And the cat. She leans through the stair railings and drinks the water.
This is about the metaphorical teetering that goes on in life. Treading on eggshells, delicately inching forward, in a vulnerable and exposed stance, maybe there are strange feelings and butterflies taking over your insides.
The practice of meditative behaviour. The tightrope walker must pay close attention to both their physical and emotional state, as both situations are precarious and dangerous.
I did this four years ago, at my children’s old school.
It’s pretty big – I worked it all out on the floor of my studio at home, glueing sections at a time onto mesh.
Then I transported this sucker to the school where I reattached little bits and pieces that had fallen off in transit.
I hid coins, and lady birds, snails, frogs, bits of broken crockery, a spoon, a key and other little bits of treasure within the glass tiles, (and of course I jazzed this baby up with mirror, this is a given – in any mosaic I make) with the hope of it being a place of constant discovery for adults and children.
It turns out, this has worked. I still receive comments of children being transfixed by the mural, and noticing details that us older folk may have overlooked. Children enjoy the textural feel of the mosaic, and run their hands along the mosaic as they walk through the corridor. I had considered the tactile nature of mosaic when making this, and had purposely included quite a few lines of unbroken white glass beading. I think this may be visible under the two large fish you see here. So anyone travelling with an obsessive disorder would be fully satisfied every time they pass this ‘sure thing’ in the hall way.
Of course time is a great teacher. I would have done things differently if I was given this time again. However, I don’t over think it, because my brain can be lazy at the best of times, to be overly critical. Also because of two things I do know;
1. Mosaic is hard to get off a wall, so even if I wanted to change it – good luck with that Emily!
And, 2. I know I’m the only one that notices the flaws in the mosaic – it makes people happy.
So I’m happy.
I made her in January.
A knee jerk reaction to Summer, swimming, and polka dots (of course polka dots).
I spent a weekend almost by myself, driving – which to me is my definition of heavenly. Driving my car, listening to my music, shirking all responsibilities for 48 hours. An amazing sense of freedom.
I bought some vintage dominoes, and I sat on the side of an ocean pool, dangling my feet in the water. It was the most beautiful day. I wanted to jump in with gay abandonment. I didn’t. I watched other people enjoying the freedom – I hadn’t come prepared. The water was beckoning. I have a reputation of rebellion when it comes to the costume constraints surrounding water, and have in the past just jumped in anyway. Clothes and all, This time I couldn’t. I was being careful, watching myself, and I had to get back on the road and continue my journey. The further away I got from this pool, the more I had to fight myself not to turn around and just jump in that damned water! I really wanted to, and I felt the conditions would never be the same, never that perfect.
Anyway, I carried on, and had the most jam packed amazing weekend surrounded by people I love, reconnecting with the city that was my home BC (before children). I ate, I drank, I was merry – and topped it off with an amazing haul from Rozelle markets.
Even with all that distraction, this image didn’t leave me.
I knew this was my next piece.
I had to sit on my hands until the festive season was over – there was a lot to do, as the ‘festive’ with extended family was happening at my house.
Every now and then I would sneak half an hour with this girl.
She still wasn’t finished.
After Christmas the ocean calls.
So, down the coast I headed with a gaggle of children, and m’lady tucked in amongst the beach towels.
I snuck in some time to stick the last few pieces on.
Then with an audience of at least 10 friendly caravaning kids. I grouted.
And here she is.
I remember my early fascination with bevelled edged mirrors. There was a giant one on the wall at my grandparents house, a sweet country town famous for its cheese.
The mirror seemed enormous to me, and I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t the old back window from my Pop’s EK Holden, treated with silver paint.
It was foreign and very ‘granny-like’ and helped form my appreciation of all things old, rusty and lived-in. I realised my Nana and all of her sisters, in this same small town had these mirrors, or similar variations in their home. (Along with pretty coloured hair.)
I belonged in a house with an artist mother and conservative/gardening father. They had their own taste, and bevelled edged mirrors didn’t have a place in our childhood home. They were decorating in the seventies, with huge colourful printed curtains (in hot pink, red and orange), sculptures, paintings bought from galleries, and huge carved elephants brought from Southern Asia. I believe sheepskin may have been peaking at this time too.
My grandparents died, and the Great-aunts did too. I don’t know where everything went. The mirrors, the aluminium canisters, the heavy club lounges, the chenille bed spreads… Everything did go, probably to the dump or Second Hand shops in the little town.
Anyway, I grew up, left home. I moved to Sydney. I only knew a handful of people. I had to find a new way to spend my weekends. I found Second Hand shopping. I was amazed at what I discovered. My love of treasure hunting soon overtook my weekends. I found a sweet small mirror with bevelled edges. I was naturally drawn to it, without explanation.
Then came more. One by one. Its not about admiring my own reflection, nothing to do with vanity.
I do love the way they reflect my garden. Bringing the outside in.
Along with bevelled edged mirrors, I collect any lovely piece that ‘speaks’ to me.
The crustier, the better.
Big mirrors, little mirrors…
Old wardrobe doors with brass handles, make lovely full length mirrors.
Eighteen years later, and five homes later, they keep finding me. Garage sales at little coastal towns. Charity shops in my city. Birthday gifts from people who know me well. A lady at a little town Antique shop keeps them aside for me. Now I have…many.
So, what is responsible for this, may I ask?
I’m not sure. But I love these stairs. I love mirror, I like shiny things.
I still have 2 steps left to glue – and wee bits to touch up.
More to come…
A mirror broke. I didn’t do it. A paint tin did. No bad luck for me.
I make the very most of situations such as this one, as you see. I contemplated a design of my own, but in such a prominent position, I didn’t want to start using the back gate in order to avoid using the front stairs. (What I mean is, I didn’t want to *sigh* or *cringe* every time I arrived home, because my skills & ideals of coolness have changed.) So, I turn to disco – as we all should.
One step down, seven to go.