I’m finding a huge confirmation regarding the issues I wrote about in my previous post. I wrote about shedding my career as a sculptor, selling my house and about not knowing my next step forward.
This astrological reading reminds me of an old Dylan song that goes something like;
‘Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams
…I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours’
The syncronicity is staggering.
I’ve always disliked Easter, especially Good Friday (who the * thought up that name?! What exactly is so great about an execution?)
Besides, I resent being patronised by someone taking on – and suffering! – for my sins. I am firmly with Patti Smith on that score. My sins belong to me. Me! How very dare anyone presume to suffer on my behalf? I cannot even begin to deal with the guilt involved in that bargain.
And then, during the last few months, I have begun to see the beauty in shedding. Like the snake, or perhaps like the lovely Jesus, I have begun to remove the things I thought I liked, or craved, or associated myself with, from my life.
My thoughts, my dreams; some as solid as concrete, others more aesthetically pleasing; shimmering like dragonflies or clouds – I doubt them all.
It all started with a feeling of profound boredom at having to identify myself as an Artist. I was never good at Networking, or applying for exhibitions or grants from institutions like the Arts Council. In fact the very thought of self promotion leaves me numb. I’m no good at it. This notion has been creeping up on me for years.
Now, I freely admit to doing what I do; I do create …oh, you know, stuff what goes on walls or sits on table tops. But a while back I burned all my promotional stuff and I stopped going to my studio. Every time I picked up a lump of clay I ended up having palpitations.
You may have noticed a lot of lyrical waxing about my garden during the last few couple of months on this blog. There is a reason for that.
I know that new things will emerge; but for now I am barren.
Then I put my house on the market and watched in dismay how it got snapped up within days by cash wielding Londoners.
My garden, my studios, my gorgeous views across the valley and towards the sea, my raised beds, my apple tree. I just hope they’ll adore it the way I have.
Yesterday, my friend organised an Easter Fair, and persuaded me to join in. So I collected things from the past from attic and cellar and sat watching soberly as my Python snake-skin stilettos bought for me in Bangkok by an old lover vanished in one direction while my handmade Nepalese paper sketch books disappeared in another.
And today the bon fires have continued to roar, fed by snippets from my past history.
And so, what has all this got to do with Easter?
Well, it occurred to me that perhaps there are many different ways of looking at Easter. Perhaps everyone has to die in a small way in order for something new to be born? Perhaps we all have to be willing to go through this upsetting process of giving up some of our identity, give up on things that used to be important to us in order to experience some kind of resurrection, some sort of new beginning?
I really do not know.
After a long and challinging winter we can now step in to the spring sunshine and celebrate six glorious months where the days are longer than the nights!
The Skittle Cat, Lord of all he Surveys, bid you a Very Happy Spring Equinox!
We took a little stroll around the garden this morning and this is what we noted;
Last year’s apples have almost completely rotted away; instead of serving as a blackbird smorgasbord, the ground is now hosting lungworth, primroses and daffodils to provide nectar for bees and butterflies.
So many wild primroses!
This is a Victoria plum singing its song.
The fig is busy unfurling its leaves; there are already new little fig nodules nestling close to the branch.
May we all enjoy a glorious new turn of the wheel because here comes the sun!
Fabulous documentary where professor Suzanne Simard from the University of British Columbia explains how trees communicate using fungi. This actually helps them survive. It is a very short video, so I will let you discover her findings for yourself.
I love weddings; especially I love it when people come and buy their wedding gifts from my studio!
Fat Birds seem to be popular, and I seem to be running out.
This couple found a new home this weekend; I am not sure if I’ll be making any more. It is funny how you, as an artist, tend to look for expansion; for new adventures. But at the same time, you are defined by the products and concepts you made in the past; storylines that people still associate with you.
I love my Fat Birds, and I used to feel as snug and as safe as one of them. But the last time I tried to make a Fat Bird sculpture, a few months back, I ended up having to pour myself a very stiff whiskey, (and in the middle of the afternoon!) in order to calm down enough to walk back in to the studio and scrape the remaining clay off the wall.
I am not singing the songs of contentment any more. It is difficult to go on creating old favourites, not the least because the dream I had when I first started to make the Fat Birds is so different from the song I am currently singing.
Perhaps there will come a day when I actually feel good again. Until then, there will be some very odd stuff coming out of my studio.
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Tagged anna keiller ceramics, artist, ceramic sculpture, ceramic sculptures, fat bird sculpture, fat birds, song, studio, unique gifts, wedding gifts, weddings, www.annakeiller.com
‘Water water see the water flow
Glancing dancing see the water flow
O wizard of changes water water water
Dark or silvery mother of life
Water water holy mystery heavens daughter
O, wizard of changes, teach me the lesson of flowing’
poem by Robin Williamson
The ceramic bowls are between 12cm and 22 cm in diameter.
This ceramic sculpture of a water sprite or naiad is 53 cm tall and 39 cm wide and it is made to hang from a wall. The torso is first glazed and then smoke fired. I love how the smoke inter act with the glazes to make them more flowing and glowing..
This ceramic sculpture shows the sea of life from where Gaia selects the seeds of creation. I chose to use the old fertility symbol
of a bulls head and turned the skull and the horns into Gaia’s face and hands.
The sculpture measures 30cm by 30 cm. It is glazed except for the very blue bit inside her hands which is melted glass.
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Tagged art, arts, ceramic bowls, ceramic sculpture, ceramic torso, Gaia sculpture, glass, glazes, mythic art, naiad, poetry, smoke fired sculpture, torso, water, water flow, water sprite, water water water, www.annakeiller.co.uk, www.annakeiller.com
It’s funny, but when it finally happens, it’s kind of a relief
Many days like this; listening to the rain inside my living room.
..leading to a ceiling looking like that. The dark plug-like blobs are actually fungi. I wonder if they are edible.
…and then finally, this. Lots of soggy plaster, wood and insulation on the floor. And fungi, edible or not.
It looks a lot neater now that the hole has been squared up. There’s nothing like a bit of symmetry to cheer you up.
Did I mention that we have had a lot of rain in Hastings?
I have wallowed beneath grey clouds for the longest while. I have developed a thirst for a certain type of light.
It is the cold silvery light of stars that I crave. Illuminated crystals.
Or Ice, when the sun shines through.
I took these photos a few winters back when the Ice was cannibalizing my Hot House Geraniums.
I have developed a single minded hunger for that cold, white light.
I sit by my window at night. And I look out for the stars.
The clouds, coloured orange by Hastings sodium street lights, gaze back at me with bovine incomprehension.
These days I find it hard to function. The constant rain, darkness and cold is affecting me to the extent where I find myself standing by my windows for hours, staring out towards where the sea usually can be seen, clutching a hot water bottle.
Or lying on the sofa in front of the fire, listening to the drip drop of water pouring through my ceiling.
The work I produce is abysmal.
I feel as though my core has turned to mush and all I can do is wait.
Wait, and trust that new life will grow though the many layers of darkness and corruption.
As within, so without.
As above, so below.