Alas, on the horizon space and time are aligning themselves to open up a welcome withdrawal into my beloved studio. Although it’s a humble space, it is home to countless visual incubations: births, battles, causalities, and when lucky, rebirths.
I admit the feast and famine cycle I presently occupy, and with all probability will forever occupy as a 21st century visual artist, is trying and stressful, but it’s also vibrant and engaging. Perhaps, therein lays the drive for the creative process, the dichotomy of the two circumstances – always a tension – the binding thread in my visual narrative.
I recall an art teacher from the past righteously claiming that inevitably the artist’s life becomes like the artist’s work. Damned right! 18 years ago I was baffled by the riddle. The accumulation of years, more behind less in front, and of paint has formed an intimate relationship with that claim and there’s no shaking it off now. It’s too late!
Zeal overtook me. Held tightly in the palm of my hand was a brilliant orange, wooden top. Oblivious to the people browsing in the little shop, I crouched down upon my haunches and spun the top. It wobbled and then straightened into a still like spin, a marvel of tension and balance.
I have encountered an artist fascinated with Ping. Tap the end of a metal rod upon a concrete floor and you hear, a Ping! The sound is held, somewhere in mid air, ‘where time and space are epitomized’.
The theme of self betrayal inspires a colleague to negotiate it through dance.
Figurative collages by Wangechi Mutu, currently on show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, are distinctive in style. Her work is provocative; seduction and disturbance are at play; the final image is powerful. A mother protectively draws her young son’s gaze away from the encased collages – something caught his curiosity – a familiarity perhaps, disturbingly incomprehensible to a child’s mind.
Uncertain as to how these seemingly disparate short term events will act upon my mind and my heart.
Toronto 2009, at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, proved once again to reveal some exquisite gems. I was spellbound with the multi media works of Lois Andison. Camouflage 1, 1998, is a dressmaker’s form draped in a delicate dress of Queen Anne’s lace topped with a bellow like mechanical headpiece that beckons with it’s silent, rhythmic breathe. Heartbreaking 91, 2009, too, two works on all the words that can be created out of the one word, was mesmerizing. Now a month following the fair, her work continues to echo.
Looking for ways in which to attend to the muse; perhaps a film by Werner Herzog, or music by Roy Orbison, or simply some time with my beloved. I don’t know which will inspire me to break some boundaries and discover something unforseen in the creative process.
The waning of summer: my desire to desperately hold on to the adventures of the day; to push back with childhood insistence the end of day; to deny sleep. September is a disciplinarian and I’m not yet ready. I want to dream. Oh, to lie back and wander in the vastness of the night sky at Charleston Lake.
It’s been a month since John Brown’s book launch and opening at the Olga Korper Gallery. His paintings resonate so deeply for me. I first set my eyes upon his works in 1993 and since then subsequent exposures continue to affect me, so visceral the experience. They speak to the psyche and the body. And no matter how intent I am in trying to shake them off these highly individual and drop dead gorgeous abstractions insist on penetrating further into my sensory memory.