Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meeting the Troll Beneath the Bridge

Bead artist Robin Atkins shared her reflection on a lecture by visionary artist and architect James Hubbell in a post called "Work of the Artist, The Space Between." Hubbell described the space between opposites as the place where energy resides and that this is where the artist works. Read Robin's full reflection HERE.

I have enjoyed living with this idea this week. As I shared in my previous post this week, I spent some time by the St. Vrain Creek playing with paint. The process was messy and I had no idea what the outcome would be. And just being in it was glorious.

At the same time, I had to let go of outcome, of my desire to make something pretty or meaningful, and just BE. I had to let go of my fear that I would make something that could not be classified as "art."

I chose to enter that space between known and unknown, spirit and matter, idea and substance and give way to that mystic process that stitches, melds, paints them together in the most unpredictable and magical way.

I agree with Hubbell that the artist is herself or himself the bridge between opposites. My take is that artists are the bridge between spirit and matter. When the artist is willing to enter the flow between the two, not just cross above, the object that he or she creates has magic. This art has the power to take the viewer beyond into that messy place in between shores where the unknown comes into being - to meet the troll beneath the bridge.

When you wade through the muck and vegetation and out over the slippery rocks into the capricious flow of the current, you find yourself in an exhilarating space, wild and untamable, scary but full of life. You meet the troll and learn his secrets.

And isn't that the art that shakes you out of your shoes?

For more inspiration from Robin, check out my interview with her HERE on my website.


Robin said...

Oooooh, I love the dialog that's going around on this topic. I wonder what Mr. Hubbell would think if he read our interepretations and meanderings? I emailed (website contact) him to let him know of my post... no response (yet!)... Anyway, what IS under the bridge? Maybe a troll, yes, but what if there is an ipiphany under the bridge, and angel of sorts???!!!!

Vicki said...

How interesting for Mr. Hubbell to know he is influencing the wide world of beading! I hope you hear from him, Robin!

Mightn't a troll be an angel in disguise? My idea of a troll is that which challenges us and scares us, but when we wrestle with it, we find our greatest treasure and strength there. So yes, both angel and epiphany.

Great questions!