I was listening to Avivah Zornberg interpreting the Exodus story as one of awakening and freedom. She said that an important part of the Israelites being able to free themselves was that they had to be able to think differently about who they were. To rid their minds of the structure and beliefs, imposed upon them through slavery, about themselves and their lives
She said one way to free the mind was through play. Like allowing ourselves to color out of the lines. By being playful and joyful we let go of the rigid restrictions we or others impose upon us and the mind can go places we didn’t know existed. Like dreaming, new worlds and possibilities open up.
So in keeping with the season of freedom and awakening or rebirth, I sat down at my sewing machine, and starting with the image of a teapot on a stove, began to draw. Like stream of consciousness, or automatic writing except with images. When words came to me, I wrote them in, then meaningless squiggles to fill the space, which demanded to be filled.
When I was done and looked at it, I thought of ancient Islamic art and horror vacui, the need to fill in every space on a surface. I thought of the psychedelic art of the 1970’s. I can imagine the first person with a free motion sewing machine created something similar. It seems the natural thing to do with a line. I thought of the hundreds of jigsaw puzzles I’ve done in my life. But I also saw a freshness and spontaneity in the drawings. And although all the images in this piece are familiar to me, my aim is to go to an untapped part of me, to reach beyond the structure I’ve learned to work in and pull the unknown from the hidden pockets of my mind and heart.