Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Berlin Diaries

Here are some pictures of the exhibition Not Stained, Not Pure. The exhibition had several parts but all of it was based on exploring ideas related to the experience, my experience, of understanding how I aim for this goal of understanding the natural order of things and wish to be fearless, and the reality of what I really feel, which is a lot of fear. This seemed very a propos for my trip to Berlin because it called up so many of my deepest fears, beginning with my fear of flying. So I started there by making drawings about that. Each day, as I made more images, themes emerged and I tried to let images come without judgement about good/bad. I wanted them to be a diary of sorts and not about making "art." So, I let it flow: the good, the bad and the ugly. And I found this really cool pen that has a brush at the nib that makes the most beautiful marks. I am so in love with this pen, as you can see.










This image kept coming up, so I decided to crochet it.



These were some others that I particularly liked:







Each morning I would mix drawing on paper with drawing on the wall of the gallery. On the wall, I would write out the Heart Sutra and two dharanis (sounds chanted that have no particular meaning as words). After the first day, I washed off the previous day's writing, let the wall dry, then wrote out the Sutra and the dharanis again in another colour.


Day One.




Day Two.


Day Three.




Day Four.




Day Five

The wall began to be very beautiful with all the colours because it was impossible to completely remove all the watercolour from it each day. For the exhibition, however, I washed off the last writing and left just the stained wall.





On the wall opposite, I crocheted a large piece (about two meters/six feet in diameter).





Even for the incredibly fluent Sonya, the word "stained" was a puzzle. Apparently it is not something that has a real equivalent in German.


I also keep a running log of my purchases in Berlin, which I displayed. (Note the German self-patterning sock yarn...it was a bargain!)

And I did create a sound piece that used the chanting from the Zen Center in New York mixed, or layered is perhaps a better word, with a variety of sounds I collected in Berlin: the grocery store, the U-Bahn (subway), a dinner party, the sirens of the near-by fire station, etc. I am trying to figure out a way to be able to download it, or a sample of it, to my website and the Hope and Glory website, but I haven't been sucessful with that yet.

In retrospect, it looks like a lot of work. It didn't feel like a lot of work. It felt like a very natural and normal part of each day's activities; the normal flow of how I communicate about what I see around me. It made me happy to learn that I still very much love to do that--draw and make work from that part of my person.

So now I have six weeks to reflect and recover a little from these two busy months of traveling before...Newfoundland. But I shan't think of that today.

1 comment:

island sweet said...

you're back. you're back. i missed you. your days were full. you poured yourself onto that wall. the final colour/texture was like the inside of a body. beautiful.