Two Negatives

Ring_kollwitzstrasse_berlin_30_april_2011

Something I’ve been doing recently, if sporadically, is teaching myself to draw, using Betty Edward’s book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

One of the interesting artistic concepts the book highlights is negative space: the space that surrounds or is enclosed by whatever subject(s) you are drawing. The three thin cones and a fatter wedge that form if you spread out your fingers in preparation to draw your hand. Continue reading “Two Negatives”

Dark Mountain Book Two

This enchanted painting by Devon-based enchanted artist Rima Staines is on the cover of Dark Mountain Two, which has now materialised and is making its way out into the world.

I love Rima’s interpretation (well, my interpretation of her interpretation) of the Dark Mountain as this otherworldly double-horned personnage, who, by the light of three white geese and a tree growing from a sickle moon, shelters a rich cast of comers and questioners in the folds of his, or her, or their garment.

You can read a little more about Dark Mountain Two (and find your way to ordering a copy) here; and furthermore and moreover, Tony Dias has generously made a post which links to the webby presences of almost all the contributors.

I’m honoured to have an essay of mine included in such fine company; and am looking forward in keen anticipation to savouring the whole when it arrives. Just the tiniest sliver-bit pale green jealous of those in the UK who’ve been graced by the post already 🙂

The Resilience of Normal

Reading_arrangement_cecilienhof_berlin_22_may_2011

I lead a double life, of a kind maybe more common that I generally allow for. One life is mostly virtual, and is radical in its preoccupations with change, collapse, new stories and emergent alternative ways of thinking and doing. The other is a mostly normal, wholly unremarkable daily existence in a stable, affluent corner of a stable, affluent western nation, where every day clean water comes out of the tap, the shelves of the organic supermarket are full, parents push prams or lead well-fed toddlers along the pavement, workers commute to jobs and hipsters click away at Macbooks in the company of latte macchiatos. Continue reading “The Resilience of Normal”

The Garden of Forking Caprice

… they wish to force a new

path through matter, reform the world

to their understanding, but every path

they make forks and the forks divide

and they are lost and obsessed turning

every turning into a new dogma,

a subset of the theory, so that the one

shining truth is obscured in layers

of exception and infringement regulations

and they cling together as an ark on the

flooded surface, they quarrel and consume

and emit waste.

 ~ Sophia Wellbeloved, extract from ‘Twisting from within …’, in Praying for Flow (Waterloo Press, 2011)

Last October, I was sure of moving after Berlin back to Lewes, where I’d spent a contented best part of a year towards the end of the 1990s. After some weeks of firm conviction I abandoned the plan, deterred by the disproportionate cost of living in the southeast of England, and by a resistance towards heading backward in life, as if I could return to a place once lived in and find it, and I, comfortingly unchanged in the interim. Continue reading “The Garden of Forking Caprice”