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.
And we loved the little feet …
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/2012/12/31/the-inner-silence-of-henri-cartier-bresson/ master framer
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
15 responses to “… framing our impressions …”
Another fascinating post and what wonderful images. Thank you. The last one is absolutely beautiful. Where is this place?
Thanks Diane. Check the first link. The place is in Surrey, near Churt, Jumps Road.
“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 …?”
Don’t know what it is, but when all these things visit at once, it’s likely an angel. McLuhan explained that touch is the most involving of all the senses. The eye has come to so dominate the others that we can watch just about anything but touch becomes more difficult? Cool post, Ashen.
Like an angel 🙂 I’ve one of those little devils watching over me. And touch, quite, though there’s a deep touch of which the physical touch is only. a reflection.
I enjoyed these contemplations, especially your manipulation of the last into a negative. This is a good exercise, I think, not only for photographs but for the mind–reversing what might seem to be evident, looking for the light in dark, substance in space. There is always another side. 🙂
So true, appearances trick us, there’s always the other side. A x
I loved the ‘shell of a person’ a haunting evocation of the middle ages, hollowed out. Lovely Post!
Yes, it still haunts me – certain that after many re-livings of our myths, every journey back to the light needs to pass through that empty hollow.
I love sculptures and sculpture parks. There’s a lovely sculpture trail in the Forest of Dean, which is incredibly serene and magical. Glad you had such a lovely time sweetie. 🙂
Thanks Sophie ☼ We did have a wonderful time. The Forest of Dean sculpture park sounds interesting. Maybe you could do a post on it some time.
Absolutely! Sorry for the delay sweetie. I’ve been so remiss with my blog and emails recently, things just been rather manic. Lol, but then I know you’ve had some rather HUGE things happening your end!!!! Huge congrats again sweetie, those wedding piccies were amazing!!! 😀 xxx
When I read about your conversation with your friend, I found myself being envious. It is not always easy to get such open and profound discourse.
It is also, as a male, sometimes frustrating watching men being such ‘blokes’ and avoiding much of the beauty that exists in exhibiting and sharing a ‘feminine’ part if their nature.
I have always enjoyed a great number of emotions and regard myself as a fortunate person to do so.
The sculptures are amazing. Especially the one you tricked up. Thanks for the post Ashen, I now have my darling wife enjoying your work also. B.
Thanks B.. My kind regards to your wife. I guess I’m fortunate too. And I’ve a few dear friends, including men, who freely share their feelings. Just a thought – you could set up a small circle, maybe fellow males, with common interests. Doing stuff together tends to spark discussions.
Beautiful post thank you and the actual images/photos are as lovely as your words. A framing within a framing …
Garden of Eden Blog
Thank you Susan, framing within framing 🙂 The theme makes wild circles in my mind at the moment.