I'm guessing that my relationship with Virginia is not over. It's been about four years since my first glimmer that a body of work was forming with the Woolf Series of paintings and works on paper. Almost two years since the first gallery show of some pieces, and a long stretch of contemplation as I started toying with the idea of creating a series of perfumes based on a few of the art titles and now creating new works that seem to be moving at a snails pace with what I have on the bench in the lab.
I think about Virginia, how she walked right out into the middle of that river and drowned herself. Did she really have a mental illness that drove her to despair, or was she just a casualty in the war on free thinking intelligent women, born at an unforgiving time. A time when women were starting to realize that the word no actually made a sound. It also made enemies; Psychological, gaslighting as well as physically dangerous enemies. But Virginia persisted, and it is that Virginia who keeps a lot of people from wandering too close to the rivers edge.
Overall this has been a big challenge. The first formula sketches with titles from my paintings, Freedom of The Mind, Size of a Shilling, we laughed until we didn't, when Everything Matters, etc... were not at all what I was looking to achieve. I hated everything.
I wasn't feeling a good vibe with the smells, and that was crucial to the whole project, so I started over, and over, and now I am working on new art pieces.
The last thing I want for these perfumes are conjurings of melancholy and nostalgia. Virginia was a modern woman of her time, and I want to do that justice.
With this poster I took detail snippets from my paintings and layered in steampunk imagery, words from her book, A Room of Ones Own, and a giant monkey wrench, that pays a round about homage to an earlier painting inspired by a Fiona Apple title: Fetch The Bolt Cutters. From the moment I first heard it I have taken the greatest pleasure in blurting out "Fetch The Bolt Cutters" whenever there is a need for any kind of fixing. At this moment in time I wish we could all just yell out "Fetch The Bolt Cutters" and all the world problems would be solved.
Well, here I am stuck again in the narrative again, trying to dig myself out. What would Virginia do.
Say something wickedly profound, but in code.