Split  2011 ~ Photograph by Heather Matthew

Artist/composer John Cage talks about the “caesura”, the pauses which are important in both music and poetry.[1] Caesuras or caesurae are from the Latin for “cutting”,  indicating a break in a verse where one phrase ends and the following phrase begins. This rhythmical pause is often in the middle of a poetic line creating dramatic tension and/or additional ways to access meaning. I see it as a site of emptiness and possibility, the yogic pauses at the end of each outgoing and incoming breaths.

For the past month of December, I have been visiting this state of pause. Allowing emptiness to fill me without fear. I know that next year I will begin new and exciting work, following on from the insights I have gleaned from undertaking my Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours project. Already I have new ideas fermenting, ones which involve further study of cymatics, fractal images and portals. Sound, vibration and silence.

John Cage was most famous for his work 4’33”[2], a musical score the title of which indicates the length of silence in minutes and seconds. Cage believed that silence was a way in which people could enter “audibility”, the “undiscovered field which lies outside the direction of our attention”.[3]

There are many fields of audibility, vibrations which are heard or unheard yet sensed. Environmental sounds, domestic and external. The resonant echo of a feeling or thought somehow sensed, an animal or primal audibility we call a ‘sixth sense’.

This moment of cutting, this caesura, is where I listen to my inner sounds of silence and enjoy the emptiness. It is where I tune in to all my senses with confidence, knowing that I will return to this blog in 2017 ready to share afresh my adventures in art.


[1] Musicage: Cage Muses on Words, Art, Music., ed. Joan Retallack. (Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1996), 154.

[2] John Cage, “4’33”,” (1952).

[3] Musicage: Cage Muses on Words, Art, Music., xxviii.


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