Week 36: soul/work

Banana leaf and sound line screen prints installed for Paper/Song exhibition

This week was installation week. Very challenging! How to represent a year’s worth of research, paper making, printmaking and experimentation in a small shared gallery space.

After trying many configurations, this definitive grid of prints referencing both the banana plant and the sound lines of paper making became the pivotal configuration  from which the rest of the artworks took their cue.

Creating enough space for a ‘dialogue’ between these foundation prints and the works that followed was paramount for the installation to be successful. That meant only two collages instead of four and one framed work on the back wall.

I was most happy about the ‘bird hide’ construction in which to view the one and a half minute video. It also houses many of the paper moulds used for making the paper, and provides a link between the process and the final product.

Today I read a wonderful article from the blog Transactions with Beauty by Shawna Lemay on “The Imprinting of the Work on Your Soul” which is about the act of making creative work which changes you.

“It’s the making of the thing that matters. How that changes you…It’s the work, the practice, the imprinting of the work on your soul and on your cells that matters.”[1]

She writes about the ‘practice’ of making creative works which changes you at a cellular level and refers to the Tibetan monks who create sand mandalas which are afterwards just blown away. No attachment to outcomes, no self recrimination over bad reviews or criticisms. It is the making that is important, the discipline of creative work.

Now when my finished work is installed and ready to be viewed by the greater public, I am learning to ‘let go’, to let the work speak for itself. If I have communicated the resonance of the paper, that is good. But for me, this project has been about the making of the work and its surprising outcomes which has changed me, and I’m glad.


[1] Shawna Lemay.  Transactions with Beauty, Accessed 4 November, 2016. http://transactionswithbeauty.com/home/3fpc8bf2bspr4ajafem3xls9e563y9.


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