o cloud-pale eyelids
O cloud-pale eyelids and tempo's gaze
o cloud-pale eyelids and tempo's gaze takes a portion of its title from a love poem by William Butler Yeats. Made from stereoscopic slides taken by my great grandfather in the 1940s and 50s, the work uses my great grandfather's gaze as a way of considering the broader generational gaze toward femininity, desireability, age and beauty during his time. My grandfather was a portrait artist, and he made these stereo slides of his subjects so he could paint them without having to have them sit in front of him, but with the same three-dimensionality seen by the naked eye. The older woman portrayed is his wife and my great grandmother.
HE TELLS OF THE PERFECT BEAUTY
O CLOUD-PALE eyelids, dream-dimmed eyes,
The poets labouring all their days
To build a perfect beauty in rhyme
Are overthrown by a woman's gaze
And by the unlabouring brood of the skies:
And therefore my heart will bow, when dew
Is dropping sleep, until
God burn time,
Before the unlabouring stars and you.