Saturday, 12 September 2015

In Conversation

As many of you already know, I display and sell my work at the Coast Collective gallery here in Victoria, BC.  This September I was asked to be inspired by a poem written by one of over twenty local poets and create a figure to illustrate the feeling of the poem.

I chose two poems, the first one is titled " The Angel of Mushrooms" by Patricia Smekal.

    The Angel of Mushrooms is an artist.
    She waits for October rains to let up,
    when woodlands will be sprinkled
    with shadows and sundrops,
    before she chooses the fallen alder
    for her canvas.

    She studies its spalted bark and decides
    today's light calls for oyster mushrooms-
    white on greyish-brown. She arranges
    their sessile growth in louvred rows,
    delicate overlapping shells,
    providing suggestions of shy,
    fluted undersides.

    Satisfied with her work,
    the Angel of Mushrooms
    bequeaths her masterpiece
    to the sylvan gallery
    and its visitors--
    shiny black beetles,
    squirrels,
    and me.

I pictured an older angel, weathered and dressed in somewhat bohemian garb, smiling over her masterpiece:
She is made from doesuede and hand sculpted.  The oyster mushrooms are made with polymer clay

Her mushroom staff is sculpted from polymer clay

The log under the bark is a piece of alder from a friend that lives on a property near Shawinigan Lake

Feathered winds and bohemian clothing hand dyed to give a subtle forest palette


The Angel of Mushrooms is pleased with her "masterpiece"
Needless to say I loved, loved making this doll.  She is wired and fixed to a slice of tree that comes from Stanch municipal works and that was given to me by a dear departed friend, Dave (he was such a gentle, kind soul).

I am happy to say that the poet, Patricia Smekal loved the piece as well and purchased it.  I in turn, purchased her book of poetry!

The second poem I choose to illustrate is titled "Things of Beauty" by Jeannette McCall:

    Tears on a face which shows no shame
    Laughter from the belly
    A smile of joy on my child's face

    Bare skin named by sunshine
    Tender words from a lover
    Water caressing a sandy beach

    A hug when it's needed
    A knowing, shared smile between friends
    Eyes which meet and talk without words

    A flock of birds taking flight
    The fullness of silence
    The wind blowing softly through the trees

    Things of beauty abound in my world
    Touching me in quiet, splendid moments
    Filling me with childlike wonder
    Keeping me young forever

    These things of beauty
    Quench the thirst of spirit, heal pain and
    Carry me on to tomorrow

As soon as I read this poem I knew that the doll titled "Tender Moments" illustrates the intent of the poem as it spoke to me.  Here is the doll:

A child's wonder and joy in cradling her first teddy bear

As all children, the joy in wriggling toes without your shoe

The doll is made with polymer clay, hand sculpted.  The teddy bear is hand made as well.

If only we could remember the wonder and delight the world has to offer as seen through the eyes of a child

The poet, Jeannette McCall enjoyed my interpretation of her poem and is considering purchasing the doll as it reminds her of her daughter.

The opening of the show at the Coast Collective gallery "In Conversation" took place today.  The poets read their poem and then the artist that chose the poem described the art they created that was inspired by the poem.  It was a moving and fun event.  The poets were thrilled to see what their poem inspired and the artists enjoyed the challenge of doing the poem justice as it spoke to them.

The show is on through September 20th (Wed to Sunday, noon to 5pm).  If you are in the area, it is well worth visiting. (3221 Heatherbell Road, Colwood, BC)
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