Monday, June 6, 2011



This response arrived from a friend - 

". . . I've been following with interest and delight your progress with the boats, and not infrequently find myself musing on the project's many meanings. The images you've given us on the blog -- of the boats in ones and twos, arrayed in rank and file, in a nested circle -- have been gorgeously suggestive. I have grown fond of these small paper barques, their grace, their simplicity, their innocence. I'm charmed by the picture of them clamped with clothespins for gluing -- 'watching' them being made like that resonates through the word craft, as boat, as process, as workmanship.

It's when I imagine them installed as you described last week, rising up the wall, that I am most moved by your concept. Despite an undeniable innate dignity, there is also something comic about each boat, poignantly so; a delicacy that becomes almost cartoonish. To consider each unit on its own, it's hardly a boat at all, in a sense, as much the idea of a boat, a boat dream. All alone, there isn't one that could survive a bathtub, much less be seaworthy. And yet, to consider them together, they become mighty, a flotilla, as you've said, or an armada, as one of your blog crew suggested. And herein lies the great power of your poem (for I agree with you, the installation is fundamentally a song) as it reflects on the human condition. 

Like your boats, we too are vessels, noble in our aspirations, but a bit comic as well when we propose our inviolability against the world, or imagine ourselves as self somehow ending at our skin. Our vulnerability belies such a claim.  (Indeed, despite its balletic grandeur, there is something existentially disquieting about the film in this regard, a sense of each boat drifting in its own isolation, at the whim of the currents. To end up belly up under the ice is a grim fate.)  It is not as separate vessels, but together, as a collective, united, ascending soul, that the boats achieve their highest nobility. . . and become something nearly indomitable. " Timothy Cahill


  1. Oh Claire, that is so beautiful! I feel so much calmer after watching your video--like I can breathe so much better! :)

  2. Hi Jayne - thank you. My hope with this meditative film is to offer balm. . . There is so much chaos in the world right now; we need to find places of pause, moments of calm to help steady us as we make our way forward. I hadn't realized till very recently that you have discovered this site. Lovely to find you here ; )

    You have probably realized that I created this site at a time when I was working towards my exhibition titled 'Waters I Have Known'. Although that came to a head in November 2010, I continue to post here from time to time as the themes are as strong today as they were then - if not more so. Finding you here is an encouragement to me, so thank you.

    There is a long story behind this boat/mudra film - my intention is to write it up fully one of these days. Meantime, if you would like to read a little more about the process behind it, you could follow these links. . . and and (providing you still have stamina!)

    In the aftermath of the earthquake in Christchurch (NZ) and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it seemed fitting that the work I'd begun during a personal 'Season of Grief' should become an expression of our universal story; a way to link up with our global family and send loving, healing energy out into the world.

    Love to you,