Sunday, 23 February 2014

Free thoughts part 2 - Ancient skies and ancient stories - floods, bowing trees and new life

Dear Monty,

The ancient sky cleared tonight to reveal ancient stars, suns, planets held in the deep blue black. We look up at the past.
Ancient manuscripts written by Greek scribes who copied copies century after century the text changing subtly with each age.

Man is definitely not infallible !

Is the truth to be found in words ?

Perhaps truth is not unlocked by knowledge or scientific analysis but by the spirit.

Words which although copied - written and spoken and open to misinterpretation and misunderstanding contain potential like seeds if we have ears to hear them.

The gospels or good news writings vary in their accounts and may be distorted by time much like the light of distant stars  - reaching us countless ages after bursting into life, but even though they may not exist now, are nevertheless as real as each breath we take in this cold night air.

The bowing trees and flooded plains.

The storms rage - we rage but cannot see ourselves as we are.

I hide behind the shield of all this being someone else's responsibility.

I am connected to the storms, the storms come from within me, I am in the midst of them.

Is this the raging of nature - the response of a bruised planet ?

The heavens open and the fountains of the deep well up.

Floods are no myth.

I am glad that the earth still has a voice that can be louder than ours.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Free thoughts part 1 - Embarrassment.

Dear Monty,

I am acutely aware that this can be an embarrassing blog to read, mainly down to my naivety, and the understanding that any discussion about spiritual matters or matters relating to the soul can be nauseating to some. But I was heartened by the debate at the thinkingardens supper, and by Tristan Gregory's article and the responses to it, especially that by Charles Hawes, which you can read here :
Charles mentions the soul of a garden, and questions whether we can recognise such a thing in a garden.

It is a strange turnaround that discussing sex is no longer taboo but it seems that spirituality in particular seems to be relegated to the top shelf and is hidden in a brown paper bag.

Being spiritual and an artist and someone who is making a garden perhaps is even more ridiculous and perverted.

I want to be clear that being spiritual is not about being some kind of higher mortal who looks down on everyone else, neither is it about being artificially 'good'. It is about finding out the truth of who we are, and keeping hold of it through the commercial and sanitised world noise.

I believe that gardening and making gardens links us with the spiritual and the timeless despite being bounded by time.

Can a garden be art ? Yes - if the temporary nature of gardens as a form of expression excludes it, then so should it also exclude other art forms such as performance art or installations. I believe that work by land artists such as Andy Goldsworthy is testament to the temporary becoming an art form, especially the use of photography and writing to capture and explain the moment. Gardens like the temporary work of Goldsworthy reflect their own and our own sense of flux by accentuating change, season by season, and through additions and removals, through forms and the exposing and hiding of landscape/townscape beyond.

I have also been inspired by James Golden and Lucy Masters who have both written about the seasons and how important Winter is as a season of rest, we all need rest.

Anne Wareham has created a thinking space for us where we can think of gardens as a form of conceptual art, art about the growth of an idea, and our relationship with our space and the spaces beyond. Its development is all creativity and therefore art.


Friday, 7 February 2014

What I really meant to say.

Dear Monty,

I walked the coal tip above the house and garden. A fresh breeze blew off the distant sea funneling Spring air up the valley, the birds responded by singing territorial songs.
Even the coal tip looked dazzling after the rain, light bounced off foliage, coal and the cans and plastic bottles thrown carelessly by trial bikers - a complete contrast to my previous two days in the Metropolis.

Yesterday I sat in the V&A the morning after the supper organised by Lucy Masters and Anne Wareham, drinking tea with Sue whilst listening to a piano recital.

During the discussion there seemed to be two camps forming, one that extolled gardens and design, and those who favoured gardening and 'how to'. Although there seemed to be division, there was a common thread, a connection between the two - creativity. It seemed to me that if creativity is explored both in design and in horticulture, in gardening and making gardens then we may begin to get excited.

I got excited by seeing the beautiful sketches by Samuel Palmer, Stanley Spencer and William Blake in the V&A, also the prints and paintings in the Asian gallery.
What excited me was that you could see the artists enjoyment of the process of making through the free flowing marks they made. They were not afraid to make mistakes, because that is part of the process of creativity.

Discovery and learning was tangible in these works, they were the response by the artists to the things that stimulated them emotionally and visually. I believe this is the key, it links both the 'how to' and the 'art and design' camps. The divine spark is the excitement to be found in freedom of expression. It is always up to the individual how far they wish to develop this.

Another point made was that 'great' art and gardens were made at the behest of the rich, and that is undoubtedly true, and will probably remain so, but in truth, creativity belongs to us all.


(apologies for the poor photographs)