I mentioned yesterday that ideas and images seem to come into my world exactly when I need them. It’s like when you are thinking of buying a yellow car and all of a sudden all you can see are yellow cars. I am working on a new rug and thinking about the role of text in it–its placement, its relationship with colour and the other images on the rug. This week I discovered Ed Ruscha and quoted his musings on using words in art. Then as I was actually hooking the letters on the rug, I encountered Taryn Simon on Wachtel on the Arts. There is very little in the way of contact with the outside world at our cottage, no internet or cell and the Globe and Mail is one and a half hours away. However, I do have the CBC when the radio is behaving, and it makes ALL the difference. I think Eleanor Wachtel is a national treasure and I save all her interviews with authors as podcasts so I can listen as I hook. My reading list is generated by listening to Eleanor. I have discovered Maggie O’Farrell, Rose Tremain and countless others through Eleanor’s gently probing questions. And every once in a while she will have the most poignant interview with an old favourite like her recent surprising talk with John Le Carré. I don’t always catch her program on the arts–but this in-depth interview with a most interesting conceptual artist is definitely worth a second listen. Simon, as it says in her bio, investigates the impossibility of absolute understanding and opens up the space between text and image, where disorientation occurs and ambiguity reigns.
Alex Colville died this week. A large print of his painting To Prince Edward Island hangs where I see it first thing every morning. When we saw the real thing in the National Gallery we were surprised both by its relatively small dimensions and the overwhelming power of the image. I have had versions of his work with me since I can remember. Here are the two I love most; it is a visceral attachment.