The Forming and Unforming of Potential

Forming and Unforming (2020) 16 x 16cm Pen on paper

Have you ever watched the sea from a cliff top for a couple of hours? One August afternoon in Cornwall, I watched waves form suddenly and return to the mass of water; a single entity that broke into peculiar identities before returning to the one. It sounds spiritual. It could be an analogy for us humans and our experience of being born, living, and dying. It can’t be said with any certainty but it feels comforting to think of life that way, especially when one’s heart is aching, breaking, like mine was as I gazed at the sea, sitting in my waterproofs in a spot sheltered from the wind and spits of rain.

My dots drawing reminds me of that sense of forming and unforming. I began it by placing random dots on the page with my 0.5mm pigment pen. Next, I took my 0.2mm pen and made tiny dots around the big dots, joining them together to make brief shadows of entities. I played with shadow and light and uniformity/non-uniformity. Some large dots are left alone. The forms don’t quite make it into being, like the waves I watched from the cliff top. The possibility is there but the constant movement makes it impossible for permanent structure. I think this sense of moving towards fulfilling potential is part of the human condition – it is a constant movement with no permanence.

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