|Boy with Hay Bale, oil on canvas, 27"x37", Steven Rhude|
The search for community is a creative process of constructing what Castells calls 'resistance identities' which oppose the 'legitimized identities' constructed for us in the context of civil society and its state apparatuses.'
Michael Corbett - Learning to Leave, The Irony of Schooling in a Coastal Community, Fernwood Publishing
The guest analyst referred to the region as 'a resource based, industrial life style driven into the ground.' A world of clear cuts and Monsanto. But the boy recalled his Dad saying otherwise. Something like a tangled and interwoven world of layers stood out in his memory.
Starting from scratch - wind, seed, and all compressed into an image of iconic growth.
That romantic folk legend said something about how he 'gave it up and went to town'. But that wasn't on his mind as a child. In fact learning to leave was furthest from his mind.
He loved to hear them referred to as Tootsie Rolls in a Field. Delighted in the fact he conjured a metaphor expressing the sweetness of shape and design - something to be consumed. But really it was just hay - or long rows of sun and community, baled into a shape universal. Unfettered like a sewer lid incongruent - yet fitting and essential to any city street.
However, boys dream and drift. So he thought of Andrew Wyeth - temperas made of eggs, earth, ochre and umber. How could anything be more rural or exacting?
The boy thought of isolation and that string bean called Hopper. Comfortable being alone in the woods; confronted suddenly with the image of urban anxiety. For the boy, the field was his Office in a Small City. His ground of being.
That compression thing again. Like making a snow ball packed tightly.
More plant closures - Bowater Mersey, transition teams, and foreign buyers in the wings...
Time to cut the bales open and unravel their humanity and contents. Lay it out like a carpet of revitalization for them.
Steven Rhude, Wolfville, NS