Tuesday, August 18, 2009

three little words

holy : worthy of complete devotion
holey: having holes
wholly: to the full or entire extent

I was thinking about these three words today and wondering whether the wonderment of completeness/abundance might not be the same feeling as that adressing complete deterioration and destruction. Both are sort of horrifying concepts and are rarely encountered in their true form (complete presence or complete emptiness) in this gray/grey world of ours. But if someone were to ask me what the opposite of presence is I would probably immediately say absence before backtracking-- if I think about presence as the completeness of something then defining it's absence or incompleteness becomes complicated.

For me, it begins a conversation about loss-- I'm not sure if you can lose only a little bit of something and really still say you've got it. It seems to me that it's incompleteness must be recognized first, then there is some sort of reevaluation during which you decide whther it will always be "almost the whole thing but not" or just a new thing entirely.

Working with abstract ideas can be dizzying, but it's nice to have days like today when this sort of dizziness seems incredibly rich and important. A few of my peers are obsessed with various lace, crochet and knit patterns. Weaves like these are based upon a series of knots and tangles which craft an object that is made from one string but constructed by making spaces that are defined by their nothingness (holes, duh!). This is, after all, how I draw holes too-- I draw the space that the air takes up, the holeyness, and then I draw the wholeness later.

The drawing I'm working on most right now is one that is not about holes, but about masses. It's interesting to be coming back to objects-- even flat abstract ones like stains and patterns and textures. But I wonder how I can push the envelope a little more to make sure that I'm not walking away from my commitment to grayness-- is the language of holes vs. wholes too didactic? Written language is the architecture of lines around the white of paper to form words. Interesting.

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