Sunday, 20 September 2015

A bit of a metaphor!

Greetings from La Fragua artists residency  @ Balalcar Monastery, near Cordoba, Spain. 2015.

outside the main studio

I've been here 6 weeks now, just two weeks left.
Artists come and go.  The average stay is two months.  It's sad sometimes to say goodbye, but our new arrivals are always interesting. Nanao is from Japan.  Gio from Brazil.

Here's what happened on Sunday !

Gio from Brazil.

Yesterday, 3 of the new artists came with me to find a huge lake (the Embalse de La Serena) across the border in the province of Extramadura.

They have bikes to cycle to the studio from their house in the village. I'm the only artist living in the convent, the only one with a car.

So, we would have a picnic and they could swim, that was the idea, my idea actually. Fabulous they said in Portugese, German,  Italian and Japanese. We left at 3pm.

Soon, we got extremely lost. The road was straight and empty and beautiful for almost 30kms.

Finally we found out where we were, thanks to the Italian artist's GPS. How could you get lost on a straight road ? Because we were driving west, not east !! The lake (with little beach and café) was stunning. The colour of the water incredible. Almost pure ultramarine.The girls had a swim and some beers.
I had a not too hot coffee and felt something close to blissed out !
In these situations, the poet in my soul comes fully alive!

for some strange reason I didn't want to take a pic of the lake...

Coming home we met a large sheep who had found a way out of her field. She was strong and robust but clueless as to what to do next. I just kept thinking the whole expedition was a bit of a metaphor !!

and finally back 'home' to Belalcazar

PS.  Two summers later, July 2nd 2017,  here I am at the blue ‘hideaway’ near Comares in Spain.

It's  not an artist’s retreat, but there are artists living nearby.  This morning I met one, and his wife  and  shared the story of Nanao, the young Japanese artist whose work ( two years ago)  touched my heart.
Nanos art  tells  stories with clay. Her drawings are unique, and also tell stories with delicate line and thoughtful colour.

Three years ago while taking part in a  ceramic artists residency in Columbia , Nanao ‘story searched’ the old and wise in the village, as she always does, to find a special  tale.   From it came her piece of art.

The Columbian grandfather, sitting outside his primitive house hours from any city,  told her:

'Long ago there was a tailor in this  village who was the best in the land.  He was famous for his exquisite stitching,  his beautiful  cuts, and people came from far and wide to have their clothes made by him. 

One dark night a jealousy tailor from another village stole into the masters house and cut off all his fingers.

The fingers were so shocked they ran away to a faraway land. The master tailor was unable to sow for 20 years. 
One day, when the cherry blossom was in full blown, the fingers sneaked back and attached themselves to old man hands.'

I can’t remember the final line to this story, but Nanao made her ceramic piece out of clay which she dug  from the land in the self-same Columbian  village. 

The  piece was  called The Ten Runaway Fingers, and that’s exactly what is was.  Ten fat brown cut off fingers. Nothing more.  Nothing less.


Love sees sharply, hatred sees even more sharply, but Jealousy sees the sharpest for it is love and hate at the same time.

Arab Proverb.

Love this.


First Sunday at the blue hideaway... organic market, swiming, ripe sweet cherries... sunshine...what metaphors,  teachings, people, stories and paintings will appear in the next  8 weeks??