August 2, 2012
Every few days I wander into the North Main Gallery in Salem, where my hanging books are displayed until September 3. Each time the exhibit looks different to me. As Ed Hutchins and I were working together to hang the show it was hard to have any idea of what I was looking at since the pieces we were hanging were so freshly finished. I imagine that this is true of anyone who creates something: that it isn’t until there’s some distance from the finished piece that it can be really seen by the person who made it.
I am relieved to say that I love the look of the show. The majority of the pieces are works that I think of as Drawing On Health, which refers a preoccupation pf mine, which is to stay healthy. This is a joyful interest, one that celebrates living. The attention that I lavish on to the herbs, fruits, greens, and veggies is meant to help me hold them more closely in my being. I hope this comes through and resonates, too, with the viewer.
Drawing these plants somehow makes me like them more.
After seeing the drawing above my friend Sarah told me that she thought that kale, which is quite nutritious, could save the planet because you can pick it and pick it and it keeps producing more and more: an interesting theory!
My favorite piece is nine panels long, dedicated entirely to blueberry season. Blueberries have a special nook in my heart, and I look forward to going to the local U-Pick places to load up for the winter.
Summertimes I would visit relatives near Scranton, Pennsylvania. During blueberry season Uncle Lou would drop off me and Aunt Jane on a mountain top, where we would pick for hours. If the crop was plentiful my aunt would be overjoyed…I can still hear her repeating, over and over ”Look at these berries! Look at these berries!” Then we would take those berries back to her lake house where she would make the most wonderful blueberry buckle on the planet.
Here’s a look at my wall of the gallery. The hinges between the panels are designed so that the they can spin. I used some different materials for the hinging, but most of them are cords which I dyed and knotted like this:
Another wonderful facet to this show is an exquisite gem of a catalogue, designed by Ed Hutchins and Joe Freedman. Here’s a peek at the catalogue:
I have a number of copies of these that I am happy to share for the asking: leave me a comment here asking me for one and I will get in touch with you, off-blog, you to ask for your address.