Augusta Sparks Farnum
Graphite, shellac, Pallidum* leaf, five by seven feet on hot press Waterford watercolor paper.
The many forms of water- tides, currents, rain, snow, rivers has held me this year. These images have been piling up, since my Photographic Residency on the Coast of Maine.
An afternoon on a tidal river - Maine’s great and mighty Bagaduce. In the silence, being watched by glassy eyed seals. They knew what was coming. As did the man who took me there. What was I waiting for- besides the pastoral scenes, held private in the back yards, leading to the water. Three currents clashed around me, with no warning. I was surrounded by Whirl pools. The land of sirens, their shrill call, their nashing teeth. Our motor turned off, the boat taken with multiple intentions. Days of rain in New Hampshire, the world sprouting mushrooms, creatures closer to animals than to plants. Swimming in the rain, with my eyes level to where the waters joined. Swimming in the ocean, with its serene surface, and crashing waves. Connected and pulling. Water that reaches into other lands, shifting the temperature, the smell, the light of the day. And now the snow. It has been a year of change, and at 44 I am learning to ski. Winter days of throwing my body down the mountain. Instructed to look up the mountain. And down the mountain. To register where I am, and where I have come from, and where I must go. I am instructed, it is ok to have fear, it will not be irradicated. It is about becoming aquainted with the fear and learning its name and where it lives inside my body. I must grow with the fear. It does not rule me. It accompanies with me. I can not help but look at the snow. Layered and cut and stacked and rolled with other bodies, both falling and soaring. And this layer of water, is only for now. The snow can change, it is guaranteed to change.
And all of these are, oh, so similar to the plaster canvases I have been making this year to leaf. Before the gilding, I draw across the surface. I allow myself to erase - not to erase, but to gouge out my marks. I cut away, extracting, eradicating which leaves a deeper trace of my hands. Adding plaster, the dry layers suck the water leaving crumpled snow, dried mud, over smooth surfaces, bubbling from the undercurrents.
Augusta Sparks Farnum
Graphite, shellac, Pallidum* leaf, five by seven feet of hot press Waterford watercolor paper.
*Pallidum is a rare metal that was discovered in 1803. Curiously enough, it was named after the asteroid Pallas, which in turn was named after the greek goatish titan - god of Warcraft, Pallas. Pallas was slain by Athena, who made goat arm gaurds from his skin.