Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Last night, I had the privilege of being in the audience for the dance performance by Black Grace, from New Zealand. It was incredibly powerful, both the athleticism of the dancers and the story they told with their bodies. According to Neil Ieremia, the choreographer, "the dance forms are carved out of the space that surrounds them. Sometimes the thing that interests me is the space between the dancers rather than the dancers themselves". I identify with that feeling, as I sculpt the clay and integrate found objects into my sculptures. For me, dance is just another medium to create sculptures, whether as a dancer myself, with my own body or the space between my fellow dancers and myself, or as a member of an audience as a witness, one who beholds the dance. I am moved to share some words that Ieremia, wrote in the program notes. I quote, "During this creative process we have realized that we are our own vaka (canoe) carrying our values and belief systems, experiences and memories good and bad, and a hope that when we leave this planet we leave it in a better shape than when we found it". He also posed some questions for the audience to ponder. He spoke about the "VAKA, as a vehicle for survival that carries our hope for life". Ieremia was also inspired by artist Bill Viola's video installation The Raft.
 Vaka was such a timely piece for me to bear witness to. I am always thrilled by the synchronicity that life presents to us, when we least expect it, if we move through life with eyes wide open. I have been revisiting my "boat" series of sculpture these past few weeks, as I move forward developing my body of work that will be a part of my solo exhibit next year at Gallery 114. I have a number of these "vessels" from my past, one of which is currently at the gallery. Lately, I have felt compelled to create some new boats. These boats are imbued with a bit of a different  story for me, it seems, as they unfold, but still carry with them some of the past. They still are vessels that hold things, move through time, represent journey, staying afloat, moving forward. They have evolved into a story that seems to be almost a continuation of where I left off. The dance performance made me think a lot about the things we hold onto, and the things we leave behind, be they people, objects or memories. I suppose that this vessel, still has many new journeys to take and new places to visit, in my internal and external landscape. I welcome these voyages into the unknown, with a sense of wonder and mystery, about the stories they will continue to tell me, and lessons they will teach me as they unfold.

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