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Kunst

Groundlessness

By Bill Harrison

 



I used to put outlines around everything in my drawings. Once, while looking at a still life display, a college art teacher helped me to see that lines don’t actually surround most objects. Changes in color or tone differentiate one object from the next. Or sometimes not even. Shadows and light variations can allow one thing to melt into another. Still, a part of my brain looks for the clear line between one thing and another. Eva’s new print demands that I see the world without separations. At first look I find the image jarring. I feel a sense of groundlessness. I begin to search and question. What am I seeing? What is in front, what is in back? Chaos kicks the order-seeking part of my brain into overdrive as it looks for beginnings and ends. But before I can find any clues of solidity an openness starts to arise. A clashing area of contrasting shapes becomes a shadowed niche between river rocks. Abstract white shards become splashes of light reflecting off of granite globes. My grasping mind begins to fall away as I feel enveloped by the flowing water, light yellow grasses, and smooth rocks. I perceive each element only because of its particular relationship to the other elements which surround it. This image teaches me to see in whole rather than in parts. Compulsive looking is discouraged, or maybe just given a break. Here in this sacred landscape space, a new form of perceiving awakens.

San Francisco, January 2021

 


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