It is a quiet Sunday afternoon, mostly cloudy but not nearly so cold as these past days. I have spent the day at home, working on my new piece for the upcoming group exhibition. As I wrote in my previous post, all participants will have to create an artwork based on the idea of Roots.
I really prefer cloudy days when I work at home. They are less distracting, more reflective, in a way. It's easier for me to gather my thoughts and listen to my feelings when the sun is not screaming 'come out here and play'! And roots is such a rich, interesting concept to work on. It has to do with nature and vegetation but also with our cultural and emotional roots, our origins, our home. Being a Greek who has lived half of her life in Spain, I am particularly drawn to this second meaning of the word.
The word. Language. The cultural root of humanity.
I considered making a three-dimentional object, a small installation of sorts, that would look like a book and would contain words. That could also be a box-like container of real roots. I thought about the history of words and language, of the oldest forms of written expression and also of the oldest materials people used to write on. Paper, parchment, papyrus...
I could also have considered the roots of our teeth (hey, why not?) but the idea really doesn't appeal to me.
I wish I had some pieces of parchment at hand but I don't. And I don't feel like waiting to get them, so I went on using the materials I do have. Handmade paper, book pages, notebook pages, some strings of yarn and twine, some thin twigs. Twigs can easily look like roots. I discarded my original idea of creating a collage and started rolling the pieces of paper. I hand-stamped some words on some of them. A cascade of scrolls started forming.
I also had some pages torn out of a book written in Chinese, at least I think it's Chinese. I haven't the slightest idea of what they say and really, neither the language nor the meaning are important here. They are just roots coming from another culture, mysterious and hidden. Just like tree roots.
Everything here is still provisional. The scrolls have been formed but they just lay on the paper and may be moved - or removed - at any moment. The yarn and twine are not even there yet, I still haven't decided on how to use them. They will probably interact with the scrolls somehow and go on downwards to hang freely below the lower edge of the paper.
The hand-stamped words are in Spanish and they say: 'sometimes - we shoot roots - on the air'. This is a free translation, since the exact Spanish phrase (sometimes we root outside) sounds different in English. I did however print the word sometimes in English too, it is deliberately half-hidden to the viewer, and I may go on to finish the sentence in English.
Roots in progress. I'll show you the finished piece when it's ready. The good thing is, several hours have gone by and I still like it :)