Louise Tate's garden

Louise Tate's garden

Holding you, holding her, holding all women everywhere   Oil on linen, 127cm x 96cm  2019

Holding you, holding her, holding all women everywhere

Oil on linen, 127cm x 96cm

2019

September 16, 2019

Dear Louise,

I am so glad that you will be collaborating with me for this September issue for fLoromancy! … What I wanted for this month's issue as a contributor was for each post to feel gentle, inviting, accessible, and emotive. I also wanted to make sure I create a different kind of narrative around the idea of making, generating meaning... hence it was important for me to include my mother-in-law's story and her garden as an anchor. Her identity as a non-artist, immigrant, refugee, widow, and invisible worker was important for me to include in this online journal platform.

And I thought including the works of both Anne Truitt and you would be wonderful. Both of you are beautiful painters and have deep love for writing. Your conceptual and aesthetic relationship to land, gardens, matriarchy, and colors I thought was worthy of noting. And I just can't wait to see how you interpret with my proposal to consider this.

My best,

Gyun

September 21, 2019

Gyun -

Here are some texts and images. I have drawn from some writing I did while in New York, which seems pertinent as that's where we met and also where I painted these works. Reading back through my journals I found repeated references to gardens (both fictional and remembered), seeking a sense of self, and finding maternal connections to the land. I emailed my mother while in New York to ask her about her own experiences as an avid gardener during my childhood, to which she replied that she saw her garden as a living painting.

Warmest,

Louise xxx

A bronze weapon smelling of honey (after Kate Llewellyn)   Oil on linen and watercolour on wall, 127cm x 96cm (painting), 219cm x 148cm (text)  2019

A bronze weapon smelling of honey (after Kate Llewellyn)

Oil on linen and watercolour on wall, 127cm x 96cm (painting), 219cm x 148cm (text)

2019

I.

I planted a garden for myself

Not of flowers but of memories

A vegetable palace for all my love.

These gardener’s hands are dirty from

Many years of backwards thinking

These arms are heavy with

The weight of feeling.

Like a woman warrior

This heart—sticky like

Honey—this heart, is

Mineralised and strong.

The soil holds a history   Oil on linen, 165cm x 132cm  2019

The soil holds a history

Oil on linen, 165cm x 132cm

2019

II.

What is there to say in the face of the unspeakable? Where can we linger, in a garden of no time?

The voice of my grandmother floats through water to reach me from a stone basin that’s full to overflowing; that rushes like my words—like my hasty hands—to greet you.

I am reliving my life again and again, to recreate a sense of self without making those same mistakes. Of not speaking up when a man noses his way into the cracks of myself, just to say “too feminine,” as if to say “too weak.”

What is weak is to wallow, to be hollow from a lack thought or care.

To garden is to care for my soul.

Garden of no time   Oil on linen, 127cm x 96cm  2019

Garden of no time

Oil on linen, 127cm x 96cm

2019

III.

There is no stillness except for the mornings when, waking up, clouds are grey and bodies are slow yet limber

the day is yet to come

the rain is yet to come

And my mind is soft

not yet frightened

not yet full of questions

Relishing this stillness, I find nostalgia for another time

a time when I was more alone,

when I thought about stillness more

as I do now.

Being alone being together being with many

These are some of the many terrains our bodies traverse throughout a day

When this delicate balance loses its balance

The body aches; a reminder to be kind

To oneself to another to a lover.

But being present is hard when there is so much to be present for—another reason why being alone is easier. The quiet that envelops my body as I sit here, alone, is thick and delicious. I am surrounded by plants, a garden for my thoughts. A garden in a city of broken concrete.

Many things have been gained and lost while here

A tally cannot justifiably document a journey

I am grateful and sad and full of wonder

I feel more for myself and of my life.

There is much more to be grasped

more stillness to search for more space.

Carrying unseen weight as a form of care   Oil in linen, 96cm x 127cm  2019

Carrying unseen weight as a form of care

Oil in linen, 96cm x 127cm

2019

Yea, everything is fine

Yea, everything is fine

Anne Truitt's garden

Anne Truitt's garden