Wednesday, July 7, 2010

cows, cliffs and a Hail Mary

Today was a fun day. It began with a check of yesterday’s work. Either it didn’t rain by school or the wind dried the rain. So the pieces sat out again. The one piece is very visible, so I can see that it needs more changes. Saturday morning we leave for the Aran Islands, so I need to pick up the pieces before then.
Then, we heard Tim’s lecture on  Art & Land. It was excellent. Where does the artist begin to represent the land? How does that engagement take place? Why do you engage with the land? My hazel structure was a bit “trite”- so I need to reconsider the shapes I make and investigate innovate ways of handling the material. Also, a re-examination of models may need to occur. There is much debate in my head about models. Models can be so wonderful that one will view the model as a finished piece (not necessarily art, but finished). Models when done larger will be changed in the finished scale. However, models give one the ability to discover possibilities and limitations of a given material. So how do I proceed? I started to make another triangular form in a smaller scale. My intent is to weave pieces of fabric into the hazel sticks. But it seems to me that I want to be more mindful of my present state of mind rather to impose a pre-conceived idea of “I want to make this…. or that.”. I want to allow my intellect to identify the goal of the piece – for example to construct a piece of sanctuary and retreat, but not to allow the piece to be constructed by the external forces of intellect. I want my feelings, thoughts, and connectedness to direct the materials. I want to find a rhythm in the process of creating. My connectedness with the materials, my spirit of the moment and the transfiguration of that meeting will determine the outcome. The idea of my will and intellect taking over my intuition is not a pleasant thought. The idea (understandably and indefensibly romantic) that my intuition and senses along with the process of creating will create work that is satisfying to me.
After the lecture, we went to see Richard Long’s Stone Circle. A quiet, almost unnoticeable piece of artwork, near the Cliffs of Moher. I am a huge fan of land art, primarily because of its engagement with place and time and secondly, its obvious lack of commodity. I liked the piece. Kris, Rose and I had our picture taken in the circle, we photographed it, examined it to its surroundings. I noticed that there was a small island just beyond the rocks that seemed to engage the circle- although one cannot presume any intent. It made me feel sad to see this circle, tiny by comparison, in relationship to its surroundings. The circle seemed missed by the raging water and dramatic cliffs in the horizon. Was this my influence imposed on the circle? Again, was this the artist’s intent? So much rigorous discussion on the circle and art engagement with the land, society and culture. Very exciting! For pictures, please go to my facebook page.
Tomorrow begins a whole and seriously desire day in the studio. I am dreaming of landscape paintings, drawings of cows, making miniature cows out of cow shit, more floor rubbings, a giant hazel sculpture, sewing the rain prints… I am just going to let go and create!
On a lighter note, when Kris and I were on our trip, we made tiny dolmens in an anti-dolman landscape. I enjoyed the engagement with the miniature dolmens. On the other side, I could see how the movement of the stone exposed the roots of grass and caused the erosion of the soil. A contradiction, but not a bad thing to grabble with…
When she and I went to draw the cows, a not so friendly cow greeted us. Here is one of the drawings of the cows.... behind it are my notes from this evenings notes on land art. Talk about contradictions. Kris and I have wondered how do handle imagery in art. We're surrounded by these cows - I wonder how can I not be influenced by them, especially in light of the cows non-presence in Asbury Park. Anyhow, we were drawing and decided to go into the field. Then we tip toed closer as we crouched down.. then suddenly, one of the girls stood up quickly and stared us down. Within nano seconds, we ran. I don’t remember running so fast – doubtful even if my feet ever hit the ground. Kris and I laughed so hard. The friendships developed here will last a lifetime. I have never felt so close to group of women in my life. It is beautiful. And it is not because Sarah and Cheryl gave me a donkey magnet – but because of the encouragement, love, support and challenges we present to and for each other. 
I would love to write about the change of things... like how Scot along 2 other students from NorthEastern U went on our beloved enchanted woods walk and changed the dynamics of the experience. NOT in a negative way - but our lovely dog, Lupis, didn't go with us, we encountered 2 young (or neutered) bulls in a field without electric wire... that is when Rose and I held hands and prayed the Hail Mary together. We made it home safely but what a day. I am so tired and engerized all at the same time.

No comments:

Post a Comment