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.
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…
In the course of a long life there comes a time when a lot of stuff at last, belatedly, decisively falls away no matter how much we try to keep it. Then we think, ‘well that wasn’t so bad after all…I feel freer.’ But what remains is not necessarily a free person. No, the worst stuff clings like a second skin, a suffocating armour. For me it has been mostly the glove or gauntlet – the apologetic sidetracking prevaricating moderating mediator between my creative powers and a world I have always expected to reject what my unfettered hand would create. Now I plan to throw down that silver glove which was meant to armour me all these years against the slings and arrows of the ordinary world and ordinary people, the bourgeoisie, that is, the sheepish, judgmental hordes who follow the safest leaders of the spirit of the age. They didn’t like my watered-down offerings anyway. Or me.
Now, with Nietzsche, as a creative spirit unbound from the world, inured, made indifferent to rejection by long years of the world’s indifference, I have come down to a simple fear-free, joyful will to ‘press my hand upon millennia as upon wax.’ Direct. Honest. No gauntlet to soften or simplify or protect me from the true contact with whatever rock I intend to mould. Perhaps now, at sixty, I have become an artist. As the Mask says, ‘Somebody, stop me!’ 🙂
So, after the nice dove, what? Watch this space! Something to rise up heroic, noble, uncompromisingly my creation, perhaps in the courtyard behind the head of the dove. Of course, the dove for me is of Aphrodite and represents passion, eros, desire to create. That it returns to the Ark is proof that the Ark is an Archetype of new creation, out of the floods of loss and death, to a new day. It comes to rest on a craggy mountain, and the rainbow appears – a rainbow of unlimited possibility as the voyagers come down from the mountain to inhabit the new world…