A Curious Form / by Amanda Gentry

I've been noticing with the work I have been making recently that the meaning of the form and its relationship to my inner world compounds and becomes multi-layered in the making process. Initially, at the start, it seems strictly formal—I am curious about a shape, a curve, a thruway of negative space—only to find that the ultimate creation is a reflection of thoughts and emotions working themselves out in my heart and mind by way of my hands. It's quite possibly a chicken and egg thing: whether or not the subconscious has determined the form or it has intuited and attributed meaning to it in attempts to literally materialize understanding, I'm not quite sure.

My current work-in-progress is titled, Every Breath We Drew (as I was singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah! in the building phase). The piece almost feels like a pregnant belly: full, taut, at the culmination of expansion. A portal, wide at one end and tapered to the diameter of a penny at the other, almost gasps for air. I feel a strong association of this form to that of an individual at birth and death—and every breath we drew was Hallelujah. Hallelujah!—the taking of one’s first breath, the surrender of one’s last. Hallelujah! A holy and reverent fullness. All of this on the heels of my bearing witness to the last breath of one Theodore Patras, a beautiful man who invited me to share with him the last few months of his life. I've held this sacred experience within, without words, exploring it like a tongue explores the vacancy of a pulled tooth. This powerful experience making sense of itself and communicating to me through a form that, at the outset, was simply a curious form.