Saturday, October 1, 2011

In your dreams, Leonora!

Leonora Carrington passed away on May 25 this year. On June 3, 2008, I described on this blog how I had the privilege of visiting her at her home in Mexico City, spending several hours chatting at the kitchen table with a living legend of surrealism.
It appears that strange synchronicities happened around Leonora all the time. In the spring of 2010 I was walking down a busy road in London and spotted a rare exhibition catalogue of her works in a second-hand shop window. I went inside and bought it right away. While I was talking with the person behind the counter, a young woman who just happened to walk by me overheard me mention the name of Leonora Carrington. She turned out to be an artist, and an admirer of Leonora's work like myself. We chatted for a few minutes and noted down each other's email addresses. Nothing more came of that, but end of last year she suddenly sent me an email to remind me of a rare exhibition of Leonora Carrington and her friend Remedios Varo, in Norwich, England. It was going into its last week, and on the spur of the moment I decided to buy a plane ticket and go see it. Marta Rocamora - that's her name - came to the exhibition too, and we had coffee - far too briefly, unfortunately, for I had to leave to catch my plane back home. The exhibition was impressive. One thing that has stuck in my mind is a scene from a video of an interview with the artist. The interviewer wanted her to explain the meaning of some of her imagery, and Leonora got really upset: "Don't rationalize it! It's a visual world. Do you get it? It's a visual world!"
And so it is. This week, I received another email from Marta, who appeared to have missed the news of Leonora's death earlier this year. It had inspired her to make this drawing, which I copy here with her permission. It's called "What are you up to today miss?", and it really catches the spirit of Leonora Carrington (if that spirit is catcheable at all). I won't give any comments or interpretations: it's a visual world. But I'm sure that whatever she is up to these days, miss Carrington must be doing it with both her eyes wide open.

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