“Sometimes, seeing one of these moths that have met their end in my house, I wonder what kind of fear and pain they feel while they are lost. As Alphonso had told him, said Austerlitz, there is really no reason to suppose that lesser beings are devoid of sentient life. We are not alone in dreaming at night for, quite apart from dogs and other domestic creatures whose emotions have been bound up with ours for many thousands of years, the smaller mammals such as mice and moles also live in a world that exists only in their minds whilst they are asleep, as we can detect from their eye movements, and who knows, said Austerlitz, perhaps moths dream as well, perhaps a lettuce in the garden dreams as it looks up at the moon by night.”
This past weekend I saw this beautiful piece in the Contemporary cultural center of Barcelona.. thousands of black butterflies surrounded the place.
And in this video you can see the motivations behind the piece and a few glimpses of the installation in another place.
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.
Apartment houses ,Paris, 1946
I have always directed my attempts at the figurative representation of objects by way of summary and not very descriptive brushstrokes, diverging greatly from the real objective measurements of things, and this has led many people to talk about childish drawing…this position of seeing them (the objects, fh) without looking at them too much, without focussing more attention on them than any ordinary man would in normal everyday life..
People have seen that I intend to sweep away everything we have been taught to consider – without question – as grace and beauty; but have overlooked my work to substitute a vaster beauty, touching all objects and beings, not excluding the most despised – and because of that, all the more exhilarating….
I would like people to look at my work as an enterprise for the rehabilitation of scorned values, and, in any case, make no mistake, a work of ardent celebration….
I am convinced that any table can be for each of us a landscape as inexhaustible as the whole Andes range… I am struck by the high value, for a man, of a simple permanent fact, like the miserable vista on which the window of his room opens daily, that comes, with the passing of time, to have an important role in his life. I often think that the highest destination at which a work of art can aim is to take on that function in someone’s life.
A little secret that I have sought for a long time by way of a fortuitous encounter quite unrelated to the matter: for example six months I try to draw a camel in a way that satisfies me, and I make a thousand attempts without ever managing to do it. Then one day it is a drawing of a plump on the label of a pot of jam or the shadow thrown by an ink pot, or something or other equally unrelated to the matter that provides me with the solution. This kind of thing has happened so often that I have acquired the habit of always being on the outlook, and when I want to draw a camel I no longer limit myself, as I once did, to looking (only, fh) at camels…
Il flute sur la boss (1947)
On Art Brut: Those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses – where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere – are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professionals. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade.
A few days ago I had the opportunity to see the Louise Bourgeois exhibition “Structures of existence-The cells”.
I have admired her for as long as I can remember, seen documentaries, read and tried to understand all the little details of art as psychoanalysis, the volume of her work it is impressive and seeing it in person has been truly a wonderful experience I am quite grateful for.
This is the only photo I took, honestly I do respect the rules of not photographing but I was also too busy taking it all in.
Still here are a few photos I found online of what I saw inside:
The cells represent different types of pain.
What touched me the most is that as you walk through the cells, it’s like walking into someone’s dreams, it’s so intimate,you can feel the fear, the anxiety the slow growth and coming to terms with things and to finally reach acceptance and forgiveness.
It was truly beautiful.
I don’t know, look, it’s terrible how it’s raining. It’s raining all the time, dense and gray outside, here drops, dull and hard, come against the balcony with a splat!, squashing themselves like slaps piling one onto another, how tedious. Now a droplet appears just at the top of the window frame; stays there quivering against the sky, shattered into a thousand subdued glints, about to fall down but won’t fall, still won’t fall. It holds on tight, all nails, doesn’t want to fall and it’s clear it grips with its teeth while its belly grows bigger and bigger; it’s now a majestic drop hanging there, and then plonk, there it goes, splat, undone, nothing, only a clammy something on the marble.
But there are those that kill themselves and surrender right away, sprouting in the frame whence they jump off outright; I can even make out the dive’s vibration, their little legs falling off and the inebriating scream in the fleetingness of the fall and their annihilation. Sad, gloomy, despondent drops, plump and gullible drops. Good-bye drops. Good-bye.I don’t know, look, it’s terrible how it’s raining. It’s raining all the time, dense and gray outside, here drops, dull and hard, come against the balcony with a splat!, squashing themselves like slaps piling one onto another, how tedious. Now a droplet appears just at the top of the window frame; stays there quivering against the sky, shattered into a thousand subdued glints, about to fall down but won’t fall, still won’t fall. It holds on tight, all nails, doesn’t want to fall and it’s clear it grips with its teeth while its belly grows bigger and bigger; it’s now a majestic drop hanging there, and then plonk, there it goes, splat, undone, nothing, only a clammy something on the marble.
But there are those that kill themselves and surrender right away, sprouting in the frame whence they jump off outright; I can even make out the dive’s vibration, their little legs falling off and the inebriating scream in the fleetingness of the fall and their annihilation. Sad, gloomy, despondent drops, plump and gullible drops. Good-bye drops. Good-bye.
Don’t you wish you had the time to just try different things, to experiment with new materials, to spend days in a single project without feeling guilty about not working?
I have a small list of things I want to learn, starting with baking, I wish I could be really good at it and also I want to learn to sew and learn to make specifically 2 things, long dresses and loose straight pants , the list goes on but each craft, really is a small world with techniques l,tips, secrets, takes practice, patience, money for materials etc
And then try juggling that with real life, work, house work, family time,that thing people talk about mmm yeeee sleeping! and those of you who have children and still have Etsy shops and work from home, I tip my hat to you and admire you so much.
I want to learn about jewelry because is what I do, and when I see other things such as textiles I just think of how to incorporate it in jewelry, and my brain functions toward how to wear something.
And since I got to Antigua like a year and a half ago, for the every first time i traveled here, I met him, he is from Japan and who I bought the stones from, and from then and my travels here to today of me living here he has been my stone supplier, then one day I stop by and see him pulling out of some boxes the most beautiful leather bags
– I lost it-
Specially when I found out the whole thing was hand stiched all the little pockets, all by hand because is too thick for a sewing machine.
He is so kind, and sweet and told me he can teach me a little bit, and I gave him ideas for belts and jewelry and we both have been collaborating this past week making some bags for my shop, using stones I love and that I would have used for jewelry. He makes the structures this while I learn to set stones with leather and make the right stitching so if over time one stitch got loose all the rest would still be there perfectly not like it would with a machine (you know when you pull it and the whole thread comes out 😛 )
It’s so hard because it’s new, is really cool the new tools, the stitching, the leather itself, it’s so beautiful and like he said, in the begining it was made this way, in an artisan way with a few tools and a lot of love and creativity
You know what I learned this week?
I learned that people are ok with teaching about what they do, if they know you will give it your own twist and you will respect the craft, because it’s true I could teach someone how to do the basics in jewelry but if I felt that person is going to make the exact same thing as I , changes everything, so this harmony of collaborating, sharing ideas, it’s so so so beautiful.
Well let me show you the first 2 bags :
This one made with ocean jasper, I am obsessed with mustard/yellow tones, and this stone has them all , and along the leather it looks so nice.
And this one with a faceted agate with a little pocket druzy , a belt with a pocket perfect for jeans and a tank or with a long dress like this…
As for mine I did a little stiching of it and is not done but is also one with a belt , I’ll post photos when it’s done..
I’m leaving in 15 days and well I’m a bit sad because I won’t learn as much, but back home I’ll experiment by myself and see what comes out, also I can’t wait to see my family it’s been way too long.
And now I’m off to list these 2 bags on my shop and I leave you with this song where the title of this post comes from and that I can’t get it out of my head..
By far my Louise Lecavalier is my favorite dancer, she just has so much personality, strength and image .. besides an incredible talent…
You can see the other version here..http://youtube.com/watch?v=8q876pJ0tWE
…. a man who sleeps and dreams and sees me acting, living and moving – and who is dreaming at this moment as I am speaking to you. When he dreams, I awake to life; when he awakes, my existence vanishes. I am a whim of his inspiration, a creation of his mind, a visitor in his nightly fantasies.