Our hook talks. What's yours have to say?
I just got back from seeing my show at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and I am in a state awe. I am just sitting here feeling the feeling of having seen these twenty two pieces, The Very Mention of Home in that beautiful gallery.
In awe of all the work the gallery staff put into creating the show. How in thinking about each piece and where it should be put, they thoughtfully found just the right spot for it. I saw it again in a new way.
This collection of rugs is about home, how we hold it in our hearts. How we carry it with us. When I saw it today I saw that each of the houses really represented the souls that lived in them. As Micheal, the curator said, they were shells or containers. They represented what filled them, the people. Those who don’t want to rock the boat, those with stars in their eyes, those teetering on the edge , those caught between things, those waiting peacefully, those leaving, and those coming home.
I saw it like I never saw it before because someone else saw it too. I saw it through my own eyes and through the eyes of the people who put it together.
There was no discussion with me. They just did it. Pulling quotes and putting them on the wall. Finding good things I said. When you write a lot, and you write in the moment, though it is from your heart you don’t always recognize your own words. You read them anew and think about the meaning again.
As an artist you think so much. You put so much forth. It feels good to have someone pare it down, get to the essence.
I saw the importance of putting love into your work and the importance of loving what you do.
Nearly 25 years ago I had a show at the AGNS. I was grateful and excited at the time. But with age, seeing this happen again, it is so different. I can see that with age comes a kind of gratitude that I was not prepared for as a young woman.
Now I understand the beauty of being given a chance to share something that you create. I understand the rarity of these opportunities and I am so deeply grateful for the chance to shine a little. The chance to be an artist in the way we imagine what an artist is.
For in truth, artists are loners. They chip away at their stone, add a layer of paint, write another sentence, or pull another loop on their own mostly. Alone they shape their ideas and themes into some form of reality, some tactile thing that they can lay out for others to see, but mostly in hope that others will feel, whatever it is they need to feel. As I make I feel. It’s part of why I make.
And to be given space and time to lay these things out, these things made by mind and hand, well that is grace itself.
For the older I get the more I see that space and time are limited, and we only get a little bit of it.
I encourage you to make it and to put it out there. You can create a for a wall in your living room, a local library or a gallery. It does not matter. You can create a show for instagram or facebook. What matters is that you make and that you share your gifts with others. It feels so good.
This show was originally made just to hang in my own studio. There were no big plans for it. I made all the rugs, hung them in my place, ordered a few trays of sandwiches, made tea, and invited the community to come see them. That was five years ago. After I had it together I knew I needed to share it further.
This show was created because I had an idea I needed to express. There was something I needed to talk about and most of that conversation was with myself. That is what making is like. You get to sort things out, it brings you to understanding. Creating a body of work around an idea or a theme is a great chance to not only express yourself but to understand how you feel about things. It is about bringing ideas to life.
It does not have to be a big body of work. It can be six 8 by 8 rugs. Make what you can and share your story. It is an ability we all have. You have it. That hook you hold in your hand, it speaks. You just need to tell it what to say.
So off you go, like me, to hook in the comfort of your home.
Be good to yourself and others and stay safe,
PS.Our Winter Online class starts February 23!!! Yay! You can purchase the course only for just $99 until Feb 15.
- Angela Davis