Thursday, January 26, 2012

Will You Be Ready When The Horses Come For You?

 “Will You Be Ready When The Horses Come For You?”  by Crystal Neubauer

My recent work time in the studio found me attending to this piece for the "100 Artist Show: Art of Communication" opening at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery in Salem, Oregon the first weekend in February and running through March 3. The show features 100 artists who were invited to participate in partnerships of 2 artists each. After writing handwritten letters to their partnering artist, each artist was assigned to create, in their own medium, a piece inspired by their partners words. 
As I read the explanation from my partnered artist, Patricia Giraud's letter of her own work as an artist: “the horse became my totem around which I consider the principles of relationship, challenge, generosity and stewardship.” a song began playing on the radio in my studio called “Horses” by Margaret Becker. The lyrics read in part:

"Last night I dreamed of horses
Coming for my soul
Taking me to places
I wasn't ready yet to go

Last night I dreamed of silence
The silence that I keep
All the things I could've said
Well, they stole away my sleep

I need to remember
The horses will come
I need to remember
How quickly they run

I want no regrets
When the horses come for me
I cannot forget
That the horses come for me"

I view this type of serendipitous moment in the studio as divinely led and knew that the theme of the piece I would be creating for the show would center around the horse imagery Patricia described in her letter.

Patricia writes that she has been delving into issues of self and home, thus the bits of mesh and textured material in the upper portion of the collage above the ghost like images of the horses in the bottom portion are meant to impress upon the subconscious of the viewer as if looking through a kitchen window, curtains blowing in the breeze. The bits used here are multiple components from the spines of old books.  The use of book spines in my work always symbolizes inner strength. Just as the books strength comes from the structure of the spine hidden inside, so our own strength is often hidden within.

Patricia's own handwriting can be seen on the right and left sides of the bottom half of the collage, as I have used her letter and the envelope that it was mailed in as part of the composition, along with miscellaneous bits of antique letters and envelopes, English and Japanese, a sort of passing of a memory from one generation to the next.

Patricia is a very talented print artist, whose entry and explanation of what inspired her art from my letter can be viewed here. I love the piece she created and find myself selfishly wishing this partnership were a true art swap so that I could claim it as my own, but am well pleased that the show is actually a silent auction that will be raising funds for an art education program. You can read all about it at the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery website here.  


  1. There are so many concepts to consider here in this post...self and home...are both returning themes that need a constant contemplation. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. The words won't come. So I say, "wow."

  3. Just so utterly beautiful in image and thoughtfulness. This piece epitomizes the very essence of what I admire so in your work. At first glance the strings read to me as reigns, so I gasped when I read about the horses!!!

  4. I love the story of how this came to be, and the words to that song are so evocative. Sometimes there are forces at work that we can't understand. The piece is lovely.