I recently finished Faultline, pictured above. When I blog about a piece of my art, I usually start with the process and photos. Then, if there is an accompanying poem, I post it at the end of my blogpost, (only if I’m feeling courageous. I’m still not very comfortable with sharing poetry in public). In this post, I’m starting with the words.
With Faultline, I wrote the poem over a decade ago. A lifelong friend who also enjoys writing poetry and I have recently been exchanging a few poems, and this is one I dug out of my poetry vault. I decided to finally create a mosaic visual to go along with it. You can scroll down for more photos or hang in here with me while I describe how I arrived at the above work.
First, the preface to the poem: (Actually, it serves as the preface to any poem I write).
“One summer, I challenged myself to write a few poems. I enjoyed the process and have continued to compose them, using insight from my own experiences as well as inspiration from friends looking for love, or running from it. For whatever the reason, at an early age, I was given the role of trusted confidante, privy to intimate secrets, or sometimes burdened with dark truths I’d rather not know. Each allows me to empathize, my mind easily slipping on another’s shoes, be they well-worn or shiny new. I do this mostly while wide awake when I'd rather be sleeping...”
I figure that this is my “alibi” of sorts, so it might remain a mystery if I wrote a particular poem about myself or not. Chances are, if you are reading it here, it's not. Some of my friends admit secret delight in the sometimes vengeful poems written on their behalf. Don’t mess with my friends, or I may come after you with some barbed words.
This fissure did not come without warning
A chasm not so sudden to ones so keen
Plates shifted beneath foundation
Long before it tumbled.
Rumblings taking place deep within a buildup of layers
Maybe not audible,
Not surprisingly reveals two sides.
Once together, now separate
Souls, actions, words, regrets
Echo across canyons of reflection
Stake the other side
And I don’t want it
Faultline is about any estranged relationship be it romantic, platonic, familial, generational, or with colleagues or supervisors. It’s a fact of life that not all relationships last, and we can be grateful for the positive ones that do make it through the muck, and there will be muck. Respect commitment, but recognize toxicity. As I write this post in the aftermath of another horrific school shooting, I’ve realized that the meaning of this poem may also be interpreted to apply to situational divides. Sadly, human nature seems to first look to blame a side, a person, or a belief, just to gain understanding of events that have blindsided them or shouldn’t have happened.
To illustrate the poem, I first lay down a meandering asymmetrical line of reflective tile.
I then built up two sides into which I could embed some “chaos”. This chaos consisted of a lot of chunky reflective silvers, which included stones like galena and quartz and mica, glass beads, and broken pottery.
These silvers transitioned into blues which included glass, unglazed porcelain, kyanite, and larimar. The blues were bordered by an edge of reflective mirrored glass.
Finally, the piece transitioned into white, my favorite palette. This white portion was mostly made up of glass, but also included stones like selenite and marble. To finish it off, there is a smattering of coastal elements including shells and coral.
I am happy with the way this piece turned out. I like that it illustrates the words of the poem, but the overall palette of the piece and contrasting dimension allow the piece to stand on its own without its deeper backstory. I hope the viewer can share an appreciation for what I find to be its intrinsic beauty.
Below is a video of how Faultline came together.
Thanks for stopping by,
You’ve landed upon an occasional update about my latest project, an occasional rant about my life, or an occasional sarcastic snippet about whatever. It’ll be mostly positive vibes. I promise.