Here, there, everywhere, then home.

Awards, Colour, Exhibitions, Galleries, Public Art, Soul searching

It was October when I last wrote an entry here, ironically it isn’t because I haven’t been writing. Actually, I have been writing more than ever with good old fashioned pen and paper in a spiral binder from school days. Daily journaling which I am finding fulfilment and satisfaction in and a kind of cleansing as we enter into a new decade. I started to wonder as I go into the tenth year of this blog whether I should continue with it or branch out into something new but I remind myself that my intention for this was to record my husband’s journey into the art world and a little outlet for me whilst the boys were growing. With my eldest almost at my height, they are not so little anymore.

So 2019 ended well with the sculptor having two exhibitions at The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh part of The Annual Exhibition and the Open SSA+VAS exhibition. The sculptor is off to Edinburg on Saturday (tomorrow) to collect them. Some stunning photos were taken of his work in exhibition, thanks to Chris Watt (photographer) & Naomi McClure ( fellow artist in the exhibition).

Image from The Times

We were completely surprised to find out at the start of the year that he won the W Gordon Smith and Mrs Jay Gordon Smith Award for work of merit at the SSA | VAS Open 2019. So this feels like huge recognition.

In the autumn, the sculptor went to Italy to receive the first steel cut for the Cunard. This year he will set to creating and making a sculpture for the ship, the first meeting yesterday so he is just back from London, re-inspired for this huge project. He also collected work from Belgium, took some down to Oxfordshire, had a meeting in Cambridge, is getting work back from Manchester later this week and preparing for a debut back in Egypt in the spring. It is non-stop and either up and down on trains or in a hired van depending on whether sculptures are with him or not. So he is literally here, there and everywhere.

Photo by Christ Watt

I mentioned in a previous post that my own journey appears to mirror the sculptural journey. I have not ventured physically far, although my running distance and length are gradually extending and I am forever ferrying my football son to training and matches but my here, there and everywhere is more of a journey inward. As I finish up my 30 day yoga journey with Adriene YWA I am learning that I need to trust my own path. Let go of what is prescribed or following others and steer my own course. In todays yoga practice I couldn’t quite let go of the need to keep looking and watching her lead. Sometimes it can feel hard to venture off on your own path.

“Awareness returning home is awareness being enfolded by what it knows”

John De Rutter.

I also started 30 day, daily writing journal, at the beginning of the year which I think I need to try and continue the habit of, let go of the guide and listen to my inner voice. Meditations and hypnosis, reading and listening to podcasts I would also recommend to return home to yourself, for I do love winter as a time of hibernation and self development. We all take our own journey through life, we may go off in every direction, opposite and parallel. We wiggle and weave, take twists and turns but ultimately we are all heading in the same direction. The question is, what do we learn along the way?

“We are all just walking each other home.”

Ram Dass

Projects are brewing here and overseas- those twists and turns and I am positive that 2020 will bring more exciting opportunities and hopefully I will keep this little blog up to date monthly. All part of the journey.

Words flow, Words come, Words go, So I dedicate time to grow, Whilst my husband creates, Eldest plays bass, and the youngest kicks a ball at a fair pace.

Words appear, Words stick, Words release, I learn to find inner peace, Whilst my husband is prolific, Eldest plays video games-take your pick, and the youngest kicks a ball with another new trick.

Words flow, Words come, Words go. This regular morning journalling is developing a skill you know.

Challenges: Nanowrimo, Solo exhibition & Surrey sculpture Society talk all in one month!

Egyptian, Philosophy, Relationships

At the beginning of the year I started a 30 day yoga challenge which I did successfully and have repeated it throughout this year. At the beginning of September I gave myself the challenge of compiling a book of my own poems and pictures of my husband’s sculptures as a gift for my Father who had been suggesting it for a while.

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I was really pleased with the finish of it though it felt quite thin and made me understand the word ‘volume’ a little bit more. I have come to realise that challenge for me needs to have some external pressure.

At University I spent most of my time rowing and would rise to the early morning alarm to train which happened 7 days a week. When I think of the 2k and 5k races we would compete in off the blocks we had adrenaline and excitement to fule the first few strokes and then we would hit a wall, pain in the legs, pain in the chest and we would row through it. Aided and assisted by words like ‘Dig deep’ ‘Pull harder’ which our cox would yell at us, we would dig deep and we would keep going beyond the lactic acid build up. We would pull past other boats competing against them and drive ourselves forward. Perhaps this competition took all competitiveness out of me but since then I haven’t quite given myself the same kind of challenges. My little daily yoga or writing challenges have been small by comparrison.

However on Sunday I started a new challenge which though not physical like rowing seems a huge challenge at the moment amogst everything else which is going on, which I will get to. I have started the Nanowrimo challenge (National novel writing month) where you aim to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I just happened to see an advert in a magazine for it and started to wonder if I was ready. I need this motivation but totally unplanned and unprepared I sat down on Sunday and wrote, thrilled I thought this was going to be easy but this was the adreneline and excitment out of the box. Second day I stalled. Conincidently, after being out of touch for a while my rowing cox, I discovered she is also doing this challenge and through the modern connectivity of technology is coxing me by email words of encouragement. So from a distance we are tapping away at the keyboards, scribbling out the words and so I prepare you for perhaps a more visual blog this month whilst my words get counted elsewhere.

poster solo

The sculptor meanwhile on his own set of challenges, set by himself, in a very different way from my own, is preparing for his first solo exhibition this month in Munich. So we are busy getting lot of sculptures, paintings and words ready for this. So, if that wasn’t enough on our plate, to add something else to the pile of things to do in November and more immediately he is going down to Surrey tomorrow to deliver a talk. It has come around quicker than we expected having been in the diary for months. He is ready but yesterday I joked that I felt he was in denial about it. I always like using the word denial to the Egyptian, as I remember a friend making the pun about de’ Nile. Anyway, enough laughing we we’d better get ready, I am blatantly distracting myself from the novel and any preparation needed for tomorrow.

TALK poster

The yoga in art

Colour, Connections, Galleries

'Mother and Child'

‘Mother and Child’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose: Sukhasana

 

…or the art in yoga, art of yoga, yoga of art? I can’t decide which is more appropriate.

yoga pose

‘Conversation with a bird’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose: Paripurna Navasana

 

I have moments where I make discoveries, like little light bulb moments. Ones where you want to stand on the roof tops or a mountain and shout it out loud. Well, I say that but I can’t imagine myself doing that even if there was nobody watching. The point is something clicks and then you want that something to click for everyone else. You know those things are going to help transform you. However, I have also come to learn that you can’t make other people have that click, they too have to discover it for themselves. I guess that is what makes us all different and what works for some of us doesn’t for others.

art and yoga

‘The pommel horse’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose: SvargaDvidasana

 

So using this blog as my mountain to shout from, my most recent discovery is yoga. It is helping me with a whole manner of things. Carving out time for myself everyday, exercise a little, focus on a better diet and helping me digest. It gives me balance. Balance in all things. The more we are able to physically balance our bodies and manage our breath it seems to give space to allow us to flow through the motions of everyday tasks with a greater ease.

stretch art

‘Discus’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose:Parivrtta Trikonasana

 

The pace of life is so fast these days that we need time to stop and connect to our breath, to be aware of what is happening around us rather than going through the motions mindlessly. Stretching out is something I realised I needed to do. We can focus on energizing ourselves and in turn this gives us more energy for others.

‘The gymnast'

‘The gymnast’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose: AdhoMukhaVrksasana

 

My husband’s work is primarily focused on the human body, the human figure. It is what sculptors have focused on for centuries. With the aim of minimising, you can see a progression through theses images from earlier work to most recent work attempting to strip down the body to a simple line. Each showing movement and flow. What is fundamental in each piece though is balance and a harmony of lines vertically and horizontally.

the bow yoga pose

‘The Bow’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose: Garbhasana

 

I gave myself a 30 days of yoga challenge at the start of the year which has helped me transition from the warmth of Egypt at the end of the year to grey January in the UK.  I would definitely recommend the energizing and enthusiastic Yoga with Adriene which I have been doing online for a while. Amazingly she takes live classes in an art gallery which as they are in Austin, Texas I am unable to get to! but in finding that out that discovered there are lots of yoga classes taking place in gallery spaces – what a great idea. Can’t find any in the UK though?

Body lang 1

‘Body Language’ by Sam Shendi. Yoga pose: Ardha Matsyendrasana

 

The images of my husband’s work are all of body movements I have roughly labelled them with a yoga pose, but they are by no means accurate. I am sure yogi experts would make corrections. Please do. Yoga was not the thinking behind the design of these sculptures but there are such strong connections. There is a beautiful mind, body, spirit link between yoga and art. Take the time to slow down and meditate on life, meaning, yoga and art.

Namaste