Saturday, March 13, 2010

Love, - Always and Forever.

Tappa, tappa, tappa, ding. tappa, tappa, ding . . . an empty chair sits, angled, as if the writer had just stepped away. As I walk up to the machine, I feel like I am interrupting a moment, something that is private and in motion.

I check to see if the seat is warm. The machine types and taps, taps and types. I touch the keys, and study them to see if they are moving, while the machine carries on in rhythm to a song that has been written over time.

A letter billows out of the machine, in a state of constant motion, but not visible to the naked eye. The letter is a transmission to another time and place. Beyond this life, and into the next. A small video image on the flowing paper of a young girl tap dancing, sending a message beyond.

The letter is from a granddaughter to her grandparents who have passed on. The writer never met her grandmother - her life was interrupted by cancer at the age of 46. Her grandmother never got to live out her life with her family; never saw her grandchildren; wasn't there when her husband passed on some 24 years later.

And yet, their memory is immortalized in the hearts of her sons, and their children, through stories, sounds and music. Although the artist never saw her grandmother, and never had enough time with her grandfather, they live on through stories and memories of them dancing in the kitchen, singing and playing music, and playing in the back yard with their children on a Ferris wheel built by his hands and ingenuity.

This communication machine carries a letter from the present to the great beyond. It is the last words we wish we could have with a person we loved and lost; it is a hope and dream that a connection can be made in another time and place.

The piece, "Love, - Always and Forever," was created by Sara Armstrong. It is part of an exhibit at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. The show, "Introspection" is a collection of works created by 4th year Bachelor of Fine Arts Program graduates.

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