Sometimes on our south shore we’ll get these waves that don’t just come and go but rather, break through the sand and wash over it and form these inner worlds with pools and islands and peninsulas which eventually heal and go away with the tide. It was late afternoon. The sun was low on the horizon. Long shadows sculpted the shore. I was in awe of the beauty of the place and of the drastic alterations that take place in the landscape in the blink of an eye here. For me, this realization re-emphasized that I should take nothing for granted. So even when I was really tired and thinking, ‘Oh well, I’ll come back tomorrow and take this or that shot’ I thought ‘I can’t count on anything being the same. I have to act now because it won’t be the same tomorrow. It won’t be like that even beyond this literal picture frame. It will never be the same again… It can’t.”
Janet Woodcock began pursuing her passion professionally in 1980, studying at both the Art Institute of Boston and the New England School of Photography. She mastered her craft while working for several newspapers doing free-lance assignments. In the mid nineties, she decided to devote all of her energy into her own projects. Janet’s commitment to “the traditional craft of photography” is evident in her past and recent work alike.
I felt instantly nostalgic and homesick when I saw this photo. It resembled a place I used to spend a lot of my time at in Boulder writing. The first thing I was drawn to was that the flow of the water seemed to drift outward toward sea, rather than inward toward shore. This added to the sense of nostalgia I felt. It was as though the part of the water that had drifted away was trying to find its way back home; trying to get comfortable again. And for me as a songwriter, that personally translated to my leaving my hometown and always having a lingering urge to go back; struggling to find my place and reclaim the authenticity that I feel I've lost over the past couple of years. I looked at the image briefly and just remembered the feeling of its initial impact on me. The moment I started the song, I didn't look at the photo anymore. I just let the song go where it wanted to go, and where my inner sense of personal longing and melancholy wanted to take it. The song brings me to so many different corners of myself. Something about it seems to resonate very deeply within me, and builds upon itself to take me on a journey through sadness and hopelessness, to clarity and expansion.
My first reaction to the Dance was that it was seductive and beautiful but I had nothing to hold onto. It elicited a sense of calm in me. It was about the ocean. I titled my sculpture “Holding Light.” It was totally intuitive, not conceptually driven at all. My piece is about the sifting of water and light.
The day I received this music I felt dark and wanted to play it in a small closet—to listen to it underwater. I felt my body respond from the inside out with a sense of melancholy and being trapped. I felt a sense of loss. My thoughts and images were of water, canoe, morning, tight spaces, memory, past & present. The music, to me, was about how water can create a trap for you or give you freedom depending on how you chose to look at it.
The props I chose: ocean- not being heard or seen but feeling as if one is drowning but also a place if one chooses to float and escape the sounds from above. the shower being another representation of that but also the desire to wash oneself of something. the slip- for the felinity, sensuality, motherhood and frailty of it all. I love the look of the dress when it is wet. it signifies to me something of someone who has lost a sense of normalcy as she gets in the shower with her clothes on. Preoccupied with something greater than the present moment.
The window represents time a look into a room that goes on forever. Also it is usually a window that we look through to see the water when we are underwater but in this case the window was where the water was being held offering a different perspective.
I chose all these props because it aligned in my mind with the story that was being told. At times I am not even sure of the story I’m telling until after the fact. I believe now watching this after it was created I can see myself seeking something beyond my control, experiencing loss, the loss of time, motherhood, space, understanding, and control. Seeing myself in a new way seeing a reflection of someone I was or will become.
Tara Rynder is an interdisciplinary video and dance artist who layers performance with visual art, remixed sound scores, spoken text, video, projection, site- specific performance and film. She creates as a choreographer, collaborator, and cinematographer, performances or environments that allow and encourage the viewer to become an active participant. It is her belief that viewing art is an active experience and in creating this experience her performances hinge on the belief that without the viewer the performance could not take place. Tara explores themes of intimacy, grief, and loss and turns them around to find perseverance, struggle, hope, and joy.
The dress elicited fragility in the face of convention. It felt youthful but attempting to be more…like a girl trying on her mother’s dress. I felt the temporal nature of living in society. That this moment and all that is dreamed of it will change to new moments with new expectations and new requirements. I also felt something about the fleeting nature of fashions. When the paper dress was first delivered, I immediately felt a ‘story’ coming about a girl going to a party, a cotillion or something like that. The piece gave the impression that this might be a debutante’s coming out gown. And it seemed retro, so I was immediately drawn to vintage ingredients. I wanted to express the sense of the paper, the color and the shape. The ruffles gave the impression of carnations from a florist, so that was my focal heart note. As the dress was retro (it seemed mid-twentieth century) I thought that the historical reference of aldehydes and a slightly animalic drydown would speak to the perfumes in vogue at the time. I wanted to create the perfume that represented the dress itself as well as to create the perfume that the “wearer” might lavish on themselves while wearing the dress. In this way, the perfume IS the dress as well as the person who wears it.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is a true underground force in niche perfumery. DSH, as she is called by her devoted following, has been working with aromatics for the past 26 years and is a pioneer of the American indie perfumery movement. She has developed many innovative concept perfumes and worked with top designers to consult and create exclusive perfumes. Beginning her career as a painter, Dawn came to perfumery in 1991 while working at Boston’s famed ESSENSE Perfumery (on Posh Newbury Street). She developed her talent for creating perfumes based on fine art principles, and since the early nineties, began developing her innovative lines of ready-to-wear artisan perfumes under her own label (*including DAWN Perfumes at BARNEYS NEW YORK / Tokyo, Isetan, TOMORROWLAND, and other niche boutiques with Japanese design partners, Undulate Labs) while consulting for niche marketers, such as Luckyscent, Indiescents, Flora Napa Valley, Calypso, Jules & Jane, Zents Spa Collection, and many others.
Dawn’s newest collection, “Art Projects”, is the concept line that she has been creating in her studio for the past few years combining a synesthetic approach to perfume design and creating aroma-art expressions for Denver Art Museum, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), the Dairy Center for the Arts and her own exhibitions. It is a way to be continually challenged, designing and expanding her horizons, and making her statement.
I was struck by the beautifully raw, and fragile nature of the music. I felt a sense of circling, retracing and uncertainty wrapped and held by knowing. The idea of a dress came to me and the word “Begin.”
As a child, I was enthralled by mud and things that flew. I can recall creating huge nests, shelters of fallen branches and moss- covered stones, and the joy of walking through furrowed fields in autumn to find milkweed pods, so I could crack them open and watch the feathered seeds soar. This is where my passion to create began. Tattered paper, weathered stone, beeswax and salt, woodsmoke and fireflies. All of these have been gathered into a life of making something you could wrap yourself in, climb into, or simply hold in the palm of your hand. My hope is to inspire, through assembled bits of things collected, a simple moment that makes you pause and consider fragile discoveries, and that which you know. And perhaps, one day, run unabashedly after all that you love…
In one word this dance is fluid. I loved watching the dancer and imagining what it must be like to be her and to have your art be your body and it’s movement. So my initial reaction was one of awe of how different this is from what I do. And then also envy because I would love to use my full body to express myself. There was a great tension within the dance because of her great ability to move contrasted against the small space she was enclosed within. the primary emotion from that tension was wistfulness. She had the freedom to boundlessly create the boundaries of the external walls. The dance also seemed to be very much about being female. I can’t imagine that same dance performed by a male dancer. It seemed, somehow, integral to being a woman.