At the Intersection of Art and Writing

The mobile sculpture strikes you as menacing. You regard it with caution. Bones upon black bones, lifeless and yet alive. A skeleton upon which your imagination hangs skins of guesses, theories and meanings. Is it a dark symbol? A trap? Will the bones collapse if the lightest of breezes moves through the gallery?

… Any piece of art is an entry point; a gate through which you pass in awe and apprehension; where will it lead? You are walking, or perhaps falling, into the artist’s world- and into potentiality of you being inspired by this passage and creating new art yourself.

A skinny teenager clutching a sketchbook in front of a Greek statue; a writer contemplating raw, melting colors of an impressionist landscape; a poet reflecting on a dark abstraction of a painting. They are all preparing to respond to art with art, all balancing on the edge of giving birth to something new. Art itself pushes them deeper into darkness of their imagination. Will they withdraw? Or will they fall in?

So many ways to fall, and to see.

You look at the mobile again and this time, it doesn’t seem to evoke danger.

Perhaps these amorphous shapes are simply moving through space in a graceful, if imperfect balance – and it’s up to you to keep looking and hold them all up with your gaze.

The pictures were taken during an altogether inspiring Writing Salon at the National Gallery of Art (#NGAWritingSalon), led by wonderful Mary Hall Surface. The workshop was centered on Alexander Calder‘s mobiles. You can register for the upcoming NGA writing salons here. You can follow National Gallery of Art here

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also want to read my February 2017 post, Speaking of Love and December 2016 post, Just a Talk in San Francisco: Rebecca Solnit.


Hello, my name is Maria Fafard and I am delighted to meet you! I read old books, travel to thin places, think about meaning of life and write about all of these things. I care about people, ideas, and books, believe in power of liberal arts, try to nurture creativity in others and myself, and strive to live a meaningful life. I believe that travel in the physical world is often a symbol for seeking in the realm of mind and spirit, and that wherever we are, countless gifts of joy and wonder are offered to us every day – but we have to be present enough to look up and accept them.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog posts, you can follow me here on WordPress, on Medium, and on Twitter (@mariafafard). Thank you and I am looking forward to talking with you on your favorite platform!


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