|Wendy Stefansson. Return (detail). Salt crystals on kite strings, 2005.|
Return was a temporary outdoor installation I made at my mother’s beach on Prince Edward Island. The family cottage there was built by my grandparents in 1950, and was a favourite retreat of my grandmother’s, my mother’s, mine, and now my daughter’s. At the time that I made this, the first of several salt works, I was beginning to deal with recurrent bouts of depression. I boiled up salt water solutions over a hot stove each morning and then left it to coalesce onto strings as it cooled, creating sparkling strands of cube-shaped crystals. Each day, I tied the new lengths of string onto the existing ones, slowly creating a curtain of salt. Before we left P.E.I. to return to our home, I hung the “curtain” of tears on the rocks at the beach, and photographed it as the tide came in and took away the salt, taking back its own.
In my work, salt references tears, as well as sweat and blood and body chemistry – all the messiness and effort of a life lived. It speaks of healing in the return of the salt to its source, the sea. Of cleansing and absolution. Of grace.
|Wendy Stefansson. Return. Salt crystals on kite string, 2005.|
|Wendy Stefansson. Return (detail). Salt crystals and kite string, 2004.|
|Wendy Stefansson. Return. Salt crystals on kite strings, 2005.|
For more on my salt works, see my post entitled "on tying the knot" -- http://inno-particular-order.blogspot.ca/2013/04/on-tying-knot.html.