.
I am working with my archive of inscribed rose petals—the white ones, and with the classical figures, but as with the Nancy text, the figures are fragmentary. Dissolving into memory, they become distorted and removed from the original perfection of form.
Some time ago, I began a series of drawings on vellum that play with the concept of time in narration. How the viewer interacts, completes and interprets the work is also a part of the exploration. In my drawings I want to see how layering the images one on top of the other on a translucent surface affects their reading. The translucent paper allows the images to be read from the front as well as the back, and thus the effect of layering works from both sides right up to the final image, which is on opaque paper. The viewer also has to turn the pages herself/himself in order to see all of the layers in a drawing sequence. Giving the impression of pages turning is rather a difficult task, I’ll get better at it as I work through the process of documenting the completed drawings.
Recently, I lost Kiko, my little companion of more than 15 years. She was such a wonderful dog, always happy, always thrilled to see us, always eager to share in our lives, even the most ordinary parts, like sitting in front of the TV, squeezed in between us, licking off the butter from the pieces of popcorn that came her way. It’s strange how empty this house feels, without her energy. In the last week of her life, I started a new drawing journal just to remember her by. Here are a few pages from that journal.
Keeping in the spirit of the Vancouver Draw Down Finale, Shannon Browne, the owner/curator of the Artemis Studio/Gallery in Deep Cove, and I, offered a day of free, fun-filled drawing activities on Saturday, July 23rd. It was a beautiful day, and we had a great time greeting visitors as they came into the gallery, chatting with them and encouraging them to participate in our no-skills-required drawing activities. It is thanks to the incredible artists Elizabeth MacKenzie, Cindy Mochizuki and Arts Programmer, Cyndy Chwelos that Shannon and I were inspired to follow their fantastic project and offer this day of fun, drawing and sharing!
When I post something here on the blogsite, it feels like it should be a finished product, when in fact, it usually is not, but a work in progress – a vulnerable moment. These recent large petal images are at that state right now – still in the process of morphing – perhaps they will survive the changes and perhaps they will not. What am I looking for? A balance between legibility and opacity, between clarity and mere trace. The powdered pastel washes beautifully, leaves rivulets of grainy drips.