David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

08 November 2009

Vale Sue Ford (1943-2009)

Such sad news this morning : the death of Sue Ford.

Sue Ford: Self Portrait 1961

As a star, a mirage or a butter lamp,
As an illusion, a dewdrop or a bubble,
As a dream, a flash of lightning or clouds,
All compounded things should be seen like this.

- from Praise to Shakyamuni
Sue loved swimming and being near water.
Through this merit, may all beings attain the omniscient state of enlightenment,
And conquer the enemy of faults and delusion,
May they all be liberated from this ocean of samsara
And from its pounding waves of birth, old age, sickness and death!

- from Praise to Shakyamuni

Sue Ford:
Self Portrait 2004

Sue Ford's last exhibition, that I am aware of, was Last Light.
(at Arc One Gallery, Melbourne and Watters Gallery, Sydney)
These are the final paragraphs from Robert McFarlane's review
(Sydney Morning Herald, January 30, 2008).

The pictures in this exhibition also easily transcend an enduring photographic cliche: the coastal sunset. With subtly added colours and people reduced to silhouette, they evoke virtual, imagined tourism, one step removed from reality - creating abstractions of the truth that the writer Norman Mailer, had he applied his wit to photography, might also have named factoids.
In perhaps Ford's most haunting picture, Silhouette 2007, a young woman stands in profile, photographing a scene in which five people swim in a curving bay beneath gently serrated hills that follow the line of the shore. Ford's composition gives the woman's figure enormous scale and mass against the psychedelic colours in the receding landscape.
Ford's achievement in Last Light lies in her ability to create such pictures - pregnant with imagining, rather than literal photographic storytelling. And by reducing the woman's face and body to a black, impenetrable profile, she enforces the absolute privacy of her experience.
( full review here )

Sue Ford: Silhouette 2007
Update :
On Monday 16 November a two hour memorial attended by several hundred friends and family was held at Tara (Buddhist) Institute, Melbourne.

Later, with chai and chat, we looked at photos of Sue, her family, her many friends.

2009.11.16_photo board at Sue F memorial_#1_400w
2009.11.16_friends with photos re. Sue_#2_400w
2009.11.16_photo board at Sue F memorial_#2_400
2009.11.16_friends with photos re. Sue_#3_400w
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something . . .