Sunday, 2 September 2012

It Goes Where It Goes

As promised, photographs of spun/adrift, my most recent fibre installation project. It's a private commission, installed just west of Calgary: if you're interested in seeing it, contact me and we'll arrange a viewing.

spun/adrift installation view
Photographed in the white box of Skew Gallery, Calgary, before installation.

It's eighteen months today that I've been back on my own, and for once, I've reached one of these milestones without engaging in hysteria: that's a major change.

That being said, there's been quite enough of that in the last six months though, but I've noticed some pretty substantial paradigm shifts occurring lately.

While documenting the piece at Skew Gallery, owner Bart Habermiller caught me trying to be Richard Avedon.

I've been using two metaphors to describe my emotional state over that time, starting with one I'm extremely familiar with: the yo-yo diet, where you lose twenty pounds then gain ten back, repeated over and over. To crib from Far Cry "one day I feel I'm on top of the world, then then next day it's rolling over me" -- that's definitely not an exaggeration. Some of those latter times were just horrific, stretching for two or three days on end. Certainly an improvement over it being endless weeks, as it once was, but still debilitating.

Not-so-jokingly, I've referred to emerging from some of those times as "implementing the instructions in DIY Frontal Lobotomies for Dummies."

Edge detail
The top knitted casing, hiding the quarter-inch flexible PVC tubing and wire reinforcement.

The second has been the opening few minutes of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, which is a very silly movie starring Mike Myers, who plays a bumbling British spy who was put into cryostasis in 1967 and then unfrozen in 1997. I've always had a good laugh out of the thawing scene, when Austin is revived to chase after Dr. Evil, but find I relate to it more now in the sense of being dead emotionally, and then trying to claw back my humanity and sanity into adulthood again.

Detail of the "undergrowth" section, installed on site.

In the last few months, I too have suffered from no internal dialogue on occasion, and have been grateful that my real friends (on and off Facebook) have been so forgiving: I owe you all my thanks.

But in some ways, the hardest part has been going through a whirlwind of becoming emotionally mature again, and, especially, reliving part of my late teens/early twenties, marked by incredibly bad choices in forming relationships. At least this time, there has been just one, and, to be honest, I assumed (correctly) that the first dip back into that pool was bound to be a learning experience. And it certainly was that....

Performative work
When I originally took this picture a month ago, I think I was subconsciously aware of some of the emotional shifts that were about to occur: here I am as the artist within.

So here I am now, much calmer, and ready to abandon some of the crutches I've been leaning on of late. And I've also been thinking about another scene from Austin Powers: the the cameo of Burt Bacharach playing the piano and singing. His long-time lyricist, Hal David, died yesterday from complications of a stroke: he was 95.

Anyone growing up in the 1960s and 1970s can't help but remember all those wonderful songs of theirs, recorded by Dusty Springfield, the Carpenters, and, especially, Dionne Warwick, and I've had this one running through my mind all morning.

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