It started out as an ordinary day. Melissa Bonin was looking at a collection of Aboriginal art, in particular the pointillist paintings that seem to depict landscapes and solar systems. They are abstracts, if one can apply a modern art term to the work of a people who live as one with nature in the rugged environment of the Australian Outback. Dream and reality mingle in the lives of the Aborigines, and ancestral gods, who sing the world into being, lead them into a higher state on their solo trips, called “walkabouts.”
Bonin was struck by lightning. “I was so moved by these automatic linear Aboriginal paintings that I had to see if I could paint in this manner while keeping the feeling of my Louisiana landscapes. The challenge was ‘no judgment’ and to remain open in the way that writers might practice automatic writing. I approached the paper and canvas each day with the intention of not judging what my eyes wanted to see and what my hands wanted to do. I just allowed. At first, I was not excited about these works. They were very different for me. I did not know how to relate to them, but each day I fell more in love with them.”
The paintings, says Bonin, came to her like minimalist music; she felt she was painting ceremonial and sacred songs. Each brush stroke became an act of calligraphy, a symbolic language, mysterious yet imbued with power.
“The water has strong serpent-like patterns and lyrical flowing designs,” she says. “Finding source as a theme echoes epic struggles. The waters are searching as we all are. They speak of cycles, patterns in nature, ancestral behaviors, survival knowledge and clues. The symbolism is specific and universal at the same time. They are a primordial journey. I journey from one edge to the other, filling in the landscape as I go. It is a walkabout.”
Bonin’s show, “Finding Source,” opens at Galerie Eclaireuse, Saturday, Feb. 20, as part of ArtCrawl. Ordinarily, ArtWalk falls on the second Saturday of each month, but because of Mardi Gras, and acknowledging that folks are having a hard time getting back to normal following Fat Tuesday, DDA moved ArtWalk to the 20th, and dubbed this round of openings ArtCrawl. So come on out, even if you’re still on your knees. For more info about ArtCrawl, check out The Independent’s calendar.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.