Hi friends who may still be following here! I’ve been away in http://www.dreamspace.nz the gallery and workshops in Gisborne…and http://www.dreamhaven.nz… and the Facebook colonisations of these… I’ve been doing some sculpture ..a commission for the Captain Cook memorial…giant ferrocement gourds..hue in Maori. Now inspired by a dream and my brother’s offer of a donation, I’m doing a statue of a Peter pan figure from our epic Apples of Aeden, Quickblade.
So an artwork begins…And there’s where the DISRUPTION starts. All big art projects blast a hole in the space-time-causality continuum around them – family, jobs, timetables, miscellaneous duties… they push aside lesser values to assert their right to exist. Just like babies – only these babies are more suspect, dubious arrivals into the status quo that surrounds them. And the artist, as mother, is questioned, found guilty of wanton disregard for the careful hierarchy of values that makes up respectable life. Money, or the lack of it, is usually brought up as exhibit A for the prosecution. Irresponsible procreation with no visible means of support is the verdict.
And yet, there it is: the the mother has given birth to this new thing, this awkward artefact to be fitted into their universe. Later, if it is well accepted, the judges will pay belated respects to the artist…perhaps erect a monument in his memory.
Such is normally the outward path of the ser
ious artist. Only the rich inner life of creation of a beloved child, sometimes with the help of friend muse or grandchild – as here! can compensate for the uncertainty, the rejection and criticism, the poverty..
Happily, every now and then he receives a commission that pays well…usually a ‘safe’ project such as these hue. But safe projects do provide respite for the plotting and gestation of more daring works. 🙂 That’s about where I’m at right now. A good space to be in, however insecure.
Yes, you guessed it – I DIDN’T put this Big Rock in first… 18 years it’s been on
my longtailed back burner agenda… and it should have been one of the first things I built, at Cafe Eutopia.. why? Because it is the symbol of synergy.. social, intellectual and spiritual. It’s actually love articulated – everyone, every different type has a place and respect in the circle of process which shows how opposites are all needed. Now, at Dreamspace gallery Gisborne, I’m finally just doing it. For gathering of extraordinary minds and hearts to imagine Eutopias, networks, creations, possible humans and communities… resilient adaptive ones that can survive upheaval and chaotic change – which are surely coming…
I’m using the free resource of newsprint roll holders…squares of strong particle board which get put out on the verge every week or so. When we perfect the design I’m thinking I’ll make a file of the shapes for laser or jigsaw cutting and put the plans in an ebook of the Round Table for worldwide availability…
Here are some photos of the surrounding planner boards which echo the five colour of the table. For more on the theory see www.4phase.org
You can just see the four sectors of the round table marked in chalk on the floor, surrounding the central fifth table (the one pictured is a standing for it. The central one is the Balance , the purple zone of the status quo which feeds us…hence the cutlery! 🙂 Also the golden ring of community on top of the candelabra – it’s a rubber ring I found on the beach… synchronistically… and painted gold. It’s too big for oneperson to wear, it’s flexible and strong, golden and pure like gold and black inside representing the ability of good communities to absorb negativities….
The panels need painting and the holes filled with disks which I rout out of offcuts.. The whiteboards will show all the things we’re working on… the blue outlined one for new inputs, the green for new ideas, yellow for new plans and evaluations, the red for to do lists, and the central purple one for the mind mapping of the status quo of the whole enterprise, updated as new developments happen.
There’s a ‘long tail’ – or long tale – to the things we create, if we live (and believe) long enough and don’t forget too much but let it all simmer on a long-term ‘back burner’ – or perhaps call it an athanor, or alchemist’s oven, which would slowly heat ingredients to fuse them together.
An example from many in my life here at Dreamspace recently: the short epic love/sacred quest story set in ancient Cornwall and Aeden. I wrote this spinoff/sidetrack from the epic Apples of Aeden about a decade ago, printed and hand-bound it with embossed covers, uploaded it as an ebook, free here https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153457 and gradually forgot about it as uptake was slow and feedback online almost non-existent. But brother John (of Greenstone Pictures and now flying solo at www.boyfellinpond.com sees a beauty to it and the possibility of a short film, and has commissioned me to make a new edition of even greater ornateness as the centrepiece of the film development… complete with silver medallion of the Forging of the Sword of the Fifth Element. …which is handy because I have been getting a passable silversmithing setup going here at dreamspace gallery and workshops. www.dreamspace.nz
Here’s a draft of the design for the medallion. Watch this space… the book and the medallion – and the film, should we be spared – will hold much sacred magic, long incubated in the Harris brothers’ Athanor…
Dear friends – (Pun alert…) Get off that treadmill! Become a misfit! (It’s a lot of fun having this position just to left field of the sport and fitness industry! There are so many puns…) We do coffee with wholecream milk…:) For that and so much more, run on down to 61 Carnarvon St, Gisborne, or pilates your mouse to http://www.lifegym.nz and vigorously explore strange new lands of the mind and spirit (under construction as I speak) – and the neglected realms of the creating hand and eye! Free downloads and videos of workshops to come – from philosophy to ferrocement – follow the blog and get notifications by email. I hope to make the website an interesting place of creation too..
This is a huge coming-out for me, but (like the aging Zarathustra) I was like a bee that has gathered too much nectar – I had to take it to the hive, or lose altitude and become one of those bees you see, lonely, dragging themselves along the ground… There’s just so much I want to share, my shyness and reticence will just have to stand aside.. This will be a good journey for all involved, I believe – do consider joining us!
A new possibility for sharing what I know and am – https://dreamspace.nz/2018/04/05/its-life-jim-but-not-as-we-know-it-feedback-invited-on-lifegym-idea/ It would be great to get some responses reactions and suggestions on this… I’m not at all sure I can pull it off, personally, but I’d love to be ABLE to! Usually the big possibilities come with our personal-stuff-monsters close behind them ready to ambush us… so as Zarathustra said to his personal monster, the ‘spirit of gravity’ – “Stop, dwarf!” I said. “I – or you! But I am the stronger of us two – you do not know my abysmal thought! That – you could not bear!” So even our monsters must obey us – IF we face them – as often as they reappear to block our way or drag us down. So, whatever I end up doing, I want it to be because of a cosmic possibility, not a personal impossibility… Again, Nietzsche said,
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. – Friedrich Nietzsche
For a few days now I’ve been carving my first Pounamu (greenstone/nephrite) from a piece I cut with my newly built diamond saw here at dreamspace – a fish which I was calling the Salmon of Knowledge, from the Irish myth of Fionn:
“The poet Finegas spent seven years fishing for this salmon. One day Finn Eces caught Fintan and gave the fish to Fionn, his servant and son of Cumhaill, with instructions not to eat it. Fionn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when Fionn touched the fish with his thumb to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Fionn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain. Little did Fionn know that all of Fintan’s wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop of fish fat. When he brought the cooked meal to Finn Eces, his master saw that the boy’s eyes shone with a previously unseen wisdom. …”
Strange things happen when you carve an archetype… Yesterday I got a steam burn on my thumb from my kettle – a first for me in 63 years. Later, swimming at Kaiti beach (where Captain Cook first came ashore in New Zealand), I had the fish in my pocket behind a green plastic doggie bag. It must have slipped out while I was floating on my back in the shallows. We waded back and forth until dusk, then told a young German camping couple what had happened and gave them my card, offering a reward if they found the greenstone fish at low tide. As of this morning, when we looked again ourselves, and the couple was gone, the fish is at large, whereabouts unknown, doing its wise thing out there. I want it back if only to finish carving it, but meanwhile I ponder the magical significance of this happening. It came at a time when I was pondering how to come out and teach my learnings, arts crafts, and philosophy. Perhaps I’m not ready yet. Perhaps when the Fish returns I will be…
Watch this space…
Under all our endeavours lie rhythms we normally take for granted: breathing, brainwaves, sleep and waking, digestion… and most vital of all, the heartbeat. On Sunday morning the cat woke me and I noticed I had an irregular heartbeat. A really irregular heartbeat. Suddenly it was hard to think of anything else but the rhythm. Raewyn took me to the hospital, where the good people whose whole job is to help people when the rhythms get our of order, tested and helped me so nicely I felt a joy and gratitude for them and empathy for all embodied beings.
But after a few hours in the ward time dragged and the spectre of a life so handicapped by fibrillation kept me from even being able to read (!). All the busyness and goals from before the loss of rhythm seemed impossible to return to. I gave up coffee, got out on Sunday night with a withdrawal headache, a beta blocker prescription – and an irregular heartbeat.
Last night the caffeine withdrawal was almost over and I had caught up on sleep, but the heartbeat thing was distracting and depressing. I had read about ‘entrainment’, how rhythms in proximity tend to synchronise, for example two pendulum clocks mounted side by side, and I thought maybe lying heart to heart with Raewyn with her steady beat might help my erratic one get in line again. It was hard to even settle to trying that – the tendency seems to be to nurse the affected parts and protect them. Then I meditated and listened to music. I prayed to get that rhythm back, and vowed to be calmer and meditative. I found I could imagine opening Dreamspace after all if I was like that, in harmony with myself (what was left of me) and any others who visit the gallery. I went to sleep more calm about the future.
This morning I noticed I wasn’t noticing my heart – the rhythm was back! I am learning, not the way I would prefer, but it is good! I intend to continue with these lessons. I’m back in the most vital rhythm of life – and appreciating all the other ones!