How a single dot on a page creates centres around it, which together represent the wholeness…
When I think of them as wholes, or entities, I focus on their boundedness, their separation. When I think of them as centres, I become more aware of their relatedness; I see them as focal points in a larger unbroken whole and I see the world as whole.
Experiment 1: Looking at my patio for the centres within it – the spaces, the shapes. Moving things around to see if there is a grrater wholeness, a greater feeling of life. I am no longer seeing an umbrella, rather an insert into the forest around which acts as the opposite of a window, bringing into greater life the trees above, below and on either side of it.
However, I read on….
Thus the centres we notice when we see the situation in its wholeness are not only the more dominant to the eye. They control the real behaviour of the thing, the life which develops there, the real human events which happen, and the feelings people have about living there.
So, I was again caught up in my eyes here.
Experiment 2: OK I need to put my hands in clay and just see what emerges from all this swirling thought. I have images in my head of ballooning out, perhaps that is what I want to express. (my past work has been about using the female figure to express ideas of transformation, energy, flow, contradiction etc.) I have big blocks of clay in the shed but I am too lazy to get them so I am using small lumps that have been offcut from larger sculptures. Normally I like to work from a BIG lump and create shape, but I don’t have enough, so I decide to build it hollow – just the skin. I take short cuts trying to create this balloon. It collapses under its own weight. Obviously. Clay has gravity. In disgust I lump it back to gether in some sort of skirt form to a lady.
Hmmm, interesting. I start digging into it creating rough hollows, emphasising flow. It begins to have a gargoyle look, I cleave the breast, put an Ahambra door on the back. Shake my head. YEWK…. this is going to be recycled.
The crux of the matter is this: a centre is a kind of entity which can only be defined in terms of other centres.
Experiment 3: Doodling geometric recursive patterns late last night to see which might provide more wholeness. I keep changing things to see what happens. Don’t fill it too much! I begin to break out from the recursion and start a trail from one shape to another. I start another spot with bird tracks and just paying attention to shape and feel in a brain-dead state I create another doodle.
Ok So not only my body wants to have a voice in this by giving me whirlybird migraines so the world looks refracted, now my mythic self wants to come to the party and paint a response in metaphors. Hahahaha. There are so many layers of interpretation I can put to this…. but I won’t spoil it for you…. what do you see in this?
Experiment 4: Applying the ideas to my need to report on my Singapore Action Research Project where I am almost paralysed with the complexities all the way up and all the way down….. trying to name and explain the whole and all the inter-relationships – I don’t want to be a system dynamic mapper. So… Put CA into my head and ask what new ways of seeing this might give me?
What are the dots in my project? What are the centres that are created? What is the wholeness revealed from that or was underlying that? How can I be an artist drawing a picture with different centres working together in relationship… the reader constructs their own meaning in the space in between. That suits my more auto-ethnographic voice. Except I am not a voice, rather the curator. My participants are narrative centres – their life worlds, work worlds, mental worlds are centres, they are a centre for centres within them – many of the roles/selves they identified in the project. The dialogical relationships that were enacted between us revealed further system centres – at another holon level up. Hmmmm. Possible.
Later I chat to my colleague in Singapore. Then I start writing up possible report headings. IN the process I realise why it has been so difficult. We are focussing on the WRONG thing and trying to answer for a percieved audience need the wrong thing. As a result of the participative project the emphasis has changed from our beginning injunctions…. the same centre is actually there, but more have appeared creating a new wholeness and a new focus. I am beginning to see what this new wholeness is. It is interesting, everything is still there, the relationships etc. Perhaps I am seeing the “character” in Matisse’s face at last.
What is this elusive character in a person’s face which Matisse can see so well, and which we fail to see as clearly? The answer is, this character is the wholeness. It is the overall vector, the overall qualitative structure, the overall field effect of the face.
Possible realisation about my art-making
Last March after an exhibition I really felt I was done sculpting stories of life in female form. For me my injunction 9 years ago was to explore vibrancy, flow, energy, life, change. I consumed books on art, and dived deep into manifestos of form and movement, knowing that sculpture with static dimensions is a challenge to give semblance of life.
I think for me I start with a whole – a feeling of life which expresses itself into movement and shape and attitude and personality. It is usually clearly held in my body, but also through my eyes. I doodle a lot to experiment with shape and sense of energy. It helps to have this before I put my hands on clay. It helps to use solid clay as the starting point, not to create hollowed work which requires fixed shapes mapped out apriori. Having this feeling in my body, heart, breath (helped by drawing/imagining with this feeling) I then put it in the clay. It becomes something different. but this whole is there. Sometimes at this stage of the making I have a title and a story. Sometimes not. The added layers of paint, pattern, images come later… the piece continues to live, grow and evolve as my consciousness comes into contact with something that resonates with the form to create a complete story.
Without this feeling the whole thing is technical. I like creating originals – not replications through moulding. There is something between my head, heart, breath and hands and the feeling of the whole that enters the work. Later there is sanding, which can become mechanical, or luscious caring.
Here is an example of a drawing capturing the feeling of the thing and the final piece “planetary healer” which came into something else…. a bridge for energy.
I am now in a lull point wanting to continue to express artistically but feeling I have done exploring with clay. Perhaps CA might give me insight into other ways to see, and create?