January 23, 2011


I just saw the work of an artist friend of mine, Carrie Leeb, at Ampersand, a small gallery in San Francisco. One of the more interesting pieces in the show was, for me “Seperation” a found rock installation. It is not really apparent from this photo (taken with an iphone no less) the actual scale of the rocks. The large ones are actually bowling ball size – probably the size limited by what was physically possible for her to carry to her car. I know, for a fact, that the artist drove somewhere up in Northern California and actually found these rocks. Found them all in this very same stage of division, of splitting, freshly apart, driven into two by the forces of nature. Possibly from this years especially cold Winter or perhaps Springs unannounced frosts. I know she spent many hours walking alone amongst the river stones searching for these particular rocks. I can imagine how it began ..a walk upon the edge of a river and stumbling upon a singular rock, unlike all others broken in two. And then this poignancy becoming reconfirmed again and again as still more are found. Oddly, there are possibly thousands of these same rocks all sharing this same instance of seperation and division. These gathering of stones remind me of the pivotal, rare moments in many people’s lives that feel earth shattering, momentous, meteoric in the change they catalyze. I wonder if these rocks make a sound when they break apart after possibly millions of years together; that a heart doesn’t in fact let out an audible cry when it lets go of things it has always held. Separation always seems to be nuanced by aloneness, a sense of sadness perhaps. However, Carrie’s display, her meticulous stone gathering upon a wintery river bank has given us a reminder that in fact change is rampant in the lives of many people and that there are countless others just hidden from our view that are possibly navigating the very same kind of change. There is a small degree of reassurance in the notion that those of us who find ourselves in the wild storm of change are, in fact, not alone.
Ampersand “Walking on Thin Ice” January 21-Feb-18 1001 Tennessee St San Francisco


Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

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