Yvonne Kendall, And it grew, 2009; And it kept on growing, 2009; And it grew into word, 2009;
And it grew into music, 2009 curtain material, string, glue,wood,book, height approx 30cm each
Listening to silence
But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.
Yvonne Kendall has an apple tree in her backyard. This is a cause for celebration. For those of you who haven't been following the story so far, a couple of years ago, Kendall and her family needed to find a new home. She put this request out into the universe and through cosmic intervention and/or good luck in the real estate market (not to mention lots of patience and hard work!), she bought a wonderful house with enough space to nurture both her family and her artistic practice. And in the backyard grows a single, significant tree.
It was after the decision-making, the moving and the re-arranging was done that Kendall realised that she was finally home; she was staying put, she had a house and she could be happy. She was metaphorically putting down roots with no intention of pulling them up. She no longer had to listen to insistent thoughts urging her to action. She experienced an epiphany of sorts whilst revelling in the new, unfamiliar silence in her brain. She started noticing things that previously she had no time to notice. She saw that her majestic apple tree had roots that spread out and that they really had no reason to stop. Kendall saw that these roots literally connected the tree with the energy of the earth and everything within it. The revelation that she and the tree existed on the same atomic level meant that she too could connect with this life force. This elemental connection was a powerful and provocative thought that led her to consider what else lay beneath her - what networks, lines, meridians, energies were coursing under the surface.
Kendall's work is always personal, autobiographical even. On one level, viewing her exhibitions is like having a conversation over a cup of tea. On another, it transcends the narrative and one is forced to confront more spiritual truths, mysteries and intrinsic, unspoken knowledge - the very nature of art. There is a symbolism in her work that resonates and continues to grow in complexity until the psychology ringing in our ears is so sonorous as to deafen. I'm not suggesting the artist is hitting us over the head with meaning, infact I think the opposite is true. The meanings are often so fundamental and so deeply buried that they manifest purely intuitively and are all the more powerful for it.
The mystery of the exhibition is not just in the trees. It is in the extraordinary way Kendall has generously shared and included her new understanding of the world with us. The job for us is to find a way to stop the chatter, lose the distractions and experience the same profound silence long enough to hear the message.
The above extract is taken from one of two catalogue essays which can be read in full on our website.
The second essay by Martina Koeser-Rudolf, Deputy Director, Spendhaus Art Museum, Reutlingen,
is published in German, but a translation is available on the website or on request.
We are delighted that Yvonne Kendall will be returning to Melbourne for this exhibition. Please join her at the exhibition opening on Tuesday 27 July 2010 from 6pm.
A fully illustrated colour catalogue including two essays is available for $11.00 plus postage and handling.