Serene was a word...
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in BrooklynAh, serenity. Remember that? Back in Manhattan, me, and spring busting out all over the Park, but the traffic was terrible, so thank goodness Oberon Onmura sent me a TP to meet him in Brooklyn the other day - no, not Brooklyn is Watching, RL Brooklyn, where there's a(nother) world-class museum of art. Oberon wanted me to see the Kiki Smith installation, 'Sojourn' - it's a collection of sculptures and drawings that are inspired by Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and an embroidered picture from the 1800's by Prudence Punderson showing the stages in a woman's life.
. I asked how the transient nature of art - pixellated or not - affects her work.
The Kiki/Feathers connection came to mind thanks to 'Butterflies', Feather's current install over at Aho. It depicts 7 stages of a woman's life: like a butterfly, beautiful, delicate and oh so brief. (admire all seven paintings, note the writing that is revealed only when you approach the canvases, and ooo, try the light switch behind the door!). Aho rocks.
Yet, the apparent transience of memory and experience has another side.
Feathers Boa: I'll tell you a story from RL. Some years ago. I painted something I felt at the time, pain, hurt, shame, fear, a wash of young girl emotions welling up inside of me from a painful childhood. It was a self-portrait. I poured out all my self-loathing on the picture. My girlfriend at the time found it. She recognized my eyes in the twisted hateful face and asked me why I hated myself so much and if I hated her as well. She cried and left me alone with my creation. I burned it in the fireplace the next day, but it is still here inside my head as vivid as the day I painted it, and I'm sure it still is burnt into the memory of Claire, wherever she is. I guess knowing that at anytime all of SL could vanish along with everything in it, does play into how I relate to the art I create in-world. I treat it all like the vapor it is, and hope that somehow it lives on in the memories of the people who see it and experience it.
Feathers Boa: It is sometimes impossible to find time to be creative. My Real Life is frantic and busy. I used to escape into Second Life. As time has passed SL has become just as demanding and crazy as RL, so much so that lately I have avoided SL altogether in the hopes that people will forget me and I can sneak back into create something while no one is watching. Inspiration hits me sometimes and I just work through the night. I've been known to call in sick if my muse strikes. Creativity is like birth, it is sometimes painful and hard. Sometimes it births something beautiful, sometimes it is ugly at birth, wrinkled, fat and crying. But once I make something, it is out there and I pour my heart and love into it. Finding time for this is like saying "how do you find the time to breathe?"
Feathers Boa: Being able to make things change and move and morph as the viewer interacts is what my work in SL is all about. I want the viewer not just to see but feel and become a participant in my work. At first, I just scanned in my RL art and plopped in on a prim. Then I saw this possibility of making things big and changeable, to do so much more. I never looked back.A lot of examples of that can be found at Feathers' Reactive Art Gallery over on sim Esterhal. Her piece Witch Hunt, a self portrait inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, is particularly striking. Approach or retreat from the artwork, and the fate of the woman in the picture changes seamlessly, shockingly. Not to be missed.
Regrouping in the atrium of the Brooklyn Museum, right by the light-bulb caravan - doesn't that make you think of the one Harriet Gausman has in the writer's camp at Milk Wood? - I think we were all pretty grateful that Oberon suggested a visit to Brooklyn. If only he'd given us a ride home...