“Creativity is the glue that binds the world together.” (Me, 2012)
It’s been a case of pull out all the stops, batten down the hatches, blinker the horse (me), ignore post, emails and phones, do no housework, cook no meals (I don’t anyway), wash no clothes, move into a cave, write no blogs.
It’s done however. A trip to the Post Office this morning marked the end of a project which I hope will bring about a positive change in my life in the very near future. Fingers crossed.
And just as I finish, my wandering sketchbook, Books of the Dead: 2 (my entry for Art House Co-op’s 2012 Limited Edition Sketchbook World Tour) is about to hit London. Canada Water Library to be precise. From 12th to 19th October.
Canada Water Library. An interesting place. Canada Water was once dockland, wharves and warehouses serving a now-defunct timber trade. Today it’s a regeneration project. Canada Library has been built when many libraries in the UK are closing down. The architect of this new library is Piers Gough CBE RA. There’s an interview with the architect on the web site of the Dark Waters Project.
I’ll be visiting this weekend to see how well (or not) my Arthouse Sketchbook has survived its travels from here to New York (Brooklyn Art Library), Chicago (Hyde Park Art Center), Portland, Oregon (Cleaners at the Ace Hotel), Vancouver (W2 Media Cafe), Los Angeles (iam8bit), Oakland, California (Pop Up Library), Lynn, Massechussetts (LynnArts), Portland, Maine (SPACE Gallery), Toronto (The Gladstone Hotel), Philadelphia (The Painted Bride), Atlanta (MASS Collective), Orlando, Florida (Urban ReThink), and latterly – Austin, Texas (Co-Lab Project Space).
My contribution, my sketchbook, is fragile. Most of the pages of the original sketchbook have been replaced with flimsy acid-free tissue paper, thin sheets of coloured cellophane – brittle with (wilful!) heat damage – and scorched gold foil. The pages require, insist upon, delicate handling. Even turned with care, they are apt to have sustained damage.
I knew that when I made it. I didn’t want the book to be just looked at, flicked through. I wanted engagement. Not as a gimmick. I wanted to convey fragility, transience. As life is fragile, transient. The sooner understood, the better. Then the more fragrant it becomes. Urgently and intensely lived for being finite. On this plane of existence. I didn’t understand this soon enough. Sooner than others perhaps because untimely deaths – of close ones – have been pushed on me. I think many westerners do avoid the issue of mortality. It’s a cultural thing. Brush it under the carpet and live like life is never going to end – except to somebody else.
The sketchbook became, on one level, a memento mori, a reminder of mortality, though my reason for doing the Books of the Dead Series is to reclaim creativity lost during times of bereavement and other loss. To begin the process of bringing fragments of abandoned art projects to fruition. It’s not downbeat; rather, uplifting and liberating.
I ‘m looking forward to my visit to the Canada Library exhibition so as to be able to touch the sketchbooks (and lives) of other participating artists some of whom I’ve come to know during the course of the project (actually all 3 sketchbook projects I’ve so far taken part in). And meet those who have accompanied the exhibition on its tour.
If you have time, please take advantage of the links I’ve provided to all the spaces in which the sketchbooks have been exhibited. It’s exhilarating and inspiring to see so much creativity and fresh variety in that creativity. And much of it is being done by the young, who are so often (unjustly) criticised as feckless and shiftless.
“Love is the glue that binds the world together.”
It figures, right? Or we would have long ago been consumed by the destructive forces that bring war and strife to our exquisitely beautiful miracle of a planet.
Creativity = Love
This exhibition is worth a visit. And if you’re an artist, why not take part in Arthouse’s 2013 Sketchbook Project? There’s time to enter, the deadline’s in January.
12th to 19th October 2012
Canada Water Library
21 Surrey Quays Road
London SE16 7AR
Tel: 020 7525 2000
Ground floor lobby
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 5pm
Sunday: 12 noon to 4pm
Monday to Friday: 9am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 5pm
Sunday: 12 noon to 4pm
- Arthouse Coop Sketchbook Project 2012 Hits Orlando Florida (annisik51.wordpress.com)
- Send Your Art Journal on a Road Trip with the Brooklyn Art Library (journalingarts.wordpress.com)
- The Sketchbook Project, A Traveling Exhibit Of 7,500 Artists’ Sketchbooks From Across The Globe, Hits Philadelphia Starting Today, August 23 (uwishunu.com)
- The Sketchbook Project 2013 (ldthoughts.wordpress.com)
- Sketchbook Project 2013 (kerosene29.blogspot.com)
- Sketchbook Project Update (belindafireman.wordpress.com)
- Create (nonmarthas.wordpress.com)