Lines

Laura-Bethia E. Campbell (UWC AC 2011-2013)
14.06.12, Bali

Think of the parallels, the angles, the impressionistic directions our minds eye creates – lines are everywhere. If the world were muted and all other senses but sight could be halted or become void of distraction, it would take but a simplified glance for some,  or maybe a more scrutinizing one for others, to realize that lines create form; undoubtedly shaping everything and all.  A streak of morning sun catching the corner of a sign instantly illuminates the words “The Porch Café”; words of which are framed by bordering lines. In even closer sight: the curve of the plate in front of me, the serrated edge of a knife or maybe the rim of the balustrade offer simplistic lines; so easily apparent. It takes a different view to see the invisible – take for example, the unnoticed trail of hands in gesture during breakfast conversation. What significance does the ‘non-existent’ have?  Likely it is merely the artist’s perception, a desire to see everything and more. Critique might suggest uselessness in seeing non-apparent lines, but then where does reality end and imagination come in?

 As an art apprentice, I watch the meandering line of my bicycle track, I see the playful outline of silhouettes created by shadows and I mark the path of a child running along the dirt road towards the studio hidden in a local neighborhood, all somewhat subconsciously. Following those lines which almost represent a guide to the artist’s workshop in Sanur, I realize the non-apparent lines are so often the ones that direct us: like the placements within a composition or the link between thoughts; lines are present and stimulate motion.

Then I am transported once again: traditional Balinese music begins to play, incense burns and the graceful model starts to dance. Lines are brought to paper through dark Siberian chalk, and softer charcoal; all static precision and concern for detail forgotten. Finding an arbitrary rhythm, the hand creates lines, performing their dutiful act of creating a composition, and with skill, luck or simply intuition, they move correctly; bringing one’s eye towards the focal point of the piece. Every stroke becomes part of a layer: the flexed ripple of a muscle, the stretched pull of connective tissue, the interlocked joints of the human figure, until the anatomy is complete for now. These lines seem to have but one restriction: in reality they cannot lead past the edge of the drawing board; they are confined to the space of the page.  However, after hours of focus on ‘limited lines’, I look up, take one simplified glance elsewhere and am assured once again that, lines are everywhere.

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