Vienna – Los Angeles

I started painting this one just after my friend Fiona had given me the Live Aid (1985) DVD for a Christmas. I’d forgotten how much I loved Ultravox as a teenager, and it was nice to be reunited with this old friend, especially the song Vienna. So, because I listened to this song about, oh… 7 or 8 million times while painting this hanging, unfortunately, that is the name it got!

This hanging was painted for Glen, a Director of Photography (cinematographer) for major motion pictures in Hollywood and around the world. I wanted this hanging to represent a reel of film – each shutter opening to capture something different, to capture a small section of his life. Although this is one of my smaller hangings, it is one of my most symbolic. This hanging now resides in his house in Los Angeles (Hollywood Hills), California.

The border of this hanging represents a reel of film. Film also represents movement, going forward, as well as the importance and passion for capturing the essence of things (moving or still, on film or in memory). Different colours on the border represent seeing a different colour (so to speak) every time your soul looks through the lens, and how we’re constantly changing and are not even the person we were 30 seconds ago (well, at a cellular level, more so with growth, we can look at the same thing 5 years down the road and see something different, better (hopefully) or something we once clung to and now have become free from). The same colours may come around, but with each pass, we’re different, or they are different. We are more vibrant, and thus as a reflection of ourselves, they are too. Essentially different. The essence of change. Wow… that a lot for a bunch of rectangles hey!

Top square. The seer (as in see-er, one who sees). I’ve only used this image once before on one of my earliest hangings, and it is interesting to see how much it has evolved (better, deeper, more layers). This ties into the border a great deal, in regards to how one chooses to see the world. Half full, half empty (or fully full as I say – half full of water, half full of air… just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there… sheesh!). Glancing up at whatever it is you believe moves the cosmos or having a universe of creative emergence glance upon you occasionally (yeah… she’s cute AND deep.. I know, hard to be me…). For me this is the visual that comes to mind when I think of the quote, “Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth” and is thus the quintessence of this image. So, you can go deeper with this square and revel in the fact that your questions were the universal questions asked by generations of seekers and the insider status that comes with a being a part of a lineage of seekers (for whatever it is you wish to seek); or it can be the ponderance of the fact that (so says Ken Wilber) the universe is only 12 billion years and scientists consistently show that 12 billion years isn’t enough time to produce a single enzyme by chance, so something other than chance must be giving rise to the ordered universe yada yada yada. Course, it can also just be a dude staring at the sky taking a light meter reading as well. At the end of the day it is whatever the person looking at it wants to see.

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This was the 4th hanging I did (originally for Andy and Fiona until that whole couch fiasco – see 2 Tigers for details). Fiona challenged me to show more of my own essence through this one.

Top Row, Left to right:

The bear claw print is used by native cultures as an omen of good luck.

The second square has to do with an otherworldly encounter I had feeding sparrows with a stranger in Paris in November 2000. I was traveling with one of the best companions that ever accompanied me on a trip, Timothy Findley’s book Pilgrim. Art completely imitated life as happenings in the story began to be the happenings around me. Sentences like, “We are not free to choose what attracts our attention. It chooses us. This way, I have been chosen by you” and “Divide the human population in two, Pilgrim would write of another encounter, and there you have them, the millions who never connect” jumped right out of the page and shadowed me wherever I went. Amazingly enough, I got to meet Timothy Findley a few months before he died. I brought my raggedy country swept copy of Pilgrim hoping he would sign it for me. I told him of my encounter and how it mimicked what happened in the book. He was thrilled and told me the story of how that particular passage came to be (as he wrote most of Pilgrim at his estate in France), and signed my book, “For Marjorie, with mutual memories of the Sparrows of Paris! Be well.” Indeed, “For the sake of having a memento of our encounter.” Touché Mr. Findley, how I miss your voice! The picture is really an embodiment of the stranger (Annie Dillard writes, “As a stranger is the friend of another stranger on account of their strangeness on earth.”) Touché again!

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