Woolf works

img_6476I have seen many ballets within this rich tapestry called life, a aficionado of dance, not by any means but the thrill that music and movement can instil is unforgettable.  I have seen the proud somewhat arrogant Nureyev bring the audience into a frenzy to the graceful elegance of the long limbed Sylvie Guillem but nothing in all these years has moved me so much as Wayne McGregors’s  Woolf Works.  Plus it was a live screened performance from The Royal Opera House, sitting in a cinema !

A ballet triptych describes three books, which takes you through life from an ageing perspective,  looking back at the vibrant memories of 1920’s  England in Mrs Dalloway, to the energetic, fast moving dynamism of youth in Orlando, then finally to death with The Waves. By the end I had been through so many emotions, my heart had been pulled this way and that and at times felt it would leap from my chest.  I felt expanded, exhilarated, as if my body had filled the auditorium.

I watched mesmerised as the dancers moved with such grace and ease, their limbs, muscles, tendons showing the strength needed to perform such a strenuous ballet, especially in Orlando.  So many avenues of thought and feelings erupted

Then came the rhythmic hypnotic swelling of the waves, not only in the music of Max Richter but the dancers and the compelling back drop of raging foaming seas in  in slow motion as you watch and hear life ebbing away.  Actress Gillian Anderson reads Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter written to her husband before she drowned herself in the River Ouze,  the words  so moving in themselves.

I have now listened to this so many times since seeing the ballet, downloaded from the trusty itunes.  Its stunning, moving , haunting and magnificent and so much more.  This week sees the start of my week in Totnes and this mornings playing produces these quick impromptu sketches  and I can see this is going to inspire the senses in many ways as the days,weeks and months roll on.

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texture and pastels

 

Finding the pastels somewhat “flat” so experimented with adding some texture.  First I covered the offwhite UART grit paper with all shades of red and orange and yellow pastel and painted over with mat gel medium.  this created quite a thick covering that showed up all the brush marks.  When completely drying painted over the pastels, like the affect.  Will continue experimenting on the texture front and build up more layers using acrylic paint as the underpainting.

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another 365 days further around the cycle of time

morphing-27-72dpi A glorious day, sun shining brightly illuminating the frozen ground into  thousands of jewel like like sparkles, a beautiful and uplifting sight.  So what does if feel like to be 68 I asked myself this morning………. I cannot say  the number of years  moved me  or the the fact it was my birthday, only the numbers  curvaceous proportions spoke to me.  The softness of their form  reminded me of the feminine, our great mother,  bounteous, voluptuous, abundant, sensuous  and giving.

I suspect in numerology these numbers have great significance as there cursive forms suggest, possibly abundance and nurturing come somewhere in the gifts they manifest.

 

day 6 many days late

I am still taking time to be creative, but not always with colour and image making. My writing is taking up some days, spending time looking at all the books I have collected over the years and seeing if they still inspire me now.  Researching materials and storage for all the pastels, they are such a messy medium, but oh so vibrant

This paper is Sennelier pastel card, doesn’t seem to hold the layers very well.  Going to try a 400 course grit UART paper next time, have also ordered a trial pack of all the types from 250 – 800 grit

this is today’s 30 minutes of creativity

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Reliving the past

My love affair with jewellery making seems to have lost the lead at the moment !  As usual I have many projects on the go.  I see them like horses in a race, all jockeying for first position and for now writing has taken first place.

I have amassed so many components, tools, different clays, inks, beads, findings etc etc plus all the beads and items made carefully sorted and now stored away in a mass of boxes.   They were all crowding in on me and felt quite suffocated by the process and the obsession to keep making that I feel quite relieved that all the “stuff” is now housed along with many other obsessive months of work.  Its strange I have made hundreds of bracelets and necklaces, most I have given away because when it comes down to it I don’t like wearing jewellery unless it feel it is part of me, difficult to explain really, I don’t like ” decoration ”  pretty girly things, I am earthy and so the items I have made in the last months only 4 items remain in my wardrobe, large faux pebble necklace and three large faux ivory bangles .  Oh yes, and a necklace that looks like broken eggs

So how did the writing start?  a friend wrote his memoirs, after reading the  seed had been set.  It’s been percolating for a while and all the recent deaths in the media and then attending my stepfathers funeral, the seed sprouted and  has now grown into a book for my children, I wanted them to know the complex character called Mum is a woman shaped by many life’s experiences both good and not so good, it may help them to see what shaped me and what makes me tick …….  It is amazing that once  the memories begin to flow, the more memories begin to surface, it’s also interesting researching the 50 and 60s and plotting “my story” in their correct social and political context

So looking forward to my holiday in Greece in a couple of weeks time, I can then write to my heart’s content without  any work demands which have been full on demanding these past 6 weeks.

 

Image is a recent visit to Birmingham, New Street Station roof !  and me waiting for the meeting in Birmingham Art Gallery which is just a stone’s throw from the station.

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