Elizabeth Leister: Regarde le Ciel

 
  • ©, Elizabeth Leister

  • ©, Elizabeth Leister


Artist Statement:


    Regarde le Ciel, a WordPress blog (2016-2019), began as a fluke, an experiment, a self-imposed challenge. At the suggestion of a colleague, I started a “newsletter” and reluctantly began writing out ideas, thoughts, musing, and questions on the process of producing a performance that was messy and confusing at the time. I sent these writings to an audience of about a hundred friends and art community acquaintances on a weekly basis as email.  Eventually, an image accompanied the text.  These were generally photos I had taken which on occasion illustrated the language.  Others were intuitive juxtapositions.  Over several months, I began to enjoy this regular writing exercise. I put no pressure on myself. My inexperience as a writer granted me permission to generate the writing quickly and share it without self-censor or judgment.  This was radically different from my regular artistic practice and it felt liberating. My audience grew and began responding with images, texts or often words of encouragement and appreciation. This was a lovely and unexpected consequence.

    In October of 2017, I began a series of sequential posts labeled “Woman #1 – #100” which ran until September 2019.  Initially inspired by my research and subsequent VR project, “Rockhaven Creepers Trilogy”, shot at the Rockhaven Sanitarium, these posts are short stories or poems of female characters who were institutionalized. Ultimately the “100 Women” stories broadened in scope to include autobiographical moments woven into imagined characters, female identities I had read about, seen in films or instants from the lives of women I know or have observed. The language ranges from descriptive – textures, objects, and colors, to fragile internal dialogues and expressions of biting anger. Naturally, the one hundred accounts reference a range of emotional and psychological states.  There are stories about violent acts, isolation, despair, and calm resolve.  The complex women I write illustrate the rich and powerful state of female strength and resilience.


Other Information:


    Feminism, Nature, and Poetry