Recently at the Taubman Museum of Art here in Roanoke, we had an exhibition featuring the work of father and son photographers Paul Caponigro and John Paul Caponigro. I taught several art lessons inspired by their work and came to really love the photographs.
Right before the show was deinstalled, John Paul came to do a lecture on his creative process and I was fortunately able to attend. He is a wonderful speaker and so positive and encouraging. Something that especially resonated with me were his thoughts on planning and–ready for it?–attention. I mentioned earlier this week that I would bring this up again. The theme for my first summer residency in Chicago was Attention and since then I hear about it everywhere and all the time!
From the SAIC website…
John Paul brought up the theme of planning and noticing as he talked about the way he works. Basically, once he knows what he’s looking for (he used waves as an example), he notices them everywhere: waves in the sand, waves in the water, waves in the sky. When you pay attention you notice patterns.
John Paul also signed some copies of this book, which showcases his work and his father’s work. Had to get one!
I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to hear an artist talk about their work and their practice. Take the time to listen and I can almost guarantee that you’ll appreciate the work more afterwards. As always, thanks for reading! xoxo
Last month I attended Brain School at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke, VA. It consisted of a series of four 1-hour lectures on the brain by different doctors and scientists. The lectures were fascinating, engaging, and as clear as a lecture on the brain can be, I think. They even provided participants with free food and these sweet certificates:
I took notes during the lectures for future reference:
“Attention” is written boldly because it’s a word I have heard so many times over the past year and it plays a huge role in my work as an artist. You know how once you’re conscious of something you notice it more? For example when someone points out that you say “um” or “like” a lot, it suddenly resonates more than any other word that comes out of your mouth. This consistent discussion on attention has in turn made me more attentive. It’s the reason that I find connections between my own work and almost everything else I encounter in my life. Sure it’s overwhelming, but it’s also so inspiring. This is why I try to take advantage of events and other opportunities like this and I take notes! Attention is something I’ll talk about more this week because yet another recent event in my life is related to this idea.
Thanks for reading! xoxo