Capturing Sorrow in Words and Images

 

sisters-of-sadness

sisters-of-sadness-closeup

“Sisters of Sadness” Materials: paper flowers, acrylic paint, glitter, patterned paper, ribbon, rhinestones

How do you capture sadness, sorrow, melancholy, loneliness, depression, and other abstractions in concrete ways in words or images without being melodramatic? This is a question I find myself asking when I’m trying to write or create visual art. Some have mastered the art — those who compose songs that hurt in just the right ways — so I decided to borrow some song lyrics and experiment with excerpts and erasures. (But what happens when you divorce lyrics from melody? Is something essential lost?) I tried to strip down the words to the part where I felt the essence of the emotions. Here is what I came up with.

the-lonely

“The Lonely” by Christina Perri Materials: printed lyrics on cardstock, chipboard hearts, acrylic paint, soft pastels

sound-of-silence

“The Sound of silence” by Simon and Garfunkel Materials: lyrics printed on cardstock, acrylic paint, chalk pastels

hallelujah

“Hallelujah” bu Leonard Cohen Materials: printed lyrics on cardstock and Washi tape

 

 

 

 

 

Across the Universe

Across the Universe
Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.
Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world (X4)
Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.
 Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world (X4)
Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe
Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world (X4)
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

The magic of inspiration is that you never know where it will come from. One song that has been on the soundtrack of daily life lately is “Across the Universe” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. My favorite version of the song is actually a cover by Rufus Wainwright (this is where I smirk to myself because I can only take Rufus seriously as a dog’s name) and that is the one I’ve been playing over and over. Anyway, the point is that the song inspired some artwork and I wanted to share it with you. The artwork looks a lot better in person. It is hard to photograph shiny things, such as sequins.

across-the-universe-1

Materials: stencils, acrylic paint, sequins

across-the-universe

Materials: patterned paper, star embellishments, acrylic paint, stencil, Sharpies

And of course, I must share the music video of the version I’ve been listening to.

The flavour of the song was heavily influenced by Lennon’s and the Beatles’ interest in Transcendental Meditation in late 1967 – early 1968, when the song was composed. Based on this, he added the mantra “Jai guru deva om” (Sanskrit: जय गुरुदेव ) to the piece, which became the link to the chorus. The Sanskrit phrase is a sentence fragment whose words could have many meanings. Literally it approximates as “glory to the shining remover of darkness”[3] and can be paraphrased as “Victory to God divine”, “Hail to the divine guru”, or the phrase commonly invoked by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in referring to his spiritual teacher, “All glory to Guru Dev“.[4]

Source: Wikipedia