Nostalgic boat race day poem

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As I sit down, all my heavy pounds and lick my lips after a tasty dish, I’ve spent the afternoon cooking, dipping in and out of hearing the Cox shout, the oarsman and woman both, battle the course of the … Continue reading

Creativity, Imagination, Creation

  This month has been our ‘retreat’, cyber hibernation and other withdrawals to create time for spiritual concentration. This has not left much room for words. I posted on Monday images only, partly because I so many photographs there was … 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

Relief

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November is over and so with it my writing challenge (#nanowrimo) and I’ve needed a bit of time to recover. What with writing and running the shop, and the boys, it was a relief to have the sculptor back from his … Continue reading

No words, many images for exhibition, Munich: ‘Body and Soul’

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Transporting transformation

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There is a bite in the air, the season is changing. As my eldest son and I drove to swimming lessons the other night we spotted trees turning from their summer green into autumn shades. We saw a miraculous site … Continue reading

Can ‘Candy’ and ‘Candid’ result in an awakening?

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“The intelligent want self-control: children want candy” Rumi. My husband took the work to Newby Hall ready for installation (Exhibition now open). A member of staff commented that the sculptures looked like sweets. They do look like candy canes. Lick-able, … 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

Memories are made of this

So many things to write about from the past

Perhaps though best

to sit and look and reflect

with prompts of words
like
Form,  Figure, Shadows, Style,

Signatures, interpretation, Calligraphy,

Titles, human, movement, body and more

viewing from different angles to exploreMemories 2

memories 3

memories 4

memories 8

‘MEMORIES’ by Sam Shendi, 2015

Language for the mind in recalling

Thoughts for the soul in remembering

Knowledge for the brain in retaining

Ideas for the spirit in recollection

Prayer for the body in remembrance

Memories are made of this

memories 5 memories 6 memories 7

The rebel within

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

George Orwell.

Trust me to stumble into the farmer after knowingly not keeping to the path. I’ve never been much of a rule breaker. Born conformist? I think some would disagree as I have made choice that perhaps are not so. Give me instructions and I will follow them. Search for truth and stick to it. When I do try to go off the beaten track my conscience gives me a good slap around the face. Having a rare Saturday afternoon to myself, boys with grandma, I’ve done my yoga practise and packed up a small backpack with book, an apple and a bottle of water ready for a solitary ramble. I decide to take a route where I know there will be a few benches along the way to sit and read a while. I chose a perch I had forgotten about but was in the direct sunlight, as despite feeling like a spring day it was still a chilly early February afternoon.

After being startled by a friendly robin, scaring a rabbit and spying a horse and a llama I follow a new path to explore a different direction. Undeterred by the very obvious bridge over the stream to my left I continue through the field ahead feeling the rebellious urge to go through the muddy fields. Naughtily and feeling a little like Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit I squeeze myself under the barbed wire and fling myself over the fence. I enjoy these small cheap thrills. I start to wonder what the penalty for not keeping on the path is and why one can’t just walk where you want to. I started to envisage Mr McGregor with a  shot-gun still I wasn’t deterred but would definitely not be able to run should that occur as the ground was like ‘quick mud’. Adding to the excitement of my private adventure. Sometimes we do need to question the path we take in order to find ourselves.

I felt  relief when I saw the wooden public footpath sign in the corner of the field ahead. Stopping to take a picture of a furry caterpillar to show the boys distracted me from seeing the farmer with his two dogs approaching through the gate. “Braved the beck did ya” he mumbled in his thick yorkshire accent. Not following what he meant and in my naive honesty and perhaps to relieve my conscience admitted to coming through the field. As long as I hadn’t cut the tie or the wire no harm done I think I grasped. Though his explanation of where the path actually was I still couldn’t fathom. Regardless, I think it may have been too overgrown and slippery steep to actually have followed. Are you local he asked. Yes I replied I live in co-ling or cowing I am still not sure how to say it. I will by some maps and stick to the road now I pledged. Smiling I walked to the sculptor’s studio realising I hadn’t been there in a while and it was on the route home.

The air inside a stark contrast to the fresh crisp air I had been deeply inhaling realising that much of the time I forget to breath when I am with my boys. Yoga helping with that! The studio felt toxic but looked a lived in proper working space, without a corner vacant of creation. In my eyes a mess but a place of activity, equipment and ideas for sure. My husband unveiled his bike to show me its purring engine but in the process flooded the tank. It’s over a year since he went to pick it up and I only briefly mentioned it in ‘Beauty’ then never posted about it again. There is something symbolic about a bike being a rebellious vehicle, even purchasing one feels like breaking the ‘norm’. In some ways he is the opposite of me when it comes to rule abiding. I remember in our first year together when he was teaching me drawing he instructed that you had to learn the rules in order to break them, that was what art was about. I can’t seem to do that though. My nature inclines to searching for rules in order to follow. We balance each other out, probably, on the scales of conformity and rebellion and meet on the same conscious awareness.

Here are the images of the bike, turned into a sculpture of sorts in its own way. Always questioning the rebel within.

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