Ten years later…in artwork.
I felt like I was drowning so I taught myself to swim, albeit against the tide. I coached myself from a bird’s eye view. I flew away from my old home, watched the roofs blow off, all the words fly out. Then the house itself was thrown up in the air and silently split apart.
On the ground I found myself surrounded by empty boxes, unable to contain anything because there was no sturdy structure left. The mortar gone, the sides had now fallen to the ground. Behind they left a pleasing shape, the plan and potential for a new form that could be erected. Alas, the boxes stayed flat, empty.
I turned my attention to the massive vacant space around me. Standing in the void itself looking up at the walls that remained. ‘Melancholy and beautiful’ was how I described my obsession with facades to others. I wanted to find the evidence that there was something beautiful there before it got gutted and covered up with something glossy, flimsy and rushed - something doomed to collapse prematurely.
I stayed for a while, too long, and became intoxicated by the rubble, the broken things, the decay. I collected the parts, sorted, filed and nurtured them all. I felt a responsibility to put the house back together again. I did so with a patchwork of papers and words, mostly other people’s words.
In retrospect, I realize I am still trying to find the beauty in the ruin - to finish the design of a broken tile in my mind’s eye. To duplicate it. Replicate, flip, reverse until I have a pattern, a lovely structure again. I’m looking for the peace of mind that comes with symmetry. Yet accepting that we all have to live with the split, the fact that the broken is reflected in the whole - and the contrary.