Strange Sensations and Slow art

Colour, Connections, Exhibitions, Public Art, Soul searching

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

Gratitude

Awards, Colour, Public Art, Soul searching

I have written about being thankful and having appreciation a little but I had a bit of an AHAA moment last week when I realised that it wasn’t patience I was lacking, although that is an ongoing struggle but what I needed to develop a better sense of is one of being grateful. We can be grateful for what we have but when we live in a society that encourages bigger, better and  more it gives us little time to focus about what we already have. Not only in terms of possessions but the miraculous facts that we wake up in the morning, that we can see, smell, taste, walk, smile. That we can be healthy, we have loved ones around us. Psychological studies have been done showing that gratitude is a key factor in happiness and that if you start to increase you levels of gratitude your base line level of happiness will rise. Nothing is permanent in this world, everything has an end. So it is important to be grateful for what we have when we have it.

“The Branch represents man with a deathly oily hue, pillaging the earth’s precious resources. A bird perches precariously on top of a woman’s outstretched toe creating a symbol of new life.” This piece, ‘The Branch’ has just returned from the solo exhibition at The Royal British Society of Sculptors, it is in some respects about what we take for granted from the earth’s resources.

Branch 4

‘The Branch’

Over the last few weeks my time spent at our business has made me appreciate the work my husband does. It’s very easy in the role of being at home with the children to bemoan the tasks involved and at not having a break but being in a different role makes me grateful for the time I have had at home with my children and also thankful that I haven’t had the stresses of work alongside it and the weight of running your own business. Although, I do have them indirectly. I am now a little more aware of why and how it affects my husband. Also increasingly impressed with how he manages both the business and the art world. I read recently that it often the way with highly creative people that they work very hard and intensely. I think that is definitely true. When we go through difficulties we can in some way relate our situation to something that may be more difficult and then be grateful. However, to be grateful in times when things aren’t as testing, when we are at ease. When you are  locked up in your own personal pleasures and enjoyment it is easy to forget the realities and fail to remember to be grateful.

Branch 3

‘The Branch’