silent witness dialogs

In a crowd I wonder about the people who surround me. Is that laughing couple making fun of someone or have they just heard a good joke? Do those children belong to someone in the crowd or are they lost and looking for a home? Does that woman look angry because of a sagging mouth or is she is disgusted by what she sees? What is their inner dialog? What would it sound like?

Thousands of stories, one little street in Rome

There are strangers among us, Paula Kovarik

In high school a friend and I used to go to O'hare airport (when it was legal to go to the departure gates without a ticket). We would sit and watch the travelers and make up stories about their lives and destinations. This one was a spy going to Poland, that one was a starlet on her way to Hollywood, those two just learned that their uncle had left them a fortune. We always added a sense of drama to the mundane.

People dressed up to get on planes in those days. No one had wheels on their luggage so there was a lot of lugging going on. Grim determination was mixed with anticipatory grins for the adventure before them. It wasn't difficult to imagine legends behind their gait.

These rocks are watching.

Last year I spent a week at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It was an opportunity to refocus my inner dialog. I collected rocks, hiked every day, watched the sun set into water and imagined the stories behind the people on the beaches. The rocks I collected had holes in them. They reminded me of faces. I thought of them as silent witnesses to the human drama that surrounded them.

Now I am assembling my own crowd using these inanimate objects to build an animation. Each square has its own story. Thirty-five of them — because the whole is almost my height and I can reach both sides to hold the edges.

Silent witnesses, work-in-progress, canvas, thread and batting. Paula Kovarik