Being Bodies is 30 artists exploring what it means to have a body, looking at one body part each month.
February is the month of the Shoulders and I contributed this sketch. Initially it was going to be a draft but in the end I just loved how the lines fell on the paper.
Our Histories are Heavy
We are Structured for Strength
Very proud of Saba and Lara who were interviewed about The Airmail Project for Lebanese TV station Future TV.
They do a great job of explaining the project and some of the work. Also another shout out is due to Amin at A Fish In Sea, the graphic design studio that hosted our Beirut exhibition and who regularly host interesting creative projects as part of their Community exhibition series.
“Reflections on Darkness: Words to Light Up Our Darkest Months” is a guest blog curated by Brianna Kocka. The task of each guest blogger is to reflect through their chosen writing style on the darkest days of the year. I was lucky to contribute a poem last time after Drew Worthley put in a good word for me.
This time I mustered all my audacity and decided to challenge the LIGHT AS GOOD / DARKNESS AS EVIL metaphor which pervades western thought to such an extent that we can forget that it is not true, at least not in any physical sense. The FULL POST has a preamble about the potency and pervasiveness of metaphor, but the heart of the article is a proposal of four new metaphors for darkness. I suggest that if we add them to our metaphorical landscape, we can find more beauty in the dark.
(1) LIGHT AS NOISE / DARKNESS AS QUIET A bright light makes us squint and cover our eyes in much the same way as a loud noise makes us cover our ears. The daytime is a hectic burst of vibrant activity, much of which thankfully subsides at the end of the day. As the calming twilight falls we welcome the silence. When the glare of the day is over, we can soften into the night. When we need to escape the chatter in our heads, we should breathe deeply; our mind will dim. If we are mindful to practice, we will slowly approach the gentle silence of endarkenment.
(2) LIGHT AS PLUTONIC / DARKNESS AS ROMANTIC “You know the night time / is the right time / to be / with the one you love”. So goes the Nappy Brown song, made famous by Ray Charles. Plutonic relationships – friendship, commerce – are happy at midday in the town square; not weakened by being watched. But there is another connection we crave, that thrives under cover, in moments that are less exposed. “Turn your lights down low” sings Bob Marley “And pull your window curtains / oh and let the moon come shining in / into our life again”.
(3) LIGHT AS PUBLIC / DARKNESS AS INTIMATE Light is broadcast. The glare of the sunshine is an open public announcement to anyone who cares to listen. Darkness is a whisper to someone specific. As night draws in, we draw close those with whom we most want to be connected. Intimacy isn’t shiny; her shadows speak only in confidence. People we value darken our doors. And those who, whether it’s clumsiness or malice, indiscriminately shine light on everything cannot be trusted with a secret.
(4) LIGHT AS TOIL / DARKNESS AS REST We praise the daytime, but light makes us work. Traditionally the sun called us to hard labor; now fluorescent lights extend our toil long after the sun has descended. Welcome the darkness for God knows we need more sleep. If we cannot extinguish light, we darken ourselves for rest by closing the lids of our eyes. Only when the light is gone can we forget it’s bright call to stay alert. Our workload often dims during the winter, when longer nights tempt us into deeper sleep. Let us learn when to turn the lights off.
READ THE ORIGINAL (FULL) POST
Being Bodies is my latest project for 2015 – 30 artists exploring what it means to have a body, looking at one body part each month. I don’t yet have a view on where the project will take me personally but what I do know is that I want to pick up my pencils. Since the 2009 heyday of Pen Paper Pause sketches, i’ve been focusing more and more on words, but drawing does something different for me.
January is the month of the Chest and I decided to take a phrase literally, in the vein of the Literal Idioms project.
Lots of other good #beingbodies stuff starting to materialise over at http://beingbodies.tumblr.com
Introducing my latest collaborative project, Being Bodies which I have just started with the wonderful Sarah Lowe; friend, yoga teacher, poet, and editor of Most Things Move. Here is an outline of the project:
We don’t have bodies, we are bodies. Being connected to our bodies keeps us connected to others, to what we care about and to the world. Every part of the human experience is entwined with the physical parts of our bodies.
Being Bodies is a creative exploration of our physicality.
The project is a collaboration initiated by Sarah Lowe, a yoga teacher and poet based in Shanghai, and Richard Watkins, a poet/artist and initiator of creative collaborations based in London.
Each month of 2015 we will orientate our creative work around a particular part of the body, exploring the physical, sensual and metaphorical associations. Through the year we will work through: feet, legs, knees, pelvis, belly, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, back, head and face.
We have about 30 creatives from different disciplines signed up to contribute through the year. You can follow the project over at http://beingbodies.tumblr.com/
Do share #beingbodies with your network and get in touch if you want to talk about it.
Here’s to a year exploring the body.
Hello lovely people – The Airmail Project now has all of the work finished (apart from one piece from China, via Holland, that’s stuck in customs in South Africa) and we had a fantastic opening night at Louis Jane Studio in Pasadena, LA.
We were also featured in ArtBlitz LA, an online magazine documenting the LA art scene, and you can read the article here.
Here are the three final pieces I was involved with as an artist
1. Safety In Numbers: me, to Ben from Malaysia, to Dean from Australia
2. Ligero Ascenso Interno: Fede from Colombia, to me, to Henk from Holland
3. Future Face: Dean from Australia, to Muso from Zambia, to me
What’s next? In December all the art work will head to Beirut where Saba will host a second show, and then will head to Cape Town where Andile will host. At some point we want a show in London.
Meanwhile, phase two of the project will be starting soon where instead of one large international project I’m hoping people will initiate local projects around the world, so a wider set of artists can get involved. Watch this space. Let me know if you want to join in.