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Cathie Bleck
February 2012
Scrolls of Dualities
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I began this large-scale visual journal in mid July this past summer. I have been fortunate to be able to work in a renovated church, Convivium 33 Gallery in Cleveland when the opportunity is available (for a few months this year). Each panel is 50"x170" on Stonehenge paper with kaolin clay and graphite, small amount of ink (lyra pencil 9B and powdered graphite). 
Reflecting on the subject of where I left off from my Butler museum show “Becoming Human”, I am exploring our relationship with nature, both past and present and the consequences we subject ourselves to through what we value as a culture.  I became fascinated by the origins of our human survival and the development of a code of ethics dating back to the epic poem of the seven virtues, written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (c. 410) called the "Psychomachia" or "Contest of the soul". The poem describes a battle between the heavenly virtues and the earthly vices. Reflecting on the dualities and tension that exist in resolving complex problems; observing both sides - good vs evil, love vs hate, diligence vs giving up, seduction vs restraint etc. I hope to gain clarity and dispense my fear of scale through working very large  and in my most comfortable medium-graphite and inks with kaolin. 
I am attempting not to overthink these, but to gather starting points sometimes from past work and at other times, inspired by something subconciously. I feel as if I am up high in a tree looking down on a human nature, drawing in a visual journal, exploring our past and present, in a feeble attempt to understand where we are going. Ultimately, they seem to be celebrateing beauty: beauty in chaos, beauty in human form, beauty in believing, beauty in resolution- after all I am a relentless optimist I suppose. We will get past this difficult time we are living in...we always have as we have repeated our behavior over and over again since the dawn of mankind. Creating modern day myths is part of what we all do here as artists, but this personal exploration has really pushed me in ways I never imagined. 
As long as we continue to explore what we do not know, we will flourish.  It is such an exciting time we live in, don't you think?
Detail of the storm

Detail but this entire area has now changed considerably as I have decided to stagger these individually and not in duplicity of form

This was the first thing I drew and it remains probably the freshest drawing. I hope to allow myself the ability to let go more and free up as I was in the beginning of the project.

This face survived when I recently covered over everything else in her gaze with a viel of white kaolin. She is one of my "beauty" heroins





Completely started over on this panel but planning to turn the other one upside down and reuse it-recycle.

"Beauty" veiled in her present universe


Really want to do a future painting of this closeup

Work at present Feb 2, 2012. Leaving some airy white space on some the next few ones...feel like I need some resting spots. Hoping to do at least 12 of these by May.

Almost finished this panel on the left today and integrating it with a different course of forms

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