I have happily come to the conclusion that I am the most unsuccessful blogger in the bloggisphere and this opens a great door to freedom from scrutiny. You can look over my shoulder if you like and watch me while I am thinking but your continued non input is a companionable way for us to sit.
A journey began for me several weeks ago with a master course in Art Practice and Research with Ruth Hadlow. It came at a time when I was flailing with this incessant drive to be more visible and commercial which was like a loud flapping noise stopping me from thinking. As soon as a pirouetting child absorbed in a fantasy of ballerinas and princesses feels the adult gaze, she also becomes her own audience and she constantly watches out of the corner of her eye for approval and adulation and loses the rhythm that prompted her dance.
Ruth’s course was a wonderful antidote for that but at the same time is difficult to describe. It was if anything, like being cloistered in a contemplative order for a week with five other earnest and gifted artists. Personal attributes and biographies were irrelevant to the tasks at hand. We talked of cabbages and kings, as my father used to say, when we sat long hours talking around the subject of his impending death without ever touching on it. Understanding was found in the sopped up tears and and pearls of wisdom that could be retrieved from the tangled threads we wove around that tender wound.
Knowledge is an obstacle to Knowledge.(Thich Nhat Hahn, Buddha Mind Buddha Body)
There were enlightening readings which were not about their content but more about their style. There were oddments from pockets along with skilfully made artifacts and emotionally charged talismans all rubbed up against each other which were available for us to meditate on and practice some of the thinking skills Ruth presented us with. Disparate objects hooked our attention and drew threads of passion and accumulated experiences from our brains as we fashioned our own interpretations of what it was we were dealing with.
Synchronicity and serendipity seemed to magically influence our responses but in reality the objects that hooked our attention were simply touchstones for lived experiences that had resonated in our lives and were our driving forces.
Our analysis involved unwrapping information embedded in art forms and objects and then using those techniques as a lense through which to approach an artistic task.
|Barnacles and hibiscus caught my eye|
Sometimes language traps an idea like a bug in amber and prevents it from growing but it can also liberate ideas especially if it is circumspect and dances around the edges like children poking at a dead bird . Language can be direct and descriptive, it can list physical attributes, it can allude to romantic notions or emotional ideas elicited from an object, it can talk in circles around a subject without ever putting a finger on it. Language can approach an object and wander off into nostalgic musings and then attention can be drawn again to the object with new questions in the mind. Language tends to be a linear description, except if you are speaking in sign language, which can be a multidimensional expression of emotion and action attached simultaneously to information.
I could for instance tell you the boring fact that every morning (almost) I walk around the oval a minimum of 3 times to begin my day. I walk in an anticlockwise direction and expect to see certain individuals also taking their morning constitutional and it gives me a sense of solidarity with all those who are walking. Michael Moore the documentary maker started a movement about walking in solidarity with others who are walking. His simple act motivated thousands of people simultaneously around the globe. I used to feel a certain solidarity with women who were up feeding babies at 4am.
I could also represent my walk with a list
Flock of corellas lifting off,
newly mown turf,
long shafts of sunlight,
silhouette of park bench,
hot air balloons,
empty drink bottle on the war memorial,
drifts of spent gum blossom,
increasing numbers of coloured eucalypt leaves,
old man peeing behind the cricket shed,
golfers exuding early morning smugness,
magpie keeping one metre distance with sideways glances,
new hole dug on walking path by bored child,
streaking flash of an exuberant dog…etc
I could represent it mathematically
440metres x 3 = 1520 metres or 3 laps x 5mins= 15mins = time for 2 more laps or 2 laps x5 minutes + 1x slow lap because of THAT couple… don’t they know how slow they are. 78 breaths =I gm of fat processed and deleted.
with a reference;
The Superior vena-cava collects de-oxygenated blood to the heart aided by heart suction. This vein carries blood from left to right. Centrifugal force due to anticlockwise running helps this suction. If we run clockwise, the centrifugal force impedes suction. That is why, in olden days, health officers ensured that all carnival merry-go-rounds were run only in the anti-clockwise direction. As the heart is on the left side, for humans and animals, running anticlockwise makes the centrifugal force in the body to act from left to right. Whereas it is from right to left for clockwise running. Racing tracks, animal shows in circuses, bullock-drawn pelt on wheels, all mostly have only left turns. Stairways in temple towers have only left turns for going up. Clockwise running tires people. http://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-1416,00.html
or with an image