Tuesday 18th. Still raw and fighting the urge to runaway in the morning after my presentation, what did i want, everyone said nice things? why did i feel so isolated? what have all these inner demons got to do with creating art about our connection to the land, the web of everything? i could see the irony but not untangle it. some things cannot be resolved through all the conscious cognaisance in the world, the winds will blow no matter how much we think them away.
Early into studio to enjoy the small window of silence before other people. when they came, they came with warmth and kind words. Off to the high school to do some activities with one of the S1 art classes. I went with Anish who wanted the pupils to write wishes, desires and dreams onto big rhododendron leaves he’d gathered, these will be placed in a creel and put to the sea. I was doing papermaking with them, a new skill, and also bring into the themes of working with natural found materials, also the environmental impact of paper in terms of water use as well as tree fibres. I also wanted the pupils to write on leaves, this time paper leaves stained with blackberry juice, and i wanted them to ‘count their blessings’. The idea being like a fairy tree, wishing tree or cloutie well, but instead of wishes, focusing on giving thanks for what we already have. what are you grateful for today ? always a good thing to remind ourselves, though when those pesky demons surface it can be hard to ‘feel’ the gratitude. The children wrote some beautiful thoughts, i am very proud to live somewhere that produces such wise young people.
Later i went to the sea to take one of my smaller works to give to the tide. the sphere i had woven earlier on was now stuffed with Rowan berry’s. Every time it is moved the berries spill out, a beautiful harvest, transient and impossible to hold onto. Like our attachment to aspirations, and the theme of this week, the moment i planned anything or thought i knew how things were going, it changed, very hard to go with the flow when the tide contains waves that are unpredictable and stormy. Taking my boots off during the week reflects my humility in front of nature. That sea was VERY cold after a while. sometimes we are full of ideas, inspiration, love and life, but all these things move and flow, not gone, but changing, rearranging, spilling out elsewhere.
I also started weaving a web into a hoop made the other day from one piece of birch. the cloth i’d stained with brambles reminded me of a bloodied rag. life is dark and light, love and pain merge, mud and blood all part of life and light. The triskele can stand for many things, including sea, sun, sky. earth sea sky. mother maiden hag and so on. The prayer rags attached give acknowledgment to the fact that suffering is as much part of life as joy & thus needs acceptance. I smeared this one with peat. From Mud and Blood comes Love.
this was a good day. lots of the public are coming into the drill hall to visit the working studio, they’re responding very positively to the diverse work in progress. In the evening again, we make our way hungrily and wearily to gather for the evening meal. This night it was a spanish/ mexican fusion of taste delight courtesy of Sarah and Ximena. Afterwards Fred & Lynn gave their artists presentations to a packed room. The projector packed in so they heroically continued showing the eager audience the work on the small screens of PC & laptop.
a nice cup of Chai from Somu to round off the evening, to bed to process photos… oh no laptop lead lost somewhere, whats this? an e-mail reminder about a prior job commitment the next day that i’d completely forgotten about … wait… battery gone…. arrrGH…. how am i to …?. but?.. no sleep, bright starry night. chaos wins again. Art takes its toll. angry about how hard it has been for me to escape all those other things in life that i don’t particularly get paid enough to have to spend so much time on. Something is going to change and soon !