Monday, June 01, 2009

Venus Redux

Among several sketches I came across while my mother and I tidied the studio were the crude watercolour and ink experiments that culminated in my first exhibition of works on paper.
Appropriating recognisable elements of Sandro Botticelli's famous 15th century painting, The Birth Of Venus, these early pieces started out being illustrative and 'pretty' then quickly became violent, dark and stuffed with symbolism derived from voodoo and my own nightmares. Not surprisingly, the exhibition was titled Venus In Hell and in just fifteen mixed-media works, the rapid transition from pastel colours and empty, unpainted patches to dense smears of reds and blacks, like traces of blood dried atop the surface of the porous, cold-pressed paper was starkly visible.
I want to return to these intensely emotional works – and their underlying ideas – again. There's still so much within them that's unresolved, unrefined, and new interpretations haunt my imagination even as I labour on other, completely different paintings. I'm going to hide myself away soon, alone, to get to grips with them.

4 comments:

Septic Monochrome (Sue) said...

Oh come on now Hazel, I have to call you out on this one! Since when does "hiding" oneself away resolve anything? It perpetuates and feeds the monsters; I should know as my inner child harbors many of them. It is akin to burying your head in the sand.
Let's not forget the Bushido Creed and some of it's precepts.
Real simple: No matter what you are doing be it craft, presentation in the boardroom, bedroom or "self," the sword one holds in the mind is a tool to be reckoned with...but only if one knows how to wield it properly.
Make "immovable mind" your castle. The greatest and only real place to "hide" when the winds howl is the one place none can touch-inside the 8 fold gate of the mind. There we are supreme, we are sancroset as none may know our thoughts and feelings unless we wish it. Hiding ones "body" gives a false set of armor and defense.
Make like a willow tree Hazel, physically bend in the wind and you will never be broken. Mentally stand strong as an oak and even the strongest, sharpest blades will eventually dull.
Ok, now you can be really pissed at me, but as a 5th degree Godan I respect and live by this creed, I don't just have it hanging on my wall because it looks pretty.

Anonymous said...

Sue, I think you are wasting a lot of space on a clear misunderstanding. By 'hiding away', Hazel clearly means isolating herself from distraction, to have a little peace to think about her work and her ideas. If/when you reach her level of success and public attention, you might understand why that is so damn necessary!

Septic Monochrome (Sue) said...

Having been sent back here on a DM I will attempt to clarify my previous post.
1) Hazel herself claims to have the Bushido Creed hanging on her wall. I doubt it is just for the sake of decorative purposes.
2) I choose to speak to Hazel, not for her. There within lies the difference in our comments.
3) With all due respect I would not want the "level of success and public attention" she and others have. To me it is dancing with the devil and no amount of money or celebrity will ever make things "right."
'Nuf said.

Janet B. said...

Having actually been to her studio, I can attest that Hazel has a variety of texts, images, and other objects pinned, taped, and tied to the walls. They are there for all sorts of purposes but none represent, I am sure, Hazel's commitment to any particular code or creed. If anything, they reflect an inexhaustible curiosity. There are also '60s Chinese propaganda pamphlets – some of which exhort values of hard work and social revolution – on the walls but they don't make her a Maoist.