Monday, December 7, 2009
Since the last gallery exhibit was entitled "restless", I wanted to explore the opposite notion of stillness.
There are moments when I walk into a patient's room that the stillness is so prevalent I have to check to see if the patient is still actually breathing. While the traditional thought of stillness is an absence of motion, stillness also refers to a quietness or calm that can actually occur in motion. I've experienced this form of stillness in dying patients' rooms as well.
It seems the most traditional way of depicting stillness in art is to display water. It is easy to capture the idea of non-movement with still water. Add some mist and a boat and you've got the most common symbol for stillness, as this photograph from unknown source depicts.
The following 3 photographs I've collaged together for better formatting, but to see the originals follow the title links. On the upper left is a variation of the water concept, sans boat and instead lovely grass sprouting from perfectly still water and reflected below. This work "Stillness" is by photograph Gunther Dippe. The next, in lower left is a photo by Kris Schirmer entitled "Stillness- and the sun shines in my heart." A fallen flower petal symbolizes an ending to me, thus this piece resonated the type of stillness I feel in the room of someone dying. Finally from a Flikr photostream by Qmanes is "Stillness" shot with an extremely long shutter speed. The motion of the water and clouds is perfectly juxtaposed to the stationary object in the lower right.
I found this abstract work to the left by Linda Cole of encaustic wax on screen entitled "Stillness in Motion" To me the motion is symbolized with the circle, while the stillness is represented by the linear portion.
Finally, sticking with the tradition of finding a sculpture, I found a digital print series that at least looks like sculpture. The series can be found at Gladys Triana's website. Of the four listed, it is "Stillness XIII"2007 that is displayed on the right.
Looking back at the art work from "restless" and comparing it to these is an exercise in itself. The emotional response the art evokes seems synonymous to the titles.