I just finished a workshop with a group of very engaged students. Teaching always challenges first, then inspires me. Thinking about the act of creating and especially painting drew us together. We puzzled physically and mentally over how to make beautiful, moving artwork out of canvas wrapped around a board and smearing something like colored toothpaste on it with a few furry ended sticks. These brave souls trusted that by watching, listening, and trying things out, they would find a way to transfer the vision floating around in their heads onto that stark white surface. Now that is faith in action. Everyone learned something from their own efforts or from those of their fellow students. I had the pleasure of watching it all unfold.
The next day, I hung my new show Wild. The work is a reflection of my deepening foray into the mystery of Nature’s most intimate moments. In the wild or in my wild garden, I looked for those pure connected experiences when time slowed and I stopped. Startled into quiet, feeling Life running rich, complex and uncontrolled, it was right there in my gaze.
Of course, hanging the show itself was a startling experience too. A 30′ by 30′ metal wall blotted and blanched by its creator stood waiting for a new batch of art. Tall ladders were raised. Chain- hung blistering halogen lights stretched across the rusted expanse like an aerial moat laid between wired frames and magnetic hooks.
And wow, those hooks. Some were as large as a glazed Krispy Kreme donut, humming with an attracting force you could almost smell. It took my very clever, strong 20 year old son, after studying them, to separate those large magnets from each other’s grip. The curator of this show (who was apparently going to hang the show alone) kept murmuring warnings of snapping metal on metal and the potential casualties to fingers and flesh. When this veteran of the steel wall-magnetic hook wars made a calculated reach for a barely separated pair, there was a sickening metallic clap, a sharp intake of breath, then shouts for first aid. Twenty minutes elapsed trying to staunch the wound. The offending pair of cold silver donut-hooks rolled silently a few feet away.
Eventually, with all of the hanging crew alert, four of us separated the pair in a thrilling joint effort, so that the hanging could begin. The rest of the process was a nervous business involving slipping artwork, minor halogen burns and a couple of near falls off shaking ladders. Finally the show was up. Personally, I am grateful that it will not come down for a few months. That was a whole different flavor of wild.
Nineteen works of art, including 13 new pieces, mostly large, are now hanging in the very edgy office lobby of C3 Consulting, a cutting edge group of some of the smartest folks I’ve met in Nashville. This Wild show will be up until the end of July. If you get a chance, stop by during what normal people consider business hours, 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday. You may find something wildly appealing to take home. For more information visit www.kimbarrickstudio or FB Kim Barrick Studio.
As always, thanks for reading all the way to the end. Bless you for supporting my efforts to paint and write.