Someone reminded me of my hats and I looked with interest at the photos she commented on. There are quite few that are equally relevant today as they were seven months ago, maybe even more so. I mean look at Dr. Dread. This was end of May… perhaps I am clairvoyant.
This one, however, this one you see before your eyes, did not originate in Norway. It’s one of my sticky back plastic specialities. It doesn’t really show up super-duper here but it’s better than it’s ever shown up before.All that silver stuff you see is what is put on road signs so that when lights hit it at night in the dark, it all shines up. So what I was playing with here was doing with a lot of very transformative sort of art pieces.
The trouble was I was never actually got to show them to anybody in their real transformative format, as with this light because it’s really different when it’s just a plain bit with a lot of sticky back plastic on it.
And those sticky back plastic pictures took forever. I mean there’s just so much energy from cutting and crying and grief gone into it, it’s unbelievable.
Anyway, another little introduction from Confessions from Norway. Thank you.
Indian stuff from way back when..some bits are really old.
I have collected so much on my travels and from flea markets and charity shops. It’s really time to shift them on. I used to sew a bit at one time and am a sucker for fine cloth and pretty patterns.
The Grey Dress
This child’s dress was ancient in 1975. Brought it from a Baluchistan woman in Mccloud Grange, the hill station just above Dharamsala. When we were there we had an audience with the Dali Lama (Lots of people not just us). I was about 24 and hadn’t a clue really. I dozed off and fell off my chair…
I made this hat at the beginning of the pandemic when all the distraction stuff about toilet rolls and panic buying took over social media. The right opportunity never arose to post it and to be honest I thought it was rather silly.
Also, it never had a title until just recently. But today, it said ‘nows the time’, so here we go. Lost at Sea sums up the gullibility of the human mind, of how easy it is to be led astray and how easy it is to . forget.
Pot pourie in the making. Petals picked at the right time and left to dry.
It’s a twice daily ritual. It gives me so much pleasure doing the ’rounds’. The garden holds the secrets of the universe, I love what it shows me.
Some plants have to go. Room has to be made for the new shoots. They need to grow in the right place. Taming some species letting wild others. Creating a balance between wild and cultivated and different varieties.
Developing good roots, that’s very important and is a matter of life and death. The roots of the wild plants are much stronger than the cultivated ones. Each has its place. Yes, it all happens in the garden.
My chicken kept winking at me when I passed it. Then I remembered the chicken candleholder.
Making the chicken stay on my head required good engineering. But why was a chicken on my head, and what’s with the candle?
Then the thought about chickens in captivity came. As a member of Compassion In World Farming I am aware of the suffering farm animals undergo worldwide, and decided to use this hat to bring this to your attention .
Singing for the chickens in captivity is really singing for all captive animals everywhere. They need our love and kind thoughts.
Years of saving the little sauce fishes one used to get with sushi has finally paid off, their day has come.
If I was not so busy with the garden, I would have laboriously filled all the fishes with different colors, but necklace and earrings were enough. I mean I don’t want too get too obsessed with this hat malarkey. It could be dangerous.
‘I’ve got a present for you’, he said excitedly, handing me a large wodge of grubby pink plastic used for wrapping hay bales in. ‘I found it by the side of the road, I am sure you can make something with it.’
I’m documenting my response to Covid-19 in a series of hats for a pandemic. From my safe and comfortable perspective in a remote house in Norway, I see fear and turbulence being expressed by all kinds of people on the internets. I’m channelling what I see now and what I’ve struggled to make sense of in the past, with moments of crazy, joy, sunlight and spring time. Our heads are all over the place, so I made hats for that.
Self care in a lockdown
If you are in a physical position to watch the sunrise, I urge you to try and make the effort to do it. Being there as the sun first shows its glorious rays is quite magic.
It is food for the soul. Having a cup of hot water, strange as that might sound is also very comforting. It’s a small free action to start our day, one that we can do for ourselves.
My Mother and Child piece continues to be a work in progress. Even though I painted it a year ago I’m finding it to be a very therapeutic to work on. It’s relevant to my life now and how I’m working through feelings and experiences.
The child is wearing a cloak of feathers. Her mother is entwined in a cloak of tree branches – though sometimes I wonder if she isn’t a tree herself. Whatever… she is rooted. Grounded. Certain. There is no messing with this strong female presence.
I began this mother and child painting during an online course called Mother Earth and I can’t let it go.
It’s poignant that I have been reflecting on my experience of being an abandoned child, how we (I!) crave safety and the intense love a mother has for her child. The therapeutic meanings behind the image are relevant and personal to me.
Synchronicity plays games with me, I’ve also been briefly dipped into the rich, lush colours and secret gardens of Marrakech, with my family. It’s drawn me into adding and building on this image with golds, reds and turquoise.
I’ll post an update on this image as the work progresses.
2019 was a year that shook me…. I’m looking forward to 2020 and allowing the disparate parts of me to continue falling into place.Homage to Bird Woman is self portrait. It’s a reflection of who I am and what has led me to this place, feeding the birds and working through the layers of feeling and experience within.
Like me, Bird Woman is a work of many layers and many different faces. She has a past too; I work with old canvases, so just like me, she did not spring into life on a blank sheet of paper.
An interesting aspect of working with recycled materials is that I’m compelled to accept the idiosyncrasies, faults and flaws of the base canvas. This frees me to bring an abandoned approach to working on the first layer. Accepting what has gone before and stepping forward with new layers is an exciting part of the process.
Through every step of this work, I’ve used flow art techniques to achieve results that surprise me. I’ve scrubbed out, painted over and removed layers in order to make space of spontaneous interventions to revitalise and renew the work.
The nature of flow moves me into a trance-like state where I allow thoughts to permeate and percolate on whether there are lessons in this process of acceptance and moving on for the way we live our lives. Life is certainly complicate and multi-layered as far as I’m concerned.
There are cutting-out techniques in Homage to Bird Woman, too. Cutting and snipping is a therapeutic aspect of my art. The gay abandonment of getting stuck into cutting and sticking can feel like a serious work out for my soul. Sticking and placing pieces generates a very good feeling for me. This is a flow art movement that creates a strong head/heart connection.
Another aspect of flow art and using a number of different materials is that I’ve allowing synchronicity to shape the direction of my Bird Woman. Not working to a fixed plan reflects the symbolic message that she carries.
Life, and this Homage, is all about layers, making mistakes and ultimately building towards a satisfying ending. I am always working with the flow process… my paintings are internal processes in themselves.