Gorilla House LIVE ART: November 7, 2012

Ok…so, back to the easel and rockin’ with the Gorilla House animules!  I had a wonderful time.  I took the pressure off of myself by bringing a reference.  I knew that no matter what the themes, I wanted to recognize Remembrance in some way…remembrance, memory, family.  Given my huge interest in family research, I also wanted to bring into the mix at least one character, intimately…some one I have come to know through my research.

Here are the themes as received from the wheel of doom…some connect to my intentions…however, not directly…you decide.

1. school yard wimps and…
2. judgement
3. watching reality t.v.

I began by setting down the words to W.B. Yeat’s poem, A Dialogue Between Self and Soul.  As the words lifted up…I moved the lines upward…as they fell, I moved them down.  This is just a spectacular poem.  I know.  I know.  It’s long and you have stuff to do today.  Trust me.  Read it and you will be somehow changed.

Dialogue Between Self and Soul
By William Butler Yeats

{My Soul} I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul?

{My Self}. The consecrated blade upon my knees
Is Sato’s ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
Unspotted by the centuries;
That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn
From some court-lady’s dress and round
The wooden scabbard bound and wound
Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn.

{My Soul.} Why should the imagination of a man
Long past his prime remember things that are
Emblematical of love and war?
Think of ancestral night that can,
If but imagination scorn the earth
And intellect is wandering
To this and that and t’other thing,
Deliver from the crime of death and birth.

{My Self.} Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it
Five hundred years ago, about it lie
Flowers from I know not what embroidery —
Heart’s purple — and all these I set
For emblems of the day against the tower
Emblematical of the night,
And claim as by a soldier’s right
A charter to commit the crime once more.

{My Soul.} Such fullness in that quarter overflows
And falls into the basin of the mind
That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
For intellect no longer knows
i{Is} from the i{Ought,} or i{Knower} from the i{Known — }
That is to say, ascends to Heaven;
Only the dead can be forgiven;
But when I think of that my tongue’s a stone.

{My Self.} A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;
The finished man among his enemies? —
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what’s the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?
I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

Then…the painting.  Although the chin area isn’t resolved…and some other things…I captured a gesture of my great uncle, Walter Haddow as he was photographed at Camp Borden in 1915, before heading out with the 40th Field Artillary Battalion to war.  He was one of the lucky ones.  He came home.  My great-grandfather did not.

Thank you, Peter, for purchasing this piece at auction and I’m so glad that this served as a reminder of your grandfather.  Also, thanks to the many individuals, new to the Gorilla House, who stopped by and spoke to me about the poem and about the painting, my process and the subject matter!

3 thoughts on “Gorilla House LIVE ART: November 7, 2012

  1. Thank you for this Kath, I love knowing depth and process of creation and appreciate that you so generously share – the true teacher in you! You create with such intention and meaning – the true artist in you! Another wonderful piece that others get to enjoy. I love your work and can’t wait to come back to the Battles in the new year.

  2. Thanks, Dad and Michelena! I appreciate any and all feedback. It’s a snowy day and it is a glorious and magical thing to have time to write and ponder. We can hardly wait to see you again, Michelena!

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