Exhibition-Catherine Constable

Poetics of Creation

October 3rd to Friday, October 23rd, 2015

A Reflection on Poetics of Creation
Moving from one to another of Catherine’s Constable’s photographs, is to accept the invitation, in her own words, to “pause, to slow your heartbeat… and look closer for all that each photo contains.” It would be easy not to linger with any one photograph and assume we already know what is there. However, as art should, as poetry should, these images are intended to heighten our senses, our minds and our hearts to what is often overlooked. We are being invited to be attentive and aware. Whether clearly portrayed or perceived, whether of land or water or the skies, it is difficult to escape the horizon in Catherine’s work. It is a convention of art, particularly in the Western tradition, to speak of the horizon line, this line being an important feature of conventional linear perspective and of ordering our environment and world to human needs. Any line is drawn to separate, to distinguish this from that – so too with the horizon line. The line however does not actually exist; it is our invention. In truth those things we choose to separate and desire to compartmentalize, are in fact meeting, mingling and in a relationship with each other. As we pause before these photographs we may become more attuned to the horizon that surrounds us – and in all directions. Looking at any of these photographs one is quite right to assert that the photographer had to be looking forward, ahead to the scene before her to take the picture. However she may have actually paused and looked back to terrain already travelled, or to the side. Indeed the possibilities of the angles and degrees to which she could turn, to which we can turn – are infinite. Amidst a feeling of wonder, perhaps awe, somewhere between those slowed heartbeats, we are also invited to experience a pang of loneliness – a sense of distance from somewhere, some thing. Our lives are experienced as linear; time we understand as linear. The life of the body is one of a passage through time and space: from a beginning and to an end. Standing amidst the open space of nature, standing beside and with Catherine in poetic moments, we are indeed invited to contemplate distance and to experience silence. Silence can be often mistakenly associated with absence. Yet, through the theological lens, through grace, we experience the horizon, the infinite and eternal, as presence. We may in our broken-ness and distractedness dull our bodily and spiritual senses to it, but that which is all loving, all forgiving and Life giving, is with us and holds us. Perhaps it was with great intention that ancient saints of the Church chose the Greek word poietes when writing of God the Creator. “Poietes” being poet. How extra-ordinary to think of a God who created and sustains us and all Creation, as a poet. How apt that Catherine chose to title her exhibition Poetics of Creation. There is something of poetry, of all art and creation that is the essence of making new meaning and forging relationships. Pausing with these photographs we find Catherine’s greatest gift to us is the invitation to feel and know ourselves as part of God’s great poetic work, and as such to know the goodness of this Creation and of the Poet who surrounds it, holds it, and cherishes it. Ian McKinnon, October 2015