A Vessel To Mold

Michal Fargo vase

This morning was a frenzied cloud of laundry and e-mail and overnight bags as Ken and I plan to escape our town for a recluse cabin-in-the-woods weekend with two of our favorite friends. And in the midst of tying up loose ends and rescheduling a few conference calls, a serendipitous message arrived in my inbox…

Michal Fargo vase 7

The email contained a link to the work of Michal Fargo, an Israelian artist with a refreshing perspective on the intersection of art and nature and our modern lives – the perfect mindset to kick off a remote, quiet weekend away. “Before the industrial revolution, humans were surrounded by nature,” Fargo writes. “We had different colors around us, and different textures. Today, all we have … in our immediate environment is colored and scented and engineered to the core. [My] vessels are trying to capture the longing for authentic nature and at the same time to celebrate progress and its many benefits, and maybe combine both emotions into one.”

Michal Fargo vase 6

Her message is precisely the same as mine – that our world has achieved and advanced and developed, and yes, those leaps and bounds should be celebrated. Yet I often live in limbo, longing for nostalgia and nature and simplicity – a life where buzzes came from animals, not machines. Where chirps were respite, not reminders.

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Michal creates her vessels by shredding a foam cube with her bare hands, digging and peeling and forming – a process she calls “barbaric.” And I find it so very metaphorical that, to create something new, Michal has to destruct the old. She has to carve away the excess, removing and re-shaping and molding a new form entirely – transforming the very existence of the original state.

Michal Fargo vase

Today, I think of my life this way. I’m learning to remove the excess and slow down and edit my life – to transform myself into a vessel worthy enough to hold its contents.

Michal Fargo vase 4

Michael writes in her artist statement that her aim was “to leave my mark, a fingerprint perhaps, on the vessel.”

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And today, on this vessel, she has. (Happy weekend to you, friends.)

Image Credits: Mel Bergman

p.s. A few favorite vessels I’ve loved in the past: the concrete vase, a sculptural vase and a multi-tasking vase.

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