I began this blog to commemorate a special friendship, my brief time with Alberto Replanski and lessons learned at Living Stone Studio.
As of the end of this month October 2010, I finish posting. I will let Salon~unidad be, eventually in good time I will remove the content and delete the blog.
Further installments of A Liger‘s Tale and CSL Files 217 will continue to be published elsewhere.
Thank you, Gracias and Merci— for visiting and for reading ~ Erika
At a cafe today in our Village, I was catching up with online digital tasks since the last two weeks I have been driving off Lulu Island to Annacis Island to attend piabschool.
POW is a program for women who are interested in the trades. PIAB, UA 170‘s private school provides an opportunity for women to succeed in a career of their choice within the piping industry by offering excellent training in a supportive working environment where only 4% are women.
From the get go I knew I wanted to weld. I still have 4 weeks to go and everyday I ask myself: is this what I want to study and work at in the years to come?
At Bean and Beyond in Steveston, in between checking websites and waiting for data transfer I read ART revolution by Lisa L. Cyr where she writes about transcending boundaries:
“From 1908-1914 two pioneers; Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked collaboratively in search of an alternative form of expression, a different approach to seeing and interpreting the world. With their efforts, Cubism, an artistic vision that allows for multiple viewpoints to be shown simultaneously, was born…..In addition the Cubist movement gave birth to a more tactile approach to picture-making….under Cubist theory, pictorial reality became multidimensional expressed in multimedia format.”
I used to chide myself severely for not ever settling on a particular medium. It seemed I could not quell the desire to join together numerous elements to make a picture. I understood Marcel Duchamp‘s, Nude Descending Staircase since I had experienced fragmentation, culminating in 10 moves by the time I was 13. So Duchamp’s depiction captured well-known feelings that I had contained for most of my childhood. That life was dubious and unstable accompanied by a haunting notion of unpredictability. Searching for meaning in a world of chance occupied me which later helped develop full-blown existentialism that I chose as my world view for a period of time.
Underground shifting is about perceptions in motion where things are placed in a random order to create something new or unknown. It is subjective to the last degree which is largely what gives it appeal. I end up feeling that when change occurs in life it might look somewhat like this. Non-sensical and heavy laden with meaning with an inkling of nothing in particular at the same time, it is somewhat unsettling as change takes place and often mentally painful.
With 13 other women I sit in the shape of a circle to redefine or refine a path, a way that I have been going. There are individuals I have met at the school that have given me a strong sense of wanting justice in the labour movement for men and women and have acted according to their convictions to achieve lasting change. I am challenged and inspired to look further than my immediate path by listening to a person’s story.
At the end of the day it may not all make sense like Underground shifting yet what is important is to stay on the path even if you are on the loose shoulder slipping a little. Eventually you will notice an order occurring and you will hit a point when you see clearly an isometric design in the midst of frayed disorder.
“Do you have a price list” she asked
“No, no price list” she answered, the beautiful launderer’s eyes sparkled with curiosity and a snicker escaped her shy smile.
The environment was pleasant enough. Live plants in the window and comfy sofas made it feel like a corner of a neighbours living room for your laundering pleasure. Stacks of laundry piled high in plastic bags lined the back wall. By weight the laundry told the launderer how much it would cost. It was a secret in the end since 1 extra short-sleeved tee-shirt with a couple of pairs of socks and two long johns would break the bank for some in Nimato Village.
Nimato Chinese Laundry was an original from way back. It had been owned six times over by Japanese, Chinese and Philipino and Malay families for the last 25 years. A succession of immigrant families had exchanged and washed their hands of the establishment usually owning and running the joint for an average of 4 years.
Benji was watching the ceiling fan as Ricka wheeled the weeks laundry in. It was the first time they had tried this laundry mat and Ricka was grateful for the overhead fan that kept Benji transfixed and stuck to one spot while she separated the lights from the darks, Benji got down on his knees on the dirty tile floor directly below the fan. It had a hypnotic effect on him like the wipers on the bus and the large brushes at the local car wash, his focus was acute when it came to movement and spinning objects.
“Benji love, get up off the floor it’s dirty, go sit on the sofa” she told him.
He remained silent. His intensity caused Ricka to look up to the fan to see if there was something she could see that he was seeing she wanted to understand his fascination with movement. The fan spoke a low drown as it turned, until it came to a slowing pace and then to a full stop.
“Gone” uttered Benji. “Yes, all finished” replied Ricka.
Benji’s attention was caught again by the dryers with windows that swirled colours around. He pressed his face up to the glass and said:
“Ouch, oucchhh, ouwwwwy, look” he said. “Mummy, look”
Ricka was busy shoving in the darks and lights into the last available washers.
“Man it’s busy here, does everyone come to Nimato to do their laundry on Mother’s Day, holy cow” she felt tired….
The trek downtown to ‘Small Talk’ on east Cordova took it out of her most weeks. It was a 2 good connections and a skytrain away from Nimato Vil. She had gotten used to the sporadic service from Nimato to the DES. Following through on what she knew was a good thing for Benji she packed a bag with everything each day and dropped him reluctantly. Every time she walked away from him she cried. He waved goodbye through a tiny window and she pretended to be happy and smiled at him until she couldn’t see him anymore.
Passing the usual characters on Cordova Street, Ricka walked to the bus and hopped on drying her tears. Today off to the workshop on ‘assertiveness training’, which she had little desire to learn about. It was easier being quiet as a mouse and lurking in the shadows than having to to deal with people and their demands. She thought that being assertive meant being someone who was mean and selfish. Ricka felt this one didn’t apply to her but she did it anyways reluctantly.
“Benji no love, shoes off sofa” Ricka chimed. “So-fa, sssooo-fa, sooooooo-faaaa” mimicked Benji
Benji would latch on to her s’s and would perseverate and echo back to his Mum the sounds over and over again. Ricka learned this was called echolalia, and it was one of his favorite pastimes, a constant repetition of everything spoken echoed back to his Mummy.
Ricka flopped on the comfy sofa and Benji ran towards her full tilt. They giggled together while giving each other a big hug. His cheerfulness and energy gave her a momentary lift. She stared at the TV and felt a little comatose, the weight of her tiredness was getting the better of her.
“6.00 dollar pease” said the beautiful launderer.
“I only have 4.50, can I come back with 1.50 tomorrow?” asked Ricka
“Ok, you leave 1 piece of laundry and then pay me back” she said
“Yes of course I will, I promise I will come back tomorrow before you close to pay the rest.” Ricka replied
“….and don’t forget money for soap, ok” she snapped. “Right” said Ricka
“So that is 3.50 you owe girl” she quipped
Ricka turned to go to find Benji who was glued to the dryer watching the colours swirl. He moved his hands around tracing the shape, cocking his head to one side.
“Mummy look, rainbow” he said excitedly
“Yes Benji a rainbow, how beautiful” said Ricka
“Bootifool…..” Benji copied her word.
Benji took his Mummy’s hand as they began to leave the chinese laundry, Ricka turned back to look at the beautiful launder and said:
“I will come back to pay you, I promise I won’t forget” yelled Ricka
“I know you will, you good girl” replied the beautiful launderer.
the latest update with the fund raising efforts!
Alberto said that people talk without saying much. As I perused twitter last night, it seemed so. Sometimes I wish we lived in a world where there were more pictures and less words.
Words produce noise, noise gets in the way of seeing and hearing. Many days I only want to meet with silence.
Alberto listened to people, he listened to empty talk and words that seemed full of promise. It was best to wait and see what words would reveal of a person, whether they were interested in art, the value of it, interested in what he was saying in his work.
To the individual artist what matters is; that people give us a chance to speak through our art. When we give time to listen we are demonstrating our interest and intention. When we demonstrate our interest and intention we are giving importance to a person’s story thereby acknowledging that there is value and meaning to their existence.
“….to emphasize drawing and line (designo), above the use of colour (colore)”
“In the end learning the language of colour is really about learning to see”
—Phillip Ball, B R I G H T E A R T H, Art and the Invention of Colour