Welcome 2015! I am glad to be back to books, and creating… and the “Inspired by Reading” book group community created by Andrew Thornton. I like these monthly challenges; a time to experiement, to challenge oneself, to try a new technique or play a bit. And while we may be far apart geographiclaly, its nice to “get together” virtually.
The book group selection for this month was “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer.
From Amazon: In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
When McCandless’s innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless’s uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding–and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer’s stoytelling blaze through every page.
I was familiar with this tragic tale, having seen the majority of the 2007 movie retelling. I did think this was a rather ominous depressing selection for the dead of winter, but I dove in… Here is my mixed media pendant “Looking within”:
My piece starts with an open Nunn Design bezel. I cut copper and textured sections to be a stylized forest/wilderness. There is a sheet of mica directly behind the copper. The back piece is fabricated of polymer and contains a mirror. The mirror reflects the tree silhouettes, creating more forest volume – but also reflects a sliver of the viewer back to the self.
I was most struck by the fact that McCanndless seems to have found what he was looking for – and attempted to hike out. He was met with a river swollen with flood,and had to return to his bus/base camp. It was in that interim he ate/poisoned/sickened and died. He had found what he was looking for, he had turned to the wilderness in a way to turn within…
This piece, complete with mirror, is inspired by that looking within.
From the author: ” Unlike Muir and Thoreau, McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature and the world at large but, rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul.” ( pg 183)
I havent thought about the necklace portion of this piece yet… time wasnt in my favor. Perhaps woody, perhaps icy…
Please click over to Andrew’s blog – the links and details of the in person meet up will be posted there!
Come back next month for “Geek Love” by K. Dunn.