(March 3, 2016. Re' Woven Tale Press Volume IV #2)
Sandra Tyler is editor-in-chief of a bright & energetic e-magazine that we consider among the best fine arts reviews in North America. It's called the Woven Tale Press. We warmly encourage you all to check her fascinating fare each month. Invariably it delights & stimulates new ideas in folks who live for color, candor & electric thoughts. Sandra posted this heads-up note on Google+ this morning: "We are always eclectic, but some real surprises this month, especially in beading and enamel works. Latest Press is out!" As always when I'm in town, I dropped everything & clicked into one of my favorite intra-cranial getaways...
Away on biz trips, we've been literally immersed in half-chilly Mid-Pac waters for much of the winter, so I missed a couple issues. This new issue once again is stellar, Ms. Tyler. "Eclectic" is way too tame a term. It's my opinion that this ish specifically is worthy of wide smiles, a good sea of them.
It's visually expeditionary, unsettling & soothing at nearly the same moment, page after page. Many of the fine art pieces are piquant, piquing the occipital lobe by finding fun new ways to convey torsion with tenderness. Some of the poems tempt, taunt, even tapdance deftly over the front porch of your frontal lobe; so that all you can say is, "Hey, I'm pushed to envy. It's gentle but it's there."
The metalworks of Annariitta Saarelainen provoke astonishment in the depth of field, & depth of feeling they can invoke in such small uncluttered pieces -- especially a bronze casting called "Birds," & then "Two of Us," a work of iron & clay with an ovoid Ovid core of mind/eye candy that you'll have to see for yourself. I'll bet you one curly copper Easter bonnet you'll be more than surprised. Also check the newly released video clip about how Ms. Saarelainen fashioned these pieces; it's mesmerizing.
Sophia Blackwell's poems are invariably flawless, honed by 800 garnet grit to a fine faretheewell.... "A drunk bends his inked neck to the rain's blades" -- proves it's possible to make incisions delicious, even in this best of times & worst of times. By the time we reach her set piece, "Revival," our faces are, quite willingly, "raised to the wild light." And I, for one, imagined a jostling sweaty crowd, eyes wide with chanting & the fever of fraternity, impelled to carve through billowing clouds of dry ice incense in deep sweeping scoops, all hands waving on high like pentecostal anemones. What I wondered was: are all these raptured people praising fumes in limbo at the altar of chance, or planning something down-to-earth -- even stark?
Ms. Blackwell's gift for dancing diction is ripe, restless & engaging.
Judy Stone's enamels are sere & beautiful, their rich colors flirting with the mind's eye like mesmer-vespers. "Burnt Offering" is so delightful; I turned back to that page several times -- just to re-remember the image precisely. That quirky ceramic gem was like a clever truffle that many people have stored away in a place -- way in the back of their brains -- where we all protect the myths that keep us safe, serene, resistant to chaos. Ms. Stone's piece made me think of a miracle, those rich colors surviving on a priceless Hamada Shōji vase near Nagasaki's core the morning after, still pulsing with expectant life & the connotations of a smirk.
And so, sunseekers; do take a sec' to check Sandra Tyler's Woven Tale Press. In fact, consider spending half an afternoon. Well worth your time with, say, a nice room-temp Malbec, a plate of fresh figs & some oven-warm artisan bread at your elbow. It's a rippin' good romp through some confidently beautiful minds.
-- John Hessburg
Editor, The Diction Aerie
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