Tonight is the night

This gallery contains 2 photos.

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 … Continue reading

Sculpture on sites (2) Opposite Canary Wharf at Hilton Double Tree

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Well, I was wrong about having little sleep on Tuesday night. The sculptor slept through the alarm. Although that still meant only 5 hours sleep. A sudden sitting bolt upright, duvet off the bed and expletives woke us both up … Continue reading

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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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

Mother and Child II

This gallery contains 7 photos.

In the new series, ‘beginnings’ we have another Mother and Child. It is a subject which has been continuously treated in the history of art and  the origins interestingly go back to predynastic Egypt. Perhaps this interest has genetically been … Continue reading

Blood, Sweat and Tears

This gallery contains 2 photos.

All a bit gory in the title, but then this expression summed up the day. It started two days ago when I came home in the middle of the day and was transferring my sleeping toddler from car to house. … Continue reading