I often have trouble "understanding" art. I mean, when it comes to fine art I feel like there's so much I don't know or get. I never formally studied art; I thought it was just candy to look at. You see it and when you do you have an engagement with it or you don't.
But when I saw Priscilla Jones's work (http://www.priscillajones.wordpress.com/) 2 years ago, I suddenly got it. I understood instantly why these pieces were art. But more importantly, I had a deep-seeded connection to them.
Sure, I love desserts. Sure, I love stitches. And yes, I am a sucker for pastels and pinks. But her work meant something to me in that she was capturing the many indluglences of the eye (and oftentimes taste buds) with mixed-media and sculpture. The crudeness of lines, the oddness of a curve, while not true-to-life nor exaggerated, the asymmetry, the whimsy of her study on everyday items make these things more special, more magical.
And to me, her beautiful art is a snapshot of English culture. It encompasses everything I love about that country, a place I was lucky to call my home away from home for a few months. While there I didnt drink much coffee, but I did enjoy tea time. In fact, I dont really drink tea here because it's just not the same experience. So the emblematic teacup and tea pot remind me of fond days spent indoors sipping, reading, taking in everything new, different, and unfamiliar about a place I had dreamt of going for so long. When I look at Priscilla's work I see her craft, her appreciation of her heritage, and a devotion to creating. But I think what's extraordinary is that I can see in it my memories as well, and a fondness for nostalgia. Her work reminds me of poetry' in particular one of my favorite poems, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, "should I after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?"
When I go back to England (and I am going back - my goal is 2012) I am definitely stopping by the Edge Gallery, (www.theedgegallery.co.uk) which Priscilla is a co-owner of. That's another thing I miss about England, the art galleries. You could spend an entire day in a museum and still not see it all. You get lost in it, wrapped up in others' work, trapped in time. I love how Priscilla's work caputures time and at the same time traps me in it, in the best possible way. And yes, it does give me strength to force the moment to a crisis. I believe good art forces us to want to do something, whether it be make our own art, write about it, or recall the lines of a beloved poem.
Thank you Priscilla for making beautiful pieces that have come to mean so much to me, and undoubtedly to others as well. I'll be sharing more of Priscilla's story and work in the ucpoming SEW Somerset. You can also check out my article on Priscilla in the July 2009 issue of Somerset Studio. What moment will you seize today, to force to its crisis?