Thursday, 28 February 2013

Living Apart / Entwined

This is so beautiful.
Street art found in Sussex Street, Woodstock.
Not sure who it is by, but I could guess Faith47?

Thank you Jenny H for confirming that this work is indeed by Faith47, and for sharing the following link to this amazing video. xx


Silenced Love

Artwork created using Rubbings:

After a demonstration on how to do rubbings and some effects that one can achieve using wax crayons, pastels, wet teabags, inks and bleach, we lay on the ground and got our partner to draw our outline (body map) on a large piece of paper. We then set about filling in the spaces with rubbings of various objects: rubber stencils, dried leaves, wooden cutouts, a flattened cold drink can, pieces of wood, the bathroom floor, anything that could leave an interesting mark on the paper when rubbed over with a wax crayon. The picture could then be worked into using inks, bleach etc.
One is required to work quite quickly with not too much thought or planning, but to instinctively be guided by what your picture needs. It can be an enormous amount of fun to freely experiment with the mediums given to you on that day if you are able to let go and not worry too much about the final product.

The thing about Process Art is that the end product is not the main focus. Process art is concerned with the actual doing, and seeing the art as pure human expression. It is a creative journey or process, rather than the end product of art and craft. As an artist who has been taught to conceptualise, plan, research, do preliminary sketches etc before producing a final artwork, approaching this work with no end vision takes some getting used to. I also need to overcome the fear of criticism of my end result, not only by others but also by myself.
This is my (rather scary) result from last week's Process Art class. I've called it "Silenced Love".
At first glance it made me think of Spiderman, probably because my 5 year old son has been nagging me lately to please Make him a Spiderman mask. He even drew me a 'plan' to follow so that I would know how to make it :)
But on a more serious note, it depicts and represents many thoughts that had been crowding my head in the days running up to the class....
The upsetting news of a friend's extramarital affair got me thinking about the fears and challenges couples face when they have small children. The juggling act involved in keeping all aspects of your life (family, marriage, work, finances, friends) in balance can often be overwhelming. It is hard not to neglect your relationship. The role of being a parent and the demands that go with it can consume one.
Stories in the news in the last few weeks have been unbelievably shocking and tragic. The gang-rape, mutilation and murder of Anene Booysen, the rape and murder of Ge-Audrey Green, the murder of Charmaine Mare, and the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius.

Even though I was not consciously thinking about any of these stories when I went to my art class or while I was creating this work, they were obviously still sitting in my subconscious taking up space and robbing my energy. When I looked at my work at the end of the session I saw a woman with her hands on her stomach, her Sacral Chakra which relates to sexuality and emotions. I also saw chaos, confusion, hurt, love, sex, marriage, trust, violence, affair, broken heart, broken promise, protection, abuse, black birds, flight, death, silence...
I called the work "Silenced Love".
A minute later, the movie "The Silence of the Lambs" came to mind and the image of a woman with a moth over her mouth. The movie is about a psychopathic serial killer who skins women. (Pretty scary don't you think?)

Detail 1 of "Silenced Love":
White wax crayon was used to rub over the butterfly wing cut-outs. Inks were then painted over the wax.
The cardboard cutout of a bird was rubbed over with black wax crayon.
I have done a search on the Internet for the symbolism and meaning of a Black Bird and came across the following:
and on another site: 
Hmmmmm. Interesting...
 Detail 2 of "Silenced Love":
Bits of lace, a rubber 'Henna Tatoo' stencil, dried leaves and a flattened cold drink can are some of the items that I used to rub over with black wax crayon.
Henna is typically applied during special Hindu occasions like weddings.
This henna stencil also looks a lot like The Hand of Protection or Hamsa.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Lego Spiderman and Pirate friends

Our 5 year old son is CRAZY about Lego. I love all the amazing things that he creates and builds. 
One of my recent favourites is his Spiderman.
Others include his Pirate Ship and crew with Captain Peg-Leg, Captain Eye-Patch and Captain Hook.
Captain Peg-Leg
Captain Eye-Patch

Captain Hook
Captain Hook, Captain Eye-Patch and Captain Peg-Leg

Captain Hook, Captain Eye-Patch and Captain Peg-Leg on their Pirate Ship
It is said that when a person cries, if the first teardrop comes from the right eye, its from happiness.
But when the first teardrop is from the left eye, it is from pain.
If you cry from both eyes at the same time, You probably stepped on LEGO. ;)

Monday, 18 February 2013

you will be a blessing

I love stumbling across interesting and beautiful Street Art.
I found these walls in William Street, Woodstock, on my way to get gas last week.
The wall with the large mural is tagged with the name Freddy Sam. I am unsure who the other work is by.
I loved the Origami Cranes of course :)


* * *
P.S. I originally made this blog post on the 18th Feb, and today, 23rd May, I am adding to this post.
A friend has just sent me the following picture of some street art that she saw on Facebook.
It made her think of me. Why? Because on it are the words "Make Believe".
!!! I can't Believe that I did a blog post on this, I took the photos etc, and I didn't even TWIG that it said Make Believe !!!
I was more preoccupied by the origami cranes. (I make origami goodies to sell you see)
So there, again, we have that 'synchronicity, serendipity, coincidence' thing that i love so much.
Thanks Jojo! :) xxx
Oh, and while we are about it, I should add that the artist responsible for the origami cranes could well be Faith47, and the wiry dog/wolf on the wall on the left is by her hubby, Dal East. I love both their work.




Thursday, 7 February 2013

My Guardian Figure

I attended my first ASTAR (Awakening Spirit Through Art) art class last night. Amazing. I loved it! I am very excited about the journey that lies ahead.

We were to create a Guardian Figure out of clay.
We started off by holding a large lump of clay in our hands, and with our eyes closed were given a guided visualisation to do.
At first I saw a tall man, broad shoulders, strong, caring, crouched down, embracing and comforting a tiny, fragile me. As the meditation continued my figure became very tall and thin, gentle, feminine, flowing and radiating light. I thought it was a woman with a flowing skirt and was then confused, was my guardian figure a large man or a tall thin woman?
When we started working with the clay I found myself moulding it into a tall, thin, flowing figure of a man. He reminded me of my late grandfather (whom I never met) with his bald head.
When we'd completed our clay objects we were given a cardboard tray of sand and asked to select anything we wanted from a table of 'found objects'. This included beads, old jewelry bits, sequence, feathers, seed pods, shells, bits of fabric, you name it.
At first I chose an ornate blue heart bead; a pretty, broken, ornate pendent and a pretty, patterned, antique tea strainer that would make a lovely impression into the clay. But my Guardian figure didn't like any of them and I found myself putting them all back.
I've never been big on sea shells and coral, but that is what I found myself returning to my desk with... a selection of things from the sea, and a small white feather. I arranged, and rearranged my objects. I balanced a broken oval shell on his head like a halo, but was then moved to embed it into his body, like a pregnant tummy that had opened up. A tea light candle, 2 kelp pods with 'umbilicle cords', 2 cowry shells, 3 beautiful pieces of coral, and 7 round, light reflecting, mirror mosaics now surrounded him. And the small white feather I inserted between his shoulder blades, like a wing, or a fin.
When our creations were complete, we took pencil and paper and did a short guided meditation. We asked our Guardian Figure what their name was and what message they had for us. We wrote down the first thoughts that came into our minds.

My Guardian Figure's name turned out to be the same name as a late friend, who sadly passed away at sea a few years ago when I was pregnant with my twins. My message that I received was a reassuring one about my twins and my older son, a compliment about me as a mom, and a blessing for my family. I'd spent time with this friend's family very recently so he had been on my mind, but I was not consiously thinking about him during the art session.

I found the experience to be very moving. The final result is special, but the sculpture will not last as it will not be fired. I will put it in the garden, to be slowly washed away... earth to earth...



ASTAR Art Course

I love to Believe that synchronicity and coincidences are a sign that you're on the right track.
I'd heard about the ASTAR (Awakening Spirit Through Art) art classes through a friend but at the time was not in a position to do a course. Six months later, in December a friend of my sister came to buy one of my Origami Nightingale Mobiles which she wanted to give as a gift to her Art Teacher. It turned out that she is doing ASTAR Art classes.
This term a space became available in her class and she asked if I'd be interested to join. I had just been paid for a large order of Bird Strings that I'd made before Christmas, so I eagerly paid my deposit to secure my place.
I then started questioning... had I signed up for the right course?... will I be spending my money wisely?... was this course for me?...

I wanted to share some info about the course with another friend but the website link, for some reason, was not working that day. Frustrated, I did a search to see if there was maybe a Facebook page. This is what I found ... - Note the cover photo :) (two pebbles, one with the word "Believe" and the other with the word "Make"...)

The cover photo on the ASTAR Facebook page that I came across was of two pebbles,
one with the word "Believe" and the other with the word "Make"
I just had to smile. This was the affirmation that I'd needed. A message from the Universe, don't you think?