Artist Statement | Braille
Humankind has looked into the indigo deep of the night sky since before time found a name. This universe of darkness is mysterious, alluring, and by the very inaccessibility of its nature, invites space for intimacy. Darkness is a doorway for the imagination, our own uncharted universe quiet within us, waiting to enter communion with the infinite.
To lay one’s head on the dark earth, to feel her heartbeat in tune with your own as you gaze upward towards the door to eternity, is to surrender to the infinite in oneself.
The heart is our own mysterious opening to other worlds, to those things we cannot see, but feel. To those things we imagine. It is by the faith we hold in our hearts, by those daily acts of courage, the necessity to continually stretch out our hand in the dark, that we move toward each other in intimacy. It is our inner light that penetrates the darkness of the unknown. It is by our courage and our willingness to open our hearts to feeling, to touch, and ultimately to the unknown, that we can overcome blindness in our selves.
We all, to some degree, suffer the wound of blindness. It is in our soul essence that we share with the world around us, that we find near perfect sight. Before words, before thinking, there is a simple, deep response, a feeling in the heart that recognizes truth. I wish, in these pieces, to speak to that place.
The Braille that forms the ground of this work, is my own poetic text composed and then translated into individual sheets. I work in translucent layers of oil glazes over this ground to transform the text into a landscape evocative of space and the cosmos. The text you cannot read, but perceive, is indicative of the illusion of the world of the senses. There is always more to the world than meets the eye. One must be willing to explore deeper realities to approach the universe of mysteries.
O Orpheus! you the first singer of holy songs you who charmed oaks and moved the stones
sing through us whose music made wild beasts to lay down
Though the earth suffers
though seas and temperatures rise
and somewhere rebels lay to waste another empire
though gentle men
in back alleys are beaten at gunpoint
though we could not save her
From the light we sing
stand and sing drawing in and out one coherent column of air
all hearts aligned invisible beating for one moment
men together making harmony
Though there is sadness in the world we are singing
this act a laying down of arms this place safe
Music sweet on the tongue
here we are brothers drawing breath drawing you in
Together the lift the fall
the stopped breath
Listen this too is our offering
what you come for by this touch the hardest heart unfastened
the body’s armour unbuckled
long held tears loosed
by the beneficent chord unfettered free
aching with what brings you alive by each note of beauty struck and made
whole again renewed this fragile song of heart
out of empty air together joined in one sublime utterance
sustained as far as longing can reach on and on the one note that will save your life