There are some moments in time you would like to hold onto forever, to bookmark them in your memory so that it is easy to return to them for comfort or clarity. There are others you would happily fold over, like little ripples in the fabric of time and space. One of these is March 30, 2017.
Only two weeks after I wrote my last blog post, Cyclone Debbie swept through Queensland and northern NSW wreaking chaos, death and destruction. My little studio in South Murwillumbah was inundated with muddy flood water, the place turned upside down. Miraculously my paper making equipment survived; buckets floating out the back door to be located several days later in trees, my paper drying screens, mud caked but still useable, the Hollander beater’s mechanical engine needing repair but now operational again.
These past two months have flown by in a turmoil of cleaning, grief and cleansing. New beginnings will take shape, new work will emerge from the floodwaters. Unbelievably my banana paper survived, muddy but unbowed. Thank-fully all my finished paper artworks were safe and dry at home but works in progress, banana pulp and other art materials and equipment were lost.
Time has expanded to fill the space of creativity as I responded to the event by joining with another artist to curate a community art exhibition Posts from the Big Flood. Now that too has been dismantled, and like the flood itself is just a memory.
Time is not linear, it expands and contracts, becomes a wave we ride through space. In 2016 scientists discovered ripples in the space/time continuum which fulfilled Einstein’s prediction that gravitational waves warp space and time. These folds in the universe help explain the principle that the shortest distance between two points is a wrinkle or fold.
Which brings me back to Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time and the notion of time travel, or Tessering. This is now the title of the artist book I had started working on before the flood and have finally finished. Filled with screen printed banana paper it is folded into a multilayered response to time. Pages, like time and memory, are dogeared, folded and turned over, unfolded they become hyperlinks into new narratives, a way to leap into other dimensional thinking. When I unfold and turn the pages I am reminded that memories, like time, can be folded away, returned to another day and that art can help us jump dimensions.