Today I’m fully in the present. The responses to my last post have stretched my safety-net to far corners and I want to share with you how moved I am by the generosity, compassion and creative spirit I have encountered. My posts are often difficult to write, but lately I’ve come to feel supported and enriched through the thoughtful feedback I’ve received, for art and writing.
I’m someone who immerses herself completely and as I work from home, wrenching every word and stitch from the grip of fatigue, have moments when I feel myself untethered, when the threads I follow threaten to pull me under. I steady myself through writing and making, use pen and needle, photograph and crochet-hook to probe and process. How lucky to be an artist! But in-spite of having top spot on Artists Talking I’ve often thought I’m holding monologues and am thrilled to have connected with a small but precious handful of like-minded artists and art-professionals. To join this chorus of vibrant and mutually supportive voices nurtures and encourages me, helps me reflect on my practice and draws my explorations into wider contexts. I’ve longed for this kind of communication.
Some of these conversations have taken place away from Artists talking – I would like to give you a flavour. Helen L.B. inspired me with her response to last week’s troubled post, parts of which I quote here with her permission:
“… I was curious how the creative part of me would respond. And this is my creative response. It’s an interesting one, even to myself. Marion, where you struggle to look at those photos from the Auschwitz album, I want you to know that I felt compelled (that word again!) to do the opposite. I have looked at them unflinchingly, because I didn’t want you to have looked at them alone. I have scoured their faces, looked at the composition, angles, costumes, faces, children, patriarchs, matriarchs, architecture. I did not want you to have looked at these alone Marion.”
It amazes me that someone I’ve never met felt the impulse to connect with me in this way, daring/sharing a difficult look at history and its after-images. A moment of joint witnessing, in a pointed performative gesture across space and time, momentous, moving and meaningful.
I’m glad to take a little break from blogging while the a-n website is in transfer. In the mean-time I thank all of you who read, and esp. those who take time to engage and feedback, to offer a multitude of views, approaches and interpretations, all the while acknowledging the strengths and vulnerabilities of an artist’s relational crafting. Much appreciated.