You ever enter into a space, where the air changes… just a little? The word sanctuary comes to mind, or grove, or sacred space. There was an old chapel in the methodist church I went to when I was young that had that vibe. Well.. each space has it’s own vibe, it’s own character. I’ve felt something like it when I was at Stonehenge years ago, and in spaces created by artists in museums. I’ve felt it in wild places not consecrated by religion or art or time. Some spaces, some moments are just… special, even if briefly. I don’t think belief is important… what only matters is you are willing to pay attention to what’s outside your own personal noise. To metaphorically look up and recognize the world is more than you.
A few nights ago the scene is set before me, again. The festivals I go to, the spaces I seek out… especially in places like where I was, I think are very special. Modern culture wants to chop up and tell you on the inside of what is right and wrong in you. To hide parts of your self so that other parts of yourself are considered sanitized, ok for the public. This space instead is a crucible, like the nightclubs in my 20’s were. People can come here to dance, even if they can’t dance, or play an instrument, even if they’ve never tried before. You can take part or you can witness… talk to strangers or just close your eyes and let the drumming take you.
I can share a video… but honestly it’s a space you just have to be in to grok.
So anyway, I’m hanging back just watching people take their own personal risk to dare to express themselves, something I always generally encourage. I’ll tell ya, what I really like is this space allows for people to take the risk of self expression without taking away the voice of others. You don’t have to compete, you just are given the space to do your thing. Believe it or not, nobody will judge you, because we’ve all been there. That shy person wanting to take part in something bigger than us but wondering if we are brave enough.
What I was thinking about then is where I want to take my work as a fine artist, a question I’ve been struggling with all summer. It’s a question honestly that won’t find an answer until I’ve already done it. My theme at this camp was ‘be more flexible’. My body has been stiff, and I’ve been having the same issue with the work. Technical but nothing to say beyond that, which I don’t like. Departure from being technical is why I moved away from trying to be photo-realistic in the first place.
Sometimes I think my relationship with art is like a trust-fall. Stop planning and just let go, and trust it’ll catch you before you hit the ground. The space where I’m at, I want to fall, just don’t know the direction yet. Not sure what I’m waiting for, but the other day I was thinking what would happen if I let myself be loud. I like to listen, you see. I’m always curious what people will do, so I am quiet and I watch people… and I also don’t have the kind of ego that demands attention. I know what I’m doing and that’s enough. Maybe though I should be louder though, put myself out there more.
You see, we all take part in the dance, whether it be around some hippy drum circle bonfire thing or in our own lives. We decide what role we play. To hang back at times or dance around the hot fire expressing our true selves, and by example encouraging others to try also. Or… somewhere in between, we all need support and it’s good to play a supporting role for others from time to time.
Thinking about myth and fey things, wondering how to challenge hate and anger with somehow leading folks to discover what is sacred. I would describe myself as a practical person, but there’s something to be said for believing in a little bit of magic. It’s good to remember there are times we can still be in awe, that there’s more to the world than ourselves and our petty bickering.
Anyway good people of earth. Have a good week. I’m going to get back to my sketches and work on my online stores for the next few days. If you’re feeling blocked creatively, the video below may be useful.