on the Map
s of Mistake. I mean, Map of Mistakes.
‘Art is about turning unevenness into beauty’
On the Map of Mistakes, where
the sun un-shines, you
fail to anchor in the Bay of Blotch after churning through Splotchy Sea. You attempt (unsuccessfully) to reach Error Archipelago. You run aground in the Haphazards and topple off Mess Mountains to land with a bump on the Forest Flaw.
It’s been a week of glitch and dissonance – luckily only minor problems, unlike drastic cyclones and floods up north or reigns of terror around the globe. (Sending love and care to suffering people).
Monday morning, I forget a loved one’s special event. This is spectacularly unusual for Ms Diary-In-Her-Head Sally.
Monday night, my printer makes a screeching parrot sound, rolls over and dies.
Tuesday morning, I witness a woman drive her ute into a pole and scatter bits of plastic and metal over the road. She is unscathed.
Tuesday night, I watch a huntsman spider devour a cockroach the size of a hippo. Nice.
And so the days progress, with messy mishaps and peculiar dramas unfolding in and around me.
At work, I encounter a whole other level of challenges.
I need to use art to debrief, express, channel the craziness. I find a piece of black paper with leftover silver marks mooshed onto it.
I mean, imperfect!
I mean, this is perfect in its messed-up imperfection!
Debriefing from difficulty
by making art
is the BEST.
Processing, venting, exploring, scribbling, scrawling, letting it out – getting all the mixed-up, muddled-up
thoughts, feelings and events out onto paper.
So I grab the black paper with silver stains. My impulse is to outline the splotches. I’ll make uneven shapes around them, much like an old-style teacher would circle your spelling mistakes in red pen.
I will draw (ha. Draw) attention to the ‘mistakes’, rather than trying to cover them up or chuck them out.
The shape looks like an aerial view of a small, wobbly island. And so the Map of Mistakes begins.
It’s too neat and clean.
I blob white paint on it, not worrying too much if I obliterate words. I scratch charcoal pencil into the paint once it dries. Et voila!
And so unfolds (unexpectedly) another story in line (and squidgy spot) with my recent theme: facing the mucky muddle of life and making art from it.
It’s all very wabi-sabi, this embracing of cracks in the polished surface.
I work with a dementia-scrambled aged care resident. Nothing unusual about that, but I do think that people who prided themselves on orderliness face a particular type of hell as everything appears to tangle and dissolve. Recently this impeccably dressed lady emerged from a cavern of confusion to remark with calm eloquence, ‘Art is about turning unevenness into beauty’.