Saturday, August 7, 2010

Koinonia III

You are Me
I am You 
But also I am She

"Relationship" was the aspect of Koinonia that we explored for the last piece made during MICA's Summer Institute. I decided to focus on a quote from a song that I played everyday on repeat. Sometimes I just have to be that annoying in order to feel the tone of the music behind the words. Anyway, I used a lot of threes in the finished piece, as the quote (from Saul Williams) has three portions. And I changed the 'he' to 'she' and I thought a lot about Ashley, the shy girl at my site. She barely looks up if someone is talking to her. I don't know if it is shame or severe self-confidence issues or what other issues she might have had that I didn't even know about...but she IS a good artist, and it broke my heart to see her looking down all of the time.

So for this piece, I related myself to her. If my mother weren't as insistent as she was, and if she hadn't had me on-the-go constantly, I might have been Ashely at some point in my life. Hard to believe, but true. I was shy, and I did have shame. It was difficult for me to figure out what being a woman meant without her...I was so lost. I think I still struggle with it, I struggle with my place in society. Ashley luckily, has a very supportive mother still with her, and sometimes I think that might make all the difference in the world.

This piece started out with the wings flat, jutting out the sides. My critique was intense this time hour and a half long 'intense', but it was great to see everyone respond very strongly to the symbolism. I'm pleased that I am finally making headway with my messages. I realized awhile ago that I can't force my personal, specific meaning onto others. I am trying to generally guide, however, but that has to be subtle. What I'm doing now seems to definitely be working.

Critiques are so important for artists. I know at least for me, that if no one said anything I would be in my own head, not making sense to myself, or anyone else. Let me repeat, critiques are so important for artists. After my very long crit., I found that the wings, the way I had originally placed them, were serving no purpose other than to inform the gesture of the woman's arms. Many thought they would understand the bird reference and the idea of flight even without the literal wings. But I still enjoyed the gesture of the wings, themselves. I felt they looked almost like human hands.

A few days after I got the piece home, and a few ruminations later, I decided to bend the wings in, a very protective gesture. I know that I mother-henned those kids at the end, and possibly mother-beared them as well, defending against attacks and the like. What a good experience for me, being childless. But I felt very protective of them, and I think especially of Ashley. She stayed up late the night before our last class in order to complete the last art project. That's dedication, for a 13 year old on summer vacation!

So, here we go, here is the piece. This one has a slightly different title, but still plays off of the Baltimore/Poe reference...

Nevermore - She

And the video/music I was listening to:


Vag said...

love the story of little ashley, how precious she is! i also love the wings and agree they look like hands. i tried to listen to the video but couldnt understand anything he was saying. maybe its my computer.

shana goetsch said...

no it's got an effect on it. it's hard to get/hear. thanks about the wings/hands!