My work is inspired by the Duino Elegies, a set of poems written by the German speaking poet Rainer Maria Rilke, between 1912-1922. The poems are a profound meditation on human existence, uniting beauty and suffering, life and death. Even in translation, Rilke’s words have a deep effect on me.

With these silk panels I turned to shibori, a Japanese method of dyeing and transforming cloth. Folding, stitching and wrapping followed by chemical baths create marks and mutable patterns. The cloth becomes impregnated with a memory of the process. These alterations recall Rilke’s repeated incantations on the deepest issues confronting mankind.

I intend this work to convey a sense of remembrance, where the experience is not dependent on understanding the language. Using sound as a material, the audio recording gives volume to the work. Push the blue button and listen to a short fragment of a woman’s voice expressing a sense of awe as she reads the original German of Rilke’s Duino Elegies.

_from Elegies Seen and Heard
Works #8 and #9, Tussah Silk,15” x 18.25”
Sound Box, 6 x 4 x 6.5 in.