light

in the City of Light

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BLOG #27 B

Sometimes when listening to music you feel like it’s being hardwired into your system. 

Sometimes you hear a voice ​that’s so pure and beautiful, tears spring to your eyes before you realize – separate fr reason or thought – it’s just ​your body’s natural emotional response.

Get up early London Sunday morning last November, ready for Paris en route from Heathrow. Grab quick bite, bid farewell​ to friends, head ​to airport via Tube​ (having cleverly bought ticket night before ​with last 5 Euros).

​Push through turnstile​, come face to face with sign “NO SUNDAY SERVICE THROUGH TO HEATHROW DUE TO STRIKE”. Hmmm, not so clever after all. No alternative transport, no extra time, jump on the train​, ride train one stop​, jump ​off train, *PANIC*, scrambl​e frantically ​outside, hail cab, drive half hour to Heathrow… Don’t know if you’ve been in a London cab lately, but they’re not the most economical way to get around​ town​ ​l​et alone the English countryside. Hundred painful dollars later ​(+ exchange rate + credit card fees) arrive just in nick of time to 1.) be relieved of ​most costly toiletries by security and 2.) ​be ​whisked off to Paris.

Safely ​land @ Charles de Gaulle, figure out quickest Metro to hotel, set out on last 36 hours of journey ​to City of Light.

Now 4pm​,​ dark and chilly ​winter ​Sunday evening, everything​ about to close. Streets surprisingly barren of people. What to do, what to do…

​Wander my way down Rue ​de Rivoli, find myself standing in front of strange wildly colorful facade​, 2 hipsters sitting out front glance my way.
​’Open to the public​?’
​’Oui.’​

Step inside.

​Spiral staircase​ – ​every imaginable color – leading further and further upward toward maze of psychedelic dens. It’s an artists’ building​: tonight is open studios.
Wander through labrynthine coops taking it all in. Find an open door with gynormous cluster of people crammed in – looks interesting – a band’s setting up. Miraculously find lone empty crate up front to sit on. Performance begins. A trio, Tous Des Heros: whip-thin hipster on bass, cool bespeckled​ & bow-tied fellow on percussion, incongruously clean-cut/bearded/inky guitarist/singer. The set begins. Singer first banters easily with crowd in French – miss most of gist, but clearly folks feel he’s got ‘IT’ charisma. Music flows over the crowd beautifully, energetically; hilarious false start to The Luminaires ‘Ho, Hey’. Later, when requests are called for, in lieu of Madonna they accept Lou Reed, launching into soulful rendition of ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’.  Not possible to avoid tearing up – Reed died of liver disease just 3 Sundays earlier. He was only 71.
 
To anyone wondering ‘What does this have to do with light?’ I offer City of Light, illuminated rooms in the gloaming, The Luminaires, and lastly White Light/White Heat: Lou Reed…
 
Look for my piece in the 50/50LIGHT project titled In the Gloaming, based on this story.
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50/50 LIGHT PROJECT

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BLOG FRONT PAGE 3

A yearlong exploration of LIGHT.

In the year between October 2013 – October 2014 a group of 25 artists, led by Deb Durant, will work to create 50 pieces of artwork all focusing on the concept of LIGHT. This common thread interrelates all of the artwork pieces via each artists’ chosen aspect of light: be it literal, physical, temporal, metaphorical…

The groups’ collective works represent numerous differing media – metalsmithing, lighting, photography, written word, painting, glass, encaustics, ceramics, and textiles. The collaborators are all artists whom Deb has worked with over the past decades.

The goal, simply put: to amass an artistic collection that represents a unique community of artists. This particular compilation stems from the many creative associations formed and developed over the years by artist Deb Durant as she explored, struggled with, and finally forged an artistic career of her own. It’s a revelation of decades of work, in contact with and inspired by these talented artists. It’s also a reflection of the ways in which individuals can deeply affect you, and how they can mold your creativity.

The aim of this show is also to mark the celebration of life at 50; a momentous and deeply fruitful time in most artists lives, as they shed the insecurities of youth and embrace a sense of growing professional maturity and freedom. Often it marks a time of hitting your stride, an opportunity for sinking your teeth into the meat of your endeavors, prompting a renewed sense of ‘I’m really just getting started…’

This project will culminate in a gallery show in San Francisco this October – (to coincide with Deb’s 50th birthday) where all 50 pieces will be on display.

We welcome you to the celebration!