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Brighton CCA

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A text by Vanessa Onwuemezi, commissioned to accompany the exhibition Bill Lynch: The Exile of Dionysus

06 August – 15 October 2022

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These twisting lines of chance wouldn’t go amiss fold this paper folded over on, into a branch of wood.

The delicate little sharp splintered wings.

The dark wings of ply mastered layered sounds of the song bird whistling into the winds now gone the chance winds.

Lastingly, the brush is swept left to right. And left to right the way his body went and the hand being my body. The sight of something sudden and arresting is what

– the things pictured, the power.

A rush to impress on wood the delicate surprise, carefully the oil on wood cloys too long but at once, at once not long enough, because the fading and forgetting. Tempted to keep close to our chests hide away deep what we have seen. As oil sinks into wood something is lost. And perhaps we sink into the lines with the heaviness of the bones’ creak as they crush the jointed flowers bleeding green into the madness of the grasses speaking briskly about how they are waiting always waiting.

The broken and solid lines are without cause.

Unfathomable as how one mood twists into its opposite. Back and forth. As with the tremor of the wind-blown branch bouncing and breaks. As bucked under the weight of me playing my fingers along its rough, woof, or the black dog the grass bent under its tongue throb and breath yellowed old as the dry grass.

By chance we are here in this moment. At the moment the brush is swept we are kept from blinking out, all out. And the blossoms, the vase is decorated because of the belief

– in moon, and the first flower. In one petal and a teacup.

The relics, once vanished enameled once again and rushed across in oil once again. And once it speaks.

I do go on, don’t we? We do go on like cool tiles of cascading water. We.

Light wandering along fingers of plywood. Would we congratulate the gods for this mystery? Or continue to feel cheated for what is withheld? Celebrate.

For the paint has run through his fingers long enough to be rushed onto the surface the flat board has gifted us the mystery of the struggle and blossom snow. And the pomegranate seed silver dollars. The vase rounds its edges shine the white smile and teeth with no skin. The empty eye sockets. The melting red square on the flats, the planks of wood celebrate?…The human element, that by its nature drags earth into heaven or at least we’ll walk the dividing line between we        wound up like knots of wood. We’ve hidden a while behind the mushroom cap but now we must confront the transience of all this.

Where we left off, in our minds nothing but a cold wind.

Winter brings its doom. The death of the boldest flower the death of happiness. A void no words or consolation. Transience. All melts to zero. The snowflakes cold and melt, the snow pocked by the drip of water water from above. Too the moon was once smooth and now is pocked and there are no flowers. The barren snow can stand for the moon. Round as the circle flower dot we beg to stay but rushes off. It can’t help but change. The flowers die can’t stick around for too long. But the circle reminds us of the flowers, so no bother. And the snow can stand for all the objects of our mourning, for the losses: of the first vase and the first, red and blue and sunset burned into the corners, of snow melted to pointed waterfall and plywood that had been wood, and still flowers.

Once has spoken.

And only appear once, and never again. We.

The long lasting are memories. Fill in the gaps with flashes of the light browns, the whites radiate out a feather or wood or beak or bark? Definiteness and transience pulled out of the abyss unending. Celebrate. Pick up where he left off, where we pain to tread or look up to the blue, or brown lined with life rings and the brush mashed to white the delicate little sharp barbs and say, ‘The air is so lovely’.

And I say, once has spoken but once only once needs a sprout to wake and grow grow.

Don’t forget the little things. I change then, without ceasing. Amongst the milkweed freshened in sun, a flat hand splayed, this life is my own.


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