The magazine features an article and photographs of Ms. Hooten’s bead work. On first glance, I felt transported to ancient times because of theme, but the content is modern. The magazine notes these pieces as examples of “Outrageous Beauty,” and I agree.
My favorite is “Go to sleep, there’s nothing under your bed!” What parent hasn’t uttered those words to an imaginative child? But a close study of the work brings to mind night-fears that may occur at any age, an impression that came to me because of the delicate skull. And of course, the skull segues the brain waves to thoughts of mortality. Deft placement of the dragon gives the idea he’s about to jump out at the viewer.
I was also quite taken with “Watching, Watching.” There are so many themes compacted into that visual rendering—of course, I thought of Little Red Riding Hood. It was a dark sensory for me because I remember Little Red in the original, when the wolf gobbled her up. I have an old primer of my grandmother’s that has original versions of folk tales, and “Watching, Watching” brought them to mind.
Do take a look at the site. Ms. Hooten’s work is engaging to the point of distraction, and I mean that as a compliment.
As I sit here surrounded by “to-do” lists, and stacks of papers urging me to work, I’m glad I got side-tracked by this talented artist’s work.
Also in that same issue is an excerpt from Phillip Levine’s essay, “A day in May: Los Angeles, 1960.” The excerpt is a wonderful account of Levine’s experiences with Thom Gunn and John Berryman. Poems by Stephen Dunn and C. Dale Young deliver a sturdy punch.
Do go and see all these lovely things for yourself. Sometimes, sidetracked is a benevolent place to be early in the morning when there’s too much to do.
An afterthought: I remember when The Atlantic used to be that good.