This series (in my personal collection for now) is working through ideas and questions about falling, not falling (a description of walking, by the way), using photographs and situations to illustrate.
The text behind this first painting is the lyrics from “Shall we Gather at the River”, my paternal grandmother’s favorite hymn, which we sang every time we were together. Our family still sings it when we gather. My beloved brother, Roger, was battling cancer (and we didn’t know it yet) when I painted this, with a photograph I took of him at the top of a mountain in coastal Alaska, literally leaning into the wind, and not falling hundreds of feet down the precipice.
This piece was inspired by a scene witnessed on a walk with my cousin, Denise, near her place in coastal southern California. A headless sparrow was hanging by it’s feet which were still holding onto the strand of wire fence. Its head was on the ground below it. How did this happen? How come it didn’t fall? Only the head? And that song “His Eye is on the Sparrow” lyrics came to mind…
I sing because my soul is a happy
I sing because I’m free
For His eye, it is on the little sparrow
And I know He’s watching over you and me
Other snippets of text are buried in the painting… you have to lean in to read them!
This piece shows, in pictures, the way the word “falling” is simply not the verb to use to describe what happened to the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001. I won’t get into any of the conversations about who did it, or why (because I don’t know), but simply looking at images of other buildings that “fell” in one way or another, one has to acknowledge that what we all witnessed was a building that was “dustified” and disappeared in a way that no other building has, ever. What we see, and what we say about it, is important. I’ll simply leave it there.