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21 June 2006


In presenting work this week I am aware that I have left out some crucial information, as I am sure happens when writing this. If there are ommissions such as acknowledgeing authors of work I apologise here, and will endeavour to include them in future.

These should have been included in the last posting. Shelley Sacks Greenmuseum and David Haley Greenmuseum
Thinking in terms of spinning and combining fibres, using it as a metaphor for almost everything, has reinforced my understanding of environmental/ecological/social networks and structures. I am sure it not just a coincidence, everything does appear to have relationship and affect on everything else if you have time to research it. Working in the physical environment this becomes more and more obvious; people who work the land are sensitive to these relationships. Artists who listen to their insticts have the same sensitivities.

Making into thinking into more making

Manipulating, making and working through ideas always creates new thoughts and ideas. How do people who don't make find new ideas? I cannot imagine how this works without a physical process.
It is even more evident that children shold not be forced to do everything in 2 Dimensions - their learning should not be restricted to such a narrow thought processes.
The spiritual and instinctive elements of humans living with the world, with creation, with environment is far more creative than most adults have been conditioned to understand.

This quote 'A Personal statement of ecological arts practice' from David Haley

Ecology: the study of organisms in relation to one another and to their surroundings, derived from the Greek word, oikos, meaning house, or dwelling

Art: rt from an Indo-Aryan noun/adjective of the Rg Veda, meaning the dynamic process by which the whole cosmos continues to be created - virtuously

Eco-art ‘…the most moral act of all is the making of space for life to move onward’. – Robert Pirsig, Lila: an inquiry in to morals.

At the moment I cannot do better - but David's way of making lists and defining structures is a bit too male and clinical for me, I am more inclined to be in closer agreement with Shelley Sacks when she refers to 'soul-making' reather than David's 'moral' angle

Redefining the ‘aesthetic’ as ‘enlivened being’ reveals the aesthetic as an ecological life process, and ‘art’ to be an expanded practice that includes non-material processes and relates to all spheres of activity. Such works are, therefore, as much to do with consciousness work, soul-making and personal transformative work as they are to do with social process and natural environmental concerns.

Combining willow and words - spinning a yarn

As always the plans and ideas I had for presenting work would take at least twice as long as the time I have allowed - how does that happen?
Wrapping my trees with the ribbon of words - which by the way is what I would like to have been able to make -I felt as if the trees were becoming an expression of the communities I have worked with. They are sensitive to and aware of environmental activity and know about the negative effects of agro-chemicalsand other pollutants, but always appear to be bound up in paperwork and 'the way it has to be done': the implication is that it is someone elses job to sort it out.

This action was very intense, in spite of doing it entirely alone - the photo was taken by Tim I could not have done this alone - but I had made and unmade the action several times before he arrived.
My ideas about joining comunities and relating the making to waterwways and river tributaries may not work in the physical, it will be intersting to see and hear readctions to this work, it will be going to several places over the summer.

I have not yet found the words I want to 'perform' but am looking out for some. I find these things arrive at the right time to be used.

20 June 2006

growing thoughts

Combining willow and words, thoughts bound inside and round the growing I prepared the willow for cutting I began to think through all the time I have spent on the allotment working ropund the trees as they grow. I have been there in all weathers, watched birds and animals using them for shelter and found refuge myself when I needed to from intrusion or disturbance.

Climbing and manipulating the upper branches, finding out the flexible from the fragile - this is after all the salix fragilis - very appropriate to work with when thinking about my ecological footprint.

The smell of the willow hgas a calming effect on me, I know it contains salicitic acid - used in aspirin: but I have also been told it is used by homeopaths as a remedy for seperation anxiety and bereavement as well as resentments. I wonder how much I have absorbed while working with it, breathing in the atmosphere and through the skin it must have some effect.

The pace of work is different when working with natural and growing forms, I am sure it has a positive effect on me, it is impossible to force a tree to grow faster so what is the point of trying!
Perhaps I should be more conscious of the time frame of 'growing' ideas and producing words. The link between hand writing and thinking, as opposed to writing with a keyboard and being able to make infinite changes so fast that I cannot imagine must affect the way I am forced to think.
By the way I still like writing by hand, and do so in my 'sketch book' far more than drawing now. It feels like the same process at the moment, I never used to write anything!

19 June 2006

Spinning, winding and drawing

Today has been strange, working from very early morning on ideas and struggling a bit with making paper tape. It could still be a great idea that goes disastrously wrong!
I have now made the paper yarn...all sorts of double meanings to take from this! It looks ok, a bit uneven and if I had time would try and have it printed on ribbon. Winding it on to the cones was tedious & I began to doubt my sanity. In a similar
way to hand spinning, it could be seen as completely unnecessary.
Now the task is to combine this with the tree - or part of the tree. I think I have been avoiding this, it feels like a very final decision. When the elements are put together it is commitment - but then I have no choice now, there is no time to make anything else. Perhaps that is why I use trees and sother slow processes, the final stage is delayed!

While putting the tape onto the cones I found myself reading the words in a different way - they seemed to take on different meaning because of how they were positioned. The juxtapositions with unconnected sentences was like positioning different fibres and colours.

18 June 2006

Trees, time and planning

Having taken the tree down this week-end I feel very strange - it went from being a great idea to being what could be a problem.
I had to think through how to transport the tree when cut down - always a bit of an anticlimax having to be practical!
In the end it is in 2 main parts, with other pieces available to use - I don't like the feeling the cut in half has given me - It is a bit like cutting the last 9 years of growing in half and making it worth less - I have not planned anything this long before and think perhaps ther is a way of doing it better.
I had intended to put something into the blog yesterday - but on looking at it again decided there were things I did not want to release yet - if at all. A good lesson in reviewing before publishing.
The next step in making this piece is to combine the tree with process of spinning - using words as well as actual spinning with drop spindle.
The growth habit of the tree is very like the fen rivers - somehow I wuld like to reference this as well, but as always trying to include too many oblique references.

Todays' real task is to wind strips of printed words onto bobbins or cones - depends which works best. images to follow