Rachel Zanders Together
42 x 59.5 cm
Sandra Bushby/Rachel Zanders: Impulse-Interval/ Accent-Breath
“One winter, trying to appease myself, I whipped my bed every
afternoon with my uniform belt. ... whipping the bed with a belt, like a creature demented!—and I often began half-heartedly, but I did it daily, after school, as a desperate discipline.” That was Annie Dillard, using a simple structure to turn ir- ritation or elevation into an energy field. Managing her compulsions, spacing the ungovernable. Turning irritation or elevation into structure. That’s right, that’s painting, that’s writing, that’s homework, that’s making lots of things; finding ways of running the workshops of feeling. Project managing the sentiment. It’s the same as tried and true folk art, making and joining, crafting. Plaiting, putting in seams and darts, finishing off with the right kind of stitch, feeling the fabric between the fingers. Putting things in a sort of order, doing it for a long time each day. Allowing a flourish that only comes with practice. Annie’s desperate discipline applies to both Sandra’s and Rachel’s conjoint art for Olga. The tempos differ. What painting is about and is. And its being about is not translation, it’s re-presentation, it’s round about, round-abouting, going back over, falling into further relentless circling that shifts along by nudgings considered and nudgings imposed; worried currents that won’t let go that go away but won’t. The wayward shopping trolley with jammed front wheel. Steering catawampus oblique; it’s repeated presentation with slurs. With angles. And slants. Translation is alright too when ‘recessed’, recessional temporal loops diminishing as spatial nesting that never gets anywhere except differently, determinedly. This this that then that glissando, to arpeggiotic up or sideways climbing. Hermit crabs form “a hermit crab chorus line” waiting in line for accommodation changes in community preparedness. It’s unstoppable, but it stops and starts and jitters along—now slow, next furious, now faster than zip stitches or Quick Unpick tooling with tiny
red pellets, “Faster than fairies, faster than witches” “Fly[ing] as thick as driving rain ... Painted stations whistle by.” It’s manic it’s calming; it’s ornamented and reserved; retiring, compulsive, and convulsed by compulsions. See Sandra’s stone pillows, such nubilous lift, ornate play, fadings away in tumulose air, spaced and blurred. Jacob’s ladders accreting in reduced circumstances; bricks in the sky that can be counted often, mineral red slabs stacking, inferred if not, read off impressions. She sometimes has pelagic or bosky dreams in a small garden. Here it’s brick accents, brick steps ascending and descending on ladders in serial
heavens. Necessarily as an inexhaustible elegant step, counter-stepped dance display, Rachel shows sonic clatter, mineral clitter, rolling down and along, braced and end-stopped, nubs and capped staves, jointed continuums set in motion like games on the floor. Skewed formations with minds of their own. Primary school stick games on mats with time-clapped exchanges. Throw catch tap, spin swap and return. Glitches, self-notching task setting accents each session.
“An arpeggiotic thought escapes like an uncanny configuration of rocks. A slow blink between moments feels too serene to be coincidence.” But there’s much co-incidence; there’s also more. Like Marianne Moore’s “Hurry, worry, unwary/... never vary”, “It’s all like the never-ending/Ferris-wheel ascending/picket-fenced pony-rides (ten cents).” Or her favoured Swedish carriage, the “dolphin-graceful” carriage cart: “all/needles: from a green trunk, green shelf/on shelf fanning out by itself./The deft white-stockinged dance in thick-soled/shoes!” It’s Tristan Tzara’s “Cubist tinkle dance” performed on ladders.
With thanks to: Annie Dillard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Katherine Rundell, Animal Psi, Marianne Moore, Tristan Tzara
Allan Smith, February 2020
Sandra Bushby, Let it Bleach Blue--
Oil on linen 45 x 30 cm, 2019
Oil on linen 45 x 30 cm, 2019