Saturday, June 8, 2013
"More Pretty Things"

The boxes are still all around me in various stages of emptyness. But I have some pretty things on our dresser!

Julia hand carried the little statue of Venus (Aphrodite) in her purse to the new house, so I knew it meant something to her. She can't remember the origin of the small 'Three Graces', but I'm quite sure our friends gifted us with it, I think after Laura died. It is of real alabaster. The vase on her side came from my Mother's things. The image in the picture is on the doors of the Library of Congress, but Julia's forgotten who the figure is. The inscription is in Latin, and Julia thinks it says "something about imperishable bronze". The relief above it is of Allat, "original goddess of Arabia", reproduction of a piece from Palmyria, from the first century CE.

I got the little brass vase on my side when I was in college, at a crafts from around the world sale. The Shiva to the left of it came from Sacred Source, one of the last pieces in real bronze they ever sold, I think made in Tibet. The tiny Shiva also came from Sacred Source, many years ago when they were known as JBL statues. The flower in the vase is made of shell and was a gift many years ago from a co-worker who had a vacation in Hawaii. I created the image of Set and Horus reconciled in 2007. The bird within a heart shape trivet was among my mother's things. I like to think the bird represents Horus. The 'heart' shape of it has added significance beyond the modern 'heart' shape. Richard Reidy explains in Eternal Egypt, for the "General Rite Honoring Sutekh", (another name for Set). One of the things offered to Set is the symbol of his "virile strength", and "The heiroglyph for testicles resembles an inverted Valentine's heart, with tip pointing up and the two rounded halves below." (page 261). That happens to be just the exact shape of this trivet. So it too expresses for me the idea of Set and Horus reconciled and content.

So, yes we have more than surface 'pretty' going on here!

Sunday, June 16, 2013
"The Practice of 'Long Looking'"

One statement within a workshop for art history teachers, (by Jane Gronau and Mark Roblee), really speaks to me:

"The practice of 'long looking' develops introspection and critical thinking, and often leads to new insights."

"Long looking" is not encouraged in today's fast paced society. I watched the new Superman movie and was dismayed at how fast the images zipped by. I would have preferred it to have slowed down all the way through, so I could study each scene more. Every thing in this consumerist culture is rush-rush. Those with aims to make us buy buy buy don't want us to have introspection and critical thinking, or we might realize, for instance, that we already have seventy shirts, and really don't need another.

We zip through our Facebook feed in a hurry to get to what we've seen before. I love the "I Require Art" page. The beautiful artwork Jules shows brightens my day. But how much more pleasant it would be to take time with each image and really look at it.

"Long looking" is one of the reasons I love to photograph favorite pieces at a museum. When I have the photo up in Photoshop and spend time editing it so that the photo more accurately reflects the actual piece, I must of necessity give it a long look. In this way I come to know the piece more than I could with just the brief moments spent in its actual presence. (Though I must say, experiencing the artwork directly is still the best, and the photo augments the direct experience.)

"Long looking" slows down the pace of life, and really lets us experience life. The life half lived is a life that's been rushed through. How sad to get from 0 to 85 fast! I want to take my time. The fullest embrace of our consciousness requires that we do so.


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