Windows Cry

by Maria Appleton


A Personal Diary,
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JUN.22 — MAY.6 / 2022
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22 / 04 / 22 – Today, A Few Things That Caught My Eyes

23 / 04 / 22 – About Last Night

A poem in my notebook about last night

24 / 04 / 22 – A Postcard

I bought a postcard on Sunday in a market in Porte de Clignancourt; It shows the image of a woman and there was 3 of them in a slightly different position and slightly different gradients, I wanted the three but the man was stubborn about the price so I ended up only taking one, In a way to annoy him. To stay firm in my word that I wouldn’t pay that much for the three of them. Although I still think I should have bought the three. Maybe I go back there next weekend. I think it’s important that things that were once put together, stay together. 

25 / 04 / 22 – Laundry

My laundry hanging in my house; In a way, I see no big difference between my work and any type of fresh laundry hanging from a balcony of a building. Both enrich the space. Laundry has an even bigger effect because of the smell it leaves.  In this case, I used to do my laundry – Marseille soap and orange tree flowers scent, makes me feel in summer back in Portugal. Where everything smells of possibility. 

26 / 04 / 22 – Work In Progress

27 / 04 / 22 – Mathematical, Actually

My last couple of days where very technical. Mathematical actually. I was introducing myself to the possibility of weaving gauze fabric which is a very specific type of fabric.  I had to learn from an old pdf documents that I found on the internet. I tried to translate it, and mount the threads in my loom accordingly. weaving can be something so intangible. At the end of the day, the loom was the first computer. I struggle to fully understand it. 

28 / 04 / 22 – In fact, A Love Letter

I achieved something yesterday that I was dreaming about for probably 1 year and it inspired me to write a letter to my loom. It seemed like it was the only way of expressing the excitement that I felt at that moment. At first I thought I was just putting in words what I felt. Later I  realized that it was, in fact, a love letter.

29 / 04 / 22 – Contrasting Geometry

I started making gauze, and decided to put it on top of colours. As always… for that I drew with oil pastels and ended up creating very organic shapes, it feels like – because now the fabric is so  grid-like it needs some contrasting geometry. I will always put things contrasting but it was funny that on this same day I ended up going to Brancusi’s Atelier near Pompidou and spent a good time drawing. Only 10 min walking from my house, and I must say in a beautiful spring day, where you the soft wind coming through your t-shirt when you walk.  Only those 10 min and I was in the best place in the world to think about organicity. Brancusi’s turned stone in something so light. 

30 / 04 / 22 – Light To Transparent

I want to turn things light too, transparent. One sentence that I am sure will guide me for the next weeks:  ” Light enriches our perception, capturing movement on the surface of the material at the confines of the form. This movement reveals a ridge or blurs a contour in a constant process of becoming.” The weather here is beautiful and I am feeling like something from nature too, listening to my needs and my gut. It is a beautiful time to be here.  I am taking care of myself. 

01 / 05 / 22 – About Light, And Night

Today my day was about light.  My nights are an extension of the day. It seems like some things only become clear at night… in spring nights of course, not winter ones. Last night I found out a bit more about my work. I had forgotten some of the reasons why I was here. It was only by confronting old ideas that I found the way… I guess when you don’t know where to start you start at the beginning. Somehow wherever we go, we get influenced by it. I love how that always works out for me. I picked up the fruit boxes the other day, just out of curiosity of what I could do with it. Obviously I saw them as structures to hang my work on but had no idea how or why that was important. I remember that my first interest in coming here was due to my long interest in stained glass windows and its effects on space. I actually applied to the residency with a project about the ‘vitraux’.

02 / 05 / 22 – More Light, More Colour

Today my day was more about light and colour which brought me back to a more primordial chase of my work.  I am feeling very interested in oranges and reds. When I draw these stains of colour with my oil pastels I always get very intrigued by the nuances of orange that I am creating, It almost strikes me in the stomach just by looking at it. I found a song called Vitrais (vitraux) that I enjoyed very much: 

Another thing I would like to share with you not so much related to work but more with myself. This song has inspired me in the past few days. A bit misplaced… 🙂 but love how it turns from a beat to a cheesy light melody! and a coincidence that is about New York!

03 / 05 / 22 – Connections

Yesterday I remembered that in Paris there is a brand of tea that has a very special type of tea, made of orange leaf and I want to find it again. Maybe it is all the orange that I have been using in my drawings that makes this happen… “To emphasize its thing-ness. Light. It’s not like other things, you don’t shape it like clay, you don’t carve it like wood. It’s more like sound. So you make an instrument that produces it the way you want.” James Turrell

04 / 05 / 22 – Let Spring Happen

I discovered Jardin des Plantes on Sunday after a long walk around Ile Saint Louis and across the river to Jardin Tino Rossi. Jardin Tino Rossi is a very nice park by the water with sculptures and many types of trees and plants. I contemplated for a very long time about this one tree. By very long, I mean 1 hour. The light was striking it on very lime-green leaves making it glow!  I love when this happens with colour. I drew the tree. That tree gave me so much back. After a lot of looking and on the move contemplating a city that is everyone’s and feels everyone’s, I came across Jardins des Plantes on my right. In this Jardin when you enter you can see a scenic display of nature against the architecture of the Palaces around it. It is pure beauty, but as I walked in, what I found most intriguing were these Black Tulips that were meticulously planted in one of the flowerbeds. I analyzed them and had the feeling that was the first time I was looking at such black coloured flowers. Didn’t even think that such a thing was possible. From now on I will remember the black tulips as one of my favorite flowers. Somehow I felt very related to them. In the maturity that they were insinuating as well as the long wait that they seemed to carry within them. Another thing that struck me was the blossomed Almond tree dancing in the wind, in its light and white way of dancing. Like a lighted being, innocent and pure. Directly opposite to the tulips I don’t know which one I related to best, both in a way, mixed, layered and fighting with each other in favor of my own progress. Observing spring happening is always a life lesson somehow, I think we observe nature mutating and whilst the same happens to us, we look inwards.

05 / 05 / 22 – What Opens the Way is Darkness

I found this sentence from a book in celebration of John Berger’s writings, talking about the cave paintings here in France that were discovered 10 years ago, in a cave completely sealed by rock, which conserved them to be exactly what they were when they were done. Almost an impossible thing for archeology matters.

“They were for the dark they where hidden in the dark so that what they embodied would outlast everything visible and promise perhaps survival.”

This inspired me very much on the continuation of my thoughts on light and matter. I started to think if my work was itself like cave paintings… If It was in the light or in the dark. I also found a poem called “What Opens the Way is Darkness”. Seems all very loose now but I know that I am getting somewhere with all of this, my works are making more sense day by day.  The stained glass steelworks and their reflection/projections are only being seen in the darkness. Georges Perec and A guy with his eyes closed to the wonders of the everyday world. My weavings more and more transparent, allowing me to see what is behind. The organic shapes I have been drawing and the ones I am drawn to in nature, Like my heart broken time is a time of reinvention, of conservation of myself. Like the almond tree in its delicacy of being so fragile, and the blossom of the black tulip, assured and nourished. 

06 / 05 / 22 – Like Water

It is mostly street life that informs my work. This is why the relationship between what happens in my day and the results in my work are very connected. Yesterday I had a very nice moment when I was out and about. I walked home all the way from Pantin to my house in Le Marais, By the canal, following the water. I myself felt like water, fragile in its form. It felt like if someone wanted to trespass me they could. I walked along it and felt calm. If I was like water I was going to act like water, fluid in its way. I walked slowly not concerned if people would think I have nothing to do. I passed by two girls trying to open their beers with a house key, and thought that, in case of them being locked out the house later, I would offer my lighter to get them open. I laughed at myself. They didn’t know how to open a beer with a lighter, so I had to do it myself, and it took a while. But I managed and kept walking. Laughing at my fluidity. I had my hair down and I felt like the wind was my friend, because of the way it made my hair locks dance in the wind. At least I could feel touched. I was alive. I kept walking and saw great things. Buildings, people, the sun was strong and my mind as well.  I kept walking, following the canal. Passed by La Villette, canal Saint Martin etc. I stopped at some point, some boys looked at me. Spring was here. 

Later on I passed by Republique where I stopped to contemplate the swing dancers that always gather there on good weather days to just enjoy each other’s moves. I looked at it with my moved soul. Decided to come over. Ask how I could learn. Like water I was embracing the fluidity that it is destined to. Lucky me they were starting a beginners class, They were just waiting for more people to join. It was completely free and I payed 3 € to some guy to look over my bag, as in Paris there are many pickpockets. I had a beginners class with one stranger that was also passing by and decided to do it aswell.  There I was, without much warning, dancing with a stranger in one of the biggest places in Paris, waiting to be loved. Afterwards, my pair went away and I stayed dancing with the advanced people, it was so nice, they would make my body spin and jump. It was like everything was forgotten for a bit and there I was firmly convicted of beauty, on top of a hill, holding peace. After that I came home, with a smile. A child passed by me on his scooter and shouted: “Bon soir Madame!!” I replied and watched him going away with his little legs and high speed. That left me with the biggest smile.

06 / 05 / 22 – Like Life Itself

…Because all of the good things in life are simple. Today I decided to stop cracking the puzzle of weaving all the types and just have a reward out of it. I cut in half some of the fabrics I have woven on the past month and started combining them. I was very happy with the result. These pieces I am working on should not be about the feeling of light hitting colour. But should be the feeling itself. Like Stained class windows are not about the object itself but about the sensation that they produce.

Likewise the smell. Likewise dancing. Like a lot of things in life.