Tuesday, January 02, 2007
My Art Story
Settle in, get a cuppa if you like - I have a feeling this may take a little while; alternatively you could click back and visit someone else's blog. I should not presume you want to take, or have, the time to read...
I can not remember a time in my life when I did not create. In my spare room there are tapestries I completed as a primary school student. In the suitcase of dolls clothes I keep still - for visiting children of course - there are clothes and blankies I stitched 30 years ago.
My mother taught me to embroider, to tapestry, to knit (still not good at that one) and to arrange flowers. At school I learnt cake decorating, to crochet and to sew. Later in life I learnt patchwork, applique and to make dough roses. Who would have thought anyone could spent hours making roses from 2mm wide to 20mm wide out of a mix they made themselves (it even had white bread in it)? I have recieved many compliments and a few awards for my craft.
I enjoyed all of these accomplishments, really enjoyed them, and yet, that is what they were - accomplishments. Oh yes, I would spend hours with graph paper designing my own cross stitch patterns or patchwork pieces - but the focus was always on how it would look in the end. Sometimes, I admit for others compliments, mostly for me - but always the focus was product and process, never my heart, my soul ...
In 2000 I suffered a complete mental and physical break down, no secret, but a story I like to tell face-to-face. Suffice to say my whole being hurt - my heart, my soul and my body. And yet, in this time I felt led to go to a wire workshop being led by an amazing wire artist, Tanya Colby. I asked a friend to go and we spent a full day playing with wire. I think we made a Christmas decoration and a bowl or vase. Tanya at that time made mostly bowls. I don't actually remember.
What I do remember is loving the feel of the wire in my hands.
I am a farm girl and wire makes fences - it controls and restricts. It is hard, especially when you are fencing in the rain on a cold winters day. I can't tell you how many times I have cut myself with wire - I can tell you it stings. Wire is incredibly heavy when you are pulling 500m of it down a fence line in the wind. And yet wire was calling to me.
I went home and raided my supplies, tie wire (kindly supplied by Dad for any gardening jobs) and wire cutters. A quick trip to Bunnings and then I sat, at my regular desk. The desk where I prepared and marked my school work - and I let my fingers talk. An angel seems such a cliche'd form to make, but I truly believed I was alive as a result of angels and that I would continue to live with the help of angels. Heavenly angels and Earthly 'friend' angels. I poured all my grief and hope into this little angel (about 30cm tall). I molded and twisted, squeezed and stretched that wire - until she emerged. When I had finished I was surprised by her beauty and form - they were not planned, they were consequences of the message and messenger. She came from within.
6 1/2 years on the halo is a little wonky and she gets a little less symmetrical each year, but she is a symbol of hope and of the beginning of my art journey. Oddly, she has had a special place in my home for years and never received a comment (something I had not really noticed) and then in December two first time visitors praised her within days of each other. Oh how my heart sung. Perhaps the timing was right. I am feeling 'normal' for the first time in six or seven years, and I am finding my art pulling me back to wire.
Posted by Julie H at 9:42 pm