ER (interviewer): Tell me about the theme of this exhibition.
Virginia Sharkey: It’s about time, specifically, the depiction, in abstract form, of the days of the week. I’ve always felt that each day of the week had a color . What color do you think of for Monday?
ER: I think of a warm grey.
Vs: I think of Monday as red. Everyone’s different. You ask about the relationship to poetry, as it’s in the title of the exhibit. I’ve always written. I participate in poetry readings every First Thursday at the Ft Bragg Public Library and during the annual Spring Poetry Festival in Mendocino, but never have connected poems and paintings before. I wanted to explore more of what I felt about each day so, in further musings I came up with these poems. The paintings were tangential to the words, but a there is definitely a connection. Thursday was the hardest, as the painting wanted to go away from the sense of the poem but I made myself return to the text. That is, at least, very indirectly.
Thursday (directly below) Saturday
ER: What artists inspire you? Vs: Lots. Ii love the work Matisse did around World War One, Goya, Bruegel and various contemporary painters. This show is inspired by The Book of Hours, specifically Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry and other illuminated manuscripts.I am interested in time and mortality. Painting is a perfect medium to explore this as time, like its lovely housing, music, is an ephemeral concept, without matter attached.
ER: Do you get stuck? Vs: Yes! I sit there. There is always a breakthrough, however. I’ll just sit and stare. It may be preliminary to what I want. Usually there is something that happens ﬁnally, a sensation in the body.
ER: So it’s a somatic experience?
Vs: Yes, it’s somatic. What do you do?
ER: I have to not overwork or get in my intellectual mind. Sometimes I have to walk away and let it come to me. I do those usual things like turning the image upside down, but mostly I have to be patient. You work is so clean, you edit out the noise.
Vs: Thank you. What a beautiful thing to say. I am in love with certain Asian sensibilities; simple like the image of persimmons Mu Ch’i Fa-Ch’ang. did about 900 years ago. I’m in love with the elemental and essential. It’s a state of consciousness; I try to create a presence, even a kind of exalted realm for the viewer to sink into.
ER: That brings me to my next question, are there sensations of experiences you hope to elicit from your audience?
Vs: I would hope people could have a mind cleansing experience, immersed in a beautiful presence – transported. If the viewer is transported that would be wonderful.
Wednesday (top) Tuesday