Here you see my entrance, which is a big word for a very little space. It is of course the very first thing I see as I walk in and out of my front door. I have told you that each time I step over the threshold of my home I relax, I often physically feel the tension go and let out a healthy sigh. One of the many reasons for this joy is this collection of art works.
To the right just out of sight is my front door; also on the right is a patchwork wall hanging I made while house hunting for the home to put it in, this one. If you look carefully you will see my ATC files - bursting with inspiration and much loved art; an art doll made by Nat; an art doll tin by Dotee; a microscope slide assemblage I made in one of Dawn's classes at 2006 INKrediblyRT camp and a basket full of recently received art work.
The focus is Isabella and this is her story, or rather our story. Isabella was painted in Chile where my beautiful friend R spotted her in some markets and was instantly reminded of me. Despite her size and the costs of bringing her home to Australia R purchased her with love. Over months I heard of Isabella as R continued to teach in Chile - how like me she was, how much R loved her etc. When R's teaching time was up we expected her to come back to Western Australia - that did not happen, my friend went to teach on the other side of Australia and Isabella went with her.
More than a year, perhaps two, after R purchased Isabella for me she came to visit and brought the well traveled painting. I must confess - to my shame - that when I opened the painting I took an instant dislike to Isabella! I could not find any similarities between us - and was hurt that R would identify the things I saw in the painting with me. For other reasons that holiday did not end well, and the painting - in my hallway served to remind me of my pain and confusion; of a fractured long term friendship. And yet I left her there. Every day, many times a day I had to look at her. Slowly over months I found myself coming to know this self contained, independent lady and to see her spirit. I saw her hurt and her hard work - see those hands. Oh, how distraught I was when R said those large bony hands reminded her of me.
Over time I learnt to love Isabella and I learnt about art. I truly learnt that we can see different and equally valid things in any art work.
As I learnt to love Isabella I found a new bond with my old friend - a shared joy - and was able to take steps to reconciliation with this much loved woman. How precious is this painting.