I have been listening to an audio book version of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway while working on a sewing project. I have read the book several times over the years, and have seen the film featuring Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs. Dalloway several times as well. I never tire of this novel, and it always surpises me how I respond to it everytime I read it – it seems that I relate to something different each time, and I always find something that I didn’t catch on the previous readings. VW covers several stages of life in this novel, and interspersed in between these life occurrences is the second by minute by hourly moments that may pass us by and appear mundane and too ordinary for us to really take notice of…
I’ve always been drawn to Virginia Woolf’s work not because of what she is saying in her novels, but because of how she writes her narratives, and how she tackles her subjects in her unique voice and narrative style. This time I am actually responding to the story at a parallel level with the way it is being told (perhaps one of the benefits of listening to the audio version, where I can concentrate on hearing instead of reading text). It’s a great experience, to be sure!
And while working on my sewing my mind certainly does wander, like the wandering thoughts VW displays in the novel…yes, that interior monologue that goes on and on in the novel…it is similar to the one in my own head as I bend in to do a project that requires physical dexterity…
Phyllida Law reads this audio version… I love her voice, and it even reminds me a bit of VW’s voice, from this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8czs8v6PuI …I love VW’s voice too.
A masterpiece of interior monologue…a perfect execution of mental dexterity!
New photographs of the book Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire.
A challenging work to photograph because of its size and wide vertical dimensions which, when opened, measures approximately 186 cm (73 inches).
Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire Box/container detail.
Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire Opened book.
Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire Interior detail.
The work for Dream Sequence II will begin in the next few days…
Shadows are but extensions of the dark and of dense matter as they are pushed out by the light. To know the light, one must find acquaintance with the dark. Although the shadow may seem born of the dark, it is the light that brings it forth. The shadow can also be seen as a path that leads you to the light.
The following is a narrative of shade and light unfolding… Introducing Shades of Light, a series of four books that contemplates shadow and light.
There are four books in this series. These are the custom made containers designed for each respective book number.
In anticipation of experiencing a “strawberry moon” on the summer solstice, I prepared my tripod and Sony camera with zoom lens so that I could capture this rare occasion of a full moon rising on the longest day of the year. I had envisioned a clear night from which to take my photos. Alas, I could say that an evil system of clouds rolled in and obscured my fantasy of a perfect round ball of night light floating in the atmosphere, but can truly say that this cloud system actually made that full solstice moon look even more beautiful. I could not take my eyes away from the sight of this beautiful view, which did not appear from my focal viewpoint until after 11:15 PM. What a mesmerizing scene!
Paper…it is a universe within itself… As handlers of paper we respond to how it feels, looks and responds to our touch, to its weight, by how it moves and how it sounds when it moves, how it bends, and how it can flap about when you animate it, or how serene and beautiful it may look when it hangs from a wall or falls from a book… This list can go on and on. Besides the amazing things that artists can do and say with this fine medium for expression, paper can say a whole lot without having anything said on it.
These are elements I was exploring when I developed the following three book works which were created specifically for a Canadian group exhibition that showed in 2011 called “Bound by Nature, An exhibition inspired by nature, landscape and books,” curated by Canadian artist Deborah Danelley.
With “Memoir, a book of sand” I was interested in exploring texture and containment, light and shadow, and the metaphor of moving through time with the eye travelling across the length of an image, a book. Taking the memory that time places on us and containing it in this form felt like a natural thing to do…
a mark in time…
this is the mark
time places on us
it is a memory
in the sand
The next set of books “Night & Day I” and “Night & Day II” is an example of how papers can speak for themselves…
“Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire”
In this work I was exploring size and the concept of the “unfolding” element of a narrative. I also wanted to feel physically engaged in the handling experience of reading a book with such wide pages…you have to use your whole arm to turn the pages, and I found this very engaging as a reader.
Building a visual narrative is like building a poem. Thematic elements and motifs occur and recur throughout the piece, building up rhythm and harmony. I wanted to retain such a feel with the method of printing and gilding, and so devised a way to apply the gold in the work in the manner of the pochoir method of the forest and dame noire.