A few weekends ago I went to my aunt and uncle’s in New Jersey to get away from the city for a bit, experience a change of pace…in two words, much needed. I brought the cup and spoon with me of course. Packed up the object, accompanied by a clean paint brush, a sample container of paint, gloves, and new saran wrap.
My aunt said I could paint it in the kitchen, the central place I spent most of my time out there. She gave me a real estate catalog to put down on the kitchen table. I stumbled to find the words to explain exactly what is this artwork I am doing. “…it’s about this time in my life…” but it’s not just that…and of course all art is sort of about that. “…it is a marking of this segment or chapter in my life…these 300 days from start to finish…after that I will probably move back to California”…it seemed to translate somehow.
My cup and spoon reminded my aunt of something. She told me about an event that happens every year out there where they live. Everyone who participates is given a soup recipe, many people are given the same recipe to make. All the soup of the same kind are then brought together and mixed into one big soup. Then everyone lines up outside as a way of experiencing what many people do daily who have little or nothing to eat. Each person is served a bowl of soup to enjoy together. The soup is served in hand crafted bowls each made by a different artist of the community. Once the meal is finished, the bowls are cleaned and then returned back to the person who ate from that bowl for them to take home. A humbling experience, one so symbolic of community, and the nourishment and need of giving and receiving.