This is the work of my dear friend and collaborator, Eve Nettles. Her mind is an endless well of newness, of art, of beauty, and her art is filled with thoughtful intent and evidence of brilliance. She uses some of the most unassuming media (drywall, papier-mâché, wall paper, fibers and fabrics) to infer meaning through sculpture. The pieces above are part of a body of work entitled 'Lodging Coerced'. She used paper pulp, molded into into the corners of her current home, to give voice to that phenomenon which is essentially the emotional, human connection we build into the spaces we inhabit. Heart strings are somehow tied to places and homes, and we carry those with us, for the rest of our life, though we do not carry the dwellings themselves.
This is more than just a commentary on the importance of a childhood home or the room I gave birth to my oldest daughter in, though those are such meaningful, emotional places for me... over the course of our brief time knowing one another, Eve and I have talked, grown close, told each other our stories, shared our burdens, and seen such surprising gifts come from our time spent together as collaborators and sisters, not only in work but heart. Themes have begun to emulsify and we are aware of the hurts we tenderly share, and one thing that we seem to continually come back to is this lifelong struggle between longing for permanence and experiencing impermanence. Along with that, though, is also the longing for change, for new growth and life, and yet finding one's self, at times, unable to change. These are deep threads that weave throughout the tapestry not only of my and Eve's life, but it seems, so many of those I have come to know in the course of my life. And I think this is an element of Eve's work that I deeply respect. It is not only beautiful, but it carries so much weight, so much truth.
She is one of so many friends that I am blessed to have in my life, who are creative, generous yet humble with their wisdom, sources of hope and the reality that tomorrow is always a new day, there is more beauty to be taken in, more exploring to be done, more growing and more grace. These people remind me that though the struggle of literally just getting through today is real, I am surrounded by and get to enjoy the company of friends who share their life with me. Eve, like so many others, brings light into my life. I hope you enjoy these pieces that she graciously allowed me to photograph, both on gallery display, and in an open field, in the middle of winter, eldest daughter with us, exploring the landscape and feeling like little girls again. We left with rosy cheeks, flower and branch souvenirs, and photographs that will be part of our next offering of prints. If you have not yet had a chance to visit the site where we share our collaborative work, take some time to visit Nettles + French, and consider purchasing some of this beautiful work for your own space. Perhaps it will be one thing you can bring along with you as you journey from place to place, and will remind you of your own heartstrings.