Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Le Labyrinthe

This is Le Labyrinthe by french artist Anne-Julie Aubry of The NebulousKingdom. She made it in Photoshop, and offers them in her Etsy shop printed on archival paper. Although she offers no commentary on why this woman is following a butterfly into a labyrinth, I can tell you that she must have known what it was like the first day that I discovered pottery. I was happily working at a REAL JOB ( the kind that Mom tells you to get) managing the gallery section of Brentano's in New Orleans, when I took just a few classes in pottery. A few years later, still taking classes, I decided to be a potter, and my career path of linear advancement up a known ladder completely ceased. The road that I've traveled as a potter thus far very much resembles a labyrinth, and instead of having a sensible mentor of any sort, I am perpetually following a butterfly.

I don't know how many times I've come up with some series of work that sells like sunscreen at the beach. Somewhere before I can see a straight line of sales and no worries, though, something goes awry. A glaze begins blistering, my kiln develops a mysterious malfunction, or glazes that I counted on to combine a certain predictable way just do something else instead. And in the process of fixing all these mishaps, I discover another little fork in the road that I cannot resist pursuing.

It's all worked out fine...if I don't count the obsessive hours of glaze tests, discussing pyrometers and thermocouples as if I know all about them, and sleepless, stressed out weeks. I just hope I never lose sight of that butterfly!


  1. What a metaphor for a career/life - following a butterfly into a labryinthe. The artist you highlighted has other wonderful evocative, visual metaphors, very thought provoking post and art-work!

    I have to post this comment now and probably spend the rest of my day sitting here thinking of a good metaphor for my own path through life!

  2. I LOVE this artist, too! I'm always happy to show others great artists.

    You will find your life metaphor in2l; we who love art are always finding it.

  3. Thank you very much for sharing my illustration along with your strong and beautiful story.

    This piece is special for me too, as you can imagine. It represents a time of my life when I needed to look further, to escape from limbs and labyrinths, and other things that used to brake me. I needed to finally follow my life, represented here as a butterfly. It's very personal, and it relates to things in particular that I can't share in details... but I'm sure you can understand ;)

  4. Thank you so very much, annejulie. Your words are very provocative! "To finally follow my life" resonates very deeply with me. I feel another blog post coming on!

    I DO understand. Our stories may be different, and even our languages but I sense that our hopes, dreams, visions, and tears feel much the same universally.