when i feel a little bit moody and out of character
i will team up with a no-nonsense full-stop
to make a hybrid statement
just for a giggle i sometimes apostrophise
and hope you notice when i shout with my hands around my mouth
“hey you giant, hellloooo, there’s something missing here!”
when i am my favourite kind of me
i am the comma that adores the space
that has to happen when i happen
it could be a spectacular pause,
a space to breathe,
or just room to change your mind if you feel like it.
Note: The idea behind this sketchbook project was to complete the sentence I am a [metaphor]. I made it for the Misty Mawn Make/Do Art Workshop. Also for me and my very lovely handmade book that I bought in Venice some years ago! I had two ideas. First, I am the pink thread that runs through a white dress passed on from one generation to the next. Kind of like a timeline. And second, I am a comma. The poem came so easy and then the painting just happened. I painted the girl as a comma next to the letter ‘e’. I thought that I could illustrate a comma best next to a letter. I decided to make that letter an ‘e’ because a lot of wonderful words end with an ‘e’. Words like love, hope, peace, believe and bee :)
When I go through the world, I notice that everything has its own pulse – the people, the plants, the trees, the animals, the birds – and if we get quiet enough we can hear each other’s drumbeat. If we keep listening we’ll move to the same rhythm.
Do you notice that?
In my art when I try to find this drumbeat, this pulse, this spirit – I try to find something that connects me to others, my culture to other cultures, my mind to my body. I mostly use an object that I can hold in my hand which I will then photograph and use in a collage repeat on canvas. As an example: I used a smoking pipe in my series “Pipes”.
The Sioux tribe believes that a smoking pipe, Calumet, represents Creation.
The Stem is a symbol for masculinity and the animal world. The Chamber stands for the femininity and the plant world. The smoke represents the prayers that go up to the gods. I then selected a calabash pipe to connect my world to the world of the Sioux tribe. The pipe pieces made for a beautiful collage and gave my series the heartbeat of creation and its beings. Sometimes, if a new painting in a different series would relate to the earth and its beings (a.k.a. have the same heartbeat), I would use the pipe as a foundation again like in this painting.
Other objects that I’ve used as collages to form a painting’s drumbeat include words, buttons, scissors, irons, labyrinths, knits, hands and even complete paintings of mine.
Have a look around you and spot the drumbeat that speaks to you.
Every night when I go to bed, I look at it and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It makes me think of..
is it the veil of a bride?
or is it a waterfall that covers up immense beauty still to be discovered?
or is it a hidden city where the buildings are rooted to the ground like plants with bridges leading to…I don’t know where.
Some days it makes me think of one of my favourite things. Rain. When it rains so much and hard that I can’t see through the rain-curtain that rolls from the roof. I don’t know what will be left after the rain. It’s so loud that I can’t hear what the person next to me says. It’s just me and the rain and what I know to be true behind the veil.
I wait to see what will still be true after the rain.
I search in anticipation to see what I need to see and then I fall asleep.
In waking up I fall in love with the piece all over again.
In love with the delicateness in the give and take of the colours that look different and new again in the light that the morning brings.
In love with the lightness that I feel.
In love with the little imperfections that reminds me that there is room for change.
That reminds me that nothing is permanent. Everything is permanent until it’s not. Not to me any longer.
After the rain, my truth (that always has room to) changes. I am no longer who I was before the rain. It’s a new day.
The girl sat and stared out of the window. It was still early, night was still deciding whether or not to open the door to day. In the background the washing machine gently rolled the to-be-washed-alone shirt around and around. “What kind of a life is one that has to be lived in isolation?” the girl wondered.
Scribbling away in her notebook to leave evidence that there was in fact a life being lived between the edges of photographs, the girl started to ponder about borders / no borders. Which option is the freer option? Sometimes borders – emotional borders, country-set borders, bank account borders – are set as freedom protectors.
Pondering and pondering about questions like these for days, weeks, months – the girl decided to rely on the idea that made her feel happiest on the inside. “The idea that freedom lies within borders, tend to be driven by fear”, she thought and she decided that the idea of “My sky is your sky is her sky is his sky” felt much more bright-eyed, open-hearted, open-armed and definitely promoted hugging on a regular basis.
She felt relieved about her conclusion and pondered about it no longer.
A few weeks ago was chaos over here. Long hours. Little sleep. Long to-do lists. All in preparation of my first open studio event.
The area where I live, Neuhausen, hosts a once yearly open studio event for the more than 70 artists in the region. The event is called “Kultüren” and is a play between the german words for culture “Kultur” and doors “Türen”. This was the tenth year that this event has taken place, but the first year that I took part.
What an adventure!
It started Saturday at two and at just about two, everything was in place. It really does take a village to set up an event like this and I am incredibly grateful to those that jumped in and help without hesitation. How lucky am I?
At exactly two, the first guests arrived. This is what it looked like.
What was on offer?
Never seen before paintings
Never seen before Bhoomies
Never seen before Designs
On Saturday the house was filled with art interested people from 2pm to 10pm and after sitting with some friends and a glass of wine for another couple of hours we packed up for the day, exhausted but happy.
On Sunday we re-opened our doors at noon. At first it was a bit quieter than Saturday, but then the house filled up quickly again.
I had so many special encounters with art lovers which made every minute of hard work that went into this event absolutely worth it. All in all the weekend was very exciting to me.
A huge thank you to all of you that visited the event and added to the spirit of the weekend. For those of you who couldn’t make it, not to worry, my new work will soon be uploaded to the website and you’re also welcome to make an appointment for a private studio tour.
In my work so far I’ve come to the conclusion that the first step to change is finding our connection to each other and to nature again. A clue that you are connecting is that you feel moved. On the X-factor, someone once said when asked how to write a great song: the song has to move people – either on the inside or on the outside.