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Archive for October, 2007

self portrait by nina alvarez“Are real people fictions? We mostly understand ourselves through an endless series of stories told to ourselves by ourselves and others. The so-called facts of our individual worlds are highly coloured and arbitrary, facts that fit whatever fiction we have chosen to believe in. It is necessary to have a story, an alibi that gets us through the day, but what happens when the story becomes a scripture? When we can no longer recognise anything outside our own reality? We have to be careful not to live in a state of constant self-censorship, where whatever conflicts with our world-view is dismissed or diluted until it ceases to be a bother. Struggling against the limitations we place upon our minds is our own imaginative capacity, a recognition of an inner life often at odds with the external figurings we spend so much energy supporting. When we let ourselves respond to poetry, to music, to pictures, we are clearing a space where new stories can root, in effect we are clearing a space for new stories about ourselves.”

-from Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson

Photo: Girlfriend Photographer by Nina Alvarez

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The Insect God

O what has become of Millicent Frastley?
Is there any hope that she’s still alive?
Why haven’t they found her? It’s rather ghastly
To think that the child was not yet five.

The dear little thing was last seen playing
Along by herself at the edge of the park;
There was no one with her to keep her from straying
Away in the shadows and oncoming dark.

Before she could do so, a silent and glittering
Black motor drew up where she sat nibbling grass;
From within came a nearly inaudible twittering,
A tiny green face peered out through the glass.

She was ready to flee, when the figure beckoned;
An arm with two elbows held out a tin
Full of cinnamon balls; she paused; a second
Reached out as she took one, and lifted her in.

The nurse was discovered collapsed in some shrubbery,
But her reappearance was not much use;
Her eyes were askew, he extremities rubbery,
Her clothing was stained with a brownish juice.

She was questioned in hopes of her answers revealing
What had happened; she merely repeatedly said
‘I hear them walking about on the ceiling’.
She had gone irretrievably out of her head.

O feelings of horror, resentment, and pity
For things, which so seldom turn out for the best;
The car, unobserved, sped away from the city
As the last of the light died out in the west.

The Frastleys grew sick with apprehension,
Which a heavy tea only served to increase;
Though they felt it was scarcely genteel to mention
The loss of their child, they called in the police.

Through unvisited hamlets the car went creeping,
With its head lamps unlit and its curtains drawn;
Those natives who happened not to be sleeping
Heard it pass, and lay awake until dawn.

The police with their torches and notebooks descended
On the haunts of the underworld, looking for clues;
In spite of their praiseworthy efforts, they ended
With nothing at all in the way of news.

The car, after hours and hours of travel,
Arrived at a gate in an endless wall;
It rolled up a drive and stopped on the gravel
At the foot of a vast and crumbling hall.

As the night wore away, hope started to languish
And soon was replaced by all manner of fears;
The family twisted their fingers in anguish,
Or got them all damp from the flow of their tears.

They removed the child to the ball-room, whose hangings
And mirrors were streaked with a luminous slime;
They leapt through the air with buzzings and twangings
To work themselves up to a ritual crime.

They stunned her, and stripped off her garments, and lastly
They stuffed her inside a kind of a pod;
And then it was that Millicent Frastley
Was sacrificed to The Insect God.

-Edward Gorey

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rickpointbw.jpgOkay, so I’ve been in this studio a total of 15 hours in the past 3 days and it isn’t even mine. But who doesn’t love to be in someone else’s studio, telling them how to sexify it? Together, Rick Wright (guy pointing at his photos) and I  have turned his work shed of a studio into a virtual salon.

Why? Besides the fact that it needed it, it was for Studio Tours, a yearly event put on by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA). Basically, Philadelphia artists open their studios for one weekend and anyone can come by, check out their art, drink some wine (we have pumpkin ale and donuts, but that’s just us) and artists can sell some work…

Read the rest at Philthy Art ! 

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The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace-
Radiant palace- reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion-
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This- all this- was in the olden
Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
To a lute’s well-tuned law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
(Porphyrogene!)
In state his glory well-befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!- for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh- but smile no more.

-Edgar Allan Poe

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Autumn Grasses

In fields of bush clover and hay-scent grass

the autumn moon takes refuge

The cricket’s song is gold

Zeshin’s loneliness taught him this

Who is coming?

What will come to pass, and pass?

Neither bruise nor sweetness nor cool air

not-knowing

knows the way

And the moon?

Who among us does not wander, and flare

and bow to the ground?

Who does not savor, and stand open

if only in secret

taking heart in the ripening of the moon?

-Margaret Gibson

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I stopped moving
and saw motion
the rustle of the leaf
the blur

If you live in Philly, come join me and Rick Wright at his open studio this weekend. Read more below!

•••• Rick Wright Photography News ••••

PHILADELPHIA OPEN STUDIO TOURS THIS WEEKEND!

Artists are inviting anyone and everyone (not just moms)
to their studio spaces East of Broad Street this weekend,
Oct. 20 & 21.

That includes me! I have a decidedly
Halloween Theme in my studio and will be serving
Pumpkin Beer and other delights. Come for the beer,
stay for the art and conversation. Hours are 12-6PM.
If you have trouble getting in the front door, here is my
mobile phone… 267.984.9614. I hope you can make it!
ART and PHOTOGRAPHY at scaaaary low prices.

340 North 12th Street, Suite #329 (3rd Floor-follow signs)
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(Parking available in adjacent lot.)

(Door marked by spooky skeleton hand with flames.)

ALSO….

Opening for a GALA Celebration tonight at the
Church of the Holy Trinity at 19th from 5-8PM.
I have an oldie but a goodie in this Invitation Only
Show with select Philadelphia Artists. I am showing
Leucantha from the Sculpture Garden Series. The
Church is located at 1904 Walnut Street.

in01b.jpg

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gorey.jpg

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Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

-Shel Silverstein

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The Pumpkin

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, – our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who traveled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E’er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o’er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!

-John Greenleaf Whittier

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