Lockdown Day 9

River



      river

 running 

  rushing

     writing 

     its song

      rhyming

       the poem 

          is the river

             rarely 

                stagnant

                  always 

                  flowing

                      fast

                           writing 

                             history

                              carving 

                            memory

                           in wood 

                              stone rock

                                 smoothing 

                                     edges of loss 

                                           and pain

                                             no pain

                                              no gain

                                              blood a

                                              trickle a

                                                flood

                                                 coursing

                                                   through

                                                         veins

                                                          churning

                                                                brown   

                                                                    light 

                                                                   spirits 

                                                              in the rain

                                                            falling 

                                                             drop by

                                                              drop a

                                                             hundred

                                                         drops a

                                                       thousand

                                                      drops a

                                                       river


                                                           



Lockdown Day 8

Blind Contour Drawing

A whisper of grey tugs at my edges
Hurry, catch the morning
A silent plea
moving silently across my closed eyes
I try desperately to hold on to my dream
when Bob Dylan played for me
and he looked like he did in the late ’80s
But its no good, he’s gone
The tall stove pipe
moves out of the darkness
up to the white-painted rafters
the first marker of the day
I dress in the dark
feel my way down the stairs
through the creaking door into the hall
where the pink glow of the salt lamp
lights the way to the porch door
Outside the big green river rock
lies in wait to bash the shins of the unwary
The faint creak of the swing bridge
and the river running below are the only sounds
Until a blackbird calls
and a bellbird answers
I look up and over in the east I see
a bright magenta patch over the hills
This is the Land of Grey and Pink
like the cover of the 70’s album by Caravan
I think of my lost dream again
Deep pink fades to peach, then yellow
and in minutes is washed back into the grey
Funny black alpaca faces
with their comical ears, appear over the fence
and walk along beside me
until we reach the green stable with the white-framed windows
The tui joins the conversation overhead
a fantail dances around me
weaving her crazy web
Then the magic happens
A light switches on
dewy meadows sparkle white
green leaves turn neon
tips of the oaks and willow glow red and amber
their shadows striping the road ahead
I hear a tiny pat
And a perfect trefoil of oak leaves
falls to my feet
the papery leaves yellowing at the edges
and a small acorn cap still attached to the knobbly stalk
I add it to my morning bouquet
of late dog roses
stems of purple hawthorn berries
and crimson rosehips
A truck rumbles past on the other side of the river
and a lone dog howls in the distance
as I head back home
The sun has reached the old phone box
its red and white glass sign
perfectly etched on the green river rock
ENOHPELET

Lockdown Day 7

The Crows and I

We have an understanding,
the crows and I.
In the early days, they would leave gifts in my path,
black, iridescent,
beautiful to some, but hideous to me,
A corvid lover cursed with pteronophobia.
I tell them I don’t need the gifts,
just communication.
To feed them is my privilege.
They wait respectfully
until I am safely back indoors
before they the dive and grab
for the food I leave.
Always polite,
carking their thank you’s in advance,
for even crows know, that one shouldn’t speak
with one’s mouth full.
Our conversations at dawn and dusk,
their presence on the rooftops,
perched on red chimney pots,
bear witness to my day.
And I,
watching, applauding,
provide an audience for theirs.
The crows and I
have perfected the art
of the long-distance relationship.

Lockdown Day 6

Apple and Blackberry Pie

Early autumn
I scavenge for the last of the blackberries
The biggest and ripest
You know you will get scratched
But those berries, the colour
Their juiciness, taunting
Eat me, but I bite
Small sharp thorns that burrow into the skin
Blood mingling with the purple juice
Stained hands

The apples on the ground are rotting
Codling moths invaded them
long before they left the tree
The rot set in early
One bad apple
The worm works from the inside out
Some apples look perfect
Until you cut them open and the core is brown and mushy
and full of moth excrement
Be wary of biting the perfect fruit

We shake the tree
bring them down
All the bad apples
rolling away over the grass
Camouflaged in wet leaves
red and gold and yellow
And wood smoke in the air
But I gather them all
Every single one
is going under the knife

I peel and chop and gouge out the rot and scabs
Remove the mushy core
Until I have a huge pile of decay
ready for the compost heap
There it can flourish and nourish new life
Next years codling moth larvae
Cydia pomonella the worm in the apple
Bad to the core
And yet there is a small pan
of perfect unblemished flesh

The pan of stewing apples smells heavenly
caramel toasty vanilla
And the blackberries, oh the colour!
And cinnamon
My crust for once is beautiful
Light and just the right amount of crispy
The pies are delicious
I eat three straight from the oven
A burned tongue

Loss and Love

It’s been a crazy wild year… lots of flights to Wellington and back, lots of love and fun with my darling Blue and building a dunny (outdoor toilet for you non antipodeans!) etc with my partner…

and losing my beloved goat Moon…

On the equinox I had to say goodbye, at least on this earthy plane to darling Moon, she was old and had gone downhill in the past couple of days until she could no longer stand or eat… I knew it was time to call the vet and to honour this beautiful creature who has given me so much love and joy over the past 7 years. I adopted Moon when she was already between 10 and 12 years old, so she had a long. life and I know the last 7 years were happy.  She was a wonderful adopted mother and friend to Gypsy my wee black devil dog and loved all of our fur creatures…

It wasn’t easy, I had 3 nights without sleep, cuddled her lots…but there was no choice in the end except love… but she is a double horned unicorn now… flying free and teaching goat wisdom over Rainbow Bridge…

Goats are special… Goat wisdom is unique and we have to connect to goats to learn it… And mine are so loving… Losing Moon was so heartbreaking but she could not suffer… There is always this thing bigger than us… Greater than ego that has us surrender… Hopefully with grace…The cycle we have to bow before… Letting go is tough on this physical plane… But the heart can transcend even that… We never lose those we truly love…

I love you Moon… xxx

  

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Long time… but here’s something new!

For the past year I have been coming down to earth after my degree… trying to find a way forward and work out what I want to do. I have been looking after my 2 year old grandson a lot so work has not really been possible in a full time, work for someone else sense. After applying for loads of jobs and not even getting an interview for most, I have kind of given up anyway. It seems that there is no appreciation or respect for those of us with intelligence and life experience out there in the workforce, unless we have direct experience of the particular position on offer, even cleaning ffs!

So… I am going to try selling my custom made Tarot bags and put my energy and effort into that. I have been selling them for a few years but in a very small way and originally I sold them for peanuts. After many years as a textile artist and BA in Arts & Media I have achieved a standard in my art and craft that pleases me, and I am a bit of a perfectionist! I have a lot of testimonials from very happy clients and all this has given me the much needed confidence to go ahead and put my work out there in a more public way.

To this end I have created a new website which is currently on trial at WIX… sadly the mobile version doesn’t work with WIX so until that is sorted out the best link to access both sites from is here.

I will continue to work on the site and get it back to my own domain but I just wanted to post something here in the meantime.

Have a fantastic 2017, be brave, be confident, never feel small and be awesome!

x

 

 

 

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And it’s all over now…

So, the final exhibition of the year is over, packed up, gone. The opening went really well, it was worth all the stress and hard work, to see the place packed with people, and to hear some great comments on all the art. I was particularly pleased when a couple of Level 7 students told me that we had pulled off a professional exhibition, totally worthy of Level 7, let alone Level 6!! Woot…!

I am so proud of all of us for making it happen, against a lot of odds. It is a lot to ask at the end of a college year, for the work not only to be presented in college for assessment, but again in a gallery. This involved two lots of sanding, painting preparing walls, plinths, filling holes, curating and then the actual installing! My installation was particularly time consuming, so yeah kudos to NM,IT Bachelor of Arts & Media Level 6 2014… WE ROCK N ROLL & RULE THE WAVES!!!

And we also had live Blues music from my favourite muso’s, Russ and Phil, who you may remember from another exhibition I curated, Bikes, Blues & Metal Guitars

So now it is over… My trees were donated to firewood, my lovely friend and fellow student Leigh, gave a home to Wolfie and my painting mow hangs in my hallway. The tattered velvet hood, ah well, that may live to see another day, I’m not quite finished with my fairy tales yet….

I will leave you with some quick imperfect,  iPhone snaps that I took on the night, through a slightly tipsy haze I unashamedly admit, but I like them, the little fragments that they capture. I have given them a faded, did I dream that, or did it really happen? touch, just for fun, and because, well that’s the way it is folks…

I like this shot, love the way the branches and shadows entangle with the trees in the painting…

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The forest worked better in the gallery than in the studio, and I used all the trees!

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A real lone wolf wandered by to check out my art

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Artist – free to good home… Have rake will travel…

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It has soul… like Rory Gallagher

Our exhibition is called 26…

This may seem odd, in fact it was a serendipitous mistake (by my interpretation anyway).

You see, there are only 25 of us students exhibiting. But without a viewer there is no exhibition, and so the 26th person is the viewer… Roland Barthes would like this, that we leave room for the reader, who is the ultimate author, or artist…

Whatever. I have been making catalogues, lovingly, by hand and my trusty Bernina…

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There will be 150 of them… by Tuesday…

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I designed the layout and had the insides printed, and then I asked everyone for scraps of their artwork, and stitched them to the covers, then I stitched the covers and text together… Each catalogue is a unique piece of art in it’s own right. The viewers can have fun figuring out which artists their scrap came from ;-/

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I like gritty, edgy, scrappy, recycled, grunge style art… it has soul… like Rory Gallagher…

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Artist Statement

Ok, by  request, here is my artist’s statement for my installation which I have entitled:  In Search of the Wolf

 

In Search of the Wolf – Artist Statement

 Inevitably they find their way into the forest. It is there that they lose and find themselves. It is there that they gain a sense of what is to be done. The forest is always large, immense, great and mysterious. No one ever gains power over the forest, but the forest possesses the power to change lives and alter destinies. (Zipes, 2003)

 The above quote by Jack Zipes, takes me to a place I remember and yet cannot find on a map. In my current work I am exploring the meaning of this lost place within the concept of fairy tales. In Zipes’ forest, we can confront the wolf, and survive to tell the tale. These stories have been passed down through history throughout the world. They have set behaviour patterns, and archetypes with which we can access the fragmented parts of ourselves.

 I chose to work with this theme because I have always had a love of books and other worlds, which I am sure I have lived in. I have been in an active search of the wolf throughout my adult life, ever since I fell in love with him as a child. Unfortunately this lead to some bad relationship decisions, which I feel were due to my lack of understanding of my own identity. I live in a world and an era in which I often feel alien. This has led me to create my own worlds within my art and poetry, where I can find healing and sanctuary.

 I am currently working with mixed media, and installation, in which I allow my own personal mythology to lead the way. The fairy tale like characters and a winter forest setting, reference the stories I grew up with and the areas in Northern Europe where many of these stories originated.  I am using traditional women’s crafts, to form my beast or animus. This illustrates the strength of the female, which is enhanced by the assimilation of the animus. The tattered piece of cloak references the many retellings, of folk and fairy tales through the ages.

The narrative within my work is personal, but others may find their own story within their interpretations, or even be inspired to explore their own identity through this genre. Carl Jung believed that in order to reach our real self we had to meet our shadow and our animus or anima and assimilate these aspects of our personality into our selves. Jack Zipes illustrates the part Fairy Tales play in this process, which Jung calls Individuation, when he said:

 Fairy tales begin with conflict because we all begin our lives with conflict. We are all misfit for the world, and somehow we must fit in, fit in with other people, and thus we must invent or find the means through communication to satisfy as well as resolve conflicting desires and instincts. (Zipes, 2012)

My work engages in a dialogue with both traditional fairy tales and storytelling through imagery and installation. I am interested in the narrative art of artists such as Kiki Smith and Paula Rego

 This project is underpinned by the theories of Carl Jung, James Hillman and Jacques Lacan, relating to the concept of a fragmented self. The works of Jungian psychologist Marie Von Franz, and the writings of Jack Zipes, who is a professor of German and a scholar of fairy tales, also inform my current work.

Bibliography

Jung, C. G. (1970). The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. (G. Adler & R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2 edition.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Von Franz, M.-L. (1970). Interpretation of Fairytales. Dallas: Spring Publictions Inc.

Von Franz, M.-L. (1990). Individuation in Fairy Tales. Boston: Shambhala.

Von Franz, M.-L. (1995). Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales (Revised.). Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Zipes, J. (2003). The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World (2nd edition.). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Zipes, J. (2012). The Irresistable Fairy Tale. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

 

 

All in the hands of the Gods…

Ah well, I haven’t sat down for over 10 hours… but the studio is all cleaned, everyone’s work is hung, I have collected a ton of info for the catalogue, and my installation is installed…

Here it is, as seen through the lens of my iPhone…

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Another viewpoint:

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Wolfie, in all his animus glory, complete with antlers that make him part of the forest…

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I think it is all jolly spectacular.. there is some fantastic work in the studio. We are the graduates of tomorrow, and we ROCK!