The African Collection is a new body of work which has layers of shapes and meaning. These works follow on from ‘The paper cut collection’, and a progression from a piece which my husband originally made in wood, like a prototype or maquette over ten years ago. I love this style. I love this collection. They are modern and contemporary yet at the same time referencing history. Egyptian heritage is very different from African History and yet Egypt sits within the African continent and the Ancient Egyptians themselves were influenced from central Africa, particularly art. Recently my husband was told that he probably descended from Sudan. The clue is in the name, there is a town in Sudan called Shendi. These pieces are referencing traditional African art styles, you can feel it from the vibrant colours and markings and the cut out shapes as well as the forms. African art also inspired Picasso and other artists of history so it links an Art History journey. As each sculpture has so many images I am just adding three pieces here, Afro IV above and Warrior I and Warrior II below.
The colours, shapes, patterns and angles create almost different sculptures depending where you view it. These layers of meaning can be interpreted as perspectives. When we are told stories it is often from only one viewpoint and this colours our understanding. It affects our knowledge, our history, our legacy. We are currently all being told stories from one perspective.
Creating a piece of art work which changes depending on our viewpoint can challenge us into considering this within life. When we look at something, we need to consider how we are seeing it and the filters that we put up or bring up which influences our ability to understand. Filters being, our own cultural upbringing, conditioning, experiences and so on. Our life experiences shape us, causing us perhaps to put some of our authentic nature into the shadows. What I also love about this style of work is the shadows they create. These pieces are creative visual storytelling. They evoke a juxtaposed playfulness and seriousness which perhaps embodies the African spirit.
Perspective can be everything. In order to make myself see the positive I am starting with the highs of summer. At the beginning we had some glorious weather and plays in the park. We had good days out walking to waterfalls, scarecrow festivals and train journeys to a new city. We were together with family and friends. We played with Lego, had picnics and tumbled around. I had energy. The second half has seen a dip in my energy is levels and my patience has been none existent on some days mirrored by the weather with more overcast cloudy days rain. As the six-week school holidays draw to a close I berate myself for getting cross and now at the end I feel mournful of the times I clocked watched and marked off the days on the calendar in achievement. As I was reading a fellow bloggers entry to break from writing and gain inspiration I related to a similar idea about the idea of what we chose to let our memories focus on and how that can influences our thinking. I am therefore being mindful to focus on all the positive things I have done with my boys this summer at home.
‘Rhythm of The Bow’
The sculptor has been busy setting up his first solo exhibition and public art pieces in the park. Beautiful images were taken and it felt such a good achievement. Then we had another dip as despondency set in on discovering the outdoor pieces were getting ‘worn and torn’ much quicker than we anticipated because of people climbing and jumping on them. We debated whether they should be taken out, that the cost of upkeep was going to be too much. A few alterations made, they are there to stay but highlighted a need of education about art in public spaces but also the interest physically in the art. Bringing us back up we successfully sold five pieces in one fell swoop to one collector and so we are very excitedly putting plans in motion for a big trip to Egypt in December. A well-earned holiday, time with Egyptian family and something to look forward to for us all.
There are rainy days and sunny days and blessings in them both. There are highs and lows in life and wisdom in it all. Rhythm and flow occurs throughout our day, week, month and the whole year changes. In the midst of it we can appreciate those daily rhythms, depending on our perspective. Change can be welcome or sometimes unsettle us. There is a change in the air as summer ends, school starts and autumn approaches.
Section of ‘The Bow’
Something can be constant. We all have something which becomes our aim, what governs our lives and can sometimes dictate the way we focus our day. We all have something that structures the rhythm of our day. In effect what we submit too.
‘The Bow’ at Damside Mill In Haworth,below, see it next at Saltaire Arts Festival as part of the Sculpture Trail. September Sat 13 – Sun 14 2014 1.00pm to 4.30pm Free Entry.
The studio is full, not much space to move around. Whilst those around us have taken vacations we have stayed put and created, flown kites and played on the bikes.
I had a rare day today, I went to our business and my husband had the boys, ‘Freaky Friday’ I was calling it, like the film but it wasn’t at all Freaky. It was great. I did some lovely peaceful things and then returned home and took the boys to the park and it was such a different experience with fresh eyes. (I wonder what I would be like after a week!)
It made me think about something I listened to recently about, the importance of seeing the forest before going in and deciphering the conifers, the elms, the oaks…. I don’t think it is entirely possible to do that in parenting but having a little ‘break away’ meant today I came back with renewed patience and could somehow deal with both boys individually rather than ‘the boys’. I enjoyed them in the moment as children.
In parallel and more to the point the studio is full with all the pieces ready for a photo shoot tomorrow. The decision process about what goes in and stays out of the solo exhibition will then begin. My husband was saying yesterday that he can visualise the exhibition space, he can see the sculptures in it. He just can’t see which ones they are. Some how he needs to be able to break away from it, to stand back and see the ‘wood from the trees’.
PS. Just literally had a very ‘freaky’ moment, where after explaining to my husband the meaning of my ‘post title’ as I am finishing up writing this the film in the background my husband is watching I just heard the line, “forest from the trees, forest from the trees’.
Thought I’d better sneak in a cheeky post just to bump up my August posts stats to 2. However, I still haven’t got a clear enough head to think about quite what to write about and which images to put up. We have just had some fabulous new pictures taken and some of the work I have already posted about is transformed by the higher quality of image.
Makes all the difference. It’s amazing how a different perspective, another view-point or angle can show you something you didn’t see before. Obviously, I am not only talking about a sculpture now. This summer has been busy and yet quite at the same time. The school holiday and the dynamics of having both boys at home everyday, a mix of weather from very hot to almost wintry and Ramadan has made for a quiet, reflective very home based holiday. With lots of thinking and still some to do so I can re start in september, like a new blogging year. I will leave you this to ponder on…