Thursday, March 1, 2012

aha moments

On Friday last I read a blog entry by Clare Beynon It was titled Many Moons.
I attended Kushana Bush's  Opening at the Hocken Library (she is our Frances Hodgkins Fellow 2011) and I went to a party on Saturday night in Oamaru where the Johnny Cashtones were playing.
It was a situation where thought and experience kept intersecting and resecting.
Clare wrote about the moon and new stars and black holes singing..these are things of wonder for ordinary folk,we look up to them and place dreams on them. They are part of our everyday but don't belong in the mundane.
When I was at the party having a boogie up front the two guitarists leaned in and their music was a zoom in of concentration and so seductive. I mentioned this after wards to one of them, and said it reminded me of what Clare wrote , about a black hole singing and he said 'ah yes harmony'.

Kushana's work was 'WORK' a big punch in the solar plexus for me. I walked out feeling my jaw drop..and thinking what are the words that I could find to give back to her, to describe how I felt? Awestruck and  major-ally star struck.
This exhibition is totally beyond something I would ever do or be capable of doing.
 It is one of those great Everest climbs that you feel so pleased that someone else has done so you can see it.
In the essay accompanying her show there is continual reference to travel and pilgrimages .A pilgrimage is a sacred journey and not an easy one. It is employed as a tool to take you beyond what you already know and perceive. Her work is a pilgrimage in itself. You walk in and go on a journey, interact with her people and cloth and stories and come out altered.
The pictures are fabricated lives and stories, 'what if questions' and cross cultural swaps.
There is a movie 'How to make an American quilt'. The heroine is a feisty young woman who is writing a thesis and has gone home to figure out life. Her mother and mothers friends are making a Memory Quilt for her wedding. Beautiful cloth pieces with all their  stories all interwoven. Hand-stitched. The finishing is done in a circle by all the women present.
Kushans compositions remind me of this movie. Multiple stories and possible histories embedded in cloth.
Kushana's cloth also has a work place health and safety aspect to it..what wraps us,protects us binds us. Posing questions of whether as soft spongey leaking bodies we are safer dressed or wrapped. It address issues of identity and naming.
The overall colour and symmetry of her compositions are enormously appealing and the details challenge  my thinking. I was looking at one painting and realized the towels had eyes and looked at the title and it was called (the thinking towel) and then I noticed a tiny sore on the mans leg..tiny details like this sore change the whole perspective. I love it!
So now when I close my eyes and ask what am I left with ...

Look to the stars not only are they in the sky
pencil paint and possibilities
In my fathers house there are many rooms
climbers explorers questers people who push past expected norms
Tonal shoes and combed hair
The allure and danger of black holes
Alternate galaxies

- Quiet Life, 2011, gouache and pencil on paper, 760 x 560mm
- Shadow Puppets, 2011, gouache and pencil on paper, 760 x 560mm

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Hi I love to receive comments and will endevour to reply either on this page or your blog.Kat