Sweater Weather

 

 

Short days in Michigan

When the leaves turn to

colours of the earth.

 

The old man mowing his lawn

Wearing his slate cashmere v-neck with

holes under the arms, has never bothered

to get the thing darned.

 

Billy used the season to shoot

He would walk out into the woods with his Colt 45

Looked for Rabbit, Deer, if lucky, a Bear.

He wore a brown, round, wool neck sweater

that kept him warm.

It also camouflaged him really well.

 

No-one mentioned the time he was down by

The creek – – a body floated up, face down–

bloated and gross from being in the river for over

A week.

The sheriff hushed It up,

Billy was his son, you see.

 

The Sheriff wore a red lambswool sweater

to suggest authority, or perhaps, danger? and to keep visible.

He was beautiful to look at – A Cary Grant—with manners.

How us County people respected him.

The sole reason we never pursued the body story.

His word was Final.

 

Me, Autumn in Michigan, meant road trips—a six pack of

Molson in the car;  Ruben sandwiches and my best girlfriend.

We’d sing to Joni Mitchell and Carol King—perfect tunes for a fall sunset

that seemed to last forever. At night, Deborah Harry

blasted from the CD deck the stars shining brightly.

 

We did not need the moon or headlights to show us the way.

My girlfriend wore her purple sweater, made of Angora.

It smelled of Opium. I wore a cashmere jersey

in lime green.

 

We drove for days hitting the west coast

Got down at Full Moon Beach.

Threw our sweaters off,

and with it, our angst spinning emotions

Jumped nude into the Pacific Ocean

 

The water was cold.

We could very well had been swimming in

Lake Michigan—but,

It was worth it.

For the Road Trip.

2261 miles of it.

NS May 7th 2017.

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Druvinka: A Creation Story

To paint, as to produce any work of art, is to engage in an act of creation. In Druvinka’s work, creation itself becomes the subject. Her large-scale abstract paintings speak of inspiration, gestation, and genesis. On these canvases, she evokes the very sources of life, both human and divine.
Born in Sri Lanka and now based in northern India, Druvinka has over the past two decades developed a distinctive body of work devoted to the deepest mysteries of the human experience, and the transcendent realms beyond. Washes of watercolor and tempera sweep across bamboo paper; acrylic paint is built up in layers. Out of these watery depths, geometric and figurative forms seem to emerge and dissolve. There are recurring themes: the dark slit of a yoni, the imposing obelisk of the lingam. There are spherical bodies—be they ova or planets—concentric rings, and shadowy penumbra. In some works, liquid stains spread across dark, cosmic fields. In others, tangled forms writhe in a static explosion, as if the artist has distilled the chaos of birth in paint.
A retrospective look at Druvinka’s oeuvre reveals a clear evolution. Ten years ago, her canvases exhibited tight control: flat planes and square edged boxes constrained a swirling universe, like narrow windows onto outer space. In works from this period (DM 005.JPG), there’s a sense of foreboding, as if these alien forms could swing out of orbit unless they were kept hemmed in, locked beneath layers of acrylic paint. Druvinka’s perspective in these works is remote, as if she wants to maintain a safe distance from her subject.
Over the next two years, her style relaxes and softens. Her forms become looser and freer, and the perspective draws closer to reveal overlapping, translucent forms where once there were stark, opaque boundaries. The image of the yoni or vulva appears again and again, central and distinct (DSC00652). Her palette darkens, almost as if the viewer is being drawn into an underground cavern where shadowy forms overlap and merge. The paintings of this period are pregnant with longing.
And then in 2007, as if bound by some mysterious process of creative gestation, Druvinka’s canvasses begin to feature a proliferation of pale limbs, a nearly human figure. Her palette shifts from brown and green to crimson and orange (DSC00214). Gone is the quality of fear and constraint, replaced with an almost maternal confidence. That confidence remains in her more recent works, where her mastery of both form and medium is evident. In works from 2009, clear figures surface out of the layers of paint and paper: Ganesh floats in the foreground or peeks out from some dark opening, while serpents snake their way around the perimeter. Even the phallus has taken on a new quality of realism, as if the artist has allowed these symbols to rise from the level of the unconscious.
Take for example an untitled work from 2009 (DS_090303_9109.JPG). Here, the thick, dark body of a snake winds its way around the frame, while the elephant hovers ghost-like at the center. At the base of this mythic dreamscape appears a male member split by a leaf-shaped cavity: a merging of masculine and feminine. At the upper left, the phallus appears again, as ghostly as a palimpsest. No longer hidden or resisted as in earlier work, these forms appear organic, as if they have emerged without effort or calculation.
In her most recent works, deities and human figures feature prominently, though always against a backdrop of liquid shadows and cloudy dreamscapes. Her once relentlessly dark palette has lightened to mauves and pinks, creams and yellows; there’s a new emphasis on the divine feminine: Lakshmi hovers here and there, her neck garlanded with serpents.
Though many of Druvinka’s symbols stem from Hindu mythology, it would be reductive to read her paintings as emblematic of one religious tradition. To linger with these works is to bear witness to stories that are at once deeply personal and universal—stories that resonate across cultures and ethnicities, creeds and eras. In this way, Druvinka conjures a new world, drawing from many traditions to forge a vision distinct and unmistakable: a world that suggests nothing less than the whole of creation.

-Elizabeth Schwyzer
Arts writer, Santa Barbara, California, USA
http://www.independent.com/elizabethschwyzer

Press Release: Memories, Maps and Dreams: Josephine Balakrishnan

Memories, Maps and Dreams: Josephine Balakrishnan, Colombo Sri Lanka
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Press Release

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Memories, Maps & Dreams 


An exhibition of paintings and prints by Josephine Balakrishnan

Opening August 13, 7:30 PM

Show runs August 14 – 31, 2011

Barefoot Gallery
706
Galle Road
Colombo 3,
Sri Lanka


In eastern culture a dream can be a map; the dreamer a vehicle of the Divine. In western culture dreams refer to the psyche’s expression of the ego. In “Memories, Maps and Dreams,” Josephine Balakrishnan deciphers the mystery of dreams.
We see the western symbols that unlock the psyche and the messages. Balakrishnan ponders, “Do we live to dream, or dream to live?” The prints and paintings in this body of work address the question, “Why do we need maps when we always have a thread of memories and a myriad of dreams to lead us through each passage?”


With colors and birds flying, this show provides not only maps of moons, images of lovers walking, and references to the past and future, but seeks to reveal our own internal maps.



Contact:
Nazreen Sansoni:

Tel: +94 11 2580114

Email: nazsansoni@gmail.com

Web: http://barefootgallery.com/



Josephine Balakrishnan:

Tel: +011 510-524-6754

Email: Jo@JosephineBalakrishnan.com

\Web: http://JosephineBalakrishnan.com