Senior moments…whilst running around doing the same ol’ stuff this season brings upon us…a simple affair this year, just the Dad and I and one returned jobless émigré, daughter.
Senior moments are funny betimes, others not so when the memory brings back the sadness of Christmas and the loss of family and pals for many reasons…
This morning I decided to give myself a morning off having more or less got Christmas sorted.
So with one job only in mind to get some photos printed, but had brought the wrong DVD a video not images. “Doh“… As Bart Simpson would say…
So time to “mozzie” around as in wander at a whim, no fixed reason, I have done this a lot and find it interesting the people and conversations one encounters.
The decision to turn those into art is my own decision.
Encounter one. Buying “real” honey from the Market stalls in the shopping centre, a luxury at €6.50 a jar. But a gift to myself, not being a wine lover this is the equivalent.
So conversation around why the honey is so scarce and expensive.
Bees worldwide are suffering various imported diseases, amateur bee keepers fail to keep them properly so a fungal infection spreads to all hives in the surroundings, global changes, etc.
But people here do not seem to be aware of this as really serious as food crop pollination failure will affect many food crops.
So what can the individual do? Inform others? Encourage correct bee keeping?
Conversation number two.
A few days ago I had made a DVD for our Grandkids in San Francisco.
The other Grandmother flew out this morning on her way to spend Christmas with the three boys I share Grannydom with. The DVD was in her luggage.
The DVD was a fun film to make. It was “the day in the life of Granddad and Granny” aimed at amusing the kids.
I got a great interview with Santa in his Grotto, He did a real good piece to Camera for me, he knew a lot about the boys and how good they were so they will see it on Christmas day.
I was ordering a coffee and the young man beside me was getting a fruit smoothie I commented on how healthy that looked.
In my mind I thought “Maybe he needs it as a hangover cure?”. He had a nice country accent, so he said he had to go to work now, he gestured to the grotto, I said surprised. “You’re Santa!”
“Yep” he said.
I reminded him of the filming and he would be seen in the USA in a few days.
He told me no one else had filmed him but that he had a list of kids the mums begged him to ring on Christmas Eve, so they would get to sleep…he said he did that as a free gesture. Nice.
In his other life he was a trapeze artist, travelled around Ireland and lived in Galway. So we talked about that, being interested in Gymnastics as a kid myself and wanting to run away to a circus at age 11. I wanted to ride horses bareback.
Conversation number three.
Then I have my coffee and get into conversation with an elderly man beside me. He is very dissatisfied at the pensions certain people are getting and the guilty ones should be brought to task.
I don’t exactly agree, I feel there is little us “little” people can do but make the best of “now” and try to be more intelligent at “living life.”
The simple basics of spending nothing unless you have it to spend, never getting into debt for things one does not need, to spread good, be more patient and tolerant.
Although I still get angry at things and people. Then have to rein back and lie low.
The drink culture annoys me, the stupidity of over drinking, why? It only makes one stupid, thick and poisons you body.
The rest of us sober ones have to pay up, clean up, and sort out the aftermath.
A dumb animal will steer clear of fermenting plants, that’s all alcohol is.
I have seen and experienced too much harm done by abuse of this over rated, over priced and over here products.
Right rant over…
Back to nice gentleman.
We discussed people and the different types, He said “there are really no evil people in the world” He was a psychoanalytical therapist and had worked with killers from the IRA.
Next Conversation was with a nice lady who offered me a sweet from a big box of chocolates.
I said I am not buying any flowers so “can I have the choc.” Yes and then ensued a conversation around metabolism, she and I are lucky we can eat what we like but don’t get fat, yet both of us observe the excess of food at every hands turn and kids growing so obese in front of ones eyes, like the drink a problem for all our futures.
Yet it is 2011 and so much knowledge and products and science around to make one aware, it should be so much easier to “cop on” and get things dealt with..?
Right that was just this morning and I have told you.
Just a few thought shared with others and you.
I am now writing on this and will stop soon as my neck gets stiff. I will wander into my art room and frame some photos and paintings.
Passing Through the Exhibition will be on in January/February; A solo show of my own making.
It might just be a first emerging multimedia and retrospective show all at once.
The Signal Art Centre in Bray, Co Wicklow, are kind enough to let this artist loose in their space for a fortnight.
The whole idea came about from a map my father made for my mother after an aerial flight they had from Finglas to Blackrock in an open cockpit bi winged plane. Some adventure in 1932!
I think my dad knew the guys who were the start up of Collins town Airport, the pre runner to Dublin Airport.
This map was made by him with black ink like an olde mappe with sea monsters and little drawings of local monuments etc.
It showed the whole coast line of Dublin. Which looked like an odd face to me as a child.
My father planned an outing one day. We used to go for walks together on Sundays from time to time.
He planned that we would walk every inch of the Coastline of Dublin from Howth to Greystones. To youngsters today that might not seem interesting but at 8 or 9 years in 1963 it seemed a great adventure.
We had no car, so a mile walk to the Train in Blackrock and then out to Howth head.
I remember many small bits of things on several of the journeys, I loved the train and watching all the sea birds along the strand, I still do.
I know we did the whole journey, it took many Sundays but we always went back to the spot we had finished before.
I suppose there were small bits we had to miss as the cliff or rocks or private property intervened.
There were many stops when my father would converse with another, I don’t remember who they were maybe known or maybe like me today he liked engaging others unknown who were happy to pass the time of day as they say.
I remember one spot on a beach we came across an injured dying seagull, it was crying and flailing around unable to get away but horribly damaged.
My father picked up a big rock and said
“I have to put him out of his misery,”
I said “can you not take him home and we can fix him”,
I had rescued a swift from our attic and he flew away after a rest.
So right then and there he came down with the rock I heard the squish of something and then nothing, limp, dead, bloodied and gone. I had a rush of hero worship that daddy had helped the gull but also a strange hatred that he could have done more, should have helped another way.
Right, so about a year ago I thought I must walk the cliff walk from Bray to Greystones which is not in Dublin but sort of a site to keeps up that sense of walking/wandering , thinking/ meeting
I made several trips with my camera from both ends of the walk – I got to know it well in all weathers.
I find that on urban streets people don’t converse while walking, not even a nod, but in country lanes, hillsides or a walk like this where no other form except bipeds can travel people are more open to contacts, talk and banter.
So my exhibition proposal consisted of making this site a walk which the people who came would discuss those they have abroad for whatever reason.
I made one video alone meeting chance people. The place is beautiful and so this video engages with the place more.
The walk was planned, people invited and on the day we were all blessed with one of those rare but as its rare really memorable fantastic warm, sunny beautiful Irish Summers day.
I had 25 people turn up and a friend with a back up camera so I let them all go ahead.
I hung back and found really good interaction with 50 people on the way. I would always request they give me permission to film them before putting the camera on.
All those I had never met before nor they me but many were happy to share and give messages to those they had away over the sea.
Some were sad, funny, interesting, one man said
“Look what I found on the internet”, as he placed his arm around his pretty young companion.
“My new wife from Russia”
Others had interesting comments on the state of Ireland, on their children and grandchildren abroad, It was good footage and I enjoyed editing this piece of documentary on that place with those people on that day.
Art Of the Encounter.
When you walk into my exhibition…which only exists in my head and the kids left behind bedrooms, which are my three roomed art studio now…
One will encounter a glass topped museum like display of my fathers old sketch books from 1930 to 1968 he would use these as a relaxation at weeks end, sitting sketching in many places around a 6 mile areas near our home in Blackrock county Dublin.
They are a wonderful account of images from those times done in a loose but extremely well observed skill full hand.
He never sold or exhibited any of his art, being a graphic artist or display artist as in advertising he never made it in the fine art world.
So this is my own homage to him, I maybe did not inherit his skill as a draughts person but like to think he gave me a pair of eyes to see the world, observe things and “report back” as it were as an artist.
These will be page turned every day by me like the Book Of Kells but never for sale.
The next item will be some Performance Photos my art/photographer daughter took of me doing Performance on the Cliff Walk last Summer.
This was an interesting collaborative piece of work.
I did the Performance and she did the Photos, She instinctively knew the images that worked, I was surprised and delighted how the material and the wind and the backdrop of the cliff made the human form look so exotic.
I had taken stills from the film of The Walk and then painted them in oils, a series of 9 images, only small and maybe not brilliant paintings but collectively satisfying to have made.
Passing Through is the title of this exhibition. I found the song by the same name on u tube and got permission to use it from Leonard Cohen.
Passing Through, Passing Through,
Sometimes Happy Sometimes Blue,
Tell the people that you met me Passing through .
It’s an old song with I think an anti war Vietnam protest about it, but for me a good hanger to hook my art around, we are all just passing through, I miss my kids and grandkids so go for a walk and meet others who are more or less on similar journeys maybe at different stages.
I will have a piece of sculpture which is a over head collection of old children’s soft toys, they are all bound up and held together by string yet are also trying to get free across the top of the space…work that out yerself.
A mum spends so many years protecting teaching guarding rearing young for the world and then when they go it’s hard to let go. But they fly when they need to.
I will have a series of five large bulletin boards, made from old bread delivery boards, covered with black felt. Attached are very old photos, some letters, drawings present day images all mixed up, no chronological fixing but many generations of life bits recorded, hoping it will be interesting to view.
This exhibition will be the 31st January to the 12th February. Opening on Sunday 5th Feb 2012 from 3 to 5pm. At Signal Art Centre Bray County Wicklow.
If anyone is around please call in and view. Experience, meet the exhibition and maybe the artist.
Wishing all a good Christmas and A happy New Year.
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