Howard Hodgkin: Painting India
The Hepworth, Wakefield
1st July – 8th October 2017
1st July 2017
Darkness at Noon contained by ply
frothing green wings and sweeps From the Terrace Bombay
warped blocks of Indian Veg
new ply wave Arriving
acidic Red Sky green
knife cuts sky of Evening
frames, framed, framing
nail holes old frames
turned to face the wall (secrets)
smell of cut timber gestures
Postscript: I’m pleased to hear that The Hepworth has won Art Fund Museum of Year 2017.
the loose words lose their tongue in the trying. you lose the words in their loose tongue tying. Trying to be them. Unsettles the equilibrium for a moment that is certain. To leave a mark on skin. Surfacing with these words. Propelled, expelled the nuisance of their knowing to you and I and we and they, and all else besides. The crypt of their forgiving, foregoing the air that they need to dwell down in their dingles.
angles formed by trying to fit their limitless dimensions to a frame that has no matter. Awkward angles that jut and poke and pull and scratch and tear and puncture. Punctuate angles, all elbows and knees. Knitting together a part for a matrix. Off spring, out spring words. Dangerous words. Where are they leading? Me. Hear. They are leaving almost as soon as they came. What are we left with? You and I but not the words now. The words know they have been (and gone). To pieces. Two pieces.
The gentle breeze turns the leaves a little and reveals a lighter underside. The blackbird sings.
herd, wording, saying, speaking, slaying, splaying, spying, there the words. Are lost to all that come this way and those that don’t. Do not take these words for granted for they will follow and that is most unfortunate to you and I and they. Will be left here in the enclosure for all that is worth. While I leave here to leave them there to you to do your wont. I wanted them to follow me but realise that they must stay.
stay, sing these words with your ear. My speaking words are hear for you. Fore ewe. To trust in them implicitly. They will stay and stray and change with years before your ears. How did I intend them to be? How could I intend them to be? A fine line flexed between me and them, I and they. Aye, and they left me here loosely wording the writing that you are reading now and then and there. And their motives are unsure, their sentience lacking? Whilst the sentences are stacking. Up. And down the page we sprinkle the ripe pickings of punctuation’s palette.
Too much. Must be done to change the approaching of the words; the words encroaching. On me here. Distance and disjuncture are required to be sure that I do not become words and they do not become me. The words become landscape. Landslide, words slide, down, scree-fall, clatter, (chatter), heap, cairn. Building to direct. Directing to deceive. Perceive a faltering path…a trod. Hazily present. Trods. Hopscotching between. Through heather and by lithic scatter. The words tatter this way with their own gowns. Grown down. To here.
[wearily] Who’s in charge here?…if indeed anybody should be in charge. The words won’t do what I want them to. The writing is becoming nominal much too quickly; there seems to be a lack of revelling in the (verbal) process of writing. The words have lost the freedom of the hills. The fun and excitement have gone and we (the words and I, and, unfortunately, you the reader) seem to be trapped in a rigid process of ordering and prissying. The atmosphere has become turgid. Insipid. Stultifying.
Maybe the desire to write what I think I should be writing has overwhelmed the writing. Maybe the preconceptions have become all too convincing and the words are jumping immediately into a traditional frame of reference; the writing has been bypassed. It is a curious thing for sure. The sudden jolt between the thinking of the typhic quotidian and the thinking of the writing does not help…the transition takes time (and the reverse of the process happens later in the day, equally painfully). It seems to be the thinking equivalent of an ecotone but the integration is not a fruitful one (it is more like a worst of both worlds situation). The days press in on me and the words sense it; they become nervous, skittish and unhelpful. They will hide. How to find the hidden herd?
I should walk or run to set the words in flight from their hiding places, to get the words fluid again. But the amount of information I need to retain for this to be worthwhile is beyond my capacities. I need it to hand. Am I being lazy? You see the flight of the words is their writing but it is subtly managed. Not by them or by me; instead, we are constituted by the writing. It is a joy when it is working. It so rarely works.
The green of the park trees is becoming heavy and the housemartins are flying amongst them; flying low. There will be rain soon. Let us hope that it is a fresh, revitalising rain.