Monday, May 14, 2012

Clyde Connell- "Lake Stilts"

Lake Stilts 1982
Mixed Media
60 1/2" x 106"

Having grown up in New Orleans,  Clyde Connell's "Lake Stilts" makes me think of the prototypical, top-heavy Louisiana lake and beach houses.  Their fragility and precarious "pick-up-sticks" quality  is even more apparent in the post-Katrina photo below. Connell lived on Lake Bistineau in northern Lousiana and was inspired, in part, by the stick-like structures and trees around the lake.
Lake Pontchatrain boat houses
New Orleans, LA
(post Katrina)

As for the shadow boxes (top photo), I love them.  They remind me of caves and nests, of making a "place" for sacred objects--  in this case egg-shaped stones, which for Connell, signified both the organic and the permanent.

In a funny way, they also remind me of the dioramas I made in grade school, taking a box and creating a tableau-- maybe a scene from history-- moving the pieces back and forth in the space to create a dialogue among the parts, to tell a story.

And I wonder about the need to contain things in boxes because I derive great satisfaction from drawing a box before I draw a bird.  Is it the safety through containment, the marking of boundaries, the desire to organize, or all of these things plus the need to make a special place for, and assign meaning to objects in our lives?
-art photo credits from the book "Clyde Connell" by Charlotte Moser

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