People whom I meet at the gallery soon find out I like to tell the back stories of some of my work. It’s enjoyable to me to tell the story but even more to hear the listener’s reaction and then an extension to the story. Here’s the back story on “Hildegard”
St. Hildegard was, as I understand it, a nun or religious woman in the middle ages. A devout Christian and educated, she had an extraordinary talent for writing sacred music. Gregorian Chant, religious themed operas, hymns etc. To this day, many of her compositions are used in traditional church celebrations.
The really extraordinary thing about St. Hildegard was that she suffered from migraines and is in fact the patron saint of those suffering from migraines. In a time where not only was there little medicinal relief but also very little understood (and many time misunderstood, think witchcraft and possession theories) about migraines she pushed through the almost daily and debilitating pain to create some truly beautiful art. What an inspiration!
Drawing Down the Moon
Cathy Cowen’s latest series takes a look and one could say a position on women, their burdens and strengths. Her exploration of daily “women’s work” raises the mundane to the lyrical without “prettifying” it. Bearing burdens on their heads, gleaning the fragments of nourishment from the field, riding out the edges of life or sharing common ground with other women. These are the stories she uses to tell a small part women’s lives. “Drawing Down the Moon” is a powerfully strong piece that calls to the deepest part of our souls whether woman or man.
Who has not had those moments when from deep inside us we need to growl and wail at the universe.
Destruction-Reconstruction, Stan Book
What I find striking about Stan Book’s work is that although there is an obvious collection of disparate parts in his work, it is his eye and skill that has connected them into a cohesive and unified whole. So much work presented as collage or assemblage lacks the wholeness that characterizes his welded metal work. Whether he is choosing to deconstruct a utilitarian metal pipe and re-assemble it into a tower of faceted vistas or transforming a cast off metal stamping into the mythical Man of Steel,
Man of Steel, Stan Book
Book’s hand and vision ferry the material into the realm of sculptural art and lyrical reality.
Adventure on Mingus Mountain