Still Lives a go go: The Throne of Truth & Silver Stuff

The Throne of Truth, detail

At the moment, I have a bad cold and am feeling miserable, although not quite as miserable as I felt last night, shivering in my bed and listening to many insanely barking dogs and the braying donkey. I am trying to take it easy so that this will pass as soon as possible but I find it difficult to just lie around quietly during the day. Thankfully, though, for my mood, the weather continues to be fabulous. And it is getting hotter – probably in the high 20s. I have continued to work on my still life installations in the evening, during the period between 7:30 and when it gets dark about 9:15 or so.

This morning and yesterday morning Seray picked many herbs from the Academy garden and boiled me some real herbal tea. I drank the whole pot of it yesterday and had two cups with her in her room here above the library this morning. She has lived at the Academy for the past 5 or so years, having come originally, like most of the people here, from Istanbul. She is a creative writer and also does some small art pieces with copper and clay. She was kind enough to give me an electronic Turkish-English dictionary to use while I am here, as well as a few small items for tonight’s still life.

At the moment, the folks here are still working on cleaning out the large and deep pond that surrounds the amphitheatre. It is an enormous job; as the water is drained out, they have to scrape the sides and bottom to get rid of ten year’s worth of accumulated gunk. There is still a small amount of water in the bottom to provide a home for the several mosquito-larvae-eating fish and mating frogs … although the frogs have been strangely silent lately so maybe they have hopped off to a more congenial location. The last time I heard them squawking in the pond, I counted 35.

Tonight when I entered the studio, the place looked like a small whirlwind had struck it. A piece of Styrofoam that I’d been saving was chewed to pieces, with the little bits strewn everywhere around the room, a pile of discarded leaves and twigs that I’d carefully swept up for later disposal had been redistributed around the room, my painted korek stalks knocked over, and, most delightful of all, a small pile of stinky dog crap left right next to the korek stalks. I hope that’s not a comment on the art work … Luckily, the still life assemblage had not been destroyed.

The first set of pictures documents an assemblage set up against one of the large plate glass studio windows with the garden trees and town panorama in the distance. I was interested in seeing what the reflection of the objects in the two windows would look like as a counterpoint to the piece itself. As I looked at the reflection of the tableau in the mirrored surface behind, and the reflection of that reflection in the window opposite, I couldn’t help thinking about my old Greek friend Plato’s idea about art being three times removed from the “Throne of Truth”, merely a reflection of a reflection of the ideal in the mind of god. The second set of four images represents a smaller piece, in which I have included several silver objects – skull, shallow dish, korek, tile – in homage to Gumusluk, the “silver place”.

See pictures here.

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