It is an interesting experience having someone write about my work. Being part of a larger conversation is one of the things I want my work to facilitate but, because conversations are relationships, once the work leaves the studio I am not always in charge. Other people talk about the work and about what I am trying to express. I have to trust the work will be treated respectfully. Most often this means I have to trust someone I don’t know with something that has become a part of me.
Or maybe it is more a matter of trusting myself and my ability to convey the ideas expressed through the work and the ability of the work to stand on its own. That is also an interesting experience. Letting the work out into the world is an integral part of being an artist. I do not consider a work finished until I can trust it; trusting the work comes after making many decisions and feeling that all that thinking has coalesced into a simple gesture that is complete. I am most moved by work that is complex and is the result of the artist being so familiar with his or her subject that all the decisions that have gone into the work disappear and the experience of the work is complete, almost quiet in its existence.
Ms. Fowler refers to NODhouse as a quiet work. I like that. At the same time she does a nice job of connecting NODhouse to the larger issues of race and class while maintaining the identity of NODhouse as an artwork. I don’t know Ms. Fowler. I was hesitant to trust her with NODhouse especially working with her from a distance. But I am glad I did. Both she and I brought what was needed to the relationship and the resulting piece is a graceful expression of the issues. NODhouse’s foundation proved to be firm.