Friday, April 11, 2014

the rivers know

Loretta Grayson  The Rivers Know  Vintage maps, gouache on cotton rag paper, 2014 

It's a funny thing, the creative process.  I had this sketch in my journal for quite a long time before I finally got around to doing something with it.  It was inspired by reading Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient last year, and this quote in particular.

“We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves.

I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.”

The image in my head was all bright greens and blues, clouds and water... but when it came to actually getting it onto paper, this is what happened... something a little quieter, softer and darker.  

The title comes from a poem by Anis Mojgani that I have written about before, and seemed very appropriate as I was once again finishing work for the same show at the last minute... just as I wrote about then.

I finally finished it in the early hours of the morning it was due to be delivered to the exhibition, and went to bed at around 2am hating this little artwork with a passion.  But somehow, in the few hours sleep I managed before looking at it again, it grew on me. 

I could see that although the idea I was trying to pin down originally had eluded me, another one had appeared in its place.   If rivers can know to find their way to the sea, I can learn to let go of control and let ideas flow in the direction they need to go.

... and hopefully one day learn to stop procrastinating :)


Ethne Illingworth said...

Oh you clever, clever woman - I love the concept of using the maps for the foreground - brilliant .......
Where do you get your ideas from?

Zdolność-tworzenia said...

Rewelacyjny pomysł.

Zoya said...

Beautiful. I find it fascinating to read the stories behind your art.

Nora MacPhail said...

Beautiful painting! Very inspiring.

โชติ ธรีะวิท said...

Too good information that you shared.