If you're at all like me, you've experienced a moment (or two) when you're trying to recall a particular memory. Perhaps it's a place you've passed by frequently and noticed only obliquely, or it might be a place that holds a special memory of someone close to you. It could as easily be a place that you enjoyed on holiday snapping pictures as you toured around taking in the sites. Sense a direction here? All of these are true for the image we call "Hard to Find" that opens this blog entry. We first printed this image in 2014, for the WAI one person show at Castalia at Meadowmont in Chapel Hill, NC. The show was curated by the Durham Art Guild. After the show we moved the piece to our dining room and it takes up an entire wall.
Like most of the Wayne Addington images, it is both 'representational' while at the same time showing something that only comes together in recollection. In this case the image explores the junction between nature and human endeavor. Here you see three images joined to support this effort. The bridge is the cantilever section of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco--now replaced. This is the bridge that living in the San Francisco Bay area we passed by almost daily, most often taking notice only when we were creeping across it stuck in traffic. The 'tree' is itself an allusion as it's an image of the sculpture 'Graft' from the National Gallery of Art. We encountered this beautiful sculpture by artist Roxy Paine while visiting Washington, D.C. The sculpture is immense--measuring 45' X 45' and is sufficient reason on its own to visit the National Gallery. Lastly, you see in the distance a sunset view of Honolulu Bay--the place that holds a special memory for Chuck and me as we last visited there with my sister. Each part holds its own place in our memory, but taken together they become something new--a truly "hard to find" place that exists only in imagination.
What's so very special about this new 'place' is that it is rife with invitation--almost pulling us into it as the bridge recedes into the distant bay. But it also balances with a measure of challenge, of obstruction that that guards the way into this imaginary place. A beautiful, seemingly immobile yet haunting tree--is closest to us, and guards the path but at the same time also points toward it. There is another layer to this image and that's the almost limitless power of human creativity & will. We see beauty in nature and cannot resist the urge to imitate--to reverence it. We see a barrier such as a bay or a river and we move to build a way across it or to reach the beautiful destination that waits for us. We remember multiple touch points in our lives and we sometimes weave them into a single, powerful mindful image. I am drawn into this piece every time we sit down to dinner. If you're interested, it is available on archival paper or stretched canvas. Our copy covers a whole wall, but you could be a bit more conservative--if you wish.
All the best,
Scott & Chuck