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

Colour, Philosophy, Public Art, Soul searching

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Collection of work at Newby Hall ready for installing

“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, as though each colour would taste different. Eating sweets has been a bit of a topic of discussion recently with our boys having, had lots of parties and sweet handouts at school. So candy has been on my mind…but now it is time to start focusing on more aspirational things as we approach our month of retreat, guarding of our lower beings and those animal instincts!

pair of candy

‘Awaken’ and ‘Reaching’ outside the studio

My husband did an interview for Candid magazine once which brought the word ‘Candid’ into my vocabulary a bit more. It was a great discovery. I not only like the word which sounds like candy. I like the meaning. Truthful, straightforward; frank, because I think most of the time we skirt around honesty in preference for politeness.  We ‘English’ like politeness and whilst we value honesty I am not sure we can handle candid comments very well. We want things sugar-coated and sweet. Makes me think of the line “some people can’t handle the truth” which I don’t think many of us can. We don’t want that raw reality preferring the hazy safety of polite untruths and staying within our comfort ones. Rather than thinking of our own faults we like to judge others faults before seeing their virtues. It makes us feel better about ourselves but before we do that we need to call ourselves to account. The capacity for self blame is a heathy soul and it humbles us. The importance of scrutinising ourselves and being brutally honest can often lead to an awakening.

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‘Awaken’ by Sam Shendi

Awakening of a realisation of our own actions, behaviours, habits. In a secular context self-awareness has now become mindfulness which although is good practice has no moral dimensions.  As Immanual Kant said: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.”   The moral dimension of self-awareness includes nobleness. In the battery farm of the modern capitalist system which aim is producing eggs regularly, getting along with the other chickens and then ultimately you die and get made into cat food. The process goes on and there is no higher aspiration.  So preoccupied with all the other chickens, even mindful chickens, we are left at the level of the zoological. Yet, we were made for something higher than the lower self ‘zoo’. Nobility is what happens when we leave behind the animal desires. The thing that makes us human and not animal. Our higher being, one of virtuosity is nobel.

If we awaken to reality in this world we need to consider what we do, what we have been doing.

Forget the sweets, be honest and look at the day that is to come and hope for an awakening.

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‘Awaken’ by Sam Shendi currently showing at Newby Hall, Ripon

(reference T.J Winters, Cambridge University)

Three or Four P’s

Colour, Galleries, Making, Soul searching

Is planning and organisation better than spontaneity? I can never decide, in my indecisive nature, I don’t think I am much of a planner but having children requires you to have some sense of routine. I believe as humans we do require some order and daily rituals. The negative side is when things don’t go to plan. Expectation is a heavy load. Read ‘Outside Air‘ about expectation.. I think I tend to procrastinate a lot, which is not great for organisation. I recently read that procrastination is associated with perfectionism. Is that good or bad? As in all things, balance is key. My husband does everything in the moment, now. He doesn’t procrastinate but it most probably a perfectionist.

As an artist my husband has a dual personality towards planning. In making his sculptures there is a sort of plan. He sketches, almost constantly. Then revises and choses to develop a certain piece. After it’s made the colour is then chosen. We currently have two new pieces sitting in our hallway. One of which was designed to be something but has since become something else. So there is always room for manoeuvre. We are having to be a bit more organised at the moment with his regular trips to London. He is on his way down again today. Since being selected as an artist with Debut Contemporary (currently curator’s pick if you go through to the link) he has featured in Candid Magazine, also been selected for The Other Art Fair and is having his work showcased on a large board outside BOXPARK  in London. This Saturday he is back down in London again for his Debut and Debut with his workshop. So it is a busy time.

In preparation for his workshop it has been interesting seeing how he has approached the planning side of things. Various email exchanged have happened to organise the curatorial side of his sculptures in the gallery. When he was first thinking about organising it, the worrier in him kicked in, he really started planning, went out and bought all the various equipment for what he was thinking of doing, had some great ideas. Then it went on hold. Now the spontaneous artist has appeared and what will happen on Saturday, who knows. Why not plan a visit to Debut Contemporary to find out …..

Saturday 21st April 2012 12-6pm