Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Woman as Min Chi, woman as Goddess - the volcano, the sloth......

The woman I saw in two ways - first, I thought, an idealised image of yourself - you look at the viewer - your glance is sincere, and very open - you are what you are doing - you do not judge the viewer, in your glance, you are aware of them - you are communicating to them, with your eyes- you are presenting the setting, in both foreground and background - you are a representative of the scene, and a participant - with what you are doing - both as the artist - and, as the caregiver of life - and, as a member of this landscape, as you are one with it, part tree, firmly planted, a solid trunk, set into the earth. The bark is thick and simply but richly lined - it is an established tree, one that has been where it is a very long time - a representative tree, of all trees, of their experience beyond the lives of those that have passed by, human and animal, and, a symbolic tree, as all strong trees are - the bark tells a story too, of its health, of its accumulated wisdom, its lines, like the wrinkles on an elephants skin give the feeling of its great wisdom, along with its eyes that look at you - and - your glance is also one of knowledge, and, appeal - to see, to feel this, to know. You are naked, a part of nature, no clothes of civilization - no sign of the ill will of people, only the human reference of the half woman, in the natural state of nudity. Yet, you are partly concealed - also, then, the human trait of humility - there is also another human virtue here - charity - the figure returns the caress of the creature/sloth - the sloth clings to both the trees as is its way - and - to the woman- the sloth does no harm - it lives much of its life invisibly, in the jungle and forest - is quiet, unassuming - like the gentler parts of nature - and - you caress it, as perhaps the tree itself cannot - but - you, as this tree in part, can, with a hold that is not restrictive, but, loving - freeing - and yet, protective - the sloth too seems to look at the viewer- perhaps, one with the woman as she holds - the look of innocence seems to be in the eyes of both - perhaps, more vulnerable in the sloth - but, no less gentler in you/ woman-. Your look more implores the viewer, to see, to kindness - for this creature of the woods -.


I also see an alternative- that the figure is a goddess of the forest- maybe both you, and the goddess - it certainly works both ways- your perception as an artist is to draw attention here- to what you know, to what you have seen, and the desire to be part, and protector, too- the goddess has this function, too- growing into the tree or out of it, perhaps, also, part of the sloth, eventually- the tree, planted in the ground, if part of the setting- as is the goddess, who dwells there and always has- as part of the scape. As a goddess, it cares for all this in the setting- and, also sees the viewer, in a glance that shows much more that an individual experience- it shows time, and life itself, that flows from her, and into her- a protector overall, and a provider- and, perhaps, an object of love within this setting, of desire to belong and fulfil a destiny- and here again of course, I feel, the image blurs between you and goddess, as I see you in both destinies. Perhaps I recognize the hair- I think, I forest goddess in her natural straight may have long never cut hair- which you would look like- (had you not cut it) but, more importantly, it is a shorter hair- so, it suggests to me that there is a human caregiver- who has become part of the forest- growing into a tree body- who has been in civilization- and still retains the hair of a civilized world- cut or styled- but now, it is in nature- perhaps, not returning to civilization- and the hair would grow out, or, a goddess/ you who will return to civilization (town, city, other people, etc) or perhaps also, a being, goddess/ you- who lives at the same time in both worlds.
The distant volcanoes suggest to me the active earth- they seem all active themselves, smoke coming out, yet, not erupting (yet.) They are the threat of the natural course of things to me, that they may let go, erupt, and cover all of this with lava and ash- that that is part of this natural process, and of natures, and here is the goddess, anchored to the ground, as she is tree trunked, and she would not flee if there was an eruption, but, stay, and see to her loved ones, these creatures, landscapes, and plants that surround her...the volcanoes are rendered in a sweeping gesture, suggesting the ascent up the sides- as was your personal journey- toward the peak…and also, a sweeping gesture that ties the landscape to the gesture of the body, the woman’s arms as they hold, but, more dramatically sweeping, as if the force is not as protective like the woman’s, but, the unforgiving and threatening part of nature- .The sweep of the line, as do all of the lines, retain the quality of the lines of carving- the unique and subtle qualities of wood- and the relationship of the line to the surface- that there is a cutting away, and foreground and a background, to every line that is made- woodcarving- and, the natural material- also an offering of the self- for the woman/ goddess/ you- who offers their body in a sense- their own trunk- to the betterment of the viewer, a sacrifice for the vision- it is a beautiful relationship, between image and material- . Again, the volcanoes- the sweep of the side, the ascent- and, the other side- down which one may fall- the edge of one turns into a smooth curl like a wave, natural and turning over slightly on itself- a ledge- and, curled lines- that draw in other natural forms, of plants, of the gentle sweep of a landscape, one that, even with these smoking volcanoes, is also filled with some peace, and gentle beauty-.
The smooth hills in the distance, and spiky plants on them and the foreground- show variety, again, as does the contrast of volcano to gentle goddess- there is aggressive growth- affirming, life that rises and wishes to be, to claim a dominance- both of the viewers eyes and of the landscape- it is a contrast that is important- tranquillity, rest- with fertility, life, future grown suggested, as the sharp tips will continue to grow, from these narrow ends, and become full, and still, will point, in a narrow end, toward more growth still, toward a resolution of their own dying away, but, also, toward the rebirth from these transient ends- toward life, as it is born, in and after death, of more life, more variety, more living- always, in the presence of the landscape, which they (the shapes, the rising forms) are fixed in- as part- of the landscape.
The clearing, and the colour tone there- feels tranquil, but, warm, and, free to inhabit, though warm in colour, there is respite- maybe, there is enclosure, shade- enclosure in the earth- a clearing- there is a bird on a plant- at night, it is cool- it is also a clearing in the forest- the bird finds his/ her food in the bugs or knots in the tree- insects, bits of plant- it works by day- at night, it rests, it makes bird sounds, it sings, like the insects, it calls- a song- it is nature singing in this open space- open, like the body of an instrument, a hollow, that amplifies and lets resound the strings/ the throats of these singing birds as they see to their young in nests, or call to each other for their lovemaking-. The clearing, with its warm colour, may also be a womb- perhaps, the womb of the woman/ goddess/ you- a place of life, of growth, a soft, warm inviting home for love to enter, perhaps in the form of a symbolic man, if one is present- as fertility- I see the dangling forms from the top of the clearing- plants- but- lines suggest movement- they may be generative, alive like sperm- seeking to produce- the womb is seen as safe, for generation, for tranquillity of the forest at night, with birds singing slow cooing and songs- and perhaps also, this nesting between a man and a woman, with the cool night, lovemaking from within and from without, the softness of this part of setting feeling like repose, like the slowness of love, growing, and pleasure with beauty and amid- all the other things, the inevitable, the destiny- that is part of existence as part of nature- .
As I have seen in all of your work, your lines are confident- and there is no hesitation between rendering and the image- there is a unity of skill and intent- it is matter, I would call it- that as much as it is a struggle, it feels as if it is rendered in a first language, spoken clearly, nothing extra, no leftover or unresolved thought- and, it is a spiritual image, on so many levels- about care, and peace, and destiny, and fulfilment- of promise, of acceptance of living, and what that is, as a creature on earth, and, as a part of creation.. and, also, for the viewer, a reminder- to what we are- that we are part- as the woman is physically, part of the cycles of all of the events of the earth, of the creatures and their individual life spans, and the amid that, the rest, the tranquillity, the moments of sleep, and the promise of good and love within the natural course, that these things are not separate, but are one "landscape" , just as you have given in this image in two parts- unified- as the scene moves across two pieces, whose abundance cannot be contained on a single panel, that there is more, to the very material on which you composed this unified and persuasive conception- .


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