Sep 4, 2008
Artist and ecologist from South Carolina, Danna Ray quietly reminds us that we're attached to one another, to our surroundings. That delicate moss and tiny sprouting plants are of great importance. That in our world, devastation and beauty occur together.
The way her work makes me feel reminds me of my first trip to Staten Island.
This NY borough is famous for it's enormous garbage dump, visible from space. I first went to Staten Island when in art school, to see a collection of Fluxus work that included several feminist and queer artists I respected. I was transported from my by-the-side-of-the-freeway New Jersey existence to beautiful old buildings, built by the navy, in a large and lovely park. I didn't see Fresh Kills on that trip, but was thinking about garbage canyons anyhow when I saw the Yoko Ono piece that has continued to resonate for me. Her piece consisted of smashed teacups carefully pieced together and glued, placed on a table and chairs, ready for the ritual of having tea together.
Sitting down with another person for tea is such a small act in the face of something as horrible as the Vietnam War (about which the piece was made). Small but critical. Sitting face to face. Seeing one another, acknowledging one another's value. And connection.
It's worth cobbling together our broken lives, our broken spirits, our broken earth.