Life of an artist

At the outset, there were the vivid colours of the seventies; they struck your eyes early. Then the paper came, and pencils of all hues. You drew, like everyone. But you continued. You drew houses, houses of any kind. You added one to another, building villages and towns, cities almost. Always the best, the nicest and the biggest, the most luxurious but isolated home was yours. A paper home, made of pencil lines and hope. You invited others to choose their house, sometimes you gave names to streets and places, to squares and lakeside promenades. You administered with line and eraser, but words, stronger, hit you. You learnt other idioms, filters against harm and calumny. You left everything you knew behind, transmuted your mind to resistance. Speech left you, abandoned to silence. There they were again, the images you saw so early. You took up the brushes, luciously convinced of doing right. Reality held out against you, matter won the battle over will. To give body to your work, make things palpable, you embraced the third dimension, sheltering that void. Translating what you saw into the visible, installing this visible in space, this, and nothing else, was your new race. Again, you went away, travelling continents. What you found was what you knew already. Yet it became consistent. You looked upon others as you looked upon yourself. Myths of men and nations, of one and the crowd. But always elsewhere, though the home is the world. You now need the single form, relying on its own strength, all in textiles, interwoven thread, line made matter. You move back to your roots, and drawing continues. Drawing, this outspoken reverse of words unspoken. Your drawing maps the world of what is possible.

S.W., 2007