I have been drawn to things past for as long as I can remember. Photographs, recipes, pottery, rocks and stones smoothed and worn by the crash of waves and the passage of time. Things that you can come back to again and again, knowing that they were once part of the daily rituals and observances of those who may (or may not) have been just like us. Who, at the very least, shared the same place on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Despite the extraordinary length of our Newfoundland winter this year, it remains my favourite season, intellectually if not practically, and after several non-wintery winters on Vancouver Island, I was sad to see its stark beauty come to a close.
So I’ve been ruminating on discontinuity lately. Disconnection, disjuncture, fault lines.fault line noun Geology. the intersection of a fault with the surface of the earth or other plane of reference. Origin 1865-70. fault noun 1. a defect or imperfection 2. responsibility for failure or a wrongful act 3. Sports. a) a ball that when served does not land in the proper section of an opponent’s court b) a failure to serve the ball according to the rules 4. Geology. a break in the continuity of a body of rock or of a vein, with dislocation along the plane of the fracture Winter … Warm knits and glimpses of the not so distant past. Cold hands and missed deadlines. Maple syrup and melted butter. Imperfection. Failure to serve the ball according to the rules. Break in continuity. Dislocation … Summer … Mala beads and glimpses of the not so distant future. Hand-written notes and submitted drafts. Iced coffee and (more) iced coffee. Embraced imperfection(s). Serving the ball according to (some) of the rules … Continuity resumed. Dislocation dislocated.
Visited a stunning retrospective exhibit of Mary Pratt’s work at The Rooms this week in St. John’s. One of the things I most admire about Pratt’s painting, aside from her talent for using colour and capturing light, is her ability to document everyday pleasure and its underlying darkness simultaneously. Her paintings capture “the stuff of life, the stuff that everyone touches everyday, the stuff that a woman understands” (Mary Pratt, 2012).
Morning (2010) by Mary Pratt.
Between the dark and daylight (2010) by Mary Pratt.
Caplin (1969) by Mary Pratt.
Eviscerated Chickens (1971) by Mary Pratt.
Dick Marries Moose (1973) by Mary Pratt.
For more on Pratt’s 50-year retrospective click here for links via CBC.