Thursday, June 23, 2011
I adore the reminders the universe throws in my face when I am too blind to see. This past weekend was such a pie in the face.
Attending the Boardwalk Art Show is an annual joy. We were in dire need of a small jaunt so we trekked our way to the beach. We found an artist whose work we lamented not getting last year. Robert Kastrinos (myspace.com/rkastrinos http://www.spiritualknowledgeinstitute.org/RobertKastrinos/index.htm) is a potter and sculptor whose pleasure emanates through his work. His oil lamp heads are infused with personality and the joy in each creation story is a work of art itself. Have a conversation with him and you come away seeing life in a slightly different angle. It’s lovely.
We traveled down the booths and found Hussein Saidi (http://www.ujamaart.com/). Hussein is an artist who I met at Stockley Gardens about 6 years ago. His mixed media work on plywood drew me in and I took a journey through the fields of his piece. I passed the fire, walked over the bridge and voyaged through the trees finding such peace all the while standing still in the middle of Norfolk. (Oak Tree Market - 2006)
We talked about the beauty in the grain of wood and I recall going back to work at Home Depot and staring at the pieces of plywood and seeing many paths. I saw his work develop over the years to incorporate urban scenes and dancing in the rain but always there was the presence of serenity. I was so happy to see an old friend and loved catching up with our lives with this thread of art being the tie.
Unbeknownst to Hussein, I just emerged from a dark depression. Seeing his friendship made my cheeks hurt from smiling. His words of encouragement and friendship were the balm I needed to continue my desire to create. I am lucky to have a great support system that encourage me every day but sometimes the darkness takes away that message. To see a comrade with great energy took me out of my head to see the simplistic beauty of art. I proudly hang his piece in my house as a reminder of the universe’s message and what flows in the desire for creation in spite of it all.
I am so thankful that the universe put in place so many years ago a kindred spirit. It also reminds me of the many kindred spirits that have crossed my path over the years.
I am a lucky gal.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
"In Her Honour"
A nondescript end table has emerged with the strength of Frida. Eventually I will leave her strength aside but for now I am loving her presence in my work. Mexican art is so lovely and the colors so vibrant...
The influence this one woman brings to this corner of the world ripples through to reach globally. Without ego, with an immensely open heart, she teaches her classes and opens eyes to incredible worlds. It is subtle, most times, the effect she has but long after sitting in one of her classes does the affect continue to flourish within the student.
In her class Chick Flicks, the world of movies is opened up in a way that one never sees a movie the same way again. Names that roll through credits are now paid attention to, the threads of the movie machine are recognized, and the history of movies has a spotlight shining down on it. It is this new world that these trees were created.
Names of people have always run through my mind, regardless of not knowing anything about them. I recall seeing pictures of Josephine Baker and knew she had quite an influence but on what I had no idea. Her name kept popping in my head and with glee I began research.
Now I am in awe.
Her place in life was boundless. Her beginnings were full of reasons not to become anything. Yet within these meager beginnings, she emerged to rule dance halls, rule Harlem Renaissance, to cross countries and influence a Europe that was beginning its rule in Art Deco. She was in the midst of Folies Bergeres.
That wasn't the only side of this amazing woman.
Josephine Baker stood in her beliefs to aid in going against the Nazis. Her success as a performer aided the war effort; so much so that her adopted country of France bestowed many awards on her and full French military honors at her funeral.
Her sexuality wasn't within bounds, either. She lived fully and without apologies, rising while the world around her were exposed to something they had never seen before. She performed with zest, lived life on her terms and her influence remains without bounds.
Marlene is another woman who lived life on her own terms. The movie machine of the early 20th century is known for ruling every aspect of the life of one of their contract players, but Marlene made her movies and became a glamourous movie star in her way. Her legacy remains as a person who embraced both male and female sides of her personality and didn't apologise for it.
Marlene Dietrich also supported the anti-Nazi war effort and was recognized from both the United States and France. In doing so, she received alot of backlash from her home of Germany.
Her daughter's book lovingly sits on my bookshelf and I adore delving back into the many facets of her life. She died in Paris, a month before I graduated high school. How I wish now that I paid more attention back then to the women who would have such an influence.
When I started these trees, I never knew the many coincidences between these two women. Until I began writing did I see how similar they lived their lives. Their affect on me came from completely different corners but now I see the common thread that invisibly drew me to them.
Isn't it interesting what life brings to you and only unveils itself when you sit down to look?
Pausing in this hectic life to see the path that brought these trees to life, to see the immense influence Professor Vaughan Frederick still has on my daily life, and to witness the result of the richness that surrounds each and every one of us is awesome.
And I wish each and every person that they have a Vaughan in their life.
This flyer was created by Brenda (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScarletCircus) for my art show to fund my studies in San Francisco. Her amazing talent in graphic design aided many non-profit works as we tried to create a LGBTQ community center in Virginia.
Gathering a bunch of artists, many who haven't shown before, but had amazing talent was awesome and inspirational. The collective energy was stellar....especially since I've never put on a show before.
Once I came back from San Francisco and faced my last year in my undergrad, this experience and the many inspirations experienced in San Francisco marinated until I graduated in May, 2010.