Often I work with, make, teach, love mandalas. When I make them, a mandala begins with a single mark, a sacred spark in the middle from which all else radiates. A bindi. I make marks surrounding this and the mandala grows. On the page I connect the marks. I connect the dots.
I’ve been listening to “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer and she discusses in a way how artists are often processing and combining and expressing their own experiences in the world. In this process she suggests they are connecting the dots.
This weekend I was posting something on Facebook when the above photo popped up… "One year ago today you posted…" the notification read. It was a self portrait I took of myself in front of a piece at the Isa Genzken retrospective. I was fragmented in the mirror but all together familiar.
I remember attending this exhibit and upon first entry thinking, wtf? As I walked from one room to the next I started to make sense of the work. I could arrange it in my mind and see the relationship from one project to another. To see it all together it was marvelous. I loved it because while I saw stand alone pieces that made no sense to me when I saw them in context to the other work they did. I could see them as part of a life long endeavor. I could connect the dots.
For years I’ve felt scattered. What am I doing and why am I interested? I’m reaching a place in my life that I’m starting to see how the dots that have formed over the years are connecting as well.
Architecture school to fine art. Painting to pottery. Pottery to printmaking. Printmaking to art history as well. Art history to Nepal and Mithali paintings. School studies to survival(an office job). Office job to after hours outing. Meeting my husband Steve. Steve to stability. Stability to studio time again. Lots of commission paintings. A move to NY… Time to turn in and hone my voice as an artist while simultaneously building an online business (not art related). Motherhood and moves. Internet industry ills. An opportunity. Time for lots of art again. (so many more dots but these tell the important story right now…)
Painting and pottery and printmaking. Mandalas at times reminiscent of the Mithali work I once studied. Marks on it all that make sense. Again, simultaneously building an online business, but this time it's related.
I'm feeling a little like I did at the Genzken retrospective last year, confused by the separate pieces, but together enmasse they make sense. I'm feeling a little like I did when I snapped the self portrait above where there are a ton of individual little pieces but all arranged together with a little time for reflection I can make myself out. I come in to focus. I'm connecting the dots.
What dots have you formed in your past and where might you connect them???