Still Time on Pye Pond
was published by
Clemson University Press
in February 2021.
Ordering available through the Clemson University Press weblink above.
Books are also available at your favorite online bookstores,
and at M. Judson Booksellers in downtown Greenville, SC.
View my virtual conversation about Still Time on Pye Pond
with artist Dwight Rose, hosted by Hub City Writers Project.
Hear the story behind the Pye Pond story in the Above the Noise podcast with Grantley Martelly, Episode 23: My Daughter Married a Black Man.
Still Time on Pye Pond stands at the intersection of literature and visual arts. It is the story of a young White woman, the author’s daughter, rejected by her paternal grandfather for marrying a Black man. The memoir is told principally in encaustic paintings, from the point of view of the mother who remains painfully silent to avoid further unraveling tenuous family bonds. The story follows the author’s technical progress as she reclaims her voice in a newfound medium. Her paintings become the means through which a remnant of harmony is preserved, a hopeful bridge toward eventual reconciliation. The art becomes the words she cannot speak.
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, professor emeritus of English at Emory University
"Still Time on Pye Pond is haunting and memorable. I want to look again at the images and let them wallow in my mind.”
- Dr. Leo Twiggs, South Carolina Hall of Fame artist and Verner Award recipient, professor emeritus and founder of the Fine Art Department at South Carolina State University
“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 images capture a sense of loss on levels that are more than representational, and in fact timely.”
- Tom Stanley, artist, Verner Award recipient, professor emeritus and former chair of Winthrop University's department of fine art.
"Anywhere that powerful image and language come together, a kind of story can be told that grows beyond the capability of only one medium... [Fontaine's] investment in her work has let her produce an impressive and insistent body of work. That she has found a way to tell this heartbreaking story is her gift to all of us, and our good fortune."
- Dr. Catherine Paul, author of Poetry in the Museums of Modernism and professor emerita of English at Clemson University, from her introduction to Still Time on Pye Pond.
"It is meaningful to look at things, but it is even more revealing to concentrate on them, a service which these pictures forcefully provide us... Nature is now the invisible protagonist in the material, inanimate existence thus represented, and without express human intervention, the forces of nature in the end will overwhelm all of it. Therein lies a genuine profundity of meaning which these pictures present to the detached observer. Only historical memory can reconstruct the role of the human hand in having gathered what we are here being selectively shown. And without that role being further exercised, continued physical degradation is of course unstoppable. Bringing this truth to bear with such clarity contributes to the fullness of our experience of the observable reality which these pictures present. Ultimately, they provide us with what all true art is made for, the enhancement of our lives."
- Dr. James Mann, author of Manifesto of Vandalism and for a decade curator of the Las Vegas Art Museum, from his critical commentary in Still Time on Pye Pond.