|Mirjana Ugrinov, Cynthia Hogue
mixed media installation
(oil on canvas with river stones
72" x 108"
The universe is stone, but we are not.
I have a friend who imprisons stones.
How do you do that? I ask.
I build little cages and put them in.
And why do you imprison these stones?
They are immoral stones. I oversee
the purification of petrified beings.
Where do you find these immoral stones?
I find them in the river,
which is low in the summer drought.
Are all the stones you see immoral?
No, only the ones I imprison.
Can you tell which stones are immoral?
Yes, I can tell which ones are immoral,
and which are not.
And where do you keep the cages?
I keep them on a shelf, near the window.
And do you keep them by the window
so they see their old abode
and know what they have lost?
I keep them by the window because
that is where I have room.
Will you free these stones?
Yes, when they have learned morality
and are purified of being petrified.
Will you teach them morality and courage?
No, morality and courage cannot be taught
but they can be learned.
How will imprisoned stones learn?
They will learn because I have moved them
and that is what they feared most.
When will they know they have learned?
I will know when they know.
Artist Mirjana Ugrinov and Poet Cynthia Hogue
“Stones, Too” grew from an intuitive connection between two artists, and became, coincidentally, an
epiphany via the integration of word and image. Some spark was struck as the creators talked. Their
imaginative collaboration began a dialogue that continues. Layers emerge from memory, become surface
and depth of meaning in the poem, become the visual layering of image/shape in the painting:
Hogue: “There was an imprisonment, one in particular, in the artist’s life that resonated with the story the
poem relates. The origin in both works is actual, embodied experience, and both are transformed into
something more symbolic than real. The ‘you’ and ‘I’ become in the poem allegorical.”
Ugrinov: "I use the poem as an inspiration for the images that I paint. I explore surface and composition in
the painting, but the stones are symbols as well as shapes."
“I hear words but see images. Words come to me but not colors. Stones, too, have colors. They are not
broken and their spirit is not broken.”
“I remember what broke my father’s spirit that was stone. The words trigger the memory that guides me
in visual expression by inviting it to return—what I remembered before I knew that I remembered. Words
and colors were the key that unlocked that door.”
“The lines of the poem are the doors of memory.”
“The emotional content of the poem becomes the Magical Gallery I enter to redeem memory, transmute
pain, to make of loss art."