Creative Education

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I thought that following my perhaps, sorrowful sounding poem, in my last post; I should qualify that I don’t in anyway regret the decision to stop rowing. I had a fleeting thought where I wondered why I didn’t follow through … Continue reading

The story of Atlas

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The ancient Greeks told tales of giant beings called Titans. The sculptor and I might have been cleverer to call this collection The Titans but perhaps ‘The Giant collection ‘is more straightforward. One Titan’s name was Atlas, he was the … Continue reading

Float like a butterfly and don’t be defeated

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I have used a few quotes of Muhammad Ali’s in my posts, as his determination and relentlessness remind me of my husband’s. It seems apt that I write about this today. My husband came downstairs this morning and said. Muhammad … Continue reading

Practicality and the art of tidying

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I have been itching, quite literally, as my eczema has been so bad but an investment in a pair of marigolds seems to be helping with the problem. Suggested by my husband, no problems only solutions. However, that was not … Continue reading

Read, Write, Draw, Sculpt.

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I have been reading much more recently partly because family and friends have gifted me good books and writing courses (very grateful and much enjoying). I am also more aware of how reading helps my writing and have started reading more … Continue reading

Age of waiting

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“You are back” my youngest son beamed on Saturday morning. Despite explaining to him several times what was happening, he still hadn’t quite grasped the concept that Mama and Baba were going out and coming back on Friday night. I … Continue reading

Strange Sensations and Slow art

The first week of the holiday ended and I had felt smug at how well I had managed the days with the relentless rain and keeping busy. Yoga, breathing and letting it all flow working with me well. However by the second week with less yoga practice and illness I felt personal tested because the weather was so good. I had had several ideas for active boys but I have had the most odd and strange fever. It sounds dramatic but when you have an infection it is as though an alien has taken over your body. However, it makes you grateful for your health and appreciate that for some people who can be their state of being on a more permanent basis.

So for the last weekend of the holidays, feeling a little bit more normal I planned to take the boys to a local museum where I had seen a little advert for ‘slow art day’ with a child friendly image of a tortoise. I thought that would suit us all as it was about the pace I was working at – tortoise pace. When I looked into a bit more I realised it wasn’t a kids holiday making activity but an annual event celebrated around the world with the idea of taking time to look and appreciate 5 pieces of art work and then discussing it. I think this is a fab idea but I couldn’t envisage not feeling hundred percent with two boys on the run, more at a hare’s pace, in a gallery space.

This was the general theme of the holidays, having plans and then them not quite happening, always a good lesson to learn. So here are some images of our own slow art the boys did at home and over the holidays on the rainy days.

slow art

Having a first day to myself yesterday after the two-week holiday with the boys, I went for a walk and realised walking helps me to think through ideas. It enables me to hear my voice in the peaceful sounds of nature. My husband has been busy working through an idea in clay, a preparation for a larger piece. He was telling me how he has realised he carves the whole thing in his mind before hand almost like watching himself do it in his mind’s eye.

On my walk, I took a moment to sit on a bench in a field with a large oak tree and a stream running through it eat. I noticed something I hadn’t seen before, a plaque with a poem by William Henry Davis:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

So I sat, ate my apples and reflected. I am conscious I am always hurrying the boys and think about articles about ‘The hurried child’. It is important to slow down and do things at a pace that makes us appreciate. My husband is driving with loyal driver and designer Anthony Hartley to Surrey to put these pieces (images below) in the wonderful Hannah Peschar sculpture garden. So if you are in that neck of the woods (odd expression but seemed appropriate) then take a slow wander around the beautiful surroundings amongst stunning sculptures and works of art.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.Henry David Thoreau

Bird now orange

‘The Branch’ by Sam Shendi

Ride now purple

‘The Ride’ by Sam Shendi

‘Art Swap’

Sat at our kitchen table an evening after he returned from London we were catching up and chatting, we spontaneously posted the idea ‘ART SWAP’ on the sculptor’s Facebook page. I wasn’t too sure if it should be ART SWOP – does it depend where you come from? Anyway, we made the suggestion that artists could offer a piece of their work in exchange for a piece of ‘The Keyhole Man’ collection.

Nibbling dried fruit and dark chocolate I suggested that it would be interesting how long the process would take. By Midnight, fuelled by the 85% cocoa consumption we were still receiving messages, seeing which design other artists were interested in was intriguing and by the following day all 11 little men had new homes. It was wonderful being flooded with choices of works to pick from. Excitingly we realised we will potentially have 11 new art works. We need to build that modern shendi house!

It seems like a novel idea, and its a great idea at that, f or so many reasons. However, it is not a completely unique idea artists in the past were always intermingling, interchanging ideas and works. Picasso and Braque worked together, Monet and Renoir, Pissarro and Degas set up their own exhibition, Jan Lievens shared a studio with Rembrandt, Ben Nicholson introduced Barbara Hepworth to artists in Paris such as Brancusi, Arp, Mondrian and Naum Gabo. Together they became involved in a new international crusade for abstract art. Artists have always worked together.

In today’s modern world twitter, Facebook, pinterest and all the other forms of social networking all influence a digital exchange of ideas and connection globally. But generally Artists aren’t as friendly as they used to be there is more competition and backbiting.

To swap the actual art work is a fabulous way of making the world a bit more physical and real and for artists to appreciate each others work, to be able to receive pieces within a means they can afford.

Hopefully ART SWAP makes the connection and relationship between artists better, less competitive and more about a shared sense of camaraderie.
Keyhole family

‘The Keyhole Men Collection’

The yoga in art

'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

In the news..

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This was the stand at ‘The Other Art Fair’ this weekend which has been a busy few days for both of us for different reasons. Last night when I was tidying up the house after being busy with the boys … Continue reading