This column has lost plumb. The sun is at perfect apex directly overhead, yet its light falls with asymmetry. One long side of this column is dark with its own shadow. That same shadow has begun to stretch out on the pavement, slowly plotting the direction of its lean, telegraphing the place it will inevitably topple.
But you know how light plays tricks…
Simply begin to side-step, so slowly you don’t even notice you’re moving. Stop once you align yourself with the shade. Now bend over backwards, chin up, weight on your heels. Wait for the light to change, for the shadows to calm, wait until the sky is a single tone of concrete grey. You may even have to squint your eyes a bit to see how true this column stands. And even as your eyes close, just stand and imagine the capital perfectly aligned over its base, centered, true. Now hold this position, become entrenched in this place. Oppose those who don’t see, who warn of imminent collapse. After all, only you are standing where this truth is clear. There is no danger of being crushed by a sudden uproot. This column is perfectly plumb.
A. Blair Clemo is an Associate Professor of Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received his MFA in Ceramics at the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 2010. He has been an Artist in Residence at The Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), the Zentrum für Keramik (Berlin, Germany), The Jingdezhen International Studio (Jingdezhen, China) and The International Ceramics Studio (Kecskemét, Hungary). Clemo’s utilitarian and sculptural work in clay and mixed media has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and abroad. Exhibition venues include China Ceramics Museum, the Tweed Museum, Racine Art Museum and the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. For more information visit his website at www.ablairclemo.com