All original images and text are copyright 2008-2018 Liz Sweibel


Friday, April 26, 2013

Untitled (Kesennuma City, 3/11), 2013
Thread, vellum
12" x 9"
The lovely Memphis couple who purchased Untitled (Sendai Port, 3/11) just purchased Kesannuma City.  With the strong response to this work, this series seems to be tapping something Out There.  I'm partially baffled at the work's strong pull, not so much on others but on me.  On Friday afternoons, determined to finish my work for the week, I instead sleep for hours if I get anywhere near a couch.  I just woke up and found a collection of Japan-related thoughts in my head.

My father did business in Japan in the early 1960s, traveling there frequently for weeks at a time (much to my mother's ambivalence with four small children).  He died long before I had an adult's curiosity about what he did there, but those trips are connected in my mind to "grow juice," a potion in an umarked plastic container that made our plants grow at an alarming rate; a storefront called Golf-a-Tron, which was an early version of indoor golf; a Humber, a British car that was shaped like a yellow cab (in black, with a red leather interior and burled walnut dash and little tables that pulled down from the front seats to cater to those sitting in the back, like on a plane) and christened Becky by my mother; and then a bigger house, Mercedes, and sailboat with assorted support boats.  He brought me a kimono and the accompanying gear for a complete outfit.

During those years I got caught up in a wave at the Silver Point Beach Club in Atlantic Beach; I didn't even know it still existed until I just googled it.  My family rented a small cabana there for several summers, and there I had my first adolescent crush, on Everett the Cabana Boy.  He kindly let me visit him 983 times a day without ever making me feel like a pest.  I remember my mother suggesting I leave him in peace, but he insisted he didn't mind.  In any case, I got caught in a wave and distinctly remember the world no longer having an up or down, seeing sea water whorling in all directions, and not being able to breathe.  It spit me out before I got into real trouble, and no one even knew, but the physical memory of being in the wave remains strong and unsettling.

I have thousands of frequent flier miles from a previous life of business travel, as Continental's club never had them expire.  Now that United ate Continental, a recent statement noted that my miles will expire in August 2014 and that I have enough to go to Japan.  I have started researching residencies there for next summer.

When my eyes opened this afternoon, these thoughts (except the frequent flier miles) were organizing themselves toward catalog content for my upcoming exhibit at NURTUREart.  This series isn't the work that will be featured in the gallery, but it may be exhibited in the office or another "secondary" area.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trash Can in Grand Central Station
4-5-6 Subway Platform
April 16, 2013
One Day After the Boston Marathon Bombings