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Moon, Light and Shadow

ART, POETRY, LOVE – THE MAGIC OF JOURNEYS

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Learning Something New

Art Spaces – Hayden Smith

Hayden Smith (5)
Unity

Trinidadian artist, Hayden Smith, his wife Anna and son Johnathan, are three people I have enjoyed getting to know in the short space of time I’ve been working at the Art Society of T&T. They are a warm, kind and good-natured family and it is my honour to feature Hayden in part three of my Art Spaces series.

NEALA: Looking at Synergie de Trois, what was your thought process behind the pieces selected for this exhibition?

HAYDEN: When I was presented with the opportunity to exhibit in Synergie de Trois, I wanted to also create pieces that would blend in with the genres of the other artists, Felder and R. Gerard Fulchan. This is what inspired the abstracts. It started out as setting out to combine 2D and 3D concepts but also include a more spiritual perspective, as all of the pieces came from within. I represented two different styles for this show: realism and abstract. I love nature and try to get close to it and bond as often as possible. You will see this reflected in my realism pieces. I try bringing that beauty to my audience, as often our lives are so hectic that we tend not to notice life’s natural treasures.

Hayden Smith (4)

NEALA: I am particularly drawn to the pieces created with wood elements, (like Unity). What inspired you to work with wood that way?

HAYDEN: I’ve always liked working with wood and seized the opportunity to develop a new technique to combine wood into my art, as a means of adding dimension to the pieces. Other materials used in some of the pieces are paper, metal and fibre.

Hayden Smith (3)

NEALA: You told me once that you are a mechanical engineer. What, do you think, is the relationship between your profession and your creative outlet?

HAYDEN: The average person would not associate engineering and art as these two areas are often seen to have opposite thought processes. One is structured and precise, the other, one of utter freedom of expression. I see the combination as the window to unlimited creativity.

NEALA: This your second exhibition. Tell me what you enjoyed the most about it?

HAYDEN: With this exhibition, I really enjoyed working on developing the new style. It was one of total fun and wonder as there was no restriction to form or boundaries while creating the pieces. Each one evolved during the actual individual creation. I, however, missed working with my son as in the last exhibition. (In 2015, Hayden exhibited with his son, Johnathan Smith in Elementary, A Father and Son Exhibition.)

What’s next for you?

The sky is the limit. I hope to continue to develop new techniques and working with my son again. Maybe turning some of the events and experiences of the recent past into creative expressions.

~

I wish Hayden the very best. On a personal note, this piece captured  me. There was movement to it. I loved the contrast between the dark, hard, angular wooden pieces and the fragile, bright pink, elliptical lines. I imagine that this is what the sound of wonder looks like. On many mornings during this exhibition I stood transfixed, hypnotised by the music of this piece.

Hayden Smith (2)

IMG_20160725_130206
Close up showing detail of elements

Hayden’s facebook page.

Art Spaces – Felder

Felder Miniature Houses (2)

Langdon Tremayne Frauenfelder, self-taught Trinidadian artist, builds miniature replicas of early 20th Century houses. As a child he was intrigued by the creative expressions of older siblings, and one day, while watching his eldest brother build a replica of Skeletor’s Castle Grayskull, his imagination was set on fire, and he built his first house out of a Corn Flakes box. That was the beginning of his fascination with scale models and the inspiration that motivated him to create his own. Felder, as he is known as in the art community, is currently exhibiting eight miniature houses as a part of the Synergie de Trois exhibition at the ASTT Gallery.

Continue reading “Art Spaces – Felder”

Art Spaces – R. Gerard Fulchan

Dawning of the Eclipsing Soul - R. Gerard Fulchan
Dawning of the Eclipsing Soul – R. Gerard Fulchan Medium: Painted Carving (Acrylic paint on Trinidad Mahogany), 2016. Size: 65″×19.5″.

Gerard Fulchan is a Trinidadian artist and poet who is currently exhibiting at the ASTT Gallery. Fulchan works with both hand and power tools and prefers Trinidadian Teak and Mahogany over other hardwoods. The above piece is one of many I found particularly intriguing. Continue reading “Art Spaces – R. Gerard Fulchan”

Caribbean Creative Writers Workshop

In February of this year I received an email indicating that I was one of ten authors chosen to participate in Cropper Foundation’s Creative Writers Workshop in June. I was alone at home when the email came in and the feelings were completely unexpected. I felt like it was not really happening, and actually imagined that no one else had submitted poetry and so I was chosen to make up a quota. I had applied on a whim submitting six poems to compete with other Caribbean writers, never really believing that what I wrote could be seen as poetry.

I had never entered a writing competition before and had only shared my poems with one friend and anonymously on my blog. In fact, I’d never referred to them as poems and called them Scribbles instead. So, receiving that email and subsequently sending my acceptance letter was a pretty surreal experience. I felt like I was someone else, like a little kid about to steal cookies from the cookie jar, with the anticipation of something delicious and thrilling, and the fear of being caught where I wasn’t supposed to be. Was this really meant for me?

The workshop, sponsored by the Cropper Foundation, and organised in partnership with the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at The University of the West Indies (UWI), took place from June 29th to July 13th in the quiet seaside town of Balandra on the north-eastern coast of Trinidad. Over sixty applicants from across the Caribbean submitted fiction, non-fiction and poetry for a chance to spend two weeks with two incredible moderators,  novelist Dr. Merle Hodge (Crick, Crack Monkey and For the Life of Laetitia), and poet and short story writer Professor Funso Aiyejina, winner of the 2000 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa) for The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories.

I had no idea what was in store. A friend of mine had been a participant in 2008 and when sought she offered the best advice: Expect nothing. Appreciate everything.

I never imagined that my life would be forever changed.

The Fire and Water Sprites

Guess who I found! 🙂

The Fire and Water Sprites
The Fire and Water Sprites

I finally found the talented artist whose work I fell in love with a few weeks ago. Her name is Ingrid Tan and she is from the Philippines. I googled “flame and water droplet” and there they were.

The are actually sprites and their story was first told for a college assignment back in 2009. Ms. Tan titled the piece Hold Close, and a graphic novel about these two loves was produced in 2012.

I checked out her website and the detail is exceptionally beautiful.

Cover from the Rain
Cover from the Rain

Love is balance, with a sense of humor. 🙂

Writing Out Loud

“Transition can be a pretty scary place, as any change brings a degree of uncertainty. It’s like being on a jetty about to step onto a boat for the first time. There is always a brief moment of hesitation, when you are aware that you’re leaving the familiar for the unknown. It is as thrilling as it is unnerving.”


http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/allowing-it-all-my-grand-battle

I’m writing out loud this year and freelancing for a few online journals. Here is the first article for this year, published on Elephant Journal. Hope you all enjoy it. 

Here’s to love and light in 2014.

Luna

Philosophy In Art

During my Introductory Painting class today we worked on our thumbnail sketches for our very first original compositions. Using what I’d learned about perspective, the rule of thirds, and leading the eye, I put pencil to paper to layout my seascape. By my third sketch I saw more or less what I had in my mind but something was just a little off. I studied all the details closely but couldn’t figure out what to do. As I studied my sketch, my teacher glanced at my work and suggested I move the two small rocks by a fraction of an inch. It worked! All the elements magically seemed more in harmony with each other. Delighted I remarked to my fellow tablemates that we were learning about Life in class today: Sometimes, instead of studying all the elements too closely, if we step back and change one seemingly small detail, everything else will fall into place.

Letting Go Of Negativity

Original post written on 22nd November 2010

I spent the greater part of this weekend watching one of my favourite animated tv series: Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating the evil Fire Lord and ending the destructive 100 year old war with the Fire Nation.
The story takes place in a world that is home to humans, fantastic animals, and spirits. Human civilization is divided into four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Air Nomads, and the Fire Nation. Each nation has its own natural element, on which it bases its society. Furthermore, people known as Benders have the ability to manipulate the element of their nation using the physical motions of martial arts. The show’s creators based each Bending style on a style of real-world martial art, leading to visual differences in the techniques used by Waterbenders (tai chi chuan), Earthbenders (hung ga kung fu), for the most part, Firebenders (Northern Shaolin kung fu) and Airbenders (baguazhang). Each country is also associated with a season: autumn for the Air Nomads, winter for the Water Tribe, spring for the Earth Kingdom and summer for the Fire Nation.
At any given time, there is only one person alive in the world of Avatar who is capable of bending all four elements: the show’s Avatar, the spirit of the planet manifested in human form. When an Avatar dies, he or she is reincarnated into the next nation in the Avatar Cycle, in the order of the seasons. Legend holds the Avatar must master each bending art in seasonal order as well, starting with their native element.
The tv series was split into three ‘parts’ known as Books, each with many chapters. I am thoroughly enjoying the series, and the little fact that I started following Aang’s story a few months ago even though the series first aired back in 2006, makes me smile, as somehow this coincided with my exploration into Yoga. 
A few weeks ago, my Yoga class began a routine, at the end of which we would’ve performed kriyas (series of postures) and meditations specifically focusing on the seven chakras in the body. Now that we are onto the week of the seventh chakra, I can’t seem to stop thinking about the final chapter in Book Two.

Aang meets Guru Pathik, who attempts to teach him how to reach the Avatar state (enlightenment). After realizing that Aang knows nothing about Chakras he takes him to a creek and tells him: 
Guru Pathik: 
The water flows through this creek much like the energy flows through your body. (stirs the pool with a stick) As you see there are several pools where the water swirls around before flowing on. These pools are like our chakras.

Aang: 
So chakras are pools of spiraling energy in our bodies?

Guru Pathik:
(pleased) Exactly! If nothing else were around, this creek would flow pure and clear. However, life is messy, and things tend to fall in the creek, and then what happens?

Aang: 
The creek can’t flow?

Guru Pathik: 
(nods) Yes. But if we open the paths between the pools…(clears some moss clogging the water with his stick. The water pours quickly into the next pool, and soon all of them are running clean and clear.)

Aang: (eagerly) The energy flows! 
Life is like that isn’t it? When we allow negativity (stress, hurt, hate, bad habits) to build up in our lives without dealing with them and letting them go, we create blocks to our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical development and well being. I know I’ve accumulated many blocks over the years and I’m working on clearing away the moss and weeds and emotional buildup, so my true self can shine through.
I know I haven’t been as dedicated as I could have been during the last two months, toward improving myself and my life, but I also learned that I should not be too hard on myself. My intention is still there and I’ve seen and felt the benefits already. Habits are very tough to break, but I know I can do it. 

I took this photo during my four day ‘retreat’ in Blanchisseuse, and I came across it while I was sorting through my photo files. Reminded me of Aang and the pools. Maybe it’s a little sign that I need to go back, armed with all I’ve learned in the last ten weeks.

Storyline for The Last Airbender: Wikipedia

Luna Means Light

Photographed at 4:48am, 4th Dec 2012

Originally posted on March 9th 2011 Sometimes it’s good to glance back at where you came from so can remind yourself where you are going. 🙂

I’d just arrived at home after a really agonizing day at work. That day I was finding it particularly difficult to concentrate and thus do anything well. A social issue also bogged me down and by the time I left the office and was on my way home, I felt so heavy, drained, uninspired and simply wanted to crawl into my bed and curl myself into a little ball.
I sat despondent on my couch with the TV on when I got a text message from a good friend who wanted to know if I would like to meet up for a drink after yoga. When I told him I wasn’t going to yoga class that day and explained why, his reply was perfect:
“Hmm, well sounds like you had a tough day. Don’t worry about work, it’ll sort itself out tomorrow. In terms of that ‘social issue’, you already know what’s best for you. But I know you, and frankly you sound like you just might be feeling a little sorry for yourself.”
THAT made me sit up. The one thing I can’t stand is people feeling sorry for themselves. It’s perfectly understandable to vent frustrations and cry when things are bad. But wallowing in self pity has always been something that’s difficult for me to understand. And there I was, WALLOWING. I jumped into the shower and was in my car, heading to class in fifteen minutes.
I called my friend to say we could meet after class and thanked him for waking me up a bit. He said that he didn’t wake me up, that I know what I’m about and who I am, and it’s ok to forget sometimes.
“I know,” I told him, “I’m Luna. I’m a Light. Luna means Light.”
“Exactly!”
I arrived at the Studio, minutes before class and our Yoga Teacher was handing out pieces of paper, instructing us to write a ‘love’ letter to ourselves, declaring what we liked about ourselves. She said, ‘just go with it, really big-up yourselves’. I took that to mean, write the best YOU, you know you are. I stretched out on my tummy and began. We had one minute, after which we’d put the letter under our mats and began.
It was a great class that day. Just goes to show, when you push yourself to do something good for you, the rewards are limitless. This term we have been working on cleansing our bodies/minds/spirits of toxins, tension, and other agents that negatively impact upon our health and wellbeing, and inviting positive thought and behaviour patterns. “As we think, so we are.”
The following quote is what I wrote to myself. Now, I post it here for you. As you think, so you are also:
To my friend, – your deepest truest self, soon to be shown on the outside as well as within:
You are a light – bright, warm, welcoming, honest and brilliant.
You surround yourself and those around you with hope, magic, love and laughter.
You give comfort when it is needed and teach others to see the beauty in themselves and all around us.
You are respectful of life – your life, life around you in others, in all plants and animals, and our beautiful earth and cosmos.
You are truly part of the divine whole, easily recognizing and calling out the divine in others, and from the brightest light of all, which connects everything.
You are born from this light and will always be a part of that place that exists within all of us, in the wish part of our brain.
Whatever you believe, you can create and make it so.
Shine On!!

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