At my Alexander Technique lesson, my teacher, Ted Hallman, gave me a Christmas card with a photo of one of his fiber sculptures on the front and inside inscribed, “It’s a different tree this year 2012.” Stratoz and I went to see Ted’s installation, Suspended Harmonies at the Michener Art Museum, which abounds with trees knotted and woven around steel armatures and suspended by line at the ceiling. Stepping into the Pfundt Gallery, you are enveloped by the work, and surrounded by a tracery of shadows on the walls. Trees are a symbol of what can grow in gravity. Ted likes to remind me of this upwardness, and how our bodies like this, as opposed to pulling down, or collapsing.
In 2011, I started Alexander lessons, in the midst of back pain, and difficulty working in my studio. Visual imagery has been an important part of my learning, either by watching how Ted moves and stands, and in searching for images that evoke the ease of being in alignment, and realizing my strength comes from the back of the body, rather the front in my old habits of leaning over and hunching. I started collecting images on my Alexander Technique and Ease in the Art Studio Pinterest Board. I have received positive responses to this, and recently Robert Rickover at Body Learning wrote about visual depictions of AT.
If you are going to be in the Doylestown, PA area, consider checking out Ted Hallman’s Suspended Harmonies. And when you see trees, remember their ease, and as they grow toward the sky.
Suspended Harmonies: Fiber Art by Ted Hallman, James A. Michener Art Museum through March 3rd, 2013.