Monthly Archives: September 2012

Poem by Rilke/Horses/Laura/

I was in London on Friday, after a very early start and long journey.On the train I read some of the Little Flowers of St. Francis. I met with Laura Gascoigne at the British Museum, we had an illuminating visit to the ‘Horse’ exhibition which finished today. In the show I loved the very early works about horses, drawings/scatchings and stone carvings, but I was most moved by the film clips showing horses doing their utmost for their riders, and the riders showing their appreciation to their beautiful and generous- spirited partners.

Laura is one of the panellists at the discussion around my show, which will be held on January 26th, 10.30 – 1pm. We took tea at a quirky and very friendly internet cafe/camera shop near the BM, talking until they closed. Afterwards I drifted towards High Holborn, where my brother had very kindly booked a sumptuous hotel room for me – what an oasis that was! I found a great book in the suite, on archetypal symbolism, where I found this poem by Rilke…

You run like a herd of luminous deer

and I am dark, I am forest.

You are a wheel at which I stand,

Whose dark spokes sometimes catch me up,

revolve me nearer to the centre.

 

I was in London on Friday, after a very early start and long journey.On the train I read some of the Little Flowers of St. Francis. I met with Laura Gascoigne at the British Museum, we had an illuminating visit to the ‘Horse’ exhibition which finished today. In the show I loved the very early… Read more »

Pages from sketchbook in Italy

As we left the island this enormous cloud hung in the sky. It remained in the sky for all of our journey; as soon as we reached Castiglione, it vanished.

Little ancient wooden stature of St. Francis. As I looked into it’s little house I saw that the whole of the roof is covered in little bee nests, then I saw them zooming in and out, their long thin bodies hanging suspended in the air. They
are gradually transforming the body of St. Francis into little cones on the ceiling.

So many bodily associations which resonated with me. I loved the feeling in this Church.

Studio work, September, after Italy

Three days working hard in my studio, on small pieces, but each intense and concentrated. The ecological balancing act coming through strongly. The experiences in the Church of San Francesco, in Sansepolcro, with the miraculous Holy Face and the little Church on top of Isola Maggiore, Lago Trasimeno, very much with me in my studio.

Drawing, feeling on top of the world!

Three days working hard in my studio, on small pieces, but each intense and concentrated. The ecological balancing act coming through strongly. The experiences in the Church of San Francesco, in Sansepolcro, with the miraculous Holy Face and the little Church on top of Isola Maggiore, Lago Trasimeno, very much with me in my studio.

Walking in Italy, insect and bird lessons; trident faced rocks

One day whilst walking through a forest we came upon an enormous pile of fresh dung. It was literally crawling with blue-black shiny beetles; I have never seen anything like it before. On another day, whilst taking a rest (it was very hot, my pack was heavy) we sat down at the edge of the track, and as I sat, my eyes unfocused, I slowly became aware of a large pinkish insect beside my boots. It dawned on me that it was a praying mantis. I haven’t seen one since biology lessons at school, many years ago. We spent many minutes watching this extraordinary, seemingly ungainly insect. It looked at us too, with it’s large round eyes either side of it’s head.

One path past the Eremo di Cerbaiolo, the lower, gave us a good view of the settlement. To one side of it the markings in the rocks gave the impression of an eastern-looking face, with a trident on the forehead. Circling above the rocks were great dark broad-winged birds: eagles.

A bag back and front, just before we saw the face in the rocks.

 

One day whilst walking through a forest we came upon an enormous pile of fresh dung. It was literally crawling with blue-black shiny beetles; I have never seen anything like it before. On another day, whilst taking a rest (it was very hot, my pack was heavy) we sat down at the edge of the… Read more »

Eremo di Cerbaiolo

Two weeks ago on holiday in Italy we walked to a tiny, ancient hermitage perched on top of an enormous rocky outcrop, about 25 km north of Sansepolcro. It had begun life as a Benedictine monastery before the Franciscans took over the care of the place. Twice we walked up steep dry rocky paths and on the second day, after waiting for an hour in a pocket of shade, the care-taker arrived, two heavy bags of figs in his hands. I was a little disappointed that Chiara, the caretaker who we had read about, and who had lived there before with her legions of goats, was nowhere to be seen. The tiny cemetery had three fresh well-tended graves.

Entering the Eremo was like crossing the threshold of a magical land, or a tardis of some sort. The courtyard was beautiful, with an enormous clock, an ancient well, and the saying ‘pray and work’  high upon the wall. The chapel felt as if the air was concentrated with prayer, coolness and silence. You would never imagine you were on high ground surrounded by eagles and precipitous ledges. We stayed a while in the sacred atmosphere. As we were leaving we read a clipping about the death of Chiara, two years previously. There were many pictures of her with her goats;  in most of the pictures they appeared to be climbing her legs, or gazing with love into her eyes.

We paid our respects at her grave, and beside the cross was a photograph of Chiara with a black goat, it’s face pressed against hers.

Two weeks ago on holiday in Italy we walked to a tiny, ancient hermitage perched on top of an enormous rocky outcrop, about 25 km north of Sansepolcro. It had begun life as a Benedictine monastery before the Franciscans took over the care of the place. Twice we walked up steep dry rocky paths and… Read more »