Last week a friend visited, and I took her to a local Sculpture Park set within ten acres of heath and woodland, a place where meandering pathways lead you into a deep dream-scape of rare plants, springs, streams and ponds, and where artworks face you at every turn.
The evening before, over a meal in my garden, we shared stories – about ageing and loosing people, about war-damaged fathers, about writing workshops in prisons. Our discussions often home in on the suppressed feminine in both men and women. So it’s not surprising that while we wandered through the park our two pairs of eyes were resting longer on artworks expressing aspects of the feminine, and our observations mingled.
I thought I share a few photos of sculptures that caught our attention.
This bronze figure of an earth mother and warrior combined in one impressed. Her solid stance, yet also her surrender to something other. I took a picture and looked again, moved to touch her rough coat. There were her feet, standing firmly on the ground, a tool or weapon hanging from her belt, the little fists, speaking of determination, and there was her smooth, yielding face turned upwards in ecstasy towards a transcending spirit.
The endearing foursome forming a protective square made us linger.
My friend reached out to add her hand to the interlocking hands.
I felt a natural affinity with this bird woman, again taking a closer frame, to highlight her relationship to the bird.
It’s talons rest gently in her outstretched hand, bringing a greeting, and maybe a message.
The woman keeps a respectful space between her and the bird, a space filled with wonder, in which to savour the special meeting with her core nature.
A most haunting sculpture was this shell of a person. My friend reached into the dark emptiness. I called ‘Hello’ into the hollow and the sound was swallowed up without returning an affirming resonance.
Later, with the help of Photoshop, I turned the image into a negative, and there you have it – the essence of what we are, light, often hidden.
Day in day out we absorb a continuous hyper stream of phenomena. What makes us stop and observe more closely and choose a meaningful frame to digest our experience?
Is it an emotion, a sound, a movement, a desire to touch, an association, a memory, a pattern recognition, an inner seeing, the intuition of an essence, a context that resonates with our lives, an interesting angle, a certain light …?
For creatively inclined minds, these processes fuse and culminate in an urge to compose and share the impression of an experience by placing a frame round an image … a story.
A symbolic understanding arrives and signals once more into the unknown, framed anew.
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https://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/sculpture-park/ post from a former visit
https://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/what-makes-a-photograph-arresting/ a knack for composition
https://courseofmirrors.wordpress.com/inspiration/ young people observing and being creative