Today’s post is a mediation on the line. The line has become a constant motif in my paintings since the introduction of the typewriter ribbon in Exilio 2014 shown in the first image below.
During Q & A after a performance of The Sadness of Being Nothing at Bangor University Department of Modern Languages and Cultures Research Forum the question of the line emerged and coalesced.
I saw that it runs across the forms I engage in whether it be assemblage, performance or painting.
I began to see it in the landscape as I drove home and later in the hasty images captured in the view from my hotel room.
I see it today in the news that the US is withdrawing it’s relief programme to Syrian refugees. We are crossing a line.
For me the exploration of inherited exile trauma has brought an understanding that many people can relate to exile because it is a loss. Metaphorically I have chosen to focus on the line (sometimes as a block of colour which separates the visual field) as the marker for decisive upheaval – usually a shift in being or state over which we have no control.
Exile is the after of the before.
We have a choice about the refugees fleeing from war. They are our fellow humans not rabid dogs. But in the US the “othering” of Syrian refugees is taking a new and devastating turn.
It’s a time to be vigilant and to speak out. It’s a time to fall into my metaphor and draw it out as far as I can. Rope – one of the lines used in my performance – is also used in the game of tug-o-war. I’m not about war or it’s damaging rhetoric but I am about grabbing the rope of reason with all of my creative might.
Exilio 2014, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 34.5 inches.
Performance shot – typewriter ribbon and LED tea light
The lead line within the window view from my hotel room.