Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surviving on Hope


Title: Edge of Light, older painting chosen here for its title.

For several days now, the news and images coming out of Japan have been devastating and heartbreaking. I would like to dedicate my blog post to the people of Japan, and to all peoples all over the world, as they struggle to recover their home, family and community. I recently read a review of a book written by David Brooks titled THE SOCIAL ANIMAL: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement. In essence, it is a book about the human need for connection, friendship, and love. We yearn for "community"; we have the urge too "merge". What drives us, ultimately, is the need to be understood by others. I think this is especially true for artists. Though we work by ourselves in our studios, we still need 'community' and for others to understand what we are trying to communicate with our art works.

Novie Trump, ceramic artist, is participating in THE NEST PROJECT: WHAT DOES HOME MEAN TO YOU? at the Torpedo Factory in Virginia. NEST is a juried exhibition which examines the nest as a symbol for home and refuge, both literally and conceptually. Besides the juried exhibition there are installations, and a community built nest. You can find out much more information about The Nest Project and the Torpedo Factory here. Novie's website is found here.

Sharon Beals is a photographer who has a new book (above) coming out soon titled NESTS: Fifty Nests and the Birds that built them. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon.com and here is her wonderful website with more images and more information. The next two images are from her book.


Entering it
you enter yourself,
the world connects
and closes like a ring.
-- Octavio Paz, poet


Sharing the signs
of early spring,
singing the songs
of the artists' works
and poets' words here.
Soar with inner wings.
-- Neva Gagliano, artist and poet, blog here.

Bird eggs are a beautiful metaphor for the cycle of life, renewal and hope. Mary Ann Burk, a ceramic artist and potter, makes eggs that look like they came out of the earth. She places her eggs on driftwood and branches or ceramic pedestals. Her work is at the Barnswallow gallery and you can find her wonderful blog here. Her art pieces are above and the 2 images below.


I said to my soul, be still, and wait.. the faith and the hope and the love and all the waiting... the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing.
--- t.s. eliot

Lesley Bricknell is a fine arts textile artist and photographer. Lesley is attracted to fragile and transient surfaces that she intentionally ages, stains, and spoils. She loves worn or discarded garments, with histories which she "reclaims". She looks for the purity in the impermanence and fragility of objects and life. She has her beautiful images at her website here and at her blog here. The next 3 images belong to Lesley.




"...When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird's wing..."
-- J. L. Stanley


Outside the sun shines
birds sing
and I am not having to make
snap decisions about what
to stuff into a suitcase
or how I might get
6 cats (and the rest) to safety.
-- India Flint, textile artist, blog here.

Those of us who are safe and warm, we are the fortunate ones.

56 comments:

amyd said...

so thoughtful and thought provoking - thank you for your words and images. over the last few days, whenever I feel a compliant coming out of my mouth, I silence myself and think I really have nothing to complain about...my heart aches for the japanese

sukipoet said...

a beautiful post. so tragic and sad. we are all as fragile in life as the bird's egg, the twig nests. i send prayers for all in Japan and through out the world who are hungry, cold and without shelter.

Jo Murray said...

Wonderful post. We go through life, secure in our cosy little nests, not thinking how fragile against the forces of nature. It will take a long, long time for Japan to recover from this multiple disaster.

PaperPumpkin said...

Beautiful post. That human need for connection, really says it all.

Valerianna said...

Beautiful nests and textures. Hard to hold everything right now. Nice to imagine being wrapped in a soft silk nest, hold egg prayers of healing for Japan, and all. Thanks for bringing me to that thought.

Liz Davidson / Artist Notebook said...

Beautiful post Donna, the words and the images; and being the greedy soul I am thanks for introducing me to some wonderful artists and poets that I didn't know, always a treat, and thank for the tremendous amount of time, effort and love /compassion/ concern you put in your work.

zendotstudio said...

yes, the nest, our desire for comfort and safety and of course connection, our desire for love and appreciation.

a lovely calming perspective in these times of turmoil.

as always wonderful treasures to explore.

Ruth Armitage said...

We are puffins on a cliff. While we cling to the edge, we must look for the beauty amidst the chaos and danger that surrounds us. Beautiful post....

Leslie Avon Miller said...

People, animals, all suffer at time of a natural disaster.
What is so impressive is the way the people in Japan are remaining orderly. It must be helpful.
We do have a need for connection - and some times that may be why we want to make art that pleases other people.
My heart goes out to those that lost so much.

Stan Kurth said...

Hope is a good thing to have and your writing conveys it very well.

SusuPetal said...

Hope and praying, wishing for people to learn from crisis, hoping people learn to respect Mother Earth.

Beautiful post.

mano said...

thank you for this wonderful post!

ELFI said...

magnifique billet, nous espérons tous un avenir meilleur pour ce peuple si durement touché. merci

Annie said...

Thanks for collecting so much beautiful work together and adding the links. There is lots of fragile beauty here and also so much hope.

grrl + dog said...

Loving the quotes,

and I am in the middle of creating a nest

for children to play in

with the local council.

I hope the rules wont cancel out the aesthetics of the design so kids an play in a non plastic space..

r.bohnenkamp said...

wonderful post Donna.
thank you for sharing!

Lynn said...

In spite of tragedy, the human spirit somehow manages to overcome. The nest, the egg, renewal, rebirth. Perfect symbols to keep in mind at these times. Thank you.

Fiona Dempster said...

Thank you Donna - for reaching out and expressing so beautifully what so many of us are feeling. Person to person, family to family, community to community we can reach across and offer support.

Barry said...

D-thanks for the dedication ; and sharing the symbols of life and hope. I join you in sending vibes of hope and support in such a time of great suffering and such a long road of recovery. B

Sophie Munns said...

The need to be understood by others... yes ...I see this as so central... how well said and timely to include this thought in these ponderings Donna!
A beautiful post with much work to muse on...
Thank you... a fine tribute to Japan and those all over this globe ...
S

Emma said...

Lovely calming images enabling us better to think of others. If we never complain , human nature after all, we might fill with rot, if we find a release we are more availabe for people in need. This need of so many can be overwhelming but in the end we do have hope.

iNdi@na said...

the Japanese will overcome this
as they have overcome other disasters in the past
as Ben Macintyre wrote for The Times [reprinted in The Australian 16/3/11]
..."Successive earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and volcanic eruptions have left this land with an acute sense of vulnerability, but a corresponding mental sturdiness"...

the strong sense of community and group responsibility as well as perseverance and stoicism in the face of events beyond personal control
is something we here [in Australia] could learn from. i remember after the bushfires in '83, folks driving onto burned properties to "salvage" materials. when challenged, their response was "well, the place is burned down, you don't need those bricks/stones/whatever"

from what i've read there's little if any looting in Japan, incredible self-control and big sense of staying strong, dignified and as calm as possible.

amazing.

respect.

ArtPropelled said...

Thanks for this post Donna. I think we are all feeling this helplessness brought on by such a tragedy and gathering here to acknowledge what has happened is comforting. As you say ... a human need for connection.

Lisa said...

thank you for such a thoughtful tribute Donna. Beautiful images and words that resonate the fragile state of life and the importance of community. My heart goes out to those families who have suffered and lost so much in this tragedy.

Noela Mills said...

Hi Donna, yes the nest is a great metaphor for community, safety, warmth, comfort, home- all of the things we crave and too often take for granted. My heart breaks for Japan.

Sharon said...

Those of us who are safe and warm are grateful because we know that can all change in a heartbeat. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and their loved ones everywhere.

La Dolce Vita said...

I thought of you Donna when I saw the images and heard the news, and my thoughts and prayers go out the the people of Japan. your works and images are so uplifting. xx's

Jo Reimer said...

I've thought of you, Donna, as I've watched the unfolding events in Japan and I've felt such sorrow for the people of your ancestry. They are strong and most will help one another as they live through this terrible calamity. I am so sorry that their nest has been disturbed in such a way. My prayer are with the people of Japan.

Deborah said...

We are so lucky. This is a beautiful post.

Jann Gougeon said...

Beautiful post . . you words (community . . so TRUE) . . your work . . and the nests!!! . . incredible. Makes me want to buy the book

C Tanner Jensen said...

Thank you.

cerulean said...

Beautiful post. As "Sting" sung:
"How fragile we are".

petras kunstblog said...

When I look at this work with the eggs and nests, then I'm thinking in particular: new life comes. And I think of the Japanese. What comes now for a" New life" for all of this people after this darkness. I hope and pray.
Thanks , Donna. Great collage from You.

magpie said...

thank you for
finding words
and images
to express
the inexpressible.

LauraX said...

so beautiful Donna...all of us loving our world community, hearts breaking open with prayers for healing through the devastation.

Donna Iona Drozda said...

Beautiful thoughts, images and awareness.

Each sentence and poem a help to find solace and make connections as we witness the ways of Life's unfolding.

neva gagliano said...

your words, images, and the responses feel somewhat like a 'nest': threads of empathetic feelings around me
to share this vulnerable sense of the world, sadness, and strength of its peoples.
lessons from the japanese culture teach many things during the best of times, and certainly through this tragedy.

Tess Kincaid said...

I've always believed that of faith, hope and love, the greatest is hope. This tragedy makes us realize how we are all holding on to a fragile thread.

Hannah said...

Donna, Your counterpoint of the fragile nests against the destruction in Japan is so powerful--like an egg, my heart cracks open. Your thoughtfulness and dedication is a piece of tikkun olam, the mending of the world--and a panacea for what we all suffer as the days of recovery begin. Thank you.

mansuetude said...

lovely post. I really love that India Flint quote.

I don't often watch tv news, but seeing images of Japan i am speechless.

Spring is here! Hang in there, it is wonderful to feel the sun and wind on baretoes.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

First the big earthquake here and now Japan.So sad. So appropriate that you should talk of nests and community and life with this posting. You know my thoughts on that!
I'm drooling over this pictures, especially the eggs that look like they are of the earth. Realllly wish I could see this exhibition!!
Thankyou for sharing:)

annell said...

Beautiful post, thank you so much! Loved it.

dedicated exchange hosting said...

That was a thoughtful and awesome post!!

Leovi said...

Edge of Light, a very suggestive title for a very evocative work with these tears under the trees bare. Greetings.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

I found this and thought of you...
http://makikohastings.blogspot.com/

Please take a look at the 1000 birds for Japan project!

Don Madden said...

very thoughtful. beautiful images. thank you.

James Wyman Fine Art said...

Enjoying the work here... Many affinities with the work of John Wood, an artist whose work I have shown in galleries and museums around the country. Thanks for sharing.

http//:jameswymanfineart.blogspot.com/

rivergardenstudio said...

Sadness and strength. Beauty and disaster. My heart cries for the peoples of Japan. You have written and shared it all so beautifully here, Donna, and as I always do, I will read this over again and again. And savor your quotes and thoughts, your images and dreams. sending love, roxanne

Don said...

Another fascinating post. I need to take a look at the bird nest book. Thanks for being here.

eb said...

what a beautiful and uplifting post
rich and full of joy and hope
thank you for sharing all this and your big heart...

xox - eb.

Suzi Smith said...

such a beautiful post in so many ways... the art you share is stunning..
continuing to think of japan & others who are facing struggles...

Karin Bartimole said...

what a sensitive, touching, and beautiful post Donna. thank you for gathering the beauty, creating a resting place, and feathering it with gentle meditative care... blessings

jgy said...

Beautiful thoughts and post and of course always you find such wonderful and inspiring quotes.
Sorry I haven't visited in what feels like ages.
I share in your wishes and prayer for Japan.
Here in the south it is fine and peaceful, and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

I was just in NY for a short time and found a "fork" which I will to post to follow...just felt like sharing that 'preview' with you, I am still reflecting on the fork, as the fork in a road and I realize today maybe this fork is pointing to a choice to follow a "spiritual" way which is where the road leads towards light and love and peace and safety, things we wish for all:)))
Wishing you happy and creative days,
xoxo

Gaby Bee said...

Beautiful images and words, Donna! It's all such a tragedy, my heart goes out to all that are affected. A lot of healing is needed for the whole country.
Thank you for this wonderful post!

Gaby xo

Leovi said...

Excellent blog and India Flint with high quality design and interesting colors, and some pictures that are like poems. I already knew but I have not imported back to enjoy it. Greetings.

William Hall said...

I am grateful to have come upon your words and images. I plan to spend quality time here absorbing what I need now and possibly in the future.