It has been an enjoyable weekend attending the opening days of Elevation Gallery’s “Get Sm(art), Give Sm(art)” show.  There is a wonderful raffle of some beautiful paintings, and the chance to buy limited edition Christmas cards, all in the name of raising some funds for the Bow Valley Christmas Spirit Campaign.

For me, it was the launch of my book work at the gallery, and a real move forward.  Book arts are a pretty special interest genre, so it is a departure for the gallery to try something new, and a chance for my work to receive some different exposure.  The feedback has been positive so far.  I thoroughly enjoyed having my tools laid out in the gallery both Saturday and Sunday, demonstrating my process of creation to gallery patrons.  The results were two new books emerging.  The book finished on Saturday is called “Doorways”, and is a further visit to that theme begun with the concertina book “Door” last year.  This time, the book’s construction is with aged wooden covers to look like an old door, and pages of images I have photographed, drawn and painted of significant portals in my life.  The significance is not necessarily always physical, much of the significance of these portals has been symbolic. 

The best example is the carved doorway I photographed at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire eight years ago.  That photograph became one of the first paintings I made after changing my life and moving back to Canada in 2004.  From that painting, I created several drawings and a printing block.  One of the drawings eventually became my logo, and now adorns my business cards and stationery.  That portal came to represent a threshold for me, the symbolic crossing into a new life and a new understanding of myself and the direction I felt my life needed to take. 

Each of the doorways in that book carries meanings such as this.  Touching onto these memories, charting the pathway through my life that traced the lines between these portals was a moving experience, rather akin to creating a three-dimensional map of my life.    When I am creating something that speaks in an authentic voice, my spirit reacts to the creating.  My soul resonates, there is a chill-making excitement deep inside, responding to the truth being told by the creation.  “Doorways” is that kind of book for me, giving me excited shivers every time I turn its pages.  I have resisted the use of too much text in this book, retaining only the Marg Piercy quote I so love: 

     We seek not rest but transformation. 
We are dancing through each other as doorways.

The book almost completed on Sunday is the sister book to “Nightfall”.  The new book is also a star book, stitched with a coptic binding and called “Sunrise”.  Still a little work to do on that one, so I will share tomorrow.  All in all, it has been a productive and exciting weekend, and I hope you will stop into Elevation some time during December to see the results in person.

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