Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quickening - the Artist's Statement

n. when an expectant mother first senses the life within; to give life to, make faster, stir up

"Quickening" is the title I am giving to my first solo show featuring my "more mystical" and personal artworks. Here is a collection of journal entries from the past seven months that have helped to guide me to this point in the process...

*** There is a crazy feeling in me, a desperation, an energy unpronounced, a need so powerful and urgent that I find it impossible to rest easy and find peaceful contentment. There’s a deep inner yearning unmet. It’s so deep that no accessible pleasures have soothed it. It’s much like the writhing desperation of childbirth—something is wanting to get born! A very strong energy is powering me now, and I feel I have lost my bearings a bit, like I’m delving into a place wild and unfamiliar to me. I feel cut loose from the shore and, bobbing wildly through the rapids roiling and churning, I’m reaching for anyone or anything to hold on to, to bring me back to a “safer,” more comfortable place and ground me again. But no—this great force pushes and tumbles me into a disoriented state, a “rush,” a solitary immersion though many are physically near. I’m thinking I need to end this thirsty longing and make something! Laboring is required for something to be birthed. I am called to do this work, to bring spirit into the world of form. Work is laboring to be freed.

***The thing that starts to bother is the fact that I have so many ideas to birth, and then I find so many ways to sabotage the time to do the work! Then I get cranky when I don’t get this stuff out! I must learn to “say no to drugs” - the drugs of sabotage and distracting media...

***There are so many strong and meaningful images to draw on, and they are coming in like a flood - my life’s hardships and revelations finally finding expression, my soul finally finding a voice! I am thrilled to be experiencing this quickening. I am more deeply recognizing the value of what I am, what I have to share. Those that believe in me have waited for me to believe in myself as a creator and finally value the work. I can now say that I know the feeling, “I could not live if I couldn’t make art.”

***I am once again in the throes of creative joy! I am on a journey of discovery, and I enjoy and rejoice in the unfolding of the story, the unfolding of me.
It’s been a stellar week as a result of inner freedom playing out … fears dissolving and a glow of trust and joy resulting! We never get quite over things, we live with it all sort of attached to us, affecting us, yet we endure as we let love affect us even more deeply! So much opening up and trusting Love is involved in healing, in freedom to be oneself.

***God incarnate — that we may know God as love. What an idea! How does one express it? My answer might be: to open up, and let God do what must be done through your own hands, your mouth, your heart, and in all that is done, union with love will be seen, be manifest. To believe and trust this union, to believe that I can live without doubt and fear but in confidence in this love is a powerful thing. Just as disciples performed miracles, showing God’s power in the name of love, expressing and praising God in all that they did, the spirit lives and moves in this being, and manifests as it chooses ( Today as mother, friend, lover, artist, servant, volunteer and beautiful being. It’s all good, love; it’s all good.) These ways of expression, these forms through which love imbues this life will change, as our bodies will change, But I trust the light of God in these expressions will ever exist to inspire, to spark the spirit in others, to proclaim the truth of our inseparable union with God/Love. Makes me want to make something! Let the spirit pour forth into form! I am so into immersing myself in life — the sensual, spiritual, centering play that results from inner strength, connectedness, motivation and care. I show up at the page, open to the spirit’s work, open to the possibilities, open to the worship of the Creator of All, and await the revelations and unfolding in this great spirit language called art. Let’s see how it is revealed this day!

***In glass artist Dale Chihuly’s video “Short Cuts,” Chihuly says something to this effect: many glass makers haven’t explored the off-center, liquid properties of glass because every part of the process then requires a decision…
It seems he’s speaking of religious (formal) vs. mystical art. "Religious" does not refer to subject matter, but it is art that follows a system of technique, traditional method, imitation of what is known and accepted, and then manufactured or replicated. The mystical and meaningful art requires play and exploration and decision made at every step, and is much more trial and error, and process oriented. The design idea is there, but the outcome unknown. The result is unexpected and awesome and beautiful in its essence, by definition a result of the dialogue between “one who seeks God by self-surrender or find the hidden meaning—dark, dim, undefined, unexplained, indistinct, obscured, secret mystical meaning in the process.”
Even though the mystical process of creating seems to be much more undefined, unsure and whimsical, there are the required “decisions” to be made in the process. Decisions seem like points of will, points of control. Are we humans given this portion of the process, and if so, why? Webster says a decision is “a settlement, determination, resolution, given judgment certainly and undoubtedly…” We seem to possess the willingness (or willfulness) part to play in this divine union! The receptivity and determination, intercoursed with understanding and active energy creates a wholeness of expression.
I am intrigued by the creativity, the seemingly divine or at least mystical aspects of the process, and the resulting beauty of form that can inspire more creative process! Over-analysis can lead to paralysis, so I realize that I don’t really need to know how the mystical secret and divine works, but believe in it, for I have glimpsed God in such process!

***Now that I have left off playing in the studio for a bit of rest, it calls to me, like an invitation whispered by a lover...

In the words of poet Rainer Maria Rilke:
“Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given to us, a knowing of the world, the fullness and the glory of all knowing. Most people misuse and squander this experience and apply it as a stimulant at the tired spots of their lives, and as distraction instead of a rallying toward exalted moments… that man might be more reverent toward his fruitfulness, which is but ONE. “The thought of being creator, of procreating, of making” is nothing without its continuous great confirmation and realization in the world, nothing without the thousand fold concordance from things and animals — and enjoyment of it is so indescribably beautiful and rich.

"Perhaps over all there is a great motherhood as common longing. The beauty of the virgin, a being that “has not yet achieved anything,” is motherhood that begins to sense itself and to prepare , anxious and yearning. And the mother’s beauty is in ministering motherhood; and in the old woman, there is a great remembering. Man’s procreating is a kind of giving birth, and giving birth it is when he creates out of inmost fullness… the great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in this… that freed of all false feelings and reluctances, we will seek each other as brother and sister, as neighbors, as beings."

“Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as well as in creating. Being an artist means not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force it’s sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, unafraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast.”

“The artist’s experience lies so unbelievably close to the sexual, to its pain and its pleasure, that the two phenomena are really just different forms of one and the same longing and bliss. One’s art would be great and infinitely important, if one’s poetic power is great and as strong as a primal instinct; it has its own relentless rhythms in itself and explodes like a volcano.”


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