Friday, December 23, 2011

Jim Denevan: Master of Impermanence

Maureen at Writing without Paper introduced me to Jim Denevan in a way that made me want to know more.  There is something about him that is so completely at odds with my own nature that it draws me like a polar opposite.

Denevan is a chef with no restaurant; an artist with no canvas ... both facts true and, at the same time, false.  He creates experiences ... gourmet dinners using only locally grown food and dinnerware brought by the diners themselves, set up in the middle of a farm or an urban garden ... artwork that washes away, blows away or melts away almost as soon as he finishes the miles-long perfectly drawn (by hand) circles and spirals on beaches, sand dunes or ice.

Denevan's ability to let go of his creations and rise up and create beauty again the next day is awe-inspiring.  It feels like a bee buzzing inside my head reminding me that permanence is an illusion and the only thing that matters is the moment of creation, the connection.

The impression I get looking at his work is that he is real, doing what he wants without regard to the response it creates, trusting that the Universe will take care of him.  I'm sure that's an oversimplification, he probably gets hangnails just like anyone else, but it feels like he has learned a lesson that still circles outside my reach and comprehension.

I highly recommend this video.


  1. Thank you JOyce for sharing that video! - it is a must see.

    I too was fascinated by Maureen's mention of him -- and you have enriched my fascination, made me hungry for more!


  2. Thank you, Joyce. I spent quite a long time looking at his work and reading about him. He is an artist very much of the land he inhabits. He's marvelous!