s w i f t s & s l o w s: a quarterly of crisscrossings
Line by Line
Lyn Horton & Power Boothe
None of us can remember seeing our hands and feet for the first time. We began to unfold the layers of knowing, differentiating this from that. Extending our hands and feet had a purpose. The initial steps to communicating. Our interaction with the world became too complicated to let communication remain as single hand outlines painted on pitted dark cave walls. Language needed some kind of organizing principle in order to mean anything. Left to right. Right to left. Up and down. Down and up. Across. How to assemble symbols to declare, to instruct, to explain, to question, to exclaim, to simply say.
Somewhere in that evolution the grid appeared. Some say it is the way our brain is arranged. How to extend order to our internal and external cognitive environments.
Originally these grids were only dots and called “Ellipsis” as in dot dot dot. Dots then became lines. “Ellipsis” stayed. “Ellipsis” pointed to: More planes to denote. More spatial relationships to create.
On undetectably torn pieces of paper, the ruled drawn lines have some kind of tooth to grip. A wash or carefully brushed line can glide without falling into any textural dimples. The faint, nearly illegible grids are fences along which imagistic decisions depend. Questions arise about when to keep the small one-foot square surfaces cool or when to heat them up. When to scrape off the color or when to add it. Individual lines dominate or recede. They always coincide with the lines of the grid. They span the lengths of grid lines from one intersection to the next. They are whole. They exist on the sharp edge of the inch and a half wide razor blade that makes them with a twirl or a swipe. The lines are nurtured as the babes they are. And somehow disciplined and recalled.
The way the wind blows, the lines go.
Like leaves, like snowflakes carried by air currents, the lines land.
The scatter of the lines is totally methodical. Without method. The lines retreat from sequence. They occur intermittently, persistently and have equal importance. The lines are sought after without a chase.
We can run, skip, walk, ride, float or glide through the linear forest of colors, of blue and black and red and purple and yellow, and play hide and seek or tag, go anywhere we want to go. To pursue our dreams of fulfillment. To delight in the surprises of discovery. To be invited. Not pushed into the space where sheets of golden iridescence or opaque opalescence transcend their obvious limits. We can only know how we feel here. Because there is nothing to know. There is only what we can experience. Unexpectedly. Mysteriously attracted, we might never want to leave.
We are both artist and viewer in the viewing. The artist envelops our wonder and our intuition with his own. We stay alive in the company of his animated imagined community.
The artist uses his brain to extend his visions so that they can be noticed, studied, or rarely ignored.
Power Boothe’s work courtesy of Fred Giampietro Gallery