Marlene Dumas – The Painter, 1994 Oil on canvas
Marlene Dumas – The Painter, 1994 Oil on canvas
THE DICTIONARY OF OBSCURE SORROWS http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.
June Schwarcz is 97 years old and still enameling today..
I feel quite drawn to work like this, where the more you seek the more details you find..
I once had a conversation with one of my teachers where he asked me why I kept making boxes.. for some reason I am drawn to boxes and hollow structures as well, we decided there was some sort of “protecting” aspect about it.. and when I see her vessels I get just that, I think her subtlety shows through, these are not to be used in a common form, they were made to hold something deeper… they are to be admired and loved as the beautiful object they are..
This video features her talking about her work, it is so inspiring to see someone so fulfilled and with a life time of memories through making..
Oh..well, did I tell you I really like her work? 🙂
The work of the poet Alberto Caeiro, Fernando Pessoa’s heteronymous, is a philosophy without philosophy. One that puts into question the cultural tradition that “covers” thought: philosophy, poetry, mysticism, religion. It does so by returning to nature in a way that implies an absence of meaning, concepts, knowledge structures and prejudices that distort the look of things, the experience of Nature and feel of Reality. Because it deals with an unlearning, Caeiro turns to the simple, not-thinking, almost to the absence of the word.
I’m a keeper of flocks.
The flock is my thoughts
And my thoughts are all sensations.
I think with my eyes and with my ears
And with my hands and feet
And with my nose and mouth.
Thinking about a flower is seeing and smelling it
And eating a piece of fruit is knowing its meaning.
That’s why when on a hot day
I feel sad from liking it so much,
And I throw myself lengthwise on the grass
And shut my hot eyes,
And feeling my whole body lying on reality,
I know the truth and I’m happy.
If I could take a bite of the whole world
And feel it on my palate
I’d be more happy for a minute or so…
But I don’t always want to be happy.
Sometimes you have to be
Unhappy to be natural…
Not every day is sunny.
When there’s been no rain for a while, you pray for it to come.
So I take unhappiness with happiness
Naturally, like someone who doesn’t find it strange
That there are mountains and plains
And that there are cliffs and grass…
What you need is to be natural and calm
In happiness and in unhappiness,
To feel like someone seeing,
To think like someone walking,
And when it’s time to die, remember the day dies,
And the sunset is beautiful, and the endless night is beautiful…
That’s how it is and that’s how it should be…
What we see of things is things.
Why would we see one thing as being another?
Why is it that seeing and hearing would deceive us
If seeing and hearing are seeing and hearing?
The main thing is knowing how to see,
To know how to see without thinking,
To know how to see when you see,
And not think when you see
Or see when you think.
But this (poor us carrying a clothed soul!),
This takes deep study,
A learning to unlearn
And sequestration in freedom from that convent
Where the poets say the stars are the eternal brothers,
And flowers are penitent nuns who only live a day,
But where stars really aren’t anything but stars,
And flowers aren’t anything but flowers,
That being why I call them stars and flowers.
At times, on days of perfect and exact light,
When things have all the reality they can,
I ask myself slowly
Why I even attribute
Beauty to things.
Does a flower somehow have beauty?
Somehow a fruit has beauty?
No: they have color and form
And existence only.
Beauty is the name of something that doesn’t exist
I give to things in exchange for the delight they give me.
It means nothing.
Then why do I say, “Things are beautiful”?
Yes, even I, who live only to live,
Invisible, they come to meet me,
Men’s lies in the face of things,
In the face of things that simply exist.
How difficult to be yourself and see only what you can!
I suddenly wake up in the night,
And my clock occupies the whole night.
I don’t sense Nature outside.
My room is a dark thing with vaguely white walls.
Outside there’s a quiet like nothing existed.
Only the clock goes on with its noise.
And this little thing of gears on top of my table
Smothers the whole existence of the earth and the sky…
I almost lose myself thinking about what this signifies,
But I come back, and I feel myself smiling in the night with the corners of my mouth,
Because the only thing my clock symbolizes or signifies
Filling the enormous night with its smallness
Is the curious sensation of the enormous night being filled
With its smallness…
I usually start by displaying materials on a table, I do a small layout to see what I have and the possibilities available, here you can see bits and pieces found on the street, on the beach.. just different walks, as time goes by I also have friends that find little pieces and give them to me just in case I can use them..
Why is there that innate eagerness of collecting?
Why do we do this? sometimes there is really not a financial value for these objects still, we feel accomplished when we find something that just fits.
But why do we have this light obsession, why do some of us do it, some of us don´t?
I have been very interested in the topic, specially because I try to understand why do I get that light sense of “joy” when I find certain materials, I am attracted to things that have a worn aspect, a sense of time that has gone past them, everything, even the smallest thing has a story.
It is all a way to understand my own nature through making, I like giving these materials a chance, a space, why not?
“We use keepsakes to stimulate memory, especially to trigger fond memories but even if memory cannot be relied upon to faithfully reproduce a record of the past, it remains vital to our understanding of the past.” Terry Shoptaugh
Photographs, toys, train tickets, the lists are endless and it varies from person to person, do you collect anything?
Back to the piece:
I made boxes to keep and display them as small treasures and kept experimenting with arranging, re-arranging, and classifying parts of a-big-world-out-there, I found a composition that made sense to me, the piece that fitted each box.
This is the first brooch I made where I did made some boxes specifically for some pieces I wanted to use but for the second one (which I will show you later on) it took a little longer, I made the arrangement and then just waited until I found the correct piece for each box.
Since this is a brooch I didn’t want the copper to go directly in touch with the clothing so I made a sterling silver frame to give it a bit of volume and stability as you see the boxes are in mixed positions, so having a frame in the back gives me a good space to make the mechanism.
At the same time, I made and soldered bezels, tubes and all the parts to hold the pieces in place.
And after finishing off, removing some of the patina in certain places, oxidizing and placing the stainless steel needle in the back, this is the result.
It makes a little noise since the bell is tied and swinging loose 🙂
After finishing, the piece left me and it’s off in the Museum of Anthropology of Palencia, for a while.