Driving down route 62 in several feet of snow I saw out of my window, in the middle of a huge field, under an old, bare oak, a grouping of buggies, black and horseless, abandoned to the snow for a gathering of men, now walking to the barn.
I was instantly moved by their monochromatic figures traveling slowly to the safe haven of their meeting place. It started a sensation in my body that spoke of congregations, flocks…assemblies. I thought about what reasons had sparked this gathering. I saw these reasons as molecules rubbing together to inspire the men’s departure, journey and forum. I thought about the energies in the room when they would begin discussing, analyzing, planning and praying. Then at the end of the convergence they would part company, bridle up their horses to the now compensatory buggies and carry out their finalized ambitions. The energy that had started from a spiritually innate and subtle calling was now in motion. It had wings and would propel each participant out into life.
It is, as with all things that we physically accomplish, that this exact process must occur. A collection of molecules…a calling to gather-up, collect, amass and then a childbed for life.
This series is a representation of the perpetual cycle that is living. It’s an expression of the feelings inside of movement that eventually emerge and sustain our worlds.
Gather - 1
Gather - 2
Gather - 2.5
Gather - 3
We gad across our lifetimes purposing them. Then we discard and ignore them or cherish and covet them…the vessels of our wanderings.
Even the tiniest of china pods has held our entire heritage.
Couplets that belong to our shelves carry our diaries.
Voice-chimes contained within repositories crafted from distress are released to find cradling ears for our confessions.
Gardens of trinkets become gobletted hopes and expenses that are left for all matter of weather and chance.
Canisters, buckets, and pails carry our sanded and castled youth out into the sun where it is flung up into the sky and celebrated.
Cupboards, boxes, scuttles, sacs…these are decanters that allow timeless intimacies, gospels and tides to separate from their watchful sediment.
They are bringing us together and tearing us apart.
We’re born from vessels into vessels.
In the end, might the beauty of our own hominid awakeness be the resplendent vessel of life’s grace?
I am examining the sensation of timelines and lifetimes as they exist side-by-side. Both energies containing individual lingos and pace but also completely relying on and informing one another.
We move forward or onward in our lifetime as if our experiences were somehow a horizontal effort. We travel along this line of our lives and as each beat of something meaningful, intense or significant, no matter how large or small, occurs there is left a mark…a scar…a colour…which we later can choose to reflect upon, analyze and use to define ourselves, our environments, our relationships and the future. Whether or not they are a reliable or accurate encyclopedia to base any type of judgment or decision on; we will use them non the less and cross our fingers while we walk our tightropes of hope and fear searching for balance and understanding.
The timeline, which is gliding and spinning along side in our horizontal journey, seems to have none of this feeling or temper. It is relentlessly giving and stealing simultaneously. Watching and reminding us of our complete lack of control over any of its undeniable presence and the inevitable transitions it evokes.
I am convinced there is a chance that this lined philosophy may be entirely fictitious. This would then bring a kind of random and spontaneous quality to all events. The dance of the two lines becomes a storybook we like to hold and read to ourselves and aloud.
Without warning you’re commanded to hurl yourself into a hinterland. You must earnestly beseech any foreign humanity for a place to cling and flourish. You are exiled to traverse both the internal and external landscape filled with bewilderment, dismay and heartache but also there is dawn, breath and hope; hope that all living things have the ability to compose home.
As long as civilized communities have existed there have been cultural, societal and religious edicts created to control and monitor those communities and their inhabitants. Sometimes the fear of loss of that control or a desire to gain power through that control can incite actions that cause both single individuals and masses to be displaced physically, mentally and spiritually. Usually they are displaced because they don’t fit into the cultural requirements, societal constraints and religious practices of their communities. They may be stripped of all freedoms, all dignities and often in danger of losing their lives because of these differences. We give the displacement of these beings labels like evacuation, emigration, relocation and exile. We call them by prefixes like refugee, escapee, alien, evacuee and emigrant.
In this series, Marking Presence, I am drawing from my own personal and familial experiences as well as from historical reference and current global conditions to depict, through abstract representation, the moment of any beings’ forced expulsion from their home, family, community and country. As if, somehow, we could be present at that very moment to witness and perceive what they will be forced to abandon, what harrowing struggles they will have to endure and how unyielding, stalwart and magnificent their spirits will have to be to continue onward