Rumi Guides the Journey, 2021

Rumi Guides the Journey, 2021


Rumi Guides the Journey, 2021
Ink, walnut ink, graphite & pigment tinted lake clay on sewn 30% recycled watercolour paper
Each accordion book 7”/18cm x 39”/100 cm
Full piece 42” x 78” / 106 x 198 cm

A work in twelve parts. 

Rumi Guides the Journey began simply as a way to produce a large piece within a small working area, with limited access to paper. This plan quickly turned from eight books to twelve in total, with a gap in between when I could not get the second batch of the same paper.

A story in twelve parts, this piece is meant to be seen separately, then divided out into the world in parts. My idea is for each accordion book piece to find a home, then be photographed with the caretaker and subsequently seen as a whole even as it is divided geographically. The documentation portraits with caretakers of each or several chapters being photoshopped together; the world falling apart and coming once again to a beautiful, evolved whole.
My captivation with Rumi began many years ago when I heard a translator of his writing speaking passionately and eloquently about his poetry. Coleman Barks stirred my interest, Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī sparked my soul.

Imagine words from another continent, another culture, being so pertinent here and now. Imagine words so potent that countless contemporary musicians have set them to melody. Imagine finding comfort and solace in reading these almost thousand year old phrases of love, longing, and directives of how to struggle and thrive in life. For me, now, these pieces, the colours made from raw pigment mixed with nearby lake clay, represent a long chapter of struggle to find a way through nomadic movements, through uncertainty and loss, through a time spent in four countries with small, temporary work areas but where my heart is really longing for more full expression of creativity, as always, for home. In that search, I am mirrored by my inner boundaries, and echoed without boarders of the sky. I am home in every moment, as long as I remember to breathe deeply and love completely.

The abstract marks came first, with Rumi in mind, and then I chose stanzas from four different Rumi poems. So as not to present as a single illustrated design book, I arranged the lines so they would flow when the twelve books were read in order. This many months time span is scattered with moments of struggle and frustration breathing in tandem with deep growth and cohesion; I wanted this piece to become a reflection of some of what I was feeling.

The selected lines are from the poems Special Plates, Enough Words, The Turn, and Quietness.

If any of these small accordion books or the words they present stir your soul, please reach out so we can discuss the terms of trade.