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Russna Kaur – Thoughts on line

I was always told to follow the line, the straight line, to stay on the straight path

There would be many times where temptation will want to part me from this line (pull me off the line) where I would enter dark places, creases, corners, cracks and may never come back

On the straight line

What is a straight line?
The straight line is solid

It is secure, it can anchor and offer stability
It can balance and provide consistency within chaos

The straight line is all about control, careful controlled movement – there is a logic

These lines can direct, they are jarring and carry a visual weight to them that can plow through and dominate a composition

They are meticulously drawn and strategically placed – a uniform put on every morning, buttoned up tight with even the slightest crease ironed flat, kilt no shorter than 2 inches above the knee

Using a ruler the line is drawn, with a perfect sharpened pencil – made with one swift movement from point A to point B

or using a still hand and calculated movements the line gets you from point A to point B
it tells you where to look and how to look

It serves it purpose by doing what it is told to do with a hard edge to guide it, making sure it
doesn’t leave its path

a very clear and direct path, with little to no room for error or interpretation
if the line is even slightly off, it is erased and drawn again
sometimes erased two, three four times and drawn again until it’s just right –
mistakes erased, vanished as if we are to get everything right the first time

The straight line is the perfect line – neat and tidy

How do you work with a straight line?

Perhaps you add another? Two straight lines going in the same direction? Too consistent, too
much of the same thing, too predictable, takes your eye right off the surface.

Two straight lines that intersect at a given point? Like butting heads too stubborn to move

or crosses that keep you out?

Bringing you to a halt, abrupt – no means no because I said so – making you stop and think
about your place


Lines of thought
That line your thoughts

Stitched, fused together
Unable to separate aspirations from expectations
Lines spoken
Unspoken
Lines that ring, vibrating at a frequency that will make you tremble
Echoing, again and again
Lines of conflict and contradiction, agreeing to disagree – a tangled knot
Not straight
Not fair

The straight line is obedient and continues in the direction it was made to go in – it stays in line,
follows in line – single file – heading in the same direction –
infinite – with no sign of stopping or changing direction

That is, until there is a break, a crack, a bump, an edge, the edge, a ledge, a skid, a screech, a
crash, a bump, a scar –
the breaking point –
resistance, texture, grit, a tear, a tear, a cut, a paste, a drip, a glob, a smear, a disruption –
a chance for things not to line up perfectly –
to not be so thick and solid –
for transparency –
for imperfection –
for failure –
a chance for a transition – from one surface to another

a chance for chance – for freedom – for something unexpected or different –
a chance to break off in a new direction – to become unhingedto explore the spaces between point A and point B – maybe even go on to point C, D, E, F, G

And also, is any line truly straight?

If you look closely and examine line you can really see how fragile and delicate it is

any slight movement, hesitation, exhale or miscalculation shatters this illusion that the line
knows where its going –
making it vulnerable –

maybe instead of controlling line or trying to control line or pretending like line can be
controlled – let line lead the way, let line show the way – let it react and respond to the surface –

allow it to veer off the path and create new ones – intersecting, straying, growing, splitting,
repeating, flowing, sprouting, circling – moving within the surface, off the surface, weaving in
and out between these spaces, reconnecting – expanding, shifting, living, breathing, flowing
what happens if we don’t erase the lines that don’t go the way we want?
what if we pivot from them, branch off from them? – what if what these imperfect lines become
a mark that lead us into new directions? – paths that we would not have known existed? –
giving up some control over line

Easier said than done – like everything, things happen in steps, layers

At the moment I feel like line still stems from restriction or playing within boundary, pushing but
not too far – hugging the edge of the surface, caressing the corner of a wall, clutching or
clinging to one another – mom always used to tell us to keep one hand on the shopping cart so
we wouldn’t get lost – one hand gripped tight and the other flaying around reaching, grabbing
and pointing to the world around; free but tethered

What happens if we let go? Breaking a line – breaking a chain – following in the footsteps and
also creating new trails, other possibilities

Allow lines to wander, without a plan, without fear –
to get lost in the maze of creases, corners, cracks –
creating a map of nowhere and everywhere,
of everything and nothing.