Caterina’s keys

In the spring of 2008 while working on a sculpture based my open-heart surgery that took place January of 2006, an idea took hold and since then has taken root. Never the less several more months would need to pass before I started searching for the various elements. Though a few elements are still missing, I have the foundation along with a couple of other essential objects in this assemblage. The base is an old wooden desk drawer that since has had a layer of golden foil added to it, changing the meaning from a utilitarian object to a personal shrine.

Spring 2008 at Diablo Valley College art department

The concept, like a pot of tea which has been slowly brewing, taking on colour, releasing its essence and filling the room with fragrance, so to has the mind contemplated the various aspects as to the artworks technical issues and final appearance. While time can become ones worst antagonist by altering the original course upon which one had set out on, the idea is too deeply entrenched for this to occur. This does not mean there is no room for allowing plenty of alternative paths to branch off into, without being unfaithful to the concept.

Another traveled one of these meandering paths after a story was shared and a comment exchanged, who then with great care and love placed two keys into an envelope, sending it by the hands of many unknown strangers participating in the mission, so that upon my trip home from southern California I would find waiting on the kitchen table a small package.

The packet had also two old fashioned keys drawn on it, along with the words “Art is Key” and “Art saves lives.” I carefully cut open the left side and gentle retrieved its content. With great anticipation and equal excitement I unfolded the antique gold tissue paper until the keys emerged from its safe keeping. Each key with its distinctive appearance and individual customized tag, offered a unique interpretation in the assemblages meaning. For now that decision would have to wait.

Yet after reading her enclosed note, I could not help but begin to ponder what Catering’s influence on the artwork, its impact or for that matter, its outcome would be. There would certainly be a shift in the artwork’s meaning, despite remaining truthful to the original concept and John Fowles' 1963 book, “The Collector.”

Caterina’s gift to me represents the very symbol of unlocking the personal mythology that a key represents and in the end it needed to come from another or it’s meaning could not be true to the idea of the artwork. Though the assemblage is far from complete, the artwork still remains in the gathering stage, but with either one of these keys, it has made a significant progress. For this I remain deeply indebted to Caterina and for helping me upon my journey.

Postscript: For those of you, who do not know Caterina Giglio’s blog La Dolce Vita, please have a look, as she combines various techniques in her multi-medium art.

For a review of Fowles’ first book "The Collector". He is also the author of "The French Lieutenant’s Woman."


Lawendula said...

I love keys in art!
And I love how we all are connected. I'm always finding people I know on other people's blog.
Cat is a dear friend to me :)
Hab einen schönen Tag, Egmont! Grüße aus dem kalten deutschen Norden.

La Dolce Vita said...

Dear Egmont,
your assemblage is so powerful with or without the key/s. I will look forward to the finished piece. what a nice shot of you in the studio my friend.

...and thank you so much for the plug on my little blog.

I had forgotten about the key drawings on the package, until I saw your photo! funny what we remember! selective memory!!!

layers said...

keys have so many meanings- both physically and metaphorically - psychological and in art- they can unlock so many things, thoughts, ideas, creativity

Ian Foster said...

A very interesting commentary on your journey with this work so far, I look forward to hearing more about it in due course.

Maggie Neale said...

Egmont, a lovely post. The process of assemblage is a journey and so fine to have friends present you with keys. Keys come in many forms...sometimes in words gathered from these blogs.
Word verif--sweet

Blessings to you.

Anna said...

there is one more meaningful and rather symbolic element in Caterina's note: the detail of the statue printed on her note is a close-up of a most beautiful ancient Greek statue: the Winged Victory of Samothrace from about 200 BC and now one of the most beautiful sights at the Louvre. So you can count also on this simple and very direct message of "victory" to be added to this special project of yours; victory as a quest, as a scope and also as a wish from the spirit of the Winged Victory and also from me, your new friend.

gunsan said...

Love the collage at the bottom. Keys always have something mysterious to tell. Something that triggers your imagination

John M. Mora said...

I will sample the keys if allowed, someday, with permission. wonderful post, I find peace and reflection always here.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Egmont,I love the old keys.I loved your meaningful post,too.
Thank you so much for your kind comments.
Hope this will be the Christmas of your dreams!

sophie munns said...

I like stories that have many chapters and keep getting more dense with meaning that gradually builds through the telling.
This is such a story Egmont.

The new tangent brought in by Caterina is quite wonderful and adds much to an already potent story!
The photo in black and white captures a lovely soulful mood - shall look forward to more on this should it arrive!

neva gagliano said...

an exquisite telling of this story.
...thank you. the connectedness that we discover through this vehicle at our fingertips is extraordinary, as you so clearly define. our spirits connecting up in the ethers. the power of words and empathy. and true new friends such as cat, so thoughtful and supportive.
all the best to you! as the new decade begins, the assemblage completes

kanishk said...

very interesting commentary on your journey with this work so far, I look forward to hearing more about it in due course.
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