Through the Looking Glass


If you carry a frame, everything’s a picture.
And outside the frame, more picture.

And outside the more, more.

                by Ronna Bloom from The More
                      ronnabloom.com/books-index/

 

 

I had a friend who collected kaleidoscopes. He had a small collection, but I was fascinated and started my own collection. I love how they transported me ‘through the looking glass’, especially the teleidoscopes. They tirelessly frame, explode and rearrange the elements of my visual world, often inspiring me to explore my world differently. Sadly, my 70+ collection (photo above) is now down to only a handful (after the great downsizing of 2015) yet this handful is enough to keep the fascination fueled.

Circles

The chicken or the egg; I’m not sure which came first, the alluring beauty of the circle or exploring their many gentle qualities. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized how much the circle inhabited my art, both as a frame and an image.

Plato stated, in his ‘Seventh Letter“… the circle is ultimately a mental construct, an idealized form which doesn’t truly exist. … the circle has no equivalent material reality.”  As universal metaphor the circle represents; motion – as in the circle of life, orientation, grouping, relationships, unity and wholeness, infinity, potentiality, perfection, balance, harmony, beauty, to name just a few. (from The Book of Circles by Manuel Lima 2017)

And so, for me, they remain a wonderful mystery.


This is the first piece I that remember where circles started to show up. Overlay was part of series that launched my passion with making art.

Overlay (acrylic on canvas, 18” x 25”, 09 1972)

 

 

Through the 1980’s circles continued to appear.


Scooping Water from Zenrin Poem, 1981Wh
en I’m 64  (20” x 13”, coloured ink on paper)
Seasons  (11.5” x 14”, coloured ink on paper) and
Scoop the Water  (9” x 6”, pen and ink on paper)

 

 

 

A few years ago, I mind-mapped this question of circles hoping to find some kind of answer to this fixation of mine, but to no avail.
I soon noticed circular images and influences everywhere; the enzo, mandala, labyrinth, crystal ball, happy faces, the wheel; in science, nature, philosophy, visual art, poetry, music, industry, technology – everywhere.

 

Windows

Unlike circles, the appearance of windows in my art is no mystery, rather it’s a design choice. My use of windows is about framing the image as well as a tool to break up and break down images and ideas to see what happens.

Unlike most people, I don’t find travel at all compelling.

When the Moody Blues released their 1968 song; (Thinking is) The Best Way To Travel, I clung to that notion, and still do.
When I started using the internet, I called it my window to the world, and still do.

My art room window and My Tree painting (2017).

 

Through My Balcony Window  (13” x 10”, coloured inks, 1982)
This piece is from my first window series. As the title says, it was, in fact, the view from my St. George St 2nd floor apartment.

Windows are the openings in walls and let air and light and possibilities come through. Windows are also the frame for an image to help guide the eyes and illuminate different parts. ‘And outside the frame, more.’

 

About 12 years ago, we were introduced to the ‘new’ type of board games from Germany, Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne to name a few. The pieces for these games were printed on thick sheets of cardboard and needed to be popped out. The remaining sheet made a perfect template tool of evenly spaced ‘windows’.

For pieces like this one, I start with an arrangement of ‘windows’ using my ‘perfect template tool’ and fill in the blanks. Each window is free to break up or break down anything in any way and still remain coherent with the whole. It’s a very pleasurable way to make art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *