Agrarian Ruins & Remnants of Desire

 

Agrarian Ruins & Remnants of Desire was born in back and forth movement from word to image to word. The process of creation was driven by inspirations arising between ideas, images, words, in the tradition of the artists and poets of the Romantic era, who referred to the imaginative act of mirrored reflection as "flying sparks" .

Much of this body of work was created in a relatively short period of time. Wanting to create a landscape analogous to poetry that encompassed and defined the themes that ultimately drove me to create,  I worked on many pieces simultaneously, using myriad mediums and surfaces in order to bypass a kind of thinking one might call "deterministic"; in other words, to access something akin to a dreamlike state.

Suspecting Van Gogh might have been on to something with his speed of execution, I found that working at a quickened pace facilitated intuition. A loose methodology developed akin to literary stream-of-consciousness. With the intention to leave out nothing that was genuine, my production brought repeating themes, with connections arising between seemingly disparate elements. An ekphrastic writing process later revealed layers of meaning, as a varia of comparative expressions communicated between individual pieces.

An imaginative constellation developed that echoed both my deepest literary affinities and worldly preoccupations. For example, intimations of D.H. Lawrence's vision of the body merging with cycles of nature, gestural life-study drawings found themselves in dialogue with migrations of geese and horizon lines. The affirming act of making marks, through the process of printmaking, linked back to ancient shamanic ritual.

 

The heart, untethered, appeared as a bird, having fled the rib cage of a singular chest to become a symbol of humanity. The Spanish poets' duende flared in the flamenco gestures of figures; a girl became a woman in the blood of a red bird staining white muslin. In the woodgrain of barn boards inked and run through a press, and in the irreplicable weathered marks of found materials lived the Japanese is-ness of wab-sabi. With "agrarian ruins", such as boards from fallen barns, fragments of rusted metal, shards of pottery and tattered cloth from sites that held meaning in my personal narrative, I invited the history implicit in the substance itself to tell stories which opened to larger themes of what the modern world has lost with the destruction of family farms that once defined our relationship not only to the rural landscape as a whole, but as the poet Wendell Berry would suggest, to language itself.