Portfolio: Lorna Williams

Work and Worship Stem from the Same Root

By: - Feb 14, 2008

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Work and Worship Stem From the Same Root
The Growth of Lorna Williams

My body is central to my understanding of self and the way 

I communicate myself through my art to others.
Right now, I am focusing on my body. By examining the shifts I encounter within—what outside energies/influences affect my physical response—I am chronicling my growth and development. I want to understand myself and what I need to do in order to feel grounded. Understanding stereotypes—how I am seen, how I see myself through my eyes and the eyes of others—race, class, history of geographic proximity (south, north, east, west) across water, skin color, body type, animosity within groups—what boxes I fit into—will help me break through them, develop my own vision, my own power to see things differently. I am learning to work in my power.
My body is not only an instrument that produces the music of  my birthplace, it is an agent for its re-articulation.

To understand my body, the inspiration for my work, you must first understand my relationship to my birthplace—New Orleans. It was there in the moist, fragile soil that my roots took form. Music made the soil of New Orleans fertile. It captures the pulse of the emotional, spiritual, and physical pain of my ancestors. Because I am sensitive to the raw messages embodied in New Orleans jazz, blues, zydeco, and gospel I consider myself a visual musician. Using a system of collage and mixed media techniques, I transcribe and conceptualize musical elements into visual elements.

Re- definition . . . Fluidity

I am working on a old piece in a new place-
this is what happens when I am inspired-
when I allow myself to be birthed-
fluidity . . .
In the beginning, I formed my cocoon for healing
—not understanding the process in it's entirety . . .
I began by making visual my struggles
—forcing myself to sit and draw my image/figure birthing (in the process itself)
—(of) releasing my fears around what my art was to evolve into
(which is based upon my openness in the first place)
—pushing it all out no matter what it looked like or felt like
—I called it "stubborn position"...
(when I feel my cup is full and I refuse to tip over)
—to create—I stop my own flow
—allowing myself to become distracted by the feeling itself
—that full feeling—like I am drowning—the panic—numbness
—mourning its death before it even developed within me to then be manifested
—too often I skipped the necessary steps...
I never went back to it really—
my dreams induced my labor
—my water broke---------------------
hitting the studio ground
—I surrendered
—welcomed it with music
and a dance ritual
to help it come through
—pulling it out by its arm and covering its bloody thorns with tree bark and honey
—I gave it a space
—planted its roots
—and chronicled its growth
—monitored its breathing
—memorized its pattern
and savored the newness of its texture . . .
it: the beginning of dimension
—a new tool added to my repertoire
—the bridge made up of shifting layers, wet folds, and colorful wood grain rhythms . . .
everything just seeped into place as the water spread surface—
moistening through—
aligned were my dreams, my truths, my inspiration, my questions, my unknowns
revealed in that moment—I see the new angles—I hear clarity—
I came out of that position—I am now raising—
here I am—
I am the earth sign trying to be fluid like the wind
—I am the mudslide gliding—
it may be muddy but it sure will clear you—
I heard it whisper in that final push and pull—
The greatest gift we can give to ourselves is space of self:
I wanted to know what it meant to have myself—
I found that it meant to just be
—being who I am
—living and making time to process
—to ask those important questions
—plug in
—find that stillness in all the motion
hold on and listen
—realizing the beauty in the wait—in the bee-coming of self
the key to life:
realize the connections in everything
—observe from every angle possible from where/who you are
right there in that very moment
and give yourself permission to just be there—
be where are you are
give space to your past . . .

Judi Rotenberg Gallery