After several years of carving, crafting, working and whipping up huge sculptural stories, tonight in Johannesburg the opening of my husband solo show will showcase all that work in one space at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery (photos from the gallery)
The sculptor was amazed to see himself larger than life. ( I see this everyday!) but literally plastered all over the building.
A month at sea, a stay in the port and then the drive from Durban to Johannesburg to the gallery, the sculptures arrived not quite without hiccup.
A few damaged and the repair kit missing added to the drama. However, hoping today that has all been fixed. I haven’t heard any updates so praying that everything is going well.
So he spent an intense day unloading and setting up.
Yesterday, he had interviews.
Tonight the show will open. I am so excited all the way back home here in North Yorkshire and anticipating hearing all about it….find out more tomorrow.
As I write the title I suddenly realise many people may be reaching for the end of the working week, the bottle, the next bar of chocolate, the next holiday. We do all reach for that comfort but what are we blocking out.
I have been a bit pre occupied these last couple of weeks not blocked with writer’s block but literally with ‘block’ blocks in researching minecraft parties. I am going all out this year with a Minecraft themed home party for our soon to be 8-year-old. Family birthdays, lots of sculpture events happening and a very busy sculptor means I find it harder to sit and write. Perhaps, just an excuse really however as this next week is half term I am trying to get this written before having the boys and really no time for writing.
I have had a few conversations recently about ambition. What it means and why some of us have it and some of us seem to lack it. In conversations with my husband I reach for the dictionary. I must have had the foresight to know it would be useful to request it from a dear friend when we got married and she wanted gift suggestions. The definition of ambition is ‘an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment’.
My husband thinks he wasn’t ambitious as a child. He didn’t aim to achieve what he has achieved thus far more a determination to better his situation perhaps. In my mind he is definitely ambitious to fulfil a dream but more crucially has the unbelievable determination to strive for its attainment. Meanwhile, I like being in the presence of that ambition and almost make it become my own in many ways but power, honour, fame, wealth have very little interest for me. I don’t have the drive to reach further or the ability to sustain any determination not for things materialistically. I have a very circular way of thinking. Say like taking a further step my writing into writing a book then I wonder why? for what reason? My mind goes into a spiral of being able to talk myself out of it.
We live in a world where success is often measured in material wealth and possessions. Although we do need those to a certain extent in this western world, aiming to achieve your dreams is something quite different. I guess it is all about purpose. What is our purpose in life. I am too much of a day-dreamer, my personal ambition is reaching into the realms of spiritualism, for something beyond this world…. but I guess it is ok to have these lofty ambitions when your husband is working hard on the ground!! So this Friday thought is. What are we reaching for? Why are we reaching for it?
Yesterday the sculptor took this piece along with several others in a new collection to Newby Hall, Ripon. N.Yorkshire. So if you are looking for some inspiration, a wander in the grounds of an 18th century house, something to do over the summer the exhibition will run from the 1st June ’15 until the end of the season – 27th September ’15.
I was listening to the radio whilst driving the other day and caught a snippet of discussion about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which was a visual map about what motivates people. It was said that if undergraduates of psychology recall anything they remember the pyramid diagram of the stage model of five motivational needs. I smiled because, indeed as my psychology degree lies somewhere hidden underneath the blankets of motherhood and I could visualise the pyramid and it’s five stages , well I could remember the first being food and shelter and the last being self actualisation, what ever that meant.
The radio programme went on to discuss that Maslow, only listed 18 people who had reached self actualisation, including Einstein and himself I think. When looking at the characteristics of self-actualizers to write this, I think my husband ticks most of the list. He is so unbelievably motivated. On the programme they discussed that Maslow’s conception was someone who had a “heightened sense of awareness and reality” or “completely absorbed in an activity and don’t know time passing”. I would say this is totally my husband and could give countless examples. The thinking is all about “Possibilities not restraints” and the possibilities of change and of the human being.
There are so many flaws with Maslow’s theory especially if looking at artists. Van Gogh lived most his life in poverty and probably didn’t have the middle stages but arguments have said he was self actualised. However, I would perhaps argue Van Gogh wasn’t, he was exploring his creativity and pursuing inner talent but without the support of the base of the pyramidal needs he wasn’t able to reach self actualisation. My instinct is to think that in order to reach self actualisation you must have worked through the pyramidal needs. To have actually experienced what it is like to not have had. If we are from a privileged background where the basic needs of food and shelter are not tested and we become complacent that they are a given, then reaching our potential is hindered. The drive the ambition is not likely to be as great.
I am so unmotivated, far from being self actualised, however I do think in my role as ‘Sculptors wife’ could be classified totally as ‘helping others to achieve self s’. Which could put me at the peak of the pyramid in ‘Transcendence needs’ in the revised version and eight stage model. Not that it’s a competition or anything! Unfortunately that puts my whole theory on its head. I rather like the idea of being transcendent though I could get motivated about that 🙂
I have just trawled through my entries to see if I have put images of this piece up before. I was convinced I had but it wasn’t where I thought it was and looking very different in my past entry. It had a face lift after the fire, it is still bronze but somehow giving it this cover links with the ‘branding’ of my husband’s work. It sort of symbolises motivation. You do have to take that leap of faith and take the step forward in reaching your aims. I think Maslow would be happy with this;
17.20 Interview gone well…….
17.50 Not long to wait…..
18.00 I get the boys ready for bed, we pray, we sit in bed waiting for the phone……
18.46 I text him….Any news?x…..I can’t settle, I can’t focus on reading stories and my plan of bedtime is not working as youngest child fell asleep on the school pick up run. My parents are coming so I can go to Pilates class with my mum and dad can put eldest to bed.
19.00 Parents arrive, too hyper boys downstairs and I receive a text….’ Not yet its too busy’
19.01 He sends another…. ‘Lets hope that I win’.
19.02 I text him, The waiting is unbearable, Inshallah x
19.03 Doesn’t look good habebe, he texts me. What does that mean. Ahahah I leave the boys with my dad and mum and I rush out. We are late.
19.25 Still no message so I go into my pilates class. Its my hour of relaxation. I can’t relax. I can’t think straight.
19.35 The room is at a local Methodist church and usually nothing else is happening. Tonight there is a local preachers meeting so the room has been split and should be self-contained. However, the microphone is switch on and linked in. We here everything. They start singing. We start laughing.Total distraction.
19.47 I hear my phone ring. I add to the distraction. I leave the room and call back. There is no reception.
19.53 I ring and it goes to answer machine grrrrrrrrr I ring again and again. I have to go and stand outside the church in the cold in my socks.
19.55 . HE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I squeal with delight. I ask him how he feels. He wants to run. I am shivering.
He tells me what happened but I am so cold and excited I can’t focus. When he couldn’t get through he rang our landline and spoke to my dad and then to our son who tells him not to worry he will tell mama. He says he has to go back in. Congratulations. So happy etectetc.
20.05 I go back into the room. I give my thumbs up to my mum who is trying to do the plank. I lie on the floor and I am so happy. I do the plank (so Pilates position that makes you feel very virtuous) I can’t focus. I lie down.
I spend the next 30 mins in a mind buzz, my body trying to be still.
20.25 I drive mum and I home, not sure how I am soooooooo excited.
20.35 Both boys are still awake. One crying because I am not there to put him to bed. Our eldest, ‘Guess what mama, Baba won’ He really won’
20.40 Boys so tired they go to sleep. I start to text everyone I know and sit down to write this……… I am still buzzing……..
21.25 What happens next……….I need to phone him. Click Publish.