Voice, and Bill Viola

I have never really been able to explain to myself what voice means for an artist, and particularly for a writer, even though I know it exists. But when I read this:

Voice is a set of ideas and concerns that becomes distinctively owned by the writer.

in the summer edition of The Author, at last I understood. It comes from an article about First Story, a company that does this:

First Story strives to support and inspire creativity, literacy and talent in challenging UK secondary schools and their communities.

The man who said it was William Fiennes. What a wonderful thing he and First Story are doing.

And the thing I would love to have made this month is anything by Bill Viola. His work is extraordinary. I went to his show in London in July at BlaineSouthern and felt my mind and my heart cool and settle and begin to open to his meditatively repetitive, meditatively unfolding images. Reproduction doesn’t work, even on his website, you have to stand in front of his videos (and videos doesn’t do them justice at all; they’re slowly unfolding master works) and patiently watch them and what happens inside you as you watch them. But try this short extract from The Quintet of the Astonished.

He said once:

I am interested in what the old masters didn’t paint, those steps in between.

His recent work treats modern human beings in much the same way. He often works with water. He said:

The self is an ocean without a shore.

It will be a long time before I can stand in front of a static painting and find myself equally astonished, mesmerised or moved.

About Angela

I write fiction about the difficulty we have when we try to say what's in our hearts.
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