Some images from the
New Vessels Series

by Sonja van Kerkhoff, 1987-2008

The thread in the hand of the kind mother
1987, pastel on paper.
15 x 20 cm.
Collection: Pohatu, Whanganui, N.Z.

The thread in the hand of a kind mother
is the coat on the wanderer's back.
Before he left she stitched it close
In secret fear he would be slow to return.

Meng Chiao

The declining side of evening,
when light is trapped and bleeding,
and swifts like spastic scissors cut the sky
over the darking mangrove flat.
The hills as heavy as skulls.

      New Vessels, Lines 1 - 9.

Haere ki te kuahakaore tatou i huaki
Towards the door we never opened

1989, silkscreen, 40 x 26 cm. Edition of 26.

More about this image

the feeling of the almost grasped
that slithers in a poem,
the softening of the vertebrae,
and how the mortals learn to pray.

Wherever two or three are gathered
footfalls echo
down the passage which we did not take,
towards the door we never opened.

New Vessels, Lines 33 - 40.

back to part two of the 1998 essay  
terug naar deel twee van de 1998 tekst over mijn werk.  

How the mortals learn to pray
1989, silkscreen. Edition of 28.
20 x 18 cm.

The stepping pattern towards the left
refers to the Maori tukutuku (weaving)
stepping pattern,
poutama karakia
(trans: steps of prayer).

The sliding apart of houses
1987, acrylic on canvas. 200 x 100 cm.

Easy absolutions, granted in the dark,
evasions, and pollutions, and the sliding apart,

the sliding apart of houses
and leaning into the dark.

New Vessels, Lines 83 - 86.

The geography of change
1987 pastel drawing. Scanned and developed as a computer print for the 2008 version.

Fire & Rain
1990, woodcut on paper.
50 x70 cm. Edition of 17.

Apart, the night's unrest apart,
breathing in and breathing out,
while the heart's stone shell in frozen action
is seen imploding perpetually in
and repeats
in mechanic looped sequence.

New Vessels, Lines 97 - 102.

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