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Terri's Thoughts on Tonight's Show

This time of year conjures up a lot of warm recollections of holidays past. I especially remember snippets of bygone Christmases. One memory in particular that washes back to me is this:

My older brother and I trotted downstairs on an early Christmas morning to see his presents under the glowing Christmas tree (mom always decorated with strands of colorful lights).

I remember this feeling of alarm when he looked at me over his shoulder. I was positioned behind him, a few steps higher up. I remember his generosity when he said something like "You can have half of my presents" as it seemed for just a few moments that Santa might have forgotten about me. Under the tree, a blow-up robot, a brown plastic tape recorder and most likely Star Wars action figures and other toys (was that the year he got the electronic Dungeons and Dragons game?) which- not to sound ungrateful- were of very little interest to me (I loved dolls and the color pink).

In my head, I tried to recall a moment in which I may have been bad. Did Santa forget?

. . . And then the memory of my mother's voice filled the space behind us in that stairwell: "It looks like Santa put your presents over there next to the couch." Or something like that.

Pictures inform me that my brother was wearing yellow footie pajamas, but memory reminds me that the fleece had pilling in patches here and there. Recorded images paint the rings of navy blue fabric that create the neckline and sleeves, but memory reminds me that the fabric had a serrated weave that stretched and collapsed around his wrists. His black hair was disheveled with alternating horns and flattened locks here and there. This I know from our photo albums, but also from the repetition of history (that's how his hair was most mornings).

I remember his relief of not having to share his presents, but I don't remember how that was communicated to me.

In the corner of the living room between the couch and a burnt-orange velour chair (it may have been green), a life-sized Patti Playpal doll and a furnished collapsible dollhouse with little lights glowing in the kitchen and bedroom were displayed in that enchanting, magical way. I know that many other nebulous presents filled out the pile, but they have long-escaped the pockets in my mind.

I don't remember where my father was in all of this, but he was always present, so he must have been somewhere in that living room with us. Was he the one taking Polaroids?

Photographs help me to recall some of the specifics about these moments: I'm not sure if I would remember the details of the living room furniture or the color of my brother's pj's without them. There is a blend of repeated behaviors, glimpses of memory, photo-documentation, and the stories I have invented which help to fill out the recollections of one of my favorite Christmas mornings.

This week's artist is intrigued by the concept of memory, the pockets or small details which may be preserved, and the elusive qualities of others. Working with layers of mixed media, Linden Eller pieces together patches of visual imagery much like the mind layers in details. Some thoughts escape us or remain fuzzy at the edges. Other details are crisp and seemingly unforgettable. Our neuronal processes stitch these elements together, creating relationships which may or may not be reliable. The neutrality of Eller's palette and soft flashes of color echo processes of what our memory does. Truth be told, we are not only enamored with her art, but infatuated with the ability to record imagery in a way that clones the recording processes of the mind, thus creating compelling narratives that celebrate the surreal, the ephemeral, the unreliable and the imperfect.

Linden will be joining us from her NY studio for the 66th episode of The Large Glass, and we're already looking up cocktail recipes to sip while we chit-chat and talk collage and her art. Come and join us on Twitch TV, Facebook or YouTube this evening (invite your friends!)! Showtime kicks off at 8 p.m. EST. We can't wait to chat with you!

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