Monday, October 18, 2010

An ocean of (our) words

I'm in Marlborough where I'm staying in a peaceful little cottage-that-was-once-a-stable; a safe haven set amongst lemon trees, vineyards, flowering wisteria and shoulder-high lavender. Splendid, shimmery chooks scratch about and lay eggs wherever they choose and fallow deer roam freely amongst the orchard and farm outbuildings. The sound of bird-chatter and song this morning was about ten times the volume of what I'm used to at home (which is saying something!). 

There isn't internet coverage down at the cottage, so this is the first time I've been on line since I left home. . . sorry I've not been able to get back onto the blog to update how I got on with our communal piece. . . In the end, I had to reluctantly set my first idea down.  It was rather too ambitious, given the time frame I was working within - - - I think I hadn't anticipated quite so full-some a response from you all! That first piece will be waiting for me to re-enter when I return home. (It's always easier to return to a studio that has something already underway after a period of work like this last one.) 

What I've done with all our texts is create an 'ocean of words' - a piece I've titled Standing in the Heart. Here are a few process pics so that you can get some idea of what I mean. My camera has been playing up so these are the only pics I have of this so far but I will photograph the finished piece in the next day or two; the three pics here show the work in its early stages and were taken in the studio the night before I left. Words that don't yet appear here will be evident in the next set of photographs. . . all souls are on board! 

I very much needed to enter a quiet space before leaving home and this work helped me do that. I created it to Arvo Part's music; music that for me always suggests white and space and calm. You will see that I turned the turtle shell into a continent surrounded by islands then used our words to create tide patterns that wrap around the coastlines and spill into or out of the land forms. I will read your contributions at the opening this evening. I'm not sure I know how to thank you adequately - your words became a still point in a storm; a fulcrum, a holding space,  a stretch of calm. . . 

. . . and here is the exhibition invitation; I would love you to come - - - then again, you will be here and it will be my privilege and joy to share your words with the community here. 

Love, thanks and a healthy gulp of Marlborough wine to you - C x


  1. Have a wonderful time, Claire! Everything looks beautiful.

  2. your cottage sanctuary sounds perfect & necessary.
    i like the way you've made the words flow into eddies, tidal whorls; a cartographic artwork.
    we're with you on this, claire

  3. I love what you're doing. Wish I could be there!

  4. I agree with the others, the sense of current and flow is so apparent, has its specific rhythm, tide and timing. Yes, we are all with you, to our great joy. Love, Marylinn

  5. And I'll have a gulp of Central Otago Pinot Noir to you (-;

  6. Hi Rachel, Susan, T. Clear and Marylinn - I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back here to thank you so much for your support. You really have been amazing, accompanying me and this project right up to the eleventh hour. . .

    There was a very special pleasure in transcribing your words into 'eddies, tidal whorls', coastlines and ocean currents. It became an almost meditative exercise that brought me into very direct contact with the reach and value of this community.

    I forgot to mention that I wore a top at the opening that had a US number plate on it! Californian, if I'm not mistaken ; ).

    The blogosphere allows us to play a kind of virtual Hopscotch; we can skip across the oceans in no time, lightly planting a foot on each other's continents. I love 'that' about 'this'.

    L, C x

  7. Dear Kass - lovely to find you here. I wonder how you are. . . Take care. L, C

  8. Central Otago Pinot Noir, Vanda? Perfect! Thank you for filling your glass. Cheers xx