Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Many people wearing the 5 colors and traditional imagery of a chain of prayer flags might have the same non-verbal, visual message as the prayer flags themselves. Walkers may be conversational and publicly interactive, but with no intention to proselytize, prove a point, or push an idea. The simple answer to “What are you doing? Who are you people?” is “We are a mobile strand of flags, symbolizing and offering joy, care and goodwill to the places we walk and the people there.”
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This month started without me as I was too busy at play with the new weather and warmth. Meanwhile, my garden has been started, the newest Just Coffee blend label is finished, I went to Seattle, and my marathon was run.
Not that each detail of the trip to Seattle isn't duly noteworthy (Sarah Geddis, my host, the loveliest, deserves applause), I'll stick to my blog's format and talk about art.
First, the espresso. lovely. I was relieved to confidently order an espresso in different cafes each day and know that the Seattle standard guaranteed satisfaction. Usually, in my snobbish way, I fear ordering coffee and espresso in places I don't know and wish only to make coffee for myself (or have none at all). I was delighted on my first morning to enjoy espresso from the famous Stumptown Coffee (based in Portland) at Verite Coffee and Cupcake Royal in Ballard.
Chocolatier - Theo. In Fremont district. Go there. www.theochocolate.com
I went to the Henry Art Museum near/part of the University of Washington. There I saw the work of Kader Attia. Two of his 5 pieces there were especially attractive to me for their repetitious qualities. Each repeated a form many times while embracing nuance and change from form to form. I wish you could see it. Oh, you can: here. These works of repeated process and repeated object touched close to my own adoration for my work. Both of these works, Ghosts and Rochers Carres, are human scale, thus providing a powerful environment and reciprocity with the viewer. As if it could get better, the Henry Art Gallery also includes James Turrell's Skyspace: Light Reign. Upon entering the space, it is breathtaking and then absorbing as you can sit and experience the space indefinitely. I was lucky to find a quiet moment there. I sketched for a while and made sure to call and share my delight with my partner in art-love, Christian. The oval room is like an egg in which to rest and be held while the open-air oval skylight window offers clean, fresh air through all seasons. The time of day and time of year affect the sunlight's path and projection into the space and onto it's walls. My visit offered a glowing soft-edged bean shape on the wall that held my comfortable gaze. I would probably visit this space as often as I could if I were living in Seattle.
Sarah and I also went to the lovely Islandwood, a Nature Education Center where Sarah studied for her Masters and worked last year. A Gorgeous place... I finally understand the Pacific Northwest Forest. How beautiful to share a bit in an old friend's precious place and experience. Thanks be to Sarah.
I ran a marathon on Saturday May 10th in Tacoma (just south of Seattle). See my picture just before the race (at right: the "picture of the month"), and the race results you can see by clicking on the picture. Three words: long steep hills.
My last full day in town, Sarah and I went downtown and visited Pike's Place Market where I purchased (and later ate with giddy, joyful surprise) the most delicious oysters I've ever eaten (from local Hood Bay). We then went to the Seattle Art Museum where Cai Guo-Qiang's installation Inopportune of hanging "exploding" Ford Tauruses hang in the museum's foyer. I was ecstatic to see it as this work was just in New York and thought I'd missed the opportunity to see it (going to NYC in June). It's a very special piece to me mostly because it represents an artist who's work (other than the Taurus explosions) using gunpowder as a drawing medium has inspired me. Cai Guo-Qiang's website here shows the Taurus exhibit as it was in the Guggenheim in NYC a while back. The museum also houses a lovely collection of Modern and Contemporary art. I find there are many artists through whom I sense my own identity. Going to museums and good galleries fills me with inspiration that is simultaneously momentous and freezing. I hover somewhere between all and nothing. I'm nonetheless aware of my mind's prolific buzz of ideas in the wake of seeing what I think is beautiful or great. As I dozed on the plane and the bus home to Madison last night, ideas and solutions and plans for my own art work surfaced like bubbles in water.