Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Silence helps no one

I enjoy this creative life so much. Time spent in the studio is never time wasted, and I continue to celebrate those moments when things happen that weren't planned for. 

Serendipity, things coalescing... like alchemy. Some days I feel as if I almost sit outside myself and watch it happen in front of me, without me being in charge at all.

This book was completely unanticipated and unexpected. Suddenly there it was.

The story begins back in Brugge, where I saw a binding done by metal art worker Mathias Claerhout.  Strange combination! The book was under glass, out the back and not part of his real exhibition. It caught my eye and I tried to think my way through what I think he did.

I came home and transferred my thoughts and sketches across into my visual diary-notebook. As I did it, I thought I should have a quick go at this, so I played around with some pages I had lying around, left overs from another play day quite some time ago. I think I got it.

Then I thought about words, and what would suit this form. I went away and wrote some words using my made up script from a few months back.

I found some book cloth and made some covers, used a bit more book cloth to hold the outside pages together. Fiddled a bit here, there and then stitched, and then there it was.

I don't say that to sound trite - I find it remarkable that years of experience and practice, materials I have prepared and accumulated, my pondering and thoughts, all come together and what emerges is a piece I never knew I had in me.









 I wrote this about it earlier today:

 "The supposedly private nature of family violence means we don’t speak, we don’t intervene and we don’t step in; yet more than one woman is killed each week in Australia by a partner or former partner. 

The construction of this books reflects the hidden nature of this violence, how trapped these women often are, and how hard it can be to leave and try to be safe.  It also demonstrates how hard it can feel to step in from the outside and help. Along with some sobering statistics, it tries to remind us of simple things we can do to try and not be bystanders.

The sombre colours and jagged lines express the danger women face as they live their lives, and try to leave; and the despair they feel for themselves and their children".

Another book that focuses on women affected by family violence, called Silence helps no one.

The subject appeared as I went along and thought about what the binding was telling me - what sort of story did it tell? And so it came into being.

24 comments:

  1. I like this one a great deal --- the 'fiona' script is really intriguing - but its the monochromatic palette and doubled accordian structure that really appeals --- not taking anything away from all the years of practice and making, thinking and doing that happen behind the scenes - but don't you love it when a book seems to just make itself.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ronnie. I think its about acknowledging the balance - these things happen without you; yet they happen because of what you have done or learnt to that point. I didn't want to sound trite - like whee, lucky me these things just happen! Or up myself, its only because I am so clever that stuff like this happens; but somewhere between the two. I do love it when they happen without you and am fascinated to observe the process; and I honour that they happen like that because of you...or something like that!

      Delete
  2. i think all the ones, books samples, papers; all that you make is the preparation for when a piece just happens, almost makes itself. good job on letting it through and making it happen...maybe i should say letting it happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Velma, thank you. You captured it perfectly...

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Annie, I'm so glad you think so.

      Delete
  4. the message, the format, the execution...the smooth birth of the book; all are stunning. it was meant to be and you were meant to make it. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Leslie - that capture the process and how it felt so well. Some things do just come together...go well.

      Delete
  5. F - a powerful piece in many ways. B

    ReplyDelete
  6. ~a piece and post that leaves me with a heavy heart...when a piece of art falls into place just like so is an exhilarating moment...but taking the time to truly find the meaning or purpose makes it all so much more worth in the doing...much love light and blessings~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brandi - it is a toughie in many ways, and yet the process of making, and discovering, and bringing it to life was rather beautiful...it does feel worth it. Go well.

      Delete
  7. I love it when art just happens... but, of course, its as you say - years of materials, techniques, ideas and inspiration that come out in a burst, surprising, but there it is. I wonder, sometimes, if these things are incubating, without our knowing and pop out when they've finally got your attention and the moment is just right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another great description and explanation Valerianna! Perhaps they are just incubating and things need to synchronise for them to come together...it is a lovely blend of things, and I think the piece is always only as good as you are at getting out of the way, and of the things you have quietly and unintentionally brought to it. A tricky one to ponder!

      Delete
  8. Serendipitous and inspired.... powerful piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good combination Jo - magic can happen under the right conditions! Go well.

      Delete
  9. Without knowing the subject, Fiona, this is a beautiful and innovative binding but add the subject and it becomes a truly important work. Inspirational, as so much of your work is...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank Carol - so lovely to hear your thoughts. I love what the binding offered - 8 sections attached to each other quite differently, not just folded and stitched. It allowed me to show the right side, the wrong side, and work out how to tell a story. It told me what the content needed to be, and I was pleased to deliver...go well.

      Delete
  10. Poetic in both content and structure, Fiona. I love how the text first appears (at least in the images online) as notes scattered across the pages. The subject is disconcerting and so-sad, but has found a beautiful form in your knowing hands...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa - the script definitely feels like music marks and notes; and is also a bit cryptic, so I didn't want it to be too easy and obvious...I think the story works well like this - sad as you say, but we need to know.

      Delete
  11. A double accordion and in gorgeous black and white too. So powerful Fiona. I love this structure and teach in in accordion workshops but most people don't ever make it again. I don't know why as I think it is elegant and sculptural. Those marks on your pages before text are beautiful too. This is obviously a book that was just meant to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for all the support Lesley! I found this a bit tricky because I wanted one page in and the next out (so to speak) and struggled to work out the sections and how to hinge them, but I think it works. It is a fascinating form and allows for so much mystery and unknowing...

      Delete
  12. Such an elegant piece on its own but reading the story enhances it further. Creating it must have been a powerful experience, clever you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anna - it was an enjoyable book to make because as I went along, everything felt right, but its nonetheless a toughie because the message is so hard...

      Delete

I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.