Hungry Artist: Post #4

thoughts and curiosities of an open-ended trip.

Insights From Inside a Cave

Postojna, Slovenia

by Nina Berinstein

Wetness and darkness are quite the artistic duo. Their process relies on a patience that cannot be measured on any mortal scale. Seeping calcium carbonate rich ground water arrives to the damp cavern via one solitary drip, and gravity slowly teases that drip until it drops. Every century of this repetition accounts for just a single centimeter of slippery stalagmite or stalactite beauty. 

The unpredictable intricacies of these sculptures next to the consistency of their evolution is a contrast that has inspired my process. Pinching coils of clay is the constant, and it's repetition pulls me into a rhythm which, after time, creates unexpected and exciting moments. Those are the bulges, curves, spills and swoops that bring me further in. They are what spark the indispensable conversation between my hands, my eye and the material. My reactions to those details are what finally add up to anything I make.

Consistency, routine, and repetition are qualities that have been completely absent from my months of travel. Every day is its own. I'm drinking in history, people, languages, cities, colors, and architecture. I am sleeping in no semblance of consistency, introducing my gut to whole new worlds of sustenance, and pulling into new climates via train every week or so. I was surprised when, after a month, I still hadn't pulled out my sketchbook. But it all becomes less surprising when I think of the colossal feats that those drops of seeping ground water create centuries into their routine.

About the trip: I am hungry for new smells, sounds, textures, tastes, and colors. I am traveling to absorb these cravings, to experience and digest them. Some will be drawn, some will be photographed, and others eaten or wafted through curious nostrils. I'm traveling to learn about myself, and to learn from myself.