Monday, August 22, 2011

Seeing Synchronicity

So I am sitting outside the other day under the tiny front porch, in the pouring rain, when I noticed these salt stains on the brick. Intrigued by their cell like shape, almost touching in places and or bleeding into each other, I carried these images back inside, and wanting a longer break from work went on to Facebook. The first image in my feed was this beautiful work of Erin Lawlor  [link here], part of a series she calls dans mes petits papiers. The hair in my arms stood up.  I really enjoy Erin's work; there is a lot of flow and light and the paper sings through.

dans mes petits papiers © Erin Lawlor
Almost next on my feed was a work by another favourite artist, Altoon Sultan [link here] of a new work "Bristles", very different in feel but using the same cell-like structure. Altoon paints with egg tempera on calfs' skin and the paintings are glowing gems. She talks about this particular work and her process on her blog,  August 15, A New Painting, "Bristles". I so like how they touch each other, and at first didn't even notice the cylindrical hole through.
Bristles by Altoon Sultan ©
Then I realized that John was also painting the same cellular shapes, only in his case it's pumpkins [link here]. This is a detail shot of an almost finished work called First and Second Prize. Again, this touching, and almost touching thing was happening.

Frist and Second Prize, detail, John Ballantyne ©

And finally I realized why it was so important to me. It's about our longing to touch, to be part of the whole. I love the promise inherent in the touching in these works, of there being room and space for all, of how it it possible for one to flow into another, about the light that surrounds us all. Cells make up our bodies and maybe our bodies are just cells in that bigger body, the universe.

 “When you get into higher math it emulates the nature of human beings. That you could see longing in mathematics, and elegance and grace. And then he showed me the configuration of an asymptote, the tangents and the curved lines, and the way that they came very close to touching...” (from  Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg  

Thanks so much Erin, Altoon and JB for giving me permission to use your work.


  1. Thoughtful blog, thank you. Love that Erin Lawlor image.

  2. Hi Jo, thanks so much, so glad you are enjoying Erin's work, fabulous isn't it.

  3. I love Erin's work, its beautiful


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