Spring comes on like a gift. The sun, an almost forgotten friend, coaxes the ferry passengers out onto the deck. He opens us up like flowers.
It was the changing of the seasons from winter to spring that inspired the broader Faces on the Ferry project. When I flipped back through my mini sketchbook and relived the journey from January to May, I experienced the gift of spring for a second time. I wanted to find a way to express that joy through art and pass it along to others.
Spring has its own innate capacity to bring us into the moment, if only to turn our faces up into the light for a few minutes and celebrate that we survived the most brutal season. This is a natural form of mindfulness, but we greedily seek any methods that can bring us to this state. Sketching does it for me. My attention is turned outwards, and I feel calmer. Aware. More empathetic.
The play of mindfulness is performed regularly on the ferry as it shuttles back and forth, rhythmic as a meditative breath. Whether it’s this particular seasonal surrender to the sun, or a deliberate decision to use the short journey to collect one’s thoughts, sketch, or simply observe other passengers, we are literally all in the same boat, trying to enjoy this moment, yearning to seize the now.
Rachelle Meyer is an illustrator and artist originally from Texas who came to Amsterdam 13 years ago by way of New York. She lives in Amsterdam Noord with her English husband, Dutch son, and two wild backyard bunnies.
The Faces on the Ferry installation can be seen through Nov. 17th in NDSM Fuse, NDSM-plein 85, Amsterdam Noord. https://facesontheferry.nl