Saturday, May 27, 2023

Walking Woman

I first came upon Michael Snow's Walking Woman in New York City in 1976. Even then, I was mesmerized by her.

And now--all these many years later, she's right here in Kinderhook at The School: A Jack Shainman Gallery.

Here's the thing that captivates me the most about Walking Woman--she has no hands and no feet! I suppose they are just out of the frame and that this is meant to indicate motion.

But, the lack of a hand brings me back to a seminal incident in my childhood. I was five years old and inside a department store with my mother when I lost sight of my mother. I was scared and I wanted to hold onto her hand. And then, I saw a lady mannequin reaching out to me as if to say, you can hold my hand and so I grabbed a hold of her hand and held on to it--perhaps a little too enthusiastically, because then I realized that I had detached her hand from her body. 

No matter. I had a hand!

Well, that is, until a sales lady grabbed me and called out for my mother. After she arrived on the scene, there was a discussion about maternal duties and neglected children. I don't remember details, but what I do remember is that we were asked to leave the store and I was not allowed to keep the lady mannequin's hand. 

Sometimes, I still think about that hand.

Creative Friends--your prompt for this week is to reach back into the recesses of your memory and pull out some love lost. It could be the love of a person, the love of an object. Conjure up that memory of wanting to to see the dancing ponies at the circus or the time you were promised a trip to Coney Island that never happened. It might be that camp your sister went to but when your turn came, your family had moved away and you never got your chance. Or perhaps you wanted to keep the baby pig from the Shaker Village Farm but someone said no--you cannot take home the baby pig. 

Work with the memory. Write with it. Draw it. Paint it. Create a musical riff out of it. Just keep doing this. Be patient. Over time, you'll find that this loss will become your  own artistic trope, your very own signature.

Have fun!



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