Friday, June 02, 2006

Treasure of all sorts...

In Grizedale Forest in the lake district of England a group of sculptors created a whimsy filled, playful trail through the forest. Objects of metal and wood, musical instruments, and bugs & spiders the size of which would strike terror in the most stout hearted, all were tucked away in little corners here and there. There are a couple of pictures in my mac photo album and here. The forest of Grizedale Park is a well-established 'art in the environment' centre, which has been commissioning artists for the past 25 years. There are over 90 sculptures to be seen and up to 10 artists in residence every year to ensure there are always new works in progress.

Now isn't that a friendly idea. Anyone from Nova Scotia Tourism interested?

In northern Wales we discovered a group of artists who had created a treasure hunt helfagelf. From May 17-21 you could travel around 52 art studios, looking for treasure. The arttists work was treasure enough, but five gold rings had been buried in little porcelain clam shells throughout the area, the clues for which were buried in an art book, on their web site and in the art studios themselves.

Now that's an idea for creating energy and fun. Get together with some artist-friends and create a treasure hunt. Can we do this electronically, I wonder?
Any Artella artists reading this post?

One of my favorite Welsh/Irish potters, Claire Curneen, is moving in a marvelous direction.
marvelous adj 1: extraordinarily good; used especially as intensifiers; "a fantastic trip to the Orient"; "the film was fantastic!"; "a howling success"; "a marvelous collection of rare books"; "had a rattling conversation about politics"; "a tremendous achievement" [syn: fantastic, howling(a), marvellous, rattling(a), terrific, tremendous, wonderful, wondrous] 2: too improbable to admit of belief; "a tall story" [syn: improbable, marvellous, tall(a)] 3: being or having the character of a miracle [syn: marvellous, miraculous]Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

What she does with porcelain and the human form is so... extraordinary. There was always a delicate sorrow in her figures and now she's working with saints and angels. The saints have little objects that are symbolic of their miracles or good works or suffering. Saints and angels have touches of gold emerging from wounds and finger tips.
I read "Claire Curneen succour" in which Timothy Wilcox has an essay "Treasure in Earthen Vessels"
He writes about her angels:
"Angels have a more benign role ... their involvement with human charges may occur on a daily, or at least a regular basis. Angels are memsengers, bringers of news, good or bad; they mamy also be fellow travelers, like Raphael, who accompanied Tobias on his journey..."
And about the figures in general:
"...the space that is enclosed is not void, but the location of the greatest riches."

This is what I would like, a Curneen type angel to walk with me and remind me when I need reminding that what is enclosed is not a void, but a treasure of sorts.

And this brings me to the final odd sort of treasure, a kind of insight that arose from that "space that is enclosed" while observing various sorts of relationships on this trip; parents and children, husbands and wives, teachers and students, I began applying what I was seeing to my own life adventure:

1. Children need parents' attention. 2. If they don't get an unhurried, quiet, focussed attention as children, they may tend to continue to look for it as they grow up. (I know this is all very psych 101 but never mind, I'll pursue it anyway.) 3. Suppose instead of looking to others for attention (which appears to be exhausting for the "others" and frustrating for the the one doing the looking) we turn our attention on our own inner life. 4. Through meditation and art making we come to find that we are vessels with all sorts of treasure inside. And that our own attentions are nurturing and sufficient. It's almost like looking inside and finding that internalized "good enough" fairy-god-mother whispering encouragement and succour.

Here are some nice fairy-god-mother words which seem to lighten this human struggle:

n : assistance in time of difficulty; "the contributions provided some relief for the victims" [syn: relief, succor, ministration] v : help in a difficult situation [syn: succor]
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

n 1: the comfort you feel when consoled in times of disappointment; "second place was no consolation to him" [syn: solace, solacement] 2: the act of consoling; giving relief in affliction; "his presence was a consolation to her" [syn: comfort, solace]
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

n 1: a state of being relaxed and feeling no pain; "he is a man who enjoys his comfort"; "she longed for the comfortableness of her armchair" [syn: comfortableness] [ant: discomfort] 2: a feeling of freedom from worry or disappointment 3: the act of consoling; giving relief in affliction; "his presence was a consolation to her" [syn: consolation, solace] 4: a freedom from financial difficulty that promotes a comfortable state; "a life of luxury and ease"; "he had all the material comforts of this world" [syn: ease] v 1: give moral or emotional strength to [syn: soothe, console, solace] 2: lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate; "ease the pain in your legs" [syn: ease]
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

n 1: the expression of approval and support [ant: discouragement] 2: the act of giving hope or support to someone [syn: boost] 3: the feeling of being encouraged
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

n 1: compassionate feelings that support a willingness to forgive 2: the act of excusing a mistake or offense [syn: pardon]
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

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