Installment Artist Statement
Foot pointed, chin in, she braced herself for the flip. The gymnast turned to the rows of seats, bright lights piercing her skin. To the spectators her routine was merely a fluid collection of movements. To her it was the struggle between balance and beauty, a constant battle with the ever present threat of failure. On the platform it was only her, her decisions, her routine, her life. At any one moment she might miss a step or land with the wrong stance. This idea haunted her, following her through each day. This led her to worry about being overcome with failure, not only at the bar but also in her life. So easily she felt she could be pulled in to failure, pulled from the security of the bar, or the security of familiarity by something as simple and unpredictable, as a locked joint or change.
She looked to her audience again; thankfully all she saw was a blur of colour. She could pretend it was only her, like when she was a little girl and this was for herself, at that time she did not worry about her score or what anyone else thought. The gymnast gripped the bar, clutching to the essence of safety, radiating from it. She moved through her routine, gracefully, not missing a single step, and then it was over. She dismounted the bar, the crowd’s noise became brash, an uncomfortable contrast to her harmonious movement. Breathing deeply, as sense of relief engulfed her.
The intent of my piece was to embody the fragility of life. Like the girl in the story, failure constantly shadows behind us, creeping, threatening. Sometimes, overcoming us, as a fallen gymnast was intended to represent. In order to enjoy the pleasures of life, we mustn’t fixate on this. Rather, we must enjoy the beauty of life, the beauty of the routine and movements for the gymnasts. One of the greatest desires is to achieve balance in our life, this idea parallels to literal balance required in gymnasts. I hoped that this piece would encapsulate the essence of this, through the strength, balance, beauty and sometimes failure of the gymnasts in this piece.