Past Exhibitions

After T.S. Eliot

This series of works was created as a dialogue with excerpts from T. S Eliot’s “Four Quartets”. The images emerged from a desire to find a visual echo that could enhance the resonance and contemplative quality of the poetry. For this, the simplest materials seemed the most appropriate – starting with the pristine quality of the white water-colour paper where pine needles, twigs, dried leaves and roots were placed. To these were added scraps of earlier etchings that suggest the reshaped memory of creative processes that have already occurred.
Orstav’s deep involvement with the words and her materials resulted in a minimum form of representation. The placement of the elements is simple and accurate; at times premeditated, at times random.
The paper serves as a stage, a meeting place, here and now, for both creation and decay. Eliot directs us to the present moment:” Here now, quick now, always- a condition of complete simplicity” . A dry leaf is transformed into butterfly wings beneath which is folded white paper. Above the lines “We shall not cease from exploration”, a thin curled twig rises like a secret unfolding into the surrounding white space.
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Eliot’s poetry deals with the human perception of time and its limits. In “Four Quartets” he expresses not a linear but rather a cyclic perception of time that has an affinity with Buddhist and Hindu philosophies . In his poems, birth and death are intertwined; growth and decay inseparable.
“What we call the beginning is often the end
and to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.”

Judy Orstav’s works allude to the ephemeral nature of existence, and offers an observation and contemplation of its temporality.