When I was first given this exhibition space, I thought I could bring into being a puppet that has been rattling round in my head for ages, a human-like vehicle for tales, where I didn’t have to be the direct narrator. Some of those awkward painful accounts that are stuck like bricks, concreted into the back of your psyche.
But then the fires came, the catastrophic magnitude of that burning was such as to make a singular notion completely null and void.
As the fires abated leaving an after-shock that is palatable still, I experienced a powerful storm that came to where I was on the south coast. I was reminded at once to be open to the Heavens, and more than that, to the whole possibility of what we trust to be, the wider universe.
I decided to make work while holding the resolve of being an infinitely tiny, miniscule lifeform, sailing upon an immeasurably vast, borderless space, our universe and whatever is beyond. I wanted to make work that was not of that place, but whatever came up within the experience of it.
This process was such – daily, self, feet on planet, held and warmed by sun, looking beyond to our solar neighbours, further solar systems, galaxies, and on and on through the Universe, us on the edge, so distant, so far.
I wish, if anything, that we, as ‘small wet miracles’ upon this earth, would be walking around in our gumboots with our perpetual tiny mouths of ‘oh’ filled with wonder of where we are, so astonished and hallowed that we care for our planet with the deepest reverence.
It’s hard to talk of what we are without paying heed to when we are not.
The wonderful South African artist William Kentridge said it all for me (though I am not sure what he was actually referencing), when he said ‘her absence fills the void’.
Suzi Lyon, 2020