The yoga in art

Colour, Connections, Galleries
'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.



Mother and Child II

Colour, Mother and Child, Relationships, Steel
mother and child 7

”Mother and Child”

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 placed in my husband’s subconscious.  It then mainly had associations with religious depiction and set formal arrangement and placement of ‘Mother’ and her child. Later there were the conventions of the time period that governed how paintings and sculptures would portray the subject of motherhood but mostly of the ‘happy mother’.

mother and child 4

‘Mother and Child”

Today with almost ultimate freedom to express, we have this minimalistic colourist version. With this, as the viewer we can bring our own interpretations. The cut out circle mimicking the sphere shape balancing on the edge of the leg, as though babe has been within the mother but then taken and placed most precariously in the mother’s trust.

"Mother and Child"

“Mother and Child”

I love the sense of balance in this piece and in this images how the sphere, representing the child is the dominant component. The mother is the structure, the firm base sending this confident solid new ‘object’ off into the world. I also love the way the whole design of ‘the mother’ is two parts, splitting herself in two as she keeps the ‘child’ on her knee on one side and her many other roles on the other.

mother adn child 8

“Mother and Child”

I have discovered I have two earlier entries both called balance about balance within life and motherhood, both an art in their own right. I thought I’d been quite clever at coming up with different titles, I wonder how many other repetitions I have made. However, life is about repetition especially as a Mother. The amount of times we do the same thing over and over again and sometimes I wonder why, but in my more philosophical moments there is beauty in repetition. The repeated patterns within this series of work pays homage to that. I believe we can, by making small seemingly meaningless task, make a difference to ourselves.

mother and child 2

“Mother and Child”

The use of the colour is also important to me in this piece as the strong red legs tell of the strength of womanhood, the quiet suffering and yet at the same time the beauty as though still managing to wear ‘red stilettos’ whilst juggling everything else life has given her, and again the circles and sphere add to this visual analogy.

mother and child 3

“Mother and Child”

The blue head (the mother’s mind) connects to the blue sphere (the child), as the mother’s preoccupation is so often of her child. The use of blue for the Mother’s head could also give reference to post natal depression which is a very different side to Motherhood that is not often depicted in the art of the past. The shadows that this piece creates, in themselves make hauntingly beautiful images of ‘Mother and Child’.

"Mother and child"

“Mother and child”

Inside Out

Exhibitions, History, Philosophy, Public Art, Soul searching, Steel
‘The Nail'

‘The Nail’

‘Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled’ has been our anthem to this month. We have sung it nearly ever day and have been able to spend some time in lovely autumnal sun, exploring. The light in the early evening has given some beautiful wintry skies and the fresh crisp air has really blown away the summer blues. Having said all that we have had a lot of rain too, the ground is muddy and it is nice to feel snug indoors. Autumn has become my favourite season, and it has inspired me to do lots of sorting out like a spring clean.

As a sculptor, work can be outside or inside. As I write that I realise all art can but perhaps in some ways sculpture is more celebrated outdoors. My husband has two pieces outside but the rest all have ‘the will to grow’ to be in a public space. The image here is ‘The Nail’ which celebrates the nail making in the town it is situated in. I have been reading a book set in Neanderthal times and has really made me think about how we have progressed and developed in so many ways but in the process lost our connection with the earth. We have become indoor people (well some of us) but we have the comfort of our homes,when there would have been a time we spent all out time outside.

The Keyhole Family who were standing in the window of the hair salon (see earlier post) have wandered across London to a menswear store Browns (Browns blog). Whilst my husband was there setting up the window display he casually looked at a t-shirt. “Good choice” said the sales assistant. “It’s Japanese”. It had a £2000 was the price tag. If we think about our survival, how we have journeyed through the ages, astronomical doesn’t even convey the expense. Meaning has lost all impact. Like the ‘arrow man’ we have lost our direction. Which way are we heading?

‘The Keyhole Family’ @ Browns Menswear

Some people spend ‘astronomical’ amounts of money on clothes and beauty without thinking about the need to beautify themselves from the inside. Others concentrate on beautifying themselves from the inside and forget that sometimes first impressions count. As with everything balance is so important. Like our bodies, our minds too has a need to be outside or inside, reflecting within ourselves or spending time with others. Sometimes we can’t quite express what we are thinking and feeling inside. I often wonder how well we can know others or how they can know us. We like to think we are individuals but we share so much of the same emotions. For some it’s all a bit ‘upside down’ for others a bit ‘inside out’, we are all trying to find direction.