is always collaboration. One must be, or become, good at listening -
attentive to the murmuring between self and other, self and world. This
attentiveness is always present in creative process and in the interchange
among myriad others, oneself and the work. Working with these others
regularly requires more and different ways of listening, of negotiating
languages of process.
“What is the language, the world, of stones? What is the language,
the world, of birds? Of atoms? Of microbes? Of colours? Of air?”
[Winterson, 146] Some listening occurs with effort, but the place where
listening and hearing become effortless is the place to find, because
there is the intimate connection of intention – the new life of
The place of the manifestation of the work is where inspirations and
visions come together, at times collide; but it seems to me that the
invisible murmuring of shared process leads form to resolve itself to
this intention (murmuring) – and then interesting things happen.
We can see and hear that the piece has its own life and desires its
own form. Sometimes I am visited in a dream, or a vision, or on waking
from sleep know exactly what is next wanting to resolve itself.
“We speak of inspiration, and the word should be taken literally.
There really is inspiration and expiration of Being, action and passion
so slightly discernable that it becomes impossible to distinguish between
what sees and what is seen, what paints and what is painted.”
[Merleau-Ponty, 167] A kind of immersion in pleasure is inherent in
the intensity and immediacy, the sensuality of this coupling with another.
Such a coupling requires “active surrender” [Winterson,
6] – the naked presence of the self.
The language that I use to describe the process of art making is loaded
with words like intimacy, intercourse, gestate and birthing, because
it is like carrying the intention and growth of a new form, until it
is born – which is sometimes difficult - and then there is the
post-partum sadness when it is no longer with me. “ The painter’s
vision is a continued birth” [Merleau-Ponty, 168]