dear fair shouldered one

Sinister Ticks

Part of the flirtation is writing each other playful notes.


I am engaged in heavy flirtations with an older, dark-haired man who is either an actor playing the man for the purposes of the dream—as if he were ‘cast’ in the dream—or someone I actually know (or both). He looks kind of like Kyle MacLachlan and kind of like Pierce Brosnan. These flirtations take place in a large, labyrinthine house stuffed with upholstered furniture from the 30s and 40s. Both the rooms and the flirting seem to go on and on.

Part of the flirtation is writing each other playful notes. I leave one for him on the kitchen counter even though he is only in the other room.

Nuala sees the note and asks me to show her how to make the ‘ticks’ I use in my handwriting. She is referring to little angled marks that seem to be part of my writing.1 1   When I first moved to Providence, I noticed that I had begun making a little tick off the tops of certain capital letters. I had never done that before and mentioned it to a friend who studies handwriting. He said that the classic interpretation would literally be that I was ‘ticked off’ about something. He suggested I consciously stop making the ticks and see how I felt. I did and, indeed, that particular small flick of rage did seem to subside. (But I still kind of hate Providence.) I am puzzled because the marks are so uninteresting but I agree to teach her. We huddle down together on the itchy, carpeted floor in front of paper that is either covered in my own handwriting already or it’s a newspaper on which I have made the ticks.

There is some confusion as I realize or remember that Nuala is left-handed and if she is on my right, she won’t have room to make the mark. We rearrange ourselves and I show her how to draw the quick little mark, sometimes across tiny circles, sometimes over my handwriting. We use a grey ink pen (I always write in grey ink now—and have since I moved to Providence ten years ago).2 2  

The dark-haired, flirting man looks on, casually lounging on a chair covered in a nubby red tapestry.


Dream of the Drawing for Everything alchemies dream-like things: images and texts and films and sketches and philosophy and half-thoughts and visions and moments and fragments of all kinds. Resting and exploring here may deepen your relationship with the oneiric and, therefore, all apparent reality. Resting and exploring here may augment your psyche’s healing tendency—as Jung called it—through highlighting and delighting in humanity’s hallucinatory creations. (Without them, after all, neurologists assure us we would go starkers.) It is time there was a potentially infinite, intimate museum to what cannot be seen. Welcome to the museum.

Dream of the Drawing for Everything is some of the collaboration between artist Nuala Clarke & writer Crystal Gandrud. Our work arises out of what dances on the edges of perception and our collective attention gravitates to the dream-like nature of human experience. We have been in collaboration since 2010. Our merged practices of visual and textual art unfold on a continuum, as part of an interconnected series evolving over time. Both performed “Fair Shouldered One” (a book which is not a book) at the &Now Literary Festival in Paris, 2012 and installed “Between Spaces”, a Yeats inspired dreamscape at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, 2013. Most recently participated in the Find Arts Project in Castlebar, Ireland. Our public art installation of words and images printed on linen, “Woven Found”, hung on Castle Street. The project won the best commissioning practice award from Allianz Business to Arts, 2014.

Nuala Clarke

Nuala Clarke, visual artist, lives and works between Co. Mayo and New York City. Educated at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, she moved to New York City in 1993. In September 2007, she received a fellowship to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo and began returning to Ireland from NY to work every year. Clarke has been represented by Boltax Gallery, NY since 2005. Recent shows include, Amid a Space Between: Irish Artists in America at the SFMoMa Artists Gallery, San Francisco, (2012); to Tremble into Stillness, a WB Yeats related show at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; RHA invited artist; and A drawing for Everything, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2013). BLINK, a public art installation at the Westport Arts Festival, Co. Mayo (2014). Upcoming shows (2015): Impressions of Yeats, Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; Of this place, Sligo and Madrid.

nualaclarke@gmail.com

Crystal Gandrud

Crystal Gandrud, writer, lives in New York City and Normandy, France. She holds an MFA, Creative Writing and a BFA, Classical Theatre. Recent publications include “Yeatsian: Numberless Dreamers,” The Encyclopedia Project, 2014, “Here,” Lost Magazine, and “Idiom: Woodbird Flies Early,” The Encyclopedia Project. Her dissertation, “Murdoch: the Mandala Maker,” was presented at Kingston University’s Iris Murdoch Conference (2006), London. At the most recent Murdoch Conference, she performed a multi-media excerpt from a work-in-progress entitled “The Forgotten Man,” inspired by Murdoch’s philosophical writings. She is under contract for a memoire entitled “Astonishment: A Litany of the Uncanny.”

gandrud@actuallyorange.com

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