Monday, March 20, 2006
looking beyond the pale...sigh
Today I feel like I am arriving at the end of my journey...that may sound a little dramatic...but when you have an exhibit, ask any artist, it takes a lot out of you.
It's not just the time, the work and the intensity of a deadline...it's an emotional journey too.
I feel like it's the last day of high school...or that last day of work on a movie set...it is exciting, sad, and it feels good to sigh...
If any of you who are wondering why my show is called 'Beyond the Pale'...It's an expression that was used in my family when I was a child. (Remember my family is from England and we have lots of quirky sayings that have been passed on...)
It seemed a perfect name for an exhibit that would be stepping outside the comfort zone of how people view photography. I was exploring a variety of techniques in the presentation of these photographs that would be shown in a gallery where we exclusively exhibit black and white photography (and my handpainted photography in the past.) I needed to maintain the perimeters of the gallery...(no digital, no color photographs and all black and white photographs that are hand trayed on archival paper.)
I would keep the integrity of what we displayed at the galley by handpainting my black and white photographs with oils... but then I went on to explore layers of acrylic and watercolor paint and fabric, print and ephemera, mosaic, inks and collage, all merging together and embracing my images.
For those of you who are curious...here is an explanation of what 'beyond the pale' means.
Pale is a historic term for a pointed stake driven into the ground to form part of a fence. This meaning has been around in English since the fourteenth century. By 1400 it had taken on various figurative senses, such as a defense, a safeguard, a barrier, an enclosure, or a limit beyond which it was not permissible to go. With this usage, the word pale has nothing to do with the adjective for something light in color except that both come from Latin roots. The one referring to color is from the Latin verb pallere, to be pale, whilst our one is from palus, a stake.
In particular, it was used to describe various defended enclosures of territory inside other countries. The expression beyond the pale, meant outside the bounds of acceptable behavior. The idea behind it was that civilization stopped at the boundary of the pale and beyond lay those who were not under civilized control and whose behavior therefore was not that of gentlemen. The paling fence is significant as the term pale became to mean the area enclosed by such a fence and later, the figurative meaning of 'the area that is enclosed and safe'. So, to be 'beyond the pale' was to be outside the area accepted as 'home'.
And so...as I add the last touches and prepare the canvases and wood boxes for their unveiling I can't help but feel a sigh of relief. I'll be posting the exhibit on my website after it opens and I will let you know when that is up.
Posted by ac at 8:05 AM