My cat Lester and I have settled into a contented late autumn routine. Nearly each weekday we sit and enjoy the sunset. He has a good view of the street below and I can see the surface of the water from my favorite chair. I always crack open the window a bit and can sometimes hear the remaining geese calling as they gather on the water surface. I always feel nourished after a few quiet moments of watching the light fade.
I'm contemplating the ideas in a book rich with poetic imagery about houses -- The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, first published in France in 1958. The author started his career as a philosopher of science and ended it as a philosopher of the imagination! It's a slow read, which is fine because I underline many passages, savor them, and then go back to them weeks later. I opened the book at random this morning and came across these gems ... "If we have retained an element of dream in our memories, if we have gone beyond merely assembling exact recollections, bit by bit the house that was lost in the mists of time will appear from out the shadow. We do nothing to reorganize it; with intimacy it recovers its entity, in the mellowness and imprecision of the inner life." (p.57)
In pondering the qualities of cottage vs. the "manor," Bachelard muses, "To sleep well we do not need to sleep in a large room, and to work well we do not have to work in a den. But to dream of a poem, then write it, we need both...Thus the dream house must possess every virtue. However spacious, it must also be a cottage, a dove-cote, a nest, a chrysalis. Intimacy needs the heart of a nest." (p.64)
Then I think of my sister's house, which always stirs me to daydream and remember.
Below, an oriole's nest I found on my front walk several years ago. The egg shell most likely from a grackle -- way too large to be an oriole. Notice the bits of tinsel and Easter basket "grass."
I'm experimenting with 2-layered pieces. These are difficult to photograph because the lighting is so critical. I'm not 100% satisfied with the way these are presented; more ideas re: presentation are percolating in my imagination. The piece called "Symmetry" is part of a collaborative project curated by fiber artist Erika Mock. Erika has paired fiber artists and poets to collaborate on the theme of "Venus." Participants will interpret this theme in many ways -- I am contemplating the concept of beauty in nature, which is usually my inspiration and the source of my imagery. I am paired with Duluth poet Tera Freese. She has given me four lovely poems in exchange for Symmetry. (I will ask her permission to post them here!) This summer each of us will create work in response to each other's work. The show will be held in Superior, Wisconsin this coming September.
Some new works in two layers…