Friday, September 9, 2016

Basho’s Pond: Lotus Leaves, Frogs and the Spirit of Transformation. Art Installation and Exhibit of Handmade Paperworks by KPC/DCA Member Sheryl Jaffe

WHEN: September 4-October 22, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday September 10, 2016,  5:00 PM - 8:00PM

WHERE: Easthampton Arts Walk
Mill 180 Park, Easthampton 413-527-0311
180 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA 01022

Furu ike ya --Old Pond 

kawazu tobikomu --Frog Jumps in
Inmizu no oto --Sound of Water


This famous Haiku, written by Japanese Zen poet, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) is the inspiration for this colorful, provocative art installation. Out of the timeless serene summer twilight of the old pond comes the “kerplunk” of the frog’s splash. As the Buddha changed with noticing the morning star, we can be transformed by the “kerplunk” of the frog. The lotus is known for its purity and beauty that is born from the mud and muck of the world, frogs are living reminders of rain, fertility, transformation and rebirth. Their well-being is closely linked to that of our environment. Amphibian means 2 lives, (one on land and one on water), most of us have at least 2, some of us many more. Our brains carry the memories from one part of our life to the other and it can be challenging to move through these many lives. Frogs are a great metaphor for these transformations; eggs to polliwogs to froglet to adult frog.

Transformation is the thread that connects and repels. As living beings we change, grow and are transformed by events, relationships, emotions, experiences. Change is constant, this is both difficult and refreshing. In my studio practice I engage with plant fibers that are transformed by heat, water, movement, color and me. These paperworks are all made of plant fibers, they will continue to absorb the moisture in the air, the ambient light and the mood of the viewer.

This old mill is being transformed, this Park is becoming a place of shared experiences, laughter and conversation, music and art, meeting of minds. I am fortunate to be involved in the nourishing life of the people and the plants here. Sheryl Jaffe is an artist, papermaker, swimmer and teacher residing in Ludlow, MA.

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