Hibiscus, cockroach, wax, moss, shell.

POEM: "Vacation" by William Stafford


One scene as I bow to pour her coffee: --
Three Indians in the scouring drouth huddle at a grave scooped in the gravel,
lean to the wind as our train goes by.
Someone is gone.
There is dust on everything in Nevada.
I pour the cream.


Posting suggested by Daniel

W.H. Auden "The Wanderer"

Doom is dark and deeper than any sea-dingle.
Upon what man it fall
In spring, day-wishing flowers appearing,
Avalanche sliding, white snow from rock-face,
That he should leave his house,
No cloud-soft hand can hold him, restraint by women;
But ever that man goes
Through place-keepers, through forest trees,
A stranger to strangers over undried sea,
Houses for fishes, suffocating water,
Or lonely on fell as chat,
By pot-holed becks
A bird stone-haunting, an unquiet bird.

There head falls forward, fatigued at evening,
And dreams of home,
Waving from window, spread of welcome,
Kissing of wife under single sheet;
But waking sees
Bird-flocks nameless to him, through doorway voices
Of new men making another love.

Save him from hostile capture,
From sudden tiger's spring at corner;
Protect his house,
His anxious house where days are counted
From thunderbolt protect,
From gradual ruin spreading like a stain;
Converting number from vague to certain,
Bring joy, bring day of his returning,
Lucky with day approaching, with leaning dawn.

This poem talks about the thoughts of a man on a journey. Contemplate shows a figure who I perceive to be on a journey of some kind thinking about his next decision or past decisions. In the poem the traveler thinks about his past decisions to leave his home and travel and the future when he returns home.
Uploaded by: Jami Bunton
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Analysis: Thinking of Self

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Philippians 2:1-5 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort form his love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

I thought the above picture showed some similarity to Contemplate, which reminds me of something along the lines of an Indian reservation. When I saw Timpson' s work, Contemplate, I perceived it as the spirit of a native woman strolling her land. Having returned, she is distressed because the land is barren due to over-harvesting. I found this interesting reminder from the Bible to a conceited human society that we are not the only beings in the world and should consider more how our actions affect others.

Uploaded by: Davin Burnell

The Thinker

The title of this piece, "Contemplate" immediately brings to mind the image of Rodin's famous "The Thinker" statue. rodin20thinker.jpg
Like the work suggests, the figure appears to be deep in thought, for whatever reason. However, after examining the piece of artwork closely, the seeming simple "Contemplate" art creation displays several different messages. Perhaps the title "Contemplate" is a command, which is trying to tell people that they need to take special time out of the day to sit calmly and contemplate the meanings of life. The act of contemplating or thinking in general is not studious, rather it is an activity done without struggle. Unfortunately, with the rushing of day-to-day lifestyles, these calm moments of life are being lost among growing technology. People everywhere no longer have the time to sit back and...well, think! Another interpretation is that maybe Timpson created this artwork because one has to "Contemplate" the meaning behind the piece of work. Deciphering the message hidden within it causes great thinking. Thus, Timpson is forcing us to sit back, relax and think if for but a couple seconds.
Posted By:Rachel Tunney

Analysis: by Sara Stamatiades

When i was analyzing this piece of artwork, I noticed that part of the Indian was made of a cockroach. I found this significant because Indians, such as Native Americans, were discriminated against in times like "The Trial of Tears" and were often enslaved. At the time, Indians were "stepped on" just like cockroaches. I think Ben Timpson was trying to represent the poor treatment of the Indians by using part of a cockroach as symbolism.

By studying this art piece for awhile, many different ideas formed. I began to analzye it as if the figure is a distressed woman. The dark shades of red seem to be surrounding the figure, yet fading to the right. This red cloud could symbolize her troubles, fears, and worries in the world. They come and go, sometimes fading away almost completely, like in the far left and right sides. The darkest shade of red lies almost as a shadow of the figure. Although she is in a state of worry and distress, her shadow will always be there as a comfort. This is what I came up with upon viewing this. Even though it may not be the idea Ben Timpson was looking for in creating this piece, by naming is “Contemplate” he allowed the audience neverending possibilites of how to view it. - Casey Davis

Material Analysis

Interested in the usage of materials for this work, I looked up the symbolism of a hibiscus flower which is the main background material. According to multiple sources, the hibiscus symbolizes delicate beauty. I found this information to relate to the subject of the artwork, being a Native American reflecting upon the destructive use of his land. I personally relate Native Americans, also, to a sense of delicate beauty because of their love and appreciation of nature and the beauty surrounding them. The hibiscus in the background of Contemplate correlates to this idea of longing for the simplistic ideas of nature and the realization that they can eaily be destroyed.

posted by: Sally Hunt


Contemplate Inspiration

On the field trip to Scoop Studios, I overheard someone asking Ben Timpson what his inspiration for "Contemplate" was. He said that it was originally meant to portray a Native American viewing a river that was polluted with civilization waste. The Indian was staring in disbelief, amazed that the white men could have done something this terrible to such a wonderful piece of nature. The piece was named "Contemplate" because the Indian was internally battling himself on what to do to fix the situation.
Posted By Alex D'Antoni

Definition of Contemplate

The dictionary definition of contemplate is "to look thoughtfully for a long time at." However in this piece it feels like the figure is slipping away into receding quicksand, like he is running out of time when the traditional idea is to have him thinking for an extended period. The colors enforce this idea of desert which fits if the original intent was to have the figure be a Native American staring at a river polluted with waste. If this is the intent it seems like it could fit with the idea of running out of time, since the pollution is creating almost a black hole of dirt and filth.
Submitted by Zoë Seaman-Grant

Indian Relocation for Industrial Growth

The Trail of Tears was the forcible relocation and movement of Native Americans, including many members of the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw nations among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory(present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States. The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while on route to their destinations, and many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee.
------Paul Miller

Depiction of "Contemplate" and its Perceived Meaning

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When first looking at the work of Ben Timpson, "Contemplate" seemed to have no exact meaning, for I could not visually comprehend what the artist was trying to get across to his audience. I then came across it, after several viewings, and suddenly drew a new perspective on what I was looking at. A closed flower bud hung as the main focus of the piece, with the green right above the dark red area being the stem, and behind it a dark outline that appeared to be a fully bloomed magnolia (first flower that came to my mind because of vein patterns). As seen in the picture above, an actual magnolia relates to the slightly visible open flower in Ben's creation. Titling the artwork "Contemplate" does establish a significance that deals with the opening of a flower. The reason being has to due with one of the word's denotative meanings; to have purpose, intend. For the closed petals, there doesn't seem to be much noticeable significance. Yet, over time it has the will and intension of blossoming into something magnificent. There is a relationship here that can be associated with a person's overall life long goals. Everyone must start out closed, with no understanding of many things. However, as we gain knowledge and are nurtured by the right surrounding influences, one becomes a person that is able to make a difference in their community or do something great. A large majority hope for such a future, but believe it to be so far away in the distant years to come. This is also depicted in the art by the final stage of the flower being hard to see, for this shows it to be distant. You must look closely to see the desired result of the drooping flower pedal. Overall, I believe that Ben Timpson's "Contemplate" transfers the message that many people have great intensions to do great things, but must be patient and allow time to take its course. Looking hard to see the beautiful flower is like working hard to achieve a prosperous lifestyle. No matter how insignificant someone may feel, everyone has a purpose to emerge successful.
By: Joseph Riggs