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2nd nature

at the Kelowna Art Gallery  2005
Linda Sawchyn, curator





This exhibition consisted of two installations.
Drift was in the Reynold's Gallery, and Release was situated on the 5' x 5' sandstone flagstones in the Rotary Courtyard. The two thousand numbered ceramic stones of Release were taken to a beach in
Victoria in the summer of 2006 and placed there permanently.






   
Diana Lynn
    Thompson






     
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Statement


Walking along the Nicola River, I am captivated by the stones. Their abundance, contours and colours awe me. Their dense, honed shapes speak to me. When I give my attention to   a smooth stone I feel calm, composed. Itís as if Iíve found something that is truly whole, truly complete, truly itself.
   
I have tried to understand my relationship with stone by recreating, out of clay and sand, the forms that move me. Physical touch Ė handling, pressing, making Ė has allowed me to identify with the weight, sensuality and resonance of stone. This project is an embodied work, a work that generates knowledge through the senses. The smell of wet clay, the taste of it, the heft and pressure of it in my palms has informed me, taught me. To make a stone is to momentarily be a stone.

A sense of overwhelming awe caused me to number most of the hand-made rocks in this installation. This was my method of comprehending the numbers of stones found along a shore. I needed to internalize what several thousand stones were like. How else to grasp the numbers? What does a million feel like, a billion? It has taken almost a year to make 2,000 stones. The numbering has humbled me, but with a feeling of gratitude.

I have collected naturally rounded stones from many places for this exhibition. Each stone was taken with awareness of the act of taking, and with a promise to return, in some way, what Iíve been given. Within the next year, Iíll go back to the shores Iíve walked. Iíll take the numbered hand-made stones
and leave them there.

Both Release (the floor works) and Drift (the wall works) are combinations of both real and made stones. By placing them together in patterns on the floor, or by hanging them on walls, their individuality is expressed; their imperfections become beauty marks, almost personal. These bare bones compositions are my method of honouring these stones, allowing their simplicity Ė their naked beingness  Ė to mean everything that matters. Their surfaces are smooth as human skin; their curves resonate with the forms of our bodies. We know ourselves in these shapes.

Physics has taught us that we are assemblages of whirling atoms, that the world we inhabit is continually in flux. One day the calcium in my bones with be dissolved in the earth, the minerals in my blood will be suspended in grains of sand. We are what is around us, inseparable. The stone in my hand is my hand.
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