"The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went. And what the poets said in rhyme, the youth translated into practice" -Virginia Woolfe, Orlando
Today was the day our dreams materialized. Finally, sparks between neurons and synapses, and code written within ones and zeros became manifest, latent, fucking real. There is physical evidence of our desires, of that brainchild we nurtured for far too many hours. The crisp, almost sickly sweet spring wind swept through the grove of oaks surrounding the garage in which we will hold the first installation of the HARC Collective, breathing life in to our dream. James, Divya, and I spent the day cleaning & pressure washing the garage on the property of his mother's photography studio. The planks of the garage came back to life, free from their former coating of dust. As each layer of dirt was removed from the old space, a new step was taken towards our aspirations, and thus the opening. It was a cacophony of sounds, the percussion beat of board of wood being dropped against each other, the rhythm of the gasoline powered pressure washer, and the intermittent harmony of tires crunching on gravel.
I can't help but compare today with the days of my youth, spent outdoors under the Carolina sky, our five acres dappled with sunlight. The property that I grew up on had an old barn dating back to the 1940s, and as we moved boards in and out of the garage, preparing to pressure wash the space, I was brought back to the stacks of planks that we kept in the hayloft of that old barn. As light filtered through the windows of the shed and glinted off the falling dust we brushed from the walls, I was transported back to my childhood, to the days my father and I spent in our barn, to the dust that would be brushed off of our horses and glittered in the waning sunlight. The white paint of the Creissen's buildings matched almost exactly the paint on the old barn, reminding me of the sign the barn bore, "Green Acres". I do not know how the barn got that name, it was there long before we purchased the homestead, and remained after we sold it. Remembering it now allows me to reminisce on the unbridled (no pun intended) joy I experienced during those days, the carefree innocence of childhood.
Nostalgia is a funny thing, it simultaneously makes me yearn for days gone by, for the days that I didn't appreciate enough while I had them, and makes me fearful that I will not appreciate the beauty of the present while it is here - that one day, I will be filled with same regret at my own ignorance of my past happiness. For this concept of the present is inherently transient, in that moment in which we pause to appreciate the present, often it has already passed.
This is why the concept of the pop up gallery is so important. At its core, it is innately impermanent. It forces us to confront transience at its most basic level and asks us to pursue the fleeting nature of time to its lair. For one night, we are forced to connect with those around us; confined by the limits of time itself, we must act intentionally, interact with the art, with performance, with each other.
So I guess I am very lucky that I find myself in such good company.
Wishing you and yours a happy weekend.
xx Annie H Simpson