Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Living vicariously

For those of you snow lovers who wish to live vicariously, this is the view from my balcony a week ago. Jack even decided to be brave and check it out. As you can see, he got about as far I would before he decided he'd had enough. Most of it is gone now, we had a couple warm days, though we should be getting some in fresh tomorrow. The Pictures below are from a week earlier.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

This is How She Feels- a series of small shrines

Damned by Psyche's Wisdom
17cm x 16cm x 18cm, 2006
kozo, cat hair, crow feathers, ceramic incense holder

"..damned by Psyche's wisdom..." is a line from a poem of mine. This piece is about a personal search for wisdom. The cat hair represents peace, comfort and home, the feathers, freedom, all contained in an egg shaped ball.

The War Queen
16cm x 15 1/2cm x 17cm, 2006
kozo, madder, teeth, wool, holly leaf skeletons, gold wire, pottery

'The War Queen' is the title of a poem cycle I have been writing. The edge of the ball is tinged red, and a red handprint is on the back, an image of blood on one's hands. The teeth signify an all-consuming hunger, and the prickly holly leaf skeletons inside are pain and ruin. This piece is about the sometimes painful and bloody cost of wisdom and doing what one thinks is right.

When Sophia Wakes
23cm x 20cm x 11cm, 2006
kozo, silk, shells, gold wire, pearl beads, water-eroded coin, indigo, pottery

'When Sophia Wakes' is a line from a poem of mine about the waking of wisdom. The various elements signify the ocean, salt water, tears, and the forms of wisdom and how we pay for them.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Miniature Coptic Tapestry

Miniature Coptic Tapestry
2 1/2" x 1 1/2", 2006
wool, linen, metal wire, indigo, madder
Based on a fragment of 2nd-3rd century CE Coptic tapestry from Antinoé.

Warp was linen embroidery floss. All weft threads are wool mill ends. Blue, and dark blue-grey threads are dyed with indigo (on white and natural grey wool). Salmon threads are dyed in madder afterbath. Purple and dark green threads are commercially dyed.

My loom was juri-rigged from an embroidery scroll frame (on a stand), a couple pegs from my spool rack, and a pair of shoelaces.

Work was woven with cut lengths of thread, on a blunt needle, which was also used to beat down the weft.

Weft ends were sewn in after the tapestry was finished.
The rod from which it hangs is made of twisted gold-coloured wire.

This piece was shown in the group show "Small Talk" at the Ontario College of Art and Design Student Gallery Oct 11-Nov. 4, 2006.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dona Nobis Pacem

I believe we all have a purpose for our existence, that that purpose is unknown, often even to ourselves, but that each person’s purpose is has its place in the wider picture, and therefore that we all owe each other a certain basic respect.

I believe that a person who is given no respect will not feel a need to treat others with respect, so we should give a certain level of respect to even those one might argue have forfeited it, if only to encourage them to improve their behaviour.

I believe that if we wish to survive as a species, we owe it to each other to care about each other and to encourage each other to be better than we already are.

I believe ignorance may be bliss, (though I doubt it) but a person who refuses to learn and to think for themselves cannot understand what they are doing and why. If they do not understand, they cannot correct themselves when they go wrong, and they cannot hope to go beyond the mere obedient repetition of what they were told to do.

I believe that sometimes someone does something so heinous that it necessary to stand up to them, to stop them, but that retaliation is a hammer used to kill a housefly, violence aimed at another is the quickest road to ruin for ourselves, and that bombs don’t solve ANYTHING.

I believe anger, fear, and hatred of another tend to allow the one who causes those emotions in us to have power over us. By refusing to hold on to anger or hatred, refusing to let fear stop us, we take that power back to ourselves. We become hard to intimidate, difficult to exert control over, and almost impossible to tempt or force into doing something we think is wrong.

I believe that one way or another, in the end we will all be held accountable for our actions.

I believe that many people think war is an acceptable answer in certain circumstances, and that they have many valid reasons for believing this, even though I disagree with their conclusions.

But I also believe that Peace is not a luxury. It is a necessity. We will not survive without it.

Oh, and I also believe you should go out and adopt a homeless kitty. It will make you a happier person.

Ok, or maybe a dog, or a ferret, or even a turtle.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Axis Mundi

"Axis Mundi"
Pile rug technique
96cm x 51cm
Linen, wool, bamboo, bone

“ In many cases the center is conceived as an axis (axis mundi) extending vertically to the pole star and downward to some pivotal point in the abyss. Iconographically, it may be represented as a mountain, a stairway or ladder, a pole or very commonly a tree…” Joseph Campbell, The Mythic Image p. 190.

Axis Mundi is a work of personal mythology. While the concept of a tree as the pivotal point around which the universe turns is common among many cultures, like most archetypes, what one sees in it depends upon the person who is doing the looking. For me, it is the oak that stands steadfast and strong, the hazel from which the seeds of inspiration fall, the ash that forms the World Tree on which Odin hung to gain the wisdom of the runes.

Above and below, the roots and branches tangle, many paths to the Celestial realms and to the Underworld, which cross and re-cross each other, too convoluted to follow clearly along their entire length. In the middle is a hazy, indistinct tree, dream-like and perhaps ominous, but just as possibly calming. It is a place of mystery and refuge, a doorway to other worlds.

This piece was shown in the Capilano College Grad Student Art Show at the Seymour Art Gallery in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, BC, May 9-June 4, 2006.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bright Face of the Moon

"Bright Face of the Moon"
10 cm x 9 1/2 cm
wool, linen, metallic thread

My eyes
fragment reflections of the sea
on the white pebble you tossed
into the waves

aside, as casually as shrugging
as a matter of small import
I have never seen
such blank eyes
that do not remember my face
as more than fragment reflections

I am no less than the bright face of the moon
you would obscure with your dead branches

Brenda Gerritsma, 1995