Paul Simon has a way with songs; even as you slide easily through the melody, his words can make you pause and think. As they do in this song, And it is only fitting.
After all, Magritte had a way with an image. He too can make you pause and think. He can surprise you, make you look twice, shock you, make you think; even make you chuckle. All you have to do is look closely.
There is nothing new in art. Artists take techniques from the past, from other places, from other occupations, and use them in their own way. It’s not the techniques or the tools that matter; it’s the artist’s ability to use them to create work that is unique, individual and relevant.
Recycled art is the art of creating something new from previously used bits and pieces. It is all about finding new ways to use what would otherwise be thrown away, and creating something that intrigues and touches others.
The recycled kinetic art of Andrew Smith is one great example of this, and I found it thanks to GreenMuze.
Read the original article by clicking on Recycled Kinetic Art.
M. Mair, Before the Rebirth, Acrylic painting on canvas, Original art.
MoMA Features Pivotal Moments in Henri Matisse’s Radical Invention | Art Knowledge News.
This article in Art Knowledge News on Matisse and the way he ‘re-invented’ himself got me thinking about the idea of reinvention. Particularly as I was in the process of reinventing this blog at the time.
I think there is more than one kind of reinvention. Sometimes, it seems to me, an outward change reflects a real and deep change in who we understand ourselves to be. But at other times what looks like reinvention to others may be something different to us: a movement closer to being who we really are rather than a change in ourselves. Not so much re-invention as re-presentation.
Children, less certain of who they are, enjoy a different kind of re-invention. Children love to spend time pretending to be other people or other creatures. It gives them a way to explore what it might feel like to be someone or something else.
As adults re-invention becomes something more thoughtful and less playful. We have to have good reasons to re-invent ourselves, publicly or privately.
There are times when a strong sense of self is the reason for changing, rather than a reason for staying the same. These are the times when knowing who we are gives us a strong basis from which to act, on which to build, from which to continue to learn.
Reinvention becomes something we do as we grow; a way of presenting not so much a new person as a new persona to the world. We reinvent the self we show to others, rather than the self we know we are.
You could sum it up this way:
- As we learn we grow;
- as we grow we change in subtle ways;
- as we change, we change what we show the world;
- and then the world sees us as a new person, a reinvention of the person they think we are.
The other day, driving through Halifax to work on the boat, we noticed that boards were being erected over the windows of a real estate office on North Street – an odd thing, we thought. Then we learned why – faced with consistent problems with tagging and broken windows, the real estate broker had decided to do something different. He was covering his windows and had hired two street artists to fill the surfaces he was putting up with their work.
Over the next few weekends we saw the artists at work – first one, then the other. Here’s their completed artwork – it certainly brightens up the area. Now we’ll see how much the taggers respect their work.
The first piece of art that was completed.
Here is another view.
The second piece was more difficult to take pictures of, since there were no good, uncluttered sight lines. Here it is from an angle:
As you see it approaching from downtown...
Other pieces of art in passing:
The Mi’kmaq canoe by Lake Banook, the Dartmouth lake on which there is a world class paddling course. I love the canoe for its simplicity, its elegance and the intentions behind its creation. The words written on its rims say it all: A gift from the earth to the Mi’kmaq – and from the Mi’kmaq to the world.
The Lake Banook canoe, looking from the pavement.
The bow of the canoe.
The totem pole on the island on Sullivan’s Pond, just down the way from Lake Banook. It was carved by the Kwakiutl of the West Coast and presented to Dartmouth by the government of British Columbia during the Canada Summer Games held in August 1969.
The totem pole given as a gift from west coast to east.
Hope you enjoy seeing them too!
This gallery contains 1 photos.
Difficult things may be more easily read. The words on the page create a space between the reader and the writer that helps make ugliness or sadness if not more tolerable then easier to turn away from. But images can linger in the mind, and call the person seeing them back to look again even when the looking is uncomfortable. Continue reading
When I started to work on developing my blog, I thought about all the things that interest me. There are far too many. So I whittled them down to the things that I thought were the most important, the things I felt most passionate about. One of the those is the way people combine their imaginations with the tools they have around them to create unique art and objects. Then they find a way to sell those creations, and use the money earned to support themselves and their communities.
Sometimes they are taken advantage of; but other times their efforts spur others into helping them. I remember meeting the owner of a gallery in Bermuda who worked with some of the Shona master carvers from Zimbabwe. In his words and his eyes you could feel and see how much he loved the sculpture they created and how much he cared for and respected the artists he worked with.
He cared enough to make sure they were well paid, had what they needed to do their work and to help them find commissions. He was the kind of person I had in mind when I created my Arts For Life page. There I wanted to list the kinds of people or groups whose purpose was to make strong and useful links between art and artists in communities that need support and people who want to support them. The page has languished, but the interest remains strong.
As in life, so in art – supporting those who produce by making sure they are paid fairly helps to create and sustain strong communities. And the best part about it is, you can create a little bit of beauty in someone else’s life while buying something beautiful to cheer your own. I hope you will.
And if you know of other groups that I should include on this page, please let me know!
Sometimes there just isn’t room enough for everything I love in my life. The music I am listening to is distracting, the book I am enjoying reading demands my time, the painting waiting to be finished calls and calls, I want time to see how things are with friends and family. So I scatter myself here and there and end up feeling unsatisfied. Some things are accomplished, but it never feels like enough.
Finally I turn off the radio, take my fingers off the keyboard, put the top of the laptop down and watch the leaves on the trees blowing in the wind gusting past my window. Such simple things to do. Why don’t I do them more often? I know that sometimes I need to make space for silence, for contemplation, for the pause that will bring me back to who I am and what I want to do.
It seems that somewhere along the way we have learned that we should be constantly active, always doing. Contemplation and quiet are ‘down time’. And the only value of ‘down time’ is that it is a bridge to the next ‘up time’.
I have decided that I prefer to think of the quiet times as an inhalation, a time for taking things in. Like breathing, those quiet times are necessary for a healthy life. After a deep breath we feel better, more focused, more relaxed. Like watching the tide ebb, it gives us a chance to see what lies underneath the surface.
Perhaps we need to ebb before we can flow.
Between Earth and Sky
Is the creative person more fragile, more lonely, more likely to risk all and fail? And if so, is that something which creative people must live with, a risk that goes with the territory? Why?
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, has her own thoughts about this. In this TED video she talks about the creative life with humour, insight and humility – and invites us to think about creativity in a way that allows us to enjoy the gifts it brings without being paralyzed by the fear of failing.
Here she is: