Wednesday, August 19, 2009

toward a still life

Nothing ever turns out just how you want it. When I was carving this piece into the wall I faced many problems. During one of these periods I was sanding furiously, trying to overcome a particularly stubborn fact. A fine dust filled the gallery, and it was very beautiful to turn around and watch the slow waltz of particles in the light. I was reminded that in chemistry, a solution is when a gas, liquid, or solid is dispersed homogeneously in a gas, liquid, or solid. I felt grateful for the creation I was unwittingly making, but I was also aware that the dust would eventually settle, that this was only a temporary solution.

It was a real relief to clear away what wasn’t needed, to figure out that sometimes the solution is just rearranging the problem. In this case, working toward a still life meant turning my back on the thing that was most pressing for me at the time. Sometimes you just need to focus on something different.

John Ward Knox. Curriculum Vitae