Suspended Figure

December 25 th 2009

Encaustic and steel on board
30" x 60"
2009

"This way of looking is first of all attentive. The soul empties itself of all its own contents in order to receive into itself" —S. Weil

Potent experiences of learning often entail a profound letting go. Especially when a new way of being is revealed, or a realization is suddenly made known, then letting go continues in sequential waves. Into this place of unknowing perception must be exerted to discern this new territory, and find a halting but authentic path forward, creating space into which something new can be born. Often what 'has been' has to be stopped in order for this unknown to be birthed. Appelbaum describes this as the Stop and as being essential for learning or teaching anything. "Between closing and beginning lives a gap, a caesura, a discontinuity. The betweenness is a hinge that belongs to neither one nor the other". This liminal gap is a place of fecundity; it is a sacred space into which a word can be spoken, where you can hear more than you know. It is an aesthetic place and fearful. It is the only place out of which to make art.

In this Advent and Christmas season it is appropriate to be mindful and watch for such moments of liminal silence out of which a word might be spoken that awakens and births.

Topics: Arts
 

Erica Grimm-Vance is an Assistant Professor of Art at Trinity Western University. Working in encaustic and steel with themes of embodiment and liminality, she has had over 25 solo exhibitions and is in numerous private and public collections, including the Vatican, Canada Council Art Bank and the Richmond Art Gallery. She was, in 2002, the Distinguished Nash Lecturer at Campion College at the University of Regina, was the first Prize recipient of the Imago National Juried Art Competition, and was honored as the Distinguished Alumnae from the University of Regina. As part of her Ph.D. thesis in Art Education at SFU, Erica is continuing to work on multimedia installation work which began with a collaborative multimedia installation project called (im)Balance that included a 20' x 5' encaustic and steel panel, 3 digital film sequences projected on steel and scrim, and soundscape triggered by viewer interaction. Her thesis explores artmaking as Embodied Epistemology, and articulates an Aesthetics of Attentiveness. She lives in Vancouver, with her husband Craig and children Daniel and Amadea.

Bio