I attended art circle at Monika’s lovely home yesterday morning. It has been a long time since I last attended; sometime last year. It was so nice to re-meet the others and to meet Marita for the first time. Many of them are serious artists with their MA’s in Fine Art and continue to create on an ongoing basis. Monika herself is a most acclaimed and revered artist; she uses her dreams as her source of inspiration. She inspires us with her wise comments when works on display are criticized; others also comment and for me it always enlivening to come away from these meetings feeling and believing that I ‘saw’ more than I saw before in these works, or connected a bit better with others’ representations and I felt a little more in touch with my own inner processes. Valuable time indeed!All the works that were on display touched me on the level of psyche and it is this that I want to blog about today. The art works were representative of archetypal themes (The Great Mother inter a lia). > > > > > > Marita explained that she is attending an animation course and that she is a 60 yr old among 20-ish yr old students and the leader of the course is no more than 24 yrs old. > > > She photo-shopped a drawing that she did on a tablet (an unfamiliar term to a few of us). The painting she put up on the lectern showed a winged (wings of a bird) woman with claw like feet, and a lion. She said that some years ago she was at The British Museum and saw a Sumerian tablet that was about 5000 years old. It depicted the descent of Inanna into the underworld (or the Nether World) to meet her twin sister Ereshkigal down down down at the very bottom of this harrowing journey. Innana withdrew a piece of clothing at each gateway so that by the time she has descended to the ‘end’ (the 7th gate) she was naked, turned into a corpse and was hung upon a stake. She said that she knew that one day she would attempt to make her own art work about this as it spoke to her.This spoke to me too in that the symbolism is powerful and struck a chord in me – that descent into the underworld not knowing where it will lead. Innana contains all the opposites within her – vengeful and gener ous; love and rage; Sometimes one has to sacrifice one’s self in order to emerge from one’s own darkness. This myth is a great one – and is worthy of study. > > > > > > Marguerite’s painting of water based oils (I didn’t know there was such a something) on a large canvas, was fascinating. It showed feet descending from the top slightly towards the right hand side and touching a curve, which brought to my mind the feet of G.d touching the earth – heaven meeting the earth. For me it was very powerful. In the middle of the curvature were a pair of eyes – or so it seemed to me. Towards the bottom right hand side was the face of a woman with frog like eyes. Marguerite explained that in the Koi tradition frogs have a particular meaning and we discussed the symbolism of the frog. Many images came to my mind – eg the tadpole becoming a frog, like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, fertility. There was also a hand emerging from the bottom right hand side that touched the centre of the earth which I liked so much … making real contact. On the left hand taking up about a third of the painting was a nude woman with her hands on her hips. I liked th is painting so much as it showed for me feminine strength in amongst the light and dark shadows. > > > > > > Anita’s lovely composition of shells, twigs, forest, stone, dark and light paint and the outline of a woman with an arm raised it seemed to me in a hailing gesture illustrated the shadow tracking the shadow-a very powerful psychological concept. Her eyes werebarely discernible but they were there – watchful, perhaps apprehensive. We had a good discussion about this. It brought home to me the shadow that we each contain within us, with which we need to become familiar if we are to become more whole, in the knowing of our darkness. The shadow tracking the shadow I thought was extremely clever and insightful. > > > > > > Diana’s models of rhino horns – there were 4 of them made from different substances, and were life size. The destruction of the rhino is very close to her heart as has been evidenced in paintings of hers I have seen in the past. They have been vivid, disturbing large scale pieces. These rhino horn facsimiles seen yesterday were works of art, made as they were from iron, glass, wool – and I forget what the 4th one was made from. She also presented two oil canvases of beetroot – those vivid colours with stems apparent. If I think back on these 2 canvases, the blood of the beetroot is synonymous with the bleeding agony of the rhino. > > > > Lastly, I believe that Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ was recently on auction somewhere … I caught a quick glimpse of a clip on TV. But the curator at the art gallery said how this painting spoke to the existential crisis of man and for him personally, when the sky became blood red as he was walking along, he felt inexplicably tired and anguished. I will look this up in due course, but my seeing this on TV as I did just recently, seemed synchronous with my own experience at ‘art circle’. > > > > Thank you to all at art circle .. > > > > My damp newspaper is still in process … I do not know quite what I will fashion with it. I will bring it along next time.