Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kyros and Redemption

"That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9
syn·tax \ˈsin-ˌtaks\
Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French sintaxe, from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek, from syntassein to arrange together, from syn- + tassein to arrange
1 a: the way in which linguistic elements (as words) are put together to form constituents (as phrases or clauses) b: the part of grammar dealing with this2: a connected or orderly system : harmonious arrangement of parts or elements

It began, as things sometimes do, with a small thing.
On the front page of the Fort Mill Times I read Recycling Sparks Ideas For His Art. The article introduced me to Douglas Sparks, a local sculptor who recycles found objects by welding them together. For weeks I kept the article until one day I read it again. It occurred to me that I needed to meet this man. I drove to 124 Confederate Street, home to BacInTyme Coffee Cafe, where, according to the article, a few of Mr. Sparks' pieces resided. There I met the sculptures, and I met Georgia Harper Ehrenberg, founder and owner of the cafe. If you ever visit Fort Mill, SC (or if you live here), BacInTyme is a must-stop. Walking in feels like coming home, and Georgia carries the aroma of Christ. After conversation (and a good cup of coffee) Georgia told me where I could find Douglas Sparks.
A few blocks away, Mr. Sparks welcomed me as only a southern gentleman can. He said, "Pull up a chair." We talked about the hills of Kentucky and moonshine, childhood stories and cemeteries. Finally we talked about art, the thing that brought me there.
"I don't feel like making anything right now." he said.
"I know that feeling well." I said.
Time ceases to be when kindred spirits sit together. The Greeks called it kyros time- synchronicity-quality with quantity. That was last week. I saw him again yesterday. He was building deer stands. I photographed some of the yard art and asked, "Do you have a plan before you begin a piece?"
"No, I weld two things together and go from there."
"Like a story that writes itself?"
"Yeah, like that."
He smiled. I knew from the moment I saw his work that I wanted one of his sculptures. Choosing was the hard part. I don't have a yard, presently, so I leaned toward the smaller pieces- a dragonfly with knife-blade wings, a spoon-winged ladybug, a turtle with an iron skillet shell. I finally decided on 'Sparky's Firefly', a winged creature composed of a lag screw, masonry nails and butter knife blades. It makes me smile.
Elaine Scarry in On Beauty and Being Just, said, "Matisse never hoped to save lives. But he repeatedly said that he wanted to make paintings so serenely beautiful that when one came upon them, suddenly all problems would subside." There is something serenely beautiful about Douglas Sparks' sculpture, a simple elegance in redeemed metal.

BacInTyme Coffee Cafe, 124 Confederate Street

"It is the perennial debate, born in the Romantic era, between the beliefs that all creative acts are born of A) some transcendent, inexplicable Dionysian act of inspiration, a kiss from God on your brow that allows you to give the world The Magic Flute, or B) hard work."

Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

No comments:

Post a Comment