Sunday, September 24, 2006

Appreciating Art

I've been a bit under the weather (nothing serious; you can find out about it here and here) and preoccupied with a renewed interest in photography (and blogging here and here), because photography is a hobby Ben and I enjoy together. But I haven't stopped thinking about weaving and art in general. And one thing I noticed is I've come to appreciate art in a different way.

In the last month or so, I've been photographing and sketching a series of works by local sculptor Tim Wraight. Originally, I needed a few nice shots of good-looking pillars to show as public art for the photo blog, but the more I see these pillars and try to do them justice, the deeper I've become involved with them. I still can't photograph them to show how truly beautiful they are, but I'll share some with you soon. Woodwork is in some ways easy for me to understand because I know some of the processes and tools, and looking at these pillars, I can imagine Tim chipping away patiently and deliberately bit by bit by bit. I can feel his quiet passion while he touched the pieces of wood and breathed life into them. And I have never experienced art in this way before.

I also went to see jeweler Ian Longley to order Ben's Christmas present, and had a chance to chat with him about rocks and stones, and he shared with me a little of his creative process. The lasting impression I took home, though, was the way caressed his raw material in the same way I hold my yarns. And I kept pondering about the metamorphosis of those rocks to his jewelry and these yarns to my shawls.

As I mature as a weaver, it has become easier for me to understand the processes and efforts of other artists, and knowing these makes their finished work more meaningful and precious. I've come to appreciate art with my entire body and soul, which is a far more genuine appreciation than mere liking, or reading about their work.

And then I went to see my friend Errol Shaw's modern painting exhibit. I love this man to bits, but I have difficulties with modern art. He tried to explain to me at great length how to 'look' at modern art, but I got nowhere. This story is for yet another time entirely.

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