May 22, 2009
Today I begin a four day weekend as part of the Tate festival and as today is also my blogging day you are also globally internetly part of it. The day begins now even though I am still in bed, wearing glasses, extinct cup of tea beside me and the computer on my lap… here goes…… answers please, for each answer I will send you a virtual nomad (aka peg doll beautifully dressed in contemporary clothing made from found materials, because we are here and now talking about contemporary nomads, read below if you don’t know what Im talking about
Home became home at a certain moment, which I never recognised at the time. In that moment my home replaced the home I left behind when I was 18. That day, years later, what changed in the house or garden, or within my mind? Which new plant turned my home into my mother’s garden?
In the garden the hand that was mine was always visible, but one day it had my mother’s hand in it as well. (Maybe it was the daphne, that keeper of perfumed memories, that did it) not my fist daphne , but the first that flourished like my mother’s. Was ikt when I knew it was going to flourish that I knew I was also ‘at home’?
My childhood was criss crossed with nature wanderings, alone in it, a private world. It is nature and dirt-stained hands that , years later, take me back there. Where I can till my own earth, there I have a chance of recovering that sensation of being ‘at home’.
For others it is people: immediate family or a circle of loving friends that make them feel at home. In a city that is largely comprised of a mobile population, some long-term-temporary, some short-term-temporary, but few who live and die in the same place, much less with the same community, what constitutes a home?
In times gone by the name for those who moved to survive, in pursuit of pastures new, were called nomads. Groups of Gypsies ad Irish Travellers have continued a lifestyle of moving on in pursuit of income or a need to change location. These groups had a network to travel with or meet up with. Today many of us who live in cities move on also, but is there a network to support the the person in replacement of home? Today life is characterised in the west by a nuclear family, the smallest possible group outside of solitary. Under these circumstances how easy is it to be ‘at home’? What is a home, who is a nomad?
May 11, 2009
The Devil. Wether or not you come down on any side of the existential argument about this wiley character, this archetype is alive and well in many areas of our culture (I speak of America) and the world. This figure has evolved over thousands of years to embody every negative impulse we might encounter. I have a personal involvement with this archetype being from an ultrafundamental pentecostal family steered by a patriarchal preacher of 60 years. I’ve now come to think that it is sometimes necessary to have this figure on which we can blame our weaknesses, etc. The power we sometimes transfer to a mythological being that doesn’t exist in reality is quite incredible. Cloven hooves, horns and fangs are different but human enough to act as a visual focus that crosses cultures and times to play a role in our spiritual lives. Does the Devil factor into your life at all? Is there a character that fits a devil-like role but doesn’t traffic in the judeo-Christian or otherwise western iconography, and how is he/she represented? Are there correlations that should be part of the Devil discussion? You tell me
April 24, 2009
“A Weary Man’s Utopia” by Borges is a beautiful short story in which the 70-year-old writer mysteriously encounters a man from a distant future. I don’t want to say much more as it is only a couple pages long… but here are some elements of Borges’ imagined future:
“No one cares about facts anymore. They are mere points of departure for speculation and exercises in creativity. In school we are taught Doubt, and the Art of Forgetting.”
Printing has been forbidden since it is “one of the worse evils of mankind, for it tended to multiply unnecessary texts to a dizzying degree”
Although painting is most definitely well and alive in that world, the colors on the canvas are indiscernible to our eyes (interesting to note that the writer was almost completely blind by the time he wrote that story).
April 23, 2009
If the future is circular and I keep missing the train, then I only need hang out a bit and the next one will come along. That is a fruitful thought. I am immersed in thinking and thinking and thinking on how to fulfil my next art obligation, you must know what I mean, you try hard to get into a show or be part of some amazing opportunity and you make it. Then you have to work out what in heavens name you should really be doing for that show or how to best fulfil that opportunity. Your thoughts, or mine at least, go round and round and round and ideas good bad and ugly appear. And that’s when you miss the train.
That’s what happened to me last week before I went to Italy with the promise of working on it there. No way, the weeds were high, the sun when it shone beckoned, the nightingale not only sang day and night but was nesting on the side of the loggia. I cooked, I shopped I haggled over the price of strawberries and left them at the market!! I recovered the sun chairs and paid the water bill. But did no thinking what so ever.
When I got home last night, I caught that train, the one that I had missed the first time, took a look at my notes and my art work stuffed in my bag and knew which of the hundred ideas was the good one.
April 17, 2009
I recently found out about an up and coming project that could help bring about another arts revolution Memphis.
The Memphis Art Park would be a public art complex located downtown that would provide a public space for visual arts, music, dance, theater and film to work, and showcase artistic creativity.
While this idea is still only on paper, it is something that the city desperately needs and deserves.
Check out this link to a wonderful art park that is growing from idea to reality.