I've felt frustrated that I haven't found a great deal of time or energy for studio work of late, but it's clear that this is a period of gestation (more about that below) and some kind of as-yet-unclear transition. It's important to say, too, that I realize my art really is made up of all of it--sharings on this blog, the workshops I develop, my photography, my writing, my hospice work, etc. It's all part of my creative expression, all of a piece, and the energy moves from one to another.
I am feeling quite charged up about some of my upcoming workshops. The theme of the SoulCollage experience I am facilitating next week, for example, is "Finding Home." The intention is that we explore our inner-most sense of home. I hadn't realized it when the theme came to me, but it echoes my post of 1/2/19 when I wrote about the "Centering Home" song by my friend Molly Scott, and the idea of always coming back to the path and following it home to the center. I'm also beginning to be excited about the Nature Spirits workshop I am teaching at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts (Mineral Point, Wis.) in August. Participants will make their own embodied totemic figures with natural materials. Yesterday, in beginning to prepare the workshop, I had new ideas about construction techniques for my own figural sculpture. Definitely itching to experiment...
All the details haven't quite coalesced or come into focus yet, but I am also planning an art event this fall that will hopefully be an offering both to the community and to myself, since I know I will learn a great deal from it. On September 15, I will share a selection of my art pieces and after demonstrating the way they can channel deep-seated messages (see last blog post), I will invite others to "listen" and speak from them too. We may effectively create a kind of community oracle. The event will also involve a give-away and love-offering exchanges of some of the pieces that are ready for new homes; if someone feels called to one of them, that will be really perfect.
That whole weekend will be an art adventure. September 15 is a Sunday, but on Saturday, September 14, I will be one of the artists featured at the Earth Dance environmental art installation at the Farley Center [for Peace, Justice and Sustainability, Verona, Wis.]. Artists have been invited to find a site in the Nature Path Sanctuary (a natural burial ground, mostly in the woods), and using land-based, degradable materials, to create a piece that will be out there for several months. There is a reception/ tour on the 14th, featuring a walkabout through the woods. As the group walks up to each artwork, the artist talks about it. I've participated in three previous environmental art happenings in the sanctuary, and the walkabout has been consistently magical. For details, see farleycenter.org/earth-dance/
Since it's still a work in progress, I can't share anything yet about the piece I will contribute this year, but here are some images from "Hanging In," the one I created for the last Farley event in 2017. It was made with hog gut, mohair, raffia, mica rings, glass rings, and wooden twigs.
The Light Damsel
The damselfly touches down, lands for a moment, and
I feel lightness, the whisper of wind and delicate form
Gossamer creatures, flying over the marsh,
hooking up and darting away, about-facing in the air, or
placing their tiny feet on my arm, the kayak lip, or the moving paddle.
Whatever they feel, in their elongated bodies,
they seem the epitome of living light
flitting off, air elementals, sky people.
Most of their lives they have no wings,
do not soar, sky dive and play with breezes.
No traversing the sky,
Named nymphs, but not shimmery fairy folk
they move in density, weighted with water, crawling, breathing
through gills, slower, deliberate
and molting, they molt, over and over, maybe for years,
then crawl to land where
slowly, they change.
The gossamer grows, the sheath slips off, and yes yes--
two pairs of wings emerge, open,
and wait to dry.
Ready to rise, shimmer, take to the air,
zoom across the pond, four shimmering wings,
That lightness on my skin
hard-won, well-earned, finally,
rising to the sun, gleaming,
the light of freedom, the freedom of lightness,
the light damsel
that carries me away.
Here, more offerings about the the light inside everything, infusing everything, the beauty, and the longing; and the sense of reaching up, rising to the sun, seeking light. Some of this has to be visual, to see and feel the inner light. I offer some of my [altered] photographs. (Click on the images for full views and captions--explanations of what they are.)
Light Language Inscription
Indelible mark of the light,
the language inscribed in indigo ink
deep into the chest,
etching it ineffably, its
curving codes and frequencies
here now, in the center,
as particles dance and gleam all round.
Yes, you are marked, bound
into the family
those who wear the sign
and know boundlessness
even within the chains.