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Silk reads like its title: smooth, elegant, tensile tough, luminous and unforgettable.
I was most struck by Hélène and the unnamed longed for lover: Hervé Joncour was subdued but emboldened -maddened by the unobtainable girl- through the strength of these two.
I chose peonies to illustrate the Japanese maiden- though "her eyes did not have an oriental slant"- not realizing peonies represent wealth, good fortune, honor, daring and masculine bravery; how fitting for Mr. Joncour!
To express Hélène's nature, I created a summer garden of deep rooted roses, those heady, full petaled exclamations of love and beauty.
Hervé Joncour's landscaped property, his personal park left it's imagery within me: Alessandro Baricco writes of the grounds with few choice words, deftly leaving the gardens indelible upon the reader.
Rather than imbue my work figuratively, I chose the language of nature to express the characters, historical references and storyline.
Symbolism fusing classic Japanese art and French sensibilities of the novel's time -(Impressionism was born in the 1860s)- created the heart of my montages.
Portraying Hervé Joncour's vast travels and alternate visions of his beloved park -where he finally found peace, tranquility upon realizing that his deceased wife and most desired, ever unobtainable love were, ultimately, one woman- are a surplus of images that I was inspired to create, beyond the submission requirement...
Silk is a story that beguiled and haunted me: I see and feel Alessandro Baricco's small gorgeous scenes again and again, long after the book has been closed.
photo 1 Stevenson Jeanette
"...Japan, where precisely is it?" "Just keep going. Right to the end of the world."
photo 2 Stevenson Jeanette
photo 3 Stevenson Jeanette
"It was like grasping in your fingers...nothing."
photo 4 Stevenson Jeanette
"Her eyes did not have an oriental slant, and her face was the face of a young girl."
photo 5 Stevenson Jeanette
"All manner of flowers were used in order to create gardens which opened out like so many unexpected clearings in the heart of little birch-groves."
photo 6 Stevenson Jeanette
"a thousand hues, orange, white, ochre, silver...only the rustle of those colours waving in the air, impenetable, lighter than nothingness."
photo 7 Stevenson Jeanette
"There was nothing left. There was not a living soul. The end of the world."
photo 8 Stevenson Jeanette
"Japan is an ancient country...it has ancient laws..."
photo 9 Stevenson Jeanette
"I never even heard her voice...To die of yearning for something you'll never experience."
photo 10 Stevenson Jeanette
"Occasionally, on windy days, he would go down to the lake and spend hours in contemplation of it because he seemed to descry, sketched out on the water, the inexplicable sight of his life as it had been, in all its lightness."