The Year of the Flood

atwood_flood_uk_pbWho would believe I  am immersed in a book, a book of fiction!  unheard of for many a year.  Books I read are always non-fiction, factual, history, spiritual, philosophy, biographies.  I believe that nothing happens by chance, so padding across the floor in my villa, dripping wet from a dip in the pool, I noticed a large basket full of books and felt drawn to look, the first book I plucked out looked interesting, THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD by Margaret Atwood.   Immediate thoughts were read it, just sit back down in the sunshine and start reading, So I did.

I am just over half way, I can’t say its a book I cannot put down, or that its scintillating, but it is quite mesmerizing, not really science fiction, I would have put it down immediately, but its more a about a speculative view of what our would could become. How the corporations are hellbent in destroying everything I hold dear in my life.   Like Jeanette Winterson’s review says “it’s not prophecy, but is eerily possible.

Being a lover of nature and growing veg, Gods Gardeners, their views, ceremonies and ethos resonates in some way, it is drawing me in, I am reading this for a reason, sure there is a gift here, it will come to me, with less than half still read, I am intrigued as to why this book turned up for me right now.  Could be its going to tell me this is why you don’t read non-fiction so you were on the right track all the time !!  who knows

a new path begins – The Fool and his journey

That childlike confidence, stepping out without a care in the world.   The Fool, the archetype thats take the the hero’s journey through the numbered cards of the Major Arcana.

For me these represent the journey we all embark on, its called “Life”.    Guess this is the big picture, but within this inevitable cycle of birth, death and rebirth, that keeps turning, there are many smaller “wheels”  many deaths.  We need these deaths to give space , we have to let go of things that no longer serve us, all the areas of our life where “we do” just out of habit, or some preconcieved thought processes that we may have adopted from out parents limiting belief systems.   Their comes a time when you wake up, enough is enough !  suddenly there are new possibilities, new challenges on the horizon that are beckoning……….

Quietly sitting in the solitude of my studio I felt drawn to create a lino cut,  THE FOOL instantly captured my thoughts and it wasn’t until I was looking at it the finished result this morning, I realised the signifigance of the subject I had chosen.    I have a new path that is about to unfold next month, something that has been lurking in my mind for so long, years in fact.   In September I am to embark on a 3 year training programme to become a  Transpersonal Art Therapist.  I first heard about this course some years back when I attended sculpture classes at a studio based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner.  I new then that one day when I wasn’t so busy I would apply.  It took a literal death of someone who had a big influence in my life, this made me sit up  and think, follow your dreams……… and I have

I am so excited, I feel like this child like person embarking on a magical journey, not knowing what to expect, taking that leap of faith.  I know too it will have its challenges, just as in life but now I know how to be in the flow of life, not resist, to accept “what is” and left life unfold in front of me.

 

G ‘n T anyone?

The end of a busy period, a rather challenging time on all fronts, but the project has been completed……….  The bar area below is part of an interior design project my company completed friday,  and ended the day with a wonderful Gin and Tonic.  It reminded me recently of a hotel I stayed at in Woodstock recently, it had a bar with 80 different types of Gin……….  Me I like Tanqueray , nothing outlandish but I just love the taste.  I am off now for a break, and teaching a workshop in Malta, so looking forward to it.

http://www.insidedesignco.com

Suzani and friends

today I received my parcel today from Tashkent, Uzbekistan !!  How exciting, ripping open the brown paper and wrapped inside in a plastic carrier bag, was my precious suzani, a hand emmroidered cloth I bought on ebay.

I have another one coming that is similar colours but a slightly different pattern, the two together plus some plain fabric i am going to create  wonderfully coloured wing chairs that will sit at my new desk.  Actually its a long trestle table, in aged silver oak, over 3m in length at which I can sit and create, write letters and eat breakfast as it looks out across to the common.

A suzani for those who may not know is a hand embroidered cloth, usually sewn in panels and joined sewn together to make a large piece.  From Central Asia, these pieces would from part of a brides dowry, shows her skills at embroidery.  Often used as wall hangings and bedcovers.  Each region can be identified by its designs, but need to research this a bit more.

Such wonderful colours, and each embroidered shape is so neatly sewn, the back is almost as neat as the front, such tiny, tiny stitches.

above are my little friends, the large boy you will recognise from my before images, (if you click the image above you will see)  he is painted black at the moment, thinking of either a bright pink shade, or repainting him white with a white with a white sculptural shade and putting in my bedroom……. decisions, decisions.  The other little friends are my all time faves my japanese collector doll uamou ,  buuts buuts uamou and boo.  Unfortunately buuts got a rubbing over by my cleaning lady and lost part of her head piece which was very annoying……….  we have a bit of a love hate relationship, but all in all we get through, the flat gets cleaned.  I cant do everything sadly, my interior design work takes a huge chunk of my time and the last thing I want to do in my spare time is clean………  You can can see the whole range of collectable uamous here http://www.uamou.com/shop/index.html

I always wondered where the trains were going?

this is actually a mixed media painting by Julian Schnabell of the man himself, Dennis Hopper, love him or hate him he is an icon of the 60’s and he is about to have a retrospective  exhibition of his photography and paintings at MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in July.  Conceived only a couple of months ago by the new museum director Jeffrey Deich and curated by Julian Schnabell, they both admit the speed in which this has come together is in part due to the fact that Dennis Hopper has been diagnosed with terminal Prostrate Cancer and before it became to incapacitating he wanted Dennis to be able to choose the pieces he most wanted to exhibit.

In a recent interview he opened it with ““I decided recently, that I am just a middle class farm boy from Dodge City, Kansas…I just always wondered where the trains were going.” coming from a man who is now 73 it made me smile…………  far from the motorcycle man in Easy Rider, that I have to admit seeing when It first came out in the 60’s…….

Good days, dark days, some ok days

Today has been all three combined, the sun is just going down after a beautiful spring day, a GOOD day.  Designing, creating a bistro today was mixed with a real passion for expressing the feelings when first entering a room that makes one feel special, but in getting there I have been back to places that bought on my perfectionsism, a small little girl with no power, feeling helpless and  reacting within my adult self. DARK day.  It was she who felt helpless that left me with feelings of “must be in control” something I have been working on letting go.  All is well most of them time, but when it comes to getting everything in order I can somethimes get very anal about everything and become too perfectionist, this stops the “flow” and i get so frustrated.  Anyhow the days work is done, I am now at home, and getting ready to go out to cinema.  Going to see the new Tilda Swinton film, a perfect start to the weekend.  Any thoughts of perfectionism are now far from my mind.

The image is oil pastel sketch, scanned in and made into a pattern on illustrator.  its called “Plaything”

Be wild, be free, be stone stupid and be all three !!

I recently came back from teaching a workshop about the Hero’s Journey, using the Major Arcana cards to reveal the epic path.   this quote I plucked from one of my most favourite books just about said it all.

“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman)

also see www.livingenergyhealer.com

Number three, I like it, but not everyone does………….

A number that is uncomfortable for some, for me its what I know.  I grew up in a three, mother, father and me until my teenage years; I have many relationships which group in three and it’s comfortable to me.

Why for some is this a threat?  A dear friend of mine likened it to a three-legged stool; if one leg were kicked away then the stool would not stand up.  And of course there is the triangle of persecutor, victim and rescuer, which can play out.  I like to think of this verse in Ecclesiastes spoken by king Solomon “A three-ply cord is not easily severed.”

There is the Holy Trinity, the Three Jewels in Buddhism, in maths it s the first odd prime number and lucky number.  Abraham Lincoln said “Of the People, By the People, For the People”.  Then there are the Three Graces, The fates, the triple headed Goddesses.  Chekov’s famous play the Three Sisters and in sport the Triathlon.  The cycle of life, creation, life and death, the three ages of woman maiden, mother, crone.  So much of life comes at us in three; it’s a joyous number to me, I like it

Tbis piece of work is a paper cut, scanned and digitally manipulated and of course it in THREE !

Brilliant animation

princeachmed

Live Dulcima peformance combined with a whimsical and beautiful 1926 Animation, a  wonderful evening spent at the De la Warr Pavillion last Frida. . The Adventures of Prince Achmed was the first feature length animation film in the history of the cinema. It is a ‘silhouette film’. Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) was the inventor of this genre. Work on The Adventures of Prince Achmed began in 1923. It was released in 1926. This wonderful animation film is full of adventure, lyrical sensuality, magic and romance, playful humour, strong female characters, exciting bat- tles and sinister evil. The story was inspired by elements taken from the Tale of the 1001 Arabian Nights.  The Adventures of Prince Achmed is one of those rare and timeless films that appeal across the complete age range. The beauty and intricate detail of Reiniger’s exquisite filigree artwork is of the highest quality. She was inspired by Chinese and Indonesian shadow plays and adapted this ancient art for the cinema. The distinctive combination of silhouette characters, colour tinted landscapes and backgrounds is unique and profoundly evocative and seductive. Moreover, the use of silhouette characters leaves the imagination free to soar in response to the sensuality and magic of the story.  We are treated to a splendid cast: Prince Achmed,  Princess Peri Banu, the Witch of the Fiery Mountain, the Evil Sorcerer, The Magic Horse, Aladdin,xPrincess Dinarzade and The Caliph.  The fact that all the characters are silhouettes is fundamental to the essence and power of the film.  The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a captivat ing and beautiful work of art. It is a magnificent example of stop frame animation and consists of three hundred thousand separate frames. It is undoubtedly one of the shining gems in the history of cinema and is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece. It is the ‘haute couture’ of animation. Lotte Reiniger was a pioneer who dedicated her life to creating silhouettes. She made more than eighty animation films. The original prints of The Adventures of Prince Achmed featured colour-tinted backgrounds. Working from surviving nitrate prints, German and British archivists restored the film and managed to incorporate the original tinted backgrounds, which in their dynamic interaction with the silhouette characters are crucial to the aesthetic of the film. Prints available just prior to the restoration had only been in black and white.  Geoff Smith’s new score for The Adventures of Prince Achmed has been inspired and led by Lotte Reiniger’s genius. He has attempted to do justice to her achievement. For the performance of the soundtrack Geoff uses numerous prototype Hammered dulcimers, one being the first ‘Fluid dulcimer’ incorporating his revolutionary ‘microtonal fluid tuning mechanism’ patent, without which it would have been impossible to compose and perform the soundtrack. For further information regarding this invention and some of its historic implications please refer to the Guardian newspa- per article ‘Composer reinvents the piano’.

Geoff Smith’s pioneering score for The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a revelation in the composition and performance of live music for animation. He has dedicated himself to exploring the wider spectrum of musical choices that his invention offers, so that in the composition of the score it has been possible to respond in more intimate, expressive and expanded detail to this unique and uplifting film. His immensely dynamic score illuminates and emphasises Lotte Reiniger’s aesthetic obsession, consummate artistry and passionate commitment to story telling.

armorial amour paper shoe no. 7

Well todays effort was extremely testing of my patience……….  managed to make a heel, not as graceful as I would like but it looks good.  Shoe is made of hand printed tissue paper from my own  toile erotique collection, black paper,  together with its own coat of arms…………….  What am I going to do with them, any ideas!   these are meant to be just trials, but they are becoming very detailed and have a life all of their own…………..shoe no. 7 IMG_2750_2shoe 7.5 IMG_2752Shoe no.7.2IMG_2770shoe no.7.3.IMG_2762_2Shoe no.7.4IMG_2773_2shoe no.7 toile erotique backgroundshoe no. 7 toile etotique 2.IMG_2791

More Paper

tried a different style today, and used black and white and thinner paper.  Easier to cut but not quite so “crisp”.  However it seemed quite easy to “shape” it, found that if I rub the back of the paper with the end of the scalpel handle onto a piece of foam board that the paper curls and takes on a very 3 dimensional effect, more so than my first efforts.  Learning more each time I cut them.  What I would like to do is large free form hanging paper sculpturesdark-night-small-file