For Privilege of Sod and Sun
Often in my work, I have been inspired
by great literature and lately I have returned to a fascination with
the great American poet Emily Dickinson. My research began with the
book by Judith Farr titled The Gardens of Emily Dickinson.
Confined physically, Dickinson found in her garden the means with which
to develop a profound understanding of the most significant of human
conditions. Her themes include self consciousness especially in relation
to our own mortality, desire, the experience of time and the course
of life, pain and suffering, awe in the presence of the sublime and
unexpected beauty, love, sensuality and sexual experience, ecstasy and
despair. Through her imagination, she was able to realize as few others
have, the most liberated of lives.
I am not interested in illustrating Emily Dickinson but in creating
a visual form that expresses both the essence of the poetry especially
as related to nature and the poet herself. Someone has called this a
visual equivalent. I want to allude to the work and the poet. I want
to create visual metaphors where she has created verbal ones. The poet
is as interesting to me as the poetry. Her impatience with orthodoxy
impresses me. Her insistence on living her life on her own terms (deliberate
and conscious seclusion and aesthetic privacy as creative devices).
She learned her Emersonian lessons well– trust oneself, all things
exist for the creative mind, no institution or precedent or prohibition
is ever binding. The compression and fragmentation in her poetry strikes
me as particularly contemporary. Her humor is contagious. I can see
myself working with this material for a long time, possibly a lifetime.
Each – its difficult Ideal
Must achieve – Itself -
Through the solitary prowess
of a silent Life -
the Landscape listens
Much Madness is Divinest Sense