June 30th, 2009 Comments
After taking so long to make decisions yesterday, I decided to worry less, and make them quickly. I really enjoyed the result.
I used: first clippings of young grass, rose petals, jasmine, snapdragons, fuschia, geranium, orange day lilies, pink rose, hardy geranium, pansy, the rest I don’t know their names… yet, other than big daisy, which is a bit suspect.
June 29th, 2009 Comments
He is a naturally occurring mandala. What with being all curly. I’ve got cat envy.
June 29th, 2009 Comments
After three days of making small, speedy, or no hassle mandalas, I am left with many piles of petals (in boxes in the fridge), gathered after big, rain-induced petal-drops. And I am ready to do a BIG ONE. Obviously I am heaping up expectations on myself, because BIG ONES have to be AMAZING. So I decide to add to this feeling by going to collect EVEN MORE before I start, because, you know, i couldn’t possibly leave usable flowers just lying in the garden. And while collecting I muse to myself how it is possible that I may even prefer the collecting part to all the other parts, and how naturally occurring mandalas always look so good.
This was my collecting box, which, without trying, looks brilliant.
Also, here is Arti bathing in the border, like the bohemium he is:
I went to the house after collecting, and the phone rang, and lo and behold, it was my good friend Viv, with the squeak-worthily exiting news that she’s getting married in September. Hurrah! So, SHE’s the first of the old gang to go! And none of us prediceted THAT when doing our first-to-go predictions back in olden times. I also reminded her that we all decided that Rob (of gingerness) would be a bridesmaid at each of our nuptials, and wear a peach bridesmaids dress (hopefully with pouffy sleeves). Will be calling Rob soon to remind him. Hee.
Anyway, I decided to dedicate this Mandala to them (Viv and Andy), and to celebration, love and partnership.
Back to the build. This time I decided to begin utilizing an SSOS (sophisticated sorting out system), as you can see here:
Impressive, you may say, although I think mum is glad to finally have more space in the fridge again. Anyway, this looks nice and organized, exept it still took me about half an hour of SAO, (sit and order) with accompanying ridiculous half-conscious time-related panic. So not so much an SSOS as a… well… ***insert comedy acronym here***.
Congratulations Viv and Andy, may you be enriched by life together, and have lots of babies, so we can all play.
June 28th, 2009 Comments
On Saturday (yesterday), I noticed this rosebush over the streetsign (soup street, for those without a dragon’s tongue), and how could I resist? Actually, when I arrived with camera today, I was a bit disappointed, because one of the things that drew me was the bright rose petals scattered under the sign, framing it nicely, and I had in mind the idea of documenting petals before I picked them up, because they often look better there than anything I can do. Anyway, 24 hours later, and the balmy Welsh environs has shrivelled them. So you’ll just have to imagine. But the name though!
So after a movement packed day, I was glad to be given the opportunity to not have to make yesterday’s Hamlet-esque decision again, as we were making mandalas with our movement in the afternoon. Well, not pretty picture mandalas, but working with our relationship to objects, their affect on us, moving with them, placing them in the space, and leaving them. By the end I was tired, and decided to drum and watch the others, but I did manage to hoist myself up, and arrange the following, with Mala:
Tiny, but perfectly formed. Not that I actually believe in perfect or anything.
I think I speak for everyone there when I say how great it was to watch the wholly fabulous Anna make her artwork/interaction/mandala. She is a small one (not sure how old). Actually, as much as I loved watching her, I found myself experiencing alarm feelings as she ripped apart big shiny green leaves to make the (completely essential) pile-of leaf-part of the piece. More ridiculousness. Anyway, go Anna!
June 27th, 2009 Comments
Sitting on my doorstep exhausted (but happy) after a full day’s movement (Saturday), contemplating whether I could summon up any energy to go and make something with the pile of petals I had already collected last night after the rains (learnt that it’s a good time to collect straight after a downpour, lots of petals dislodged), or whether I should go and flop down in front of a hot TV. Decided to make, but not move. Furry leaves, geranium petal, snail shell, dried thingy, crumpled leaf. Strangely satisfying, especially in the context of the greater mandala of the terrace tiles:
which are perfect.
June 26th, 2009 Comments
I didn’t have much time (that old thing) to make this, and I had an appointment with a movement class that evening, so just before I went I made this with ingredients that were just lying around, namely, sticks and apples.
In these movement classes (with Mala Sikka and Terry Hagan), we work with no movement rules, with the intention to contact yourself, your body, the present, your environment, others, and, usually, what stories you are currently telling.
One way you could do this movement work is with a focus on direction. So here is an uncommon compass, with no emphasis on the normal points. And apples.
Aren’t spherical things so satisfying?
June 25th, 2009 Comments
For me, this one has a nice completeness. I wasn’t sure it was going well (whatever that is), for a while, but at the end, well yes!
When I collected all the flowers and petals I could find in the garden yesterday, I was half-consciously worrying that I had used them all up and there wouldn’t be any today or for a while (a half-conscious while). Today, having collected so much from the garden, I realised my ridiculousness, and the truth that resources are abundant, especially earth resources. I don’t know, fearing that your food is going to run out is kind of understandable (hmmm…), but fearing the flowers are… That’s what comes from having parents who grew up with rationing (love you!), and I suppose, our caveman genetics must play a part too.
Anyway, I then had to deal with this lot:
and sort it all out into piles before staring to assemble, because I don’t yet have a sophisticated sorting out system (or SSOS) while I’m ingredient hunting (with my spear and loincloth). I can half imagine some sort of case with lots of different sized compartments, but then this idea is a bit silly too – don’t want to carry this around when scrabbling under the hedgerows. At present I don’t have any sorting out system, other that sit and order (SAO), and gently pick apart geranium petals from one another. I love the collecting part, and generally I love sorting, but at this stage in the day, I start to (half-consciously) panic ever so slightly that I might run out of time in which to make my art/mandala. Good god, we’re running out of that here too. Fetch the spiky sticks, we’re off to hunt some more. Or maybe it’s a case of getting some more black market bananas.
As if all that wasn’t bad enough, I then had to deal with this:
Cosmo dashing in and out of the mandala repeatedly. At this point I had given up trying to stop her. Actually, I quite like the idea of my work being destroyed the moment it’s finished. Ok, if it’s made from flowers on the lawn I don’t mind. If it was a gold and diamond skull.. but actually, that would be pretty cool too.
Finally, although it’s a crap photo, I wanted to share another of my favourite colour combinations: violet, blue and yellow. Those geranium petals are iridescant and amazing.
June 23rd, 2009 Comments
For this piece I collected only flowers from the garden, and only ones dropped on the ground. I collected as much as I could find (or so I thought). I started quite late in the day so the sun was creeping along the ground quickly. Staring at the beautiful colours in the sun at this time of day gave me a warm happy feeling. I’m glad I can be pleased as easily as by laying out a line of pink snapdragons.
Orange and pink; one of my favourite combinations. But not to wear. Got pale skin.
By the time I had finished, the sun had moved right past it. The colours don’t look as good here as they did in real life, but maybe you can imagine it… My idea in doing this was to make something a little less formal, not neccesarily symmetrical, and just to lay items down without thinking too much about their placement, and without any planning.
I used: magenta, pink, white, and orange and pink snapdragons, pink poppy petals, jasmine, tiny white petals (?), purple hardy geranium petals, red poppy petals, crabapples, pink rose petals, seed pod.
Edit: writing this a few weeks later having done more flower pieces. Just noticed, looking at this picture, how, of all the colours, I find red the hardest to place, as if it’s impact will be larger than the others, and will have an effect, possibly detrimental on the other colours near it. Hmmm…
June 22nd, 2009 Comments
t still felt like the solstice today, so I was glad to make something more sun like. Again, I went for a long walk in the park, and collected a lot more than yesterday, having discovered just what a handful of leaves can do, or rather, how little. There is a lot of autumnal stuff out there. I didn’t realise sycamore seed pods dropped so early. I didn’t intend on making a phoenix nest, but this is what the mandala expressed to me.
When I laid down the ingredients, of course I needed an inspection, just to make sure everything was in order. I used old grass clippings, dead bay leaves, yellow leaves – some ivy, sycamore seeds large and small, crow, magpie and down feathers. In this picture you can see some of the ingredients I didn’t use.
Time to rest in the sun.
June 21st, 2009 Comments
I had a crisis today. It culminated in me feeling awful at not having marked the summer solstice in any way. So at 8pm decided to go out and make a mandala. First I walked in the park and down to the beach, collected whatever I could find that I liked the look of, then went back to the garden, and found a place under the apple trees to make it. I chose to do it under the apple trees, because they provided a nice protective atmosphere to my seedling creation, and because apples are a symbol of love. These photos are not very good, as it was dark, so I had to use a flash. But doing it is what matters! Here are the ingredients for the Mandala. Yellow leaves from the park, rose petals, fuschia, feathers, stones, twigs, dried seaweed, pink flowers (?), dandylion head, ice cream cone, and sticks from the beach and nearby, baby windfalls from the garden. You can see how the light has changed from this photo to the later ones. I had hoped that my cats would join me, and they did. They raced around me, and tried to race right through the emerging picture, so I had to thrust my hands up to stop them. Then Arti came along and ate part of the mandala. The ice cream cone bit. Couldn’t get a picture quick enough. Here are some ideas I had about it while I was making it: Sticks for compass directions; yellow leaves for the sun; apples, love; pink flowers, especially rose petals, heart; brown ivy, north/earth; feathers, east/air; beach pebbles and seaweed, south/water; red and black rock, and eaten ice cream cone, west/fire; dandylion head, sun.
One ritual I once did at the summer solstice was to light a fire, symbolically transferring the sun’s energy at it’s peak, to light the colder, darker months. Not that we really need it like we did when we all lived in caves or up the trees.
So there you have it, and with that mandala, I made a decision to make one every day for… a while… document them, and make a blog.