Silt in a Pond by Susan Klein
Although my work is abstract, the motives behind them are often narrative and literary. What I’m reading, where I live, where I travel – these are absolutely influential. I was reading Margaret Atwood’s “The Blind Assasin” a few months ago while working on this painting. There is a particular passage in it “Time: old cold time, old sorrow, settling down in layers like silt in a pond”. I love everything about this sentence and it helped steer the direction of this painting. Silt in a Pond began from a snapshot I took on the street in Montreal of a pile of wood and construction leftovers leaning against a brick building. On the left hand edge and very bottom of the painting, the surface is sanded, and you can see the remains of the original image. As the painting developed, I wanted it to be weighted on the bottom, pushed down by an airy, clean, luminescent color. To me, this painting feels simultaneously dense, heavy and claustrophobic yet light, spatial and open. It is stratified, both top to bottom and front to back. I owe a few titles of paintings and narrative ideas about time to Atwood. Maybe it is fitting that this is a Canadian-sourced painting (but that is coincidental). It is the rare writer who can do what she does with language.