This morning because I felt the need to be restored to center, I found myself listening to Terry Riley’s “IN C”, and re reading from “Susan McClary “Rap, Minimalism and Structures of Time in Late Twentieth-Century Culture.” in Audio Culture, Daniel Warner, ed, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, pp 289 – 298.” (Yes, I guess I am a little geeky when it comes to my reading habits). What struck me, although I am using it out of context, is her phrase “subjective struggle toward triumph”.
Repetition and geometry have helped me “center” (thus avoiding struggle) over my whole lifetime: saying the Rosary, looking carefully at the elegant design of flowers, dancing, taking joy in understanding equations, and being attentive to the comfort I find in the structure of Minimalistic music. The exhaustion from my strong emotional response to the pain and brokenness in society as the sides “struggle toward triumph”, has directed me back to the nurture I find in the cyclic repetition and geometry of the music of Terry Riley.
Trying to order the chaos in a way that I find more interesting and less painful. That this takes the form of a leaf with suggestions of the organic, reveals my belief that as they say in Jurassic Park, “Life will find a way.”
Living in the northeast US, I get to truly love autumn! I love the smells, the colors, the cool temperatures and the winds that blow over the hill we live on. I especially the love the sounds of leaves crunching under foot. This piece is based on that sound.
Regarding the black circles, my synesthesia inspired art is always a dance between my mental visual images of sound, and my interior self-talk emotional, or cognitive understanding of what I am experiencing. Perhaps it is because I am a Gemini that I hold these two tensions, or maybe all syns do this. When I make art, I don’t worry that it is a “photo” of exactly what I “see”/hear, but it is usually some variation of the remembered pattern of what that sound looks like. I just take the trip, create and not worry about the outcome. As I reflect, I suspect the black circles reference the cyclical seasons, the oncoming apparent death of flowering plants and trees, and the unknowable “Mystery” of death.
“Throb and Swagger- The Sounds of Newark” #10 10.5″x16.5″ Canson Arches Aquarelle Rag Paper, Enhanced Giclée Archival Print Edition 1/1 Printed for the Newark Public Library
This work is about the vitality, creativity and resilience of Newark New Jersey. My print captures the dynamic energy of the city.
In the spring of 2016, I was invited by Matthew Gosser, (curator and teacher at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, involved with the historic preservation of many of Newark’s landmark buildings,) to create art based on my personal experience with the Queen of Angels, a historic church on Belmont Avenue, now Irving Turner Blvd.
I spent a couple hours exploring what was a nearly completely demolished church, with most of my time seated and listening to the ambient sounds of the community. I took notes and made sketches from overheard conversations of passersby, and the ambient sounds from traffic, airplanes and nature. These sounds deeply influenced my emotional response and drawing, and was the basis for this work of art
8.5″x11″ Hahnemuhle Fine Art Museum Etching Paper, Archival Inks Giclee
As one who has had polio, and as I have aged, my gait has become bumpy with many pauses. Thus I find myself looking at the small units of the world around me. This is actually pretty cool as I focus on interesting details that I surely missed in the days when I could speed walk.
I meditate on my own future, these minutes, hours and hopefully years before death, and I try to see what I might yet create. “The future”, as we have often said in my family, “is open”. Unshaped and as yet, unimagined.