Last night was beyond astounding. Don't walk...run to see this exhibit. She has taken 10,000 ft of empty warehouse space and transformed it into the most extraordinary most exciting exquisite exhibition. The work is huge, and strong and besides being technically amazing it's very moving and serene. We were with some friends from Europe and we all agreed that she now is world class. Check out the exquisite salmon piece - I forgot the title but its fantastic. Also the series of baobab. Actually there aren't enough words to describe what we saw last night. I hardly go overboard but this was truly awesome. ~Heather
My new found friends, thank you for the opportunity to live in your world...to participate in a most wonderful, powerful, inventive, and important installation, "Simunye: We Are One". Dave and I have enjoyed every moment of the process -- from first introduction to you, learning about your work, hearing your ideas, and about possibilities... to carrying out tasks, and preparations of the physical space; listening to and picturing your visions, having suggestions considered, and working calmly together... the whole team, like a pod of whales swimming side by side.
And then the magic, the cement solidifying all the elements together...the lighting! The worlds that were brought to life through the application and considerations of the quality, shape, angle, placement and amount of (quality of) light and shadow. Being part of the process of something so rich, so thoughtful --on so many levels, and so sensitive or emotional --is very, very, meaningful and rewarding. You both are so unique, deep and awake; and it shows in the process, the work and the result.
To be able to experience the installation as it was meant to be, to breath its life, with and though ourselves and others observed --is amazing... new and renewing, simple and complex, powerful and calming, and beautiful, beautiful.
Walking in the door, absorbing what was before me, and noting my senses --my breath was taken away. There was so much, that felt, feels, natural to me, full of nature...I recognize earth, air, fire, water and combination elements like, mud, flora, and cosmos. Again and again I could visit with the images and movement and stillness and not necessarily experience the same feeling twice...there is so much there, to be discovered, explored, observed; owned.
It's refreshing that there is NOTHING commercial about the show, it doesn't demand anything of the visiting public, just invites them; that nothing preconceived (by the artist) is being 'sold' to them. There is nothing thin, flat, diminished, nor limiting about the work or the experience. That there is nothing shallow or representational in a kind of insignificant or surface way shown -- 'art for art sake'; only, as my artist and educator father would say, "better art".
Its recognized that while the scale presented is large, NOTHING is presented in a verbose, overdone, 'flash for flash sake' way; everything has purpose both autonomously and collectively --for example, the printed writings posted only add new insight and evoke thoughts and questions FOR THE VIEWER, instead of extending opportunity for the artist to gush of their own accomplishments, or further toot their own horn. The scale is bold and demands consideration by the visitor. And in a most thoughtful and invitational way. It is precisely the scale, that allows the visitor to be able to find something to connect to, there is such a variety visually and spiritually --something for everyone, creating opportunity for individual or communal participation and connection. The bigness, provides distance, and spaces and places physically and emotionally to observe and contemplate the viewers view.
Its appreciated that while the artworks may appear to be simple strokes, recognizable forms, and textures that play with light and shadow; they in fact, are layered, deep, and morphing compositions; constantly in motion and sometimes in a fleeting moment of stillness, like an image or concept captured in a snapshot. The views are aided by the black colored walls, translucent papers, and theatrical directional lighting.
At first, the music that permeates the air is not noticeable, it so seamlessly supports the mood of the physical spaces, artwork and projections, lighting and shadows, and activities. In a viewer's moment of stillness however, the music sets itself apart; happy, calming, rich, layered; and one appreciates its meditative or transformative power and qualities. And although it is supportive, it also stands on it's own and visitors speak about or reverently absorb the lyric-less orchestral music.
The cinema-scale projections of screen-filled artwork, rolling across the plane, or melding into the next scene or birthing out from the scene before; bring such a sense of movement, as an alive entity would, ever breathing, ever in motion, demanding to be noticed, scrutinized, identified. Inviting interaction by the viewer; whether standing still, bathing in the changing tones of light, lines, and textured forms around them; or moving with or against the current of composed imagery, getting lost in it, with it, as a ritual dancer or a swim upstream by a spawning fish; in any case, ameba-like the participants' limbs are outlined on the projection.
The interactive activities, are all freshly cognitive and or intuitive; visitors are asked for their current meditative thought, retrieved as a word or phrase --and to write it, in vibrant colored chalk on the black painted blackboard wall, for others to see or read. In another activity, spontaneous dances take place across a stage--a floor canvas with a drawn circle, set before a hanging theatrical drape of vertical paper strips, front lit by a large spotlight. With the option of a black or white fringed shawl to accompany the 'dancer'. And in another activity, shadow play takes place behind works hung from the rafters, inspired by the lines and shapes on the translucent paper or the music; in duos and trios; bodies and limbs move in and out of the shaft of shadows, their backlit silhouettes captured on translucent paper. All silently and spontaneously invited, accepted, carried out, and noted. Even visitors entering the building, speak in reverently low voices, immediately, one is aware of a special place and time. I believe others experienced a change or transformation, as I had, by the time they left. Rare, these days, I think.
This event, without a doubt, reaffirms, we are all indeed, one; one of the family of humankind; but magnificently varied and infinite in our voice, song, thought, gesture, body, sensing and love. Thank you for bringing such a gift, and having us assist with bringing it to others.
Fondly, Randy & David