Margaret Boozer created an installation entitled Dirt Drawings, at the Katzen Art Gallery in Washington, DC.
It’s an amazing piece. She dug up, lugged and painted and sculpted with raw clay directly on the gallery floor. With time, this live clay changed color, texture, size and truly illustrated the adage The only constant is change.
However when the show ended, Margaret did an all-call inviting artists to meet at the gallery with buckets, to haul away as much clay as desired, to create new works from the raw material within a year.
About 20 artists showed up. I consider myself privileged to be amongst this group.
In the frenzy of scooping and shoveling her beautiful show, someone asked, “aren’t you sad?” and she replied. “I would be, if I was hauling this back into my studio. Now, I look forward to seeing it recreated in new forms.”
She is calling this resurrection Reverse/Disperse.
As I began running my fingers through the dirt, I was surprised that my eyes began to well, as a surge of emotion rose in my heart. Because I knew only Margaret, I willed my tide of impending tears to disappear. I began to think of the transition I am about to encounter. My son, my youngest child is going off to college. For the first time in 18 years, my daily life routines will not have to sync with the developmental needs of my children. Today I spoke to my friend Maureen who dropped her son off at college this week. She is a nursery school teacher and said, you know every year I have to pry a 3 year old off his mother. This year, I will be exceptionally understanding of this child. I feel like I just experienced the reverse, the mother being pried off her son.
Next week, the school where I teach art, School-Within-School will open. At year end, I delight in the anticipation that each of these young individuals will go out into the world, armed with the ideas, creations, and ability to use all types of media I’ve shared in the magical world of the studio.
In a week I will also release my 2 children. I wondered if Reverse/Disperse was also the title of this next resurrection for me. But something about reverse in this context bothered me. I won’t be putting them into buckets to be reformed. I searched my mind for a word that started with re-. Hmmmm, recycle, return, retard, revolve, no that’s not it. Then it came to me. Remix/Disperse. Like a jazz tune mixed into a hip hop song. It’s not as poetic as Margaret Boozer’s, but I think I will learn to dance to it.