I went to work today to prepare for the resumption on Thursday of my indoor cycling classes. As I often do, I stopped in to see Judith. I had several things to show her. Some of those will appear on the blog very soon; others will have to wait until after Christmas.
After I had shown her the first item, Judith broke in to tell me that she had a small gift for me. She reached out and put a white ceramic thimble in my hand. The thimble was marked on the inside with a black X and a signature. She told me to slip it onto my finger and see if I wasn't suddenly struck by the calm that comes from handwork. I did - and I was. She explained that she had picked it up at an exhibition at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic art during a visit in September. The artist, Robin Lambert, had designed his piece to invite visitors to pick up and take away a thimble.
Here is a link to the site for the RBC Emerging Artist People's Choice Award. Each of the photos links to more information on the artists.
The video gives some insight into Lambert's piece, entitled I Should Like to Give You a Kiss. In October it won the people's choice award.
It is is difficult to tell from the website but Judith told me that there was a display of white thimbles on the wall with a white shag rug on the floor beneath them. Visitors were allowed to touch the thimbles and even to keep them. Apparently the staff have made some interesting observations about the behaviour of the visitors with respect to what they touch. I am fascinated because this work is parallel to my interest in repeated forms and participatory art. It bears an eerie resemblance to my 'community' piece (which is awaiting a delivery of hundreds of snap fasteners.)
Judith thought that the thimble could serve to calm me during doctor's visits or at other times when I wanted to induce feelings of contentment. But it does much more than that. That small piece of white ceramic reminds me, again, of the number of people who share my interests and who care for me, either in person or in their thoughts. I will never be alone and that is a priceless gift.
Tomorrow I will share another item - another perfect gift.