Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One Size Too Small.

The trusty black placard, triptych on the right is called "you had to be there."

"the giving tree"

"I am out of your hands, I have flown"

"bring me to the water Lord, I sure am thirsty"
(wearing this flowy skirt in the water, I had never felt lovely)

the sign for the street, and the signing book.

"we are nowhere, and it is now"

"all your memories"
film on Cyr's lamp

"what comes after"
(there were animal bones under the floorboards)

"I have not outgrown it. . ."

details of this piece, me in the river on one side, Jo at sheep rock on the other

"sometimes you walk, sometimes you fly, sometimes you die"

the artist and her mother

"because I love you - that's all"
(a carcass of a crawdad, an inscription found in an important book at Powell's in Pdx, my back)

"get up when you are ready, walk away when it is time to go"
(these are my hands, by the way, and a baby bird we found in a cemetery)

I mentioned in July that I went on an art adventure with my girls, Cyr and Jo. The intention that was set for the trip was that eventually, Cyr would have a show of the work. That show happened last weekend, a culmination of the summer and of Cyr's unique photographic eye. Besides our trip to the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon, we went on several afternoon treks- finding fields to fly kites, old homesteads to explore, decayed road kill to cry over.

Cyr took her work further in this process than I think she expected. Her background is in documentary photography, she has her degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz and interned in NYC at the Indypendent where she focused on chronicling social justice, poverty, and activism. This summer, she embraced a more poetic side of her photography, something I believe is equally important. Not only did she take stunningly poignant shots, but she added a delicate aesthetic to them in presentation, by covering mats with lacy fabric by hand, by sewing polaroids to cloth with intricate stitches, by juxtaposing images of a decaying bridge with a shot of Jo and her violin walking on a rocky shore and then surrounding both by feathers and placing them in a drawer from an old sewing machine stand.

There were SO many shots from this summer that Cyr could have included in this show, but the poetHouse has only so many walls. While the pieces she chose to exhibit have a quiet melancholy about them (my favorite is a piece that combines a Polaroid of an old farm house with another Polaroid of a coyote carcass hanging on a barbed wire fence) there is also a whimsey and joy to "One size to Small." Cyr's show illustrates a smile in defiance to harsh realities, a softness in the face of steely expectations.

My photographs of the show don't do it justice at all, but the show tells the story of a beautiful summer, one filled with several transitioning lives walking on a commonly human path.


Anonymous said...

We get to be included in some of your work this summer and all of it is outstanding. You sure put togather a great page today. You are all outsanding artists;.

harem6art said...

these works in those beautiful frames are simply great!