Sunday, July 1, 2007

Gravity: Maquette of tapestry

The three dimensional tapestries represent my efforts to interact with others, as an artist, as a maker. It is a constructive step forward, outward from my own inner personal dimensions, into the dimension of concrete reality. Being an artist requires the courage to express and share one's reality the way one sees it, one experiences it. The need to communicate in a visual way, is stronger for me than needing to communicate with words. Using words is just as much an art as any other, and I am not skilled at it. Words however contribute to articulating one's creative experience. I am unable to find the words to describe what it is I am trying to convey, and I find it much easier with images and pictures. I think in pictures. In shapes. In colors. In textures. The visual language, like any language has its own set of connotations for each individual and thus the visual experience of the artist and of the viewer is highly personal.
In this last tapestry called Gravity, I wanted to convey the feeling of grief. Grief about loss. Loss of loved ones. Loss through destruction. The grief we may feel over the alarming state of the planet. When we feel grief we feel torn apart. We feel we are coming undone. When grief inhabits us, we feel heavy. Pulled down by gravity. The weight of the moment. The word Gravity describes both the seriousness of the situation concerning us as well as a scientifically described force on this planet.
It occurred to me that I wanted to describe grief visually because it has visited my life several times over the years, and I am sure no one has been immune to its impact. The last episode of grief in my life was triggered by the death of someone I knew and I decided that I wanted to use this feeling as my inspiration. I took a photograph of myself. Manipulated it on the computer. Printed out the picture. Cut it up in pieces and reassembled it. Having done this, I begin to realize that these sad feelings are nothing to fear. That the kernel within the pain brings immeasurable richness to one's life. I see the beauty of life and of people more clearly. Insights flow that endow me with some measure of wisdom, even if only temporarily. When grief departs, it leaves me a wiser person. A more whole person. A more compassionate person. And the art/tapestry that I have created around it reminds me that these feelings are nothing to fear.