Pre-order your signed copy today! Release date February 28, 2021.
STILL TIME ON PYE POND by Danielle Fontaine
STILL TIME ON PYE POND stands at the intersection of literature and visual arts. It is the story of a young White woman, my daughter, rejected by her paternal grandfather for marrying a Black man. The memoir is told principally in encaustic paintings, from my point as the mother who remains painfully silent to avoid further unraveling tenuous family bonds.
The story follows my progress as I reclaim my voice in a newfound medium. My paintings become the means through which a remnant of harmony is preserved, a hopeful bridge towards eventual reconciliation.
About the author
I was born in the tiny village of St-Adelphe, in Québec, Canada. I grew up on the South Shore of Montréal, and as an adult had the pleasure of living in four countries and six states. Greenville has been my home since 1999.
My fascination with art began as a child, with the architecture of the Montréal World’s Fair. The fantastic forms, colors and stories of Expo ’67 inspired me to study architecture and later, creative writing. When I discovered encaustic in our wonderful arts community of Greenville, South Carolina, a new storytelling adventure began. I joined the new Greenville Center for Creative Arts in 2015 as one of its inaugural studio artists.
Advance praise for Still Time on Pye Pond
“In coming home to the rural south for over fifty years – having departed to live in a city away from my roots – I have been struck most of all by the places I remember that have fallen into decay, the relics and ruin, a house tumbled into itself covered with vines and shrubs. We let our houses crumble to wreckage and die, haul in a trailer next to them, and move on. It is akin to the stubborn, inflexible way of our lives, our beliefs. Danielle Fontaine’s study of Pye Pond, a piece of land on which her husband’s parents live, brings all this back to me in startling images, the beauty of the land and the tenuousness of what we build on it. Paired with the story of her daughter’s marriage to a man of a different race and that same father-in-law’s judgement of her, the work becomes a testament to the scars that are carved in us, in the landscape, in the faces of our children, in service to a past that grips us still. There is something vital in this conversation between image and story of the past – which is not the past at all, which is lived out any time Fontaine walks on Pye Pond. What is there about a belief that is more important than a granddaughter? Where words fail us, maybe these images can tell the story.”
— Jim Grimsley, author of How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood
Jim Grimsley is professor emeritus of practice in the English Department at Emory University. He is the author of multiple plays and novels and a memoir, and the recipient of many literary awards including the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Hemingway Award citation.
“Pye Pond is haunting and memorable. I want to look again at the images and let them wallow in my mind. I am impressed and gratified to wander among these Pye Pond memories.”
— Artist Leo Twiggs
Leo Twiggs is a Verner Award recipient and professor emeritus and founder of the Fine Art Department at South Carolina State University. In 1970, Twiggs became the first African American student to receive a Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia.
“Still Time on Pye Pond by artist Danielle Fontaine, is much more than a collection of published images by the Canadian born artist. It is a narrative related to Grandpa, Grandma, Marie, Ryan, and the artist’s own relationship to place and memory. The memoir chronicles Fontaine’s realization of family in the deep south and social change confronting outdated and dying tradition. This family story wanders far beyond the gallery. Fontaine’s mages capture a sense of loss on levels that are more than representational, and in fact timely.”
—Artist Tom Stanley
Tom Stanley is a 2018 Verner Award recipient, professor emeritus and former chair of Winthrop University’s department of fine art.
“Danielle Fontaine’s Still Time on Pye Pond joins together vividly rendered images with a plaintive narrative. Through its thoughtful sequence of encaustic work, this collection fuses the artist’s numerous gifts within the brilliant medium of remembrance and longing.”
— Jon Pineda, author of Let’s No One Get Hurt
Jon Pineda has won Library of Virginia Literary Awards for fiction and poetry and is a recipient of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize.
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