22 September 2010

A propos of nothing at all

He thought about the meaning
Paper Collage

A propos of nothing at all is one of my mother's favourite phrases, and I am using it as a title because this post has nothing to do with Yuniko and what happens in the studio. Nevertheless,  I do like to muse upon things and as musing is very much a part of the creative process, I think it is appropriate enough.

When my mother uses the a propos of nothing at all phrase, it is either to change a topic of conversation that she doesn't want to pursue, or to attend to a pause in the conversation which is in danger of becoming an awkward silence. It's usually said in a sing-song way and sounds like a tinkling bell alerting others that a shift is about to  happen. I have grown to appreciate these linguistic curiosities used in everyday conversation because they bring to mind things beyond the here and now and hearing them provokes a sense of curiosity that leaves one wondering about their meaning. There are many phrases that I grew up hearing without really understanding. For me, Hells Bells meant mother was astonished, possibly cross. Six of one, half a dozen of the other conjured up an image of an oven tray with 12 plump glazed buns. Unmitigated gall was a challenge for many years but it was easy enough to know at the time of it's utterance that I had gone too far!

I guess what I am touching on here is that language offers infinite creative possibilities and for me is just as interesting as other kinds of creative pursuits. I have probably spent as much time working with words as with images throughout my life and at times it's a welcome break to play around with non-visual materials.


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