Welcome to GIBBIN HOUSE!

When I first started this blog about the misadventures of a nascent author, I had only a small novel under my belt, titled Gibbin House. The building that bears the name is a fictitious postwar era safe-house, as many might have existed, and the London home of my motley crew of exiles. I could not anticipate then the degree to which I would join its ranks of writers and artists, but since publishing my book in 2011, I have had the greatest privilege of opening my own art gallery and of exploring my love of the written word through visual poetry and paper sculptures. Yet much like the girl who first started blogging two years ago, I suspect I don't know what I'm doing half the time. As such, Gibbin House remains a refuge for ramblings...and on occasion a haven for little triumphs.

Monday, June 17, 2013

JOURNEYS: "Paper Cuts" Exhibit at the Foundry Art Centre, June 28, 2013


Ever since sending off my two large installations, "Spelling Bee" and "Se Vende",  to St. Charles last week for the "PaperCuts" exhibit, I have been experiencing terrible pangs of anxiety. 

I keep wondering if it's because I'm worried about the state they will arrive in (being they've never traveled that far)?  Have I provided the right materials to display them?  Will they be hung correctly? Will they will make it back to me safe and sound in October?

And then I again, I wonder if my mind is really on something much more deep-seated...am I worried about how they will be received?  What would I do if someone wanted to buy them, would I be happy about it, or spin into another spiral of worry altogether?

And what if it's not any of the above?  What if it's because I am entering a new phase of my artistic life, which is my life essentially?  Starting this July, I will be participating in two separate gallery exhibits, in addition to unveiling a second piece for my upcoming novel "Humboldt's Riches" at ATELIER 1022.  I have left the safety of my own studio and have ventured out into the world.  I have no idea what reaction to expect.  There is as much responsibility in success as there is in failure...will I look back on this summer and see it as the monumental shift in direction as if feels to me now?  Is this the start of something or just a wave, a swell as occurs from time to time only to see things die down again?


I deliberate on all this from my seat at the dining table/computer desk in my living room.  Slanted rays of afternoon sun play on the palm fronds outside my window, balmy air pulsates through the mosquito mesh.  I am stationary, yet in motion...I am, I realize like my Anka in "Gibbin House", traveling without moving...Again, as so often in the past ten years, I find myself in her shoes, and it is brought home to me how very real my heroine is, and I love her all the more for it.  She understands what I feel just now.  As I enter this next chapter, I offer these lines:

"I pulled the covers over me, but my skin prickled from the inescapable chill that comes from lying alone.  I could not gather myself tight enough to feel solid and whole.  My stomach still seared from the coffee and now the astringent gin.  All the fluid in my insides rocked with the forward motion of the past week.  I lay inert, and yet my body was on a train, on a ferry, in a subterranean car, traveling without moving.
"I now feel most intimately that the process of traversing distance is an erosion of the spirit.  The thrill of change that accompanies the onset of a journey is a deception, the fearful attachment to outcome which makes adrenaline kick in a way not entirely un-pleasurable propelling the lie.  For a moment one feels positively alive.  One is duped into committing to the chaos.  One inhales the fumes, joins in rigid attack stances near sliding compartment doors.  One holds on feverishly as stuttering wheels grind to a halt.  One is titillatingly taunted by visions of missed connections, rerouted trains.  One presses on.
But after hours of vigilance and wide-eyed awake-ness, one adopts patience.  Or as it ought to be known, the self-congratulatory brother of fatigue.  Patience then gives way to indifference, and in time one becomes a heretic to the creed of goals and ends and satin-ribboned resolutions.  One stops caring about the names of foreign cities, stops seeking out their hearts from window seats.  Eventually one realizes they are all disfigured, all the same sketch of blasted glass and ruins and fire-retardant weeds, anonymous to the fickle gazes that graze them.  One drifts among them, a shipwrecked figure on Gericault’s raft, gaunt and delirious, running one’s arm through the air outside without hope or aim." (p. 36-38)



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