Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back into the quarter

After a lovely summer of roadtrips for new imagery and some space to think, I find myself back in the studio with scattered time and a slew of pinned up charcoal drawings. I have the large litho from this summer with a new charcoal drawing to the left of it of the wheels.

This seems an important image as I still ponder the strangeness of the print, titled "Passing Through". It seems to be about different generations, different eras, a father and child, workers, the train station- all together and disappearing into a blur, a vague notion, the past.

The rusted coal tram car wheels have stuck with me. They develop from a series of short stories that I have written down after my travels this summer. Many come from my maternal grandmother's side of the family. They live in Western/Central Pennsylvania in a little town called New Millport. Somehow, I feel this is my home even more than my actual home. It is a place of childhood, the woods, the wilderness, but also a quiet, a still sadness of rusted farm machinery in fields, windblown, creaking signs, gas wells and strip mining. Somehow this is what "it" is about. A phrase came to me the other day: It is about machines in the forest.

I pinned this phrase up along with many others. On the board is written (after "it's about"):
going back to the woods to die (a place to rest)
Uncle Bill and the gas wells
A one-eyed horse standing in mine water
A fire underground and a carousel in the mines
Tornado sirens and train wheels
A man on his tractor mows the abandoned amusement park
The old lady and her shoe
A parallel bed to the one you were born in
Can you stand the quiet?
A man and his baby telling us how to get into the tube factory
Climbing down a hot, muddy river bed in KY
Sharing a 105 yr-old's birthday cake in a not-so-well diguised diner as former pizza hut

These are all the stories I wish to tell. And more, of course.
Somehow, they must become objects through text, tactile things, perhaps letterpress things, old paper, rearrangeable pages of books, recorded narrative playing in a space with video, dusty objects, musty smells. These are all the things I am pondering for upcoming work that must meld together soon.

And somehow, that trip to the abandoned amusement park in PA encompasses it all. Off to those images next.

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