Friday, May 21, 2010

Collage 67

Here is one of Lulu's. I remember watching her put it together as we sat on the floor of the gallery upstairs during gallery hours at Atlantic Works. I loved the introduction of the purple and used the same material myself in a later piece. That is the best thing about working side by side -- to watch what others use, and to riff off it. -- Lola

Lucy Zahner Montgomery
from page 141-142 of original text
collage and acrylic on paper
made on 4-16-10


I remember this one - this is the day I deliberately tried to get more spontaneous (is that a contradiction?). This was the first time I was tearing the paper into shapes instead of using a small pair of scissors and some was relaxing in a different way, and I remember trying not to think too hard. Keep my mind empty and go with the shapes and the color. Interesting. Now I look at this one and I do like it- the orange shapes look like swimming fish to me, and I like the purple circles. There's still a part of me that wants to know, what does it mean? how do these colors and shapes connect to the text? Well, who knows? Maybe I'm thinking too hard!

This collage is from earlier in the text, and you can just make out at the top Prince Andrei's name. He's going through quite a transformation...he's a real searcher. And, in spite of his macho attitude towards his wife (who, honestly, seemed to be a little vacuous in a high-society kind of way, but really, wasn't that what she was raised and trained to be?)I like him, and can see that he's on some kind of transformative path. (I seem to be repeating words like "transformative" and "transformation"...but Tolstoy does that, so it's ok, right?)

Anyway, here's what I just read last night, Volume II, Part 4, Chpt.1:

"Biblical tradition says that absence of work - idleness - was the condition of the first man's blessedness before his fall. The love of idleness remained the same in fallen man, but the curse still weighs on man, and not only because we must win our bread in the sweat of our face, but because or moral qualities are such that we are unable to be idle and be at peace. A secret voice tells us that we should feel guilty for being idle. If man could find a condition in which, while idle, he felt that he was being useful and was fulfilling his duty, he would have found one side of primordial blessedness. In this obligatory and irreproachable idleness consists and will consist the attraction of military service."

Wow. This passage is interesting - primordial blessedness, idleness and military service? I have to read on to understand what Tolstoy means by this, because in Anna Karenina, the character Levin is clearly happiest when he's working, which is his way of meditating and finding peace and meaning.

Well, there's lots of kinds of idleness, too. Some people might say that reading is idleness, or that sitting quietly and making art is idle - but that's only physical idleness, while your mind and your heart are anything but idle. So maybe the condition of sitting with two loved friends and making art is fulfilling my duty to my soul - and there's a side of primordial blessedness.

Hah! connection to the text! I knew it was there! ---Lulu

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