coloured pencil on mylar, 42" x 14"
this life a boat
unmoored at morn
drops out of sight
and leaves no trace
Manzei, 8th century Japan
In the eighth century and in the 20th, water recurs as a metaphor for evanescence. Ukifune, a heroine in The Tale of Genji, personifies the idea of drifting on the waves of life: her name literally means “floating boat”. On a personal level, however, these drawings were made in reaction to a drowning.
Thus, a boat not floating but sinking – for young lives that dropped out of sight, leaving no trace but in memory. This tryptich on mylar attempts to capture the point at which poetry and life intersect and to delineate an internal response to the shifting circumstances of the human condition: our vulnerability
to the flow of time, which like the flow of water, propels us inexorably forward.
Hinting at movement and depth, the layers of mylar and its translucence allude to the physical qualities of water while the literary antecedents of the metaphor are spelled out in graphite.