Mr. Patterns, Featured Documentary at the Esker Foundation

Last night I had opportunity to view the beautiful documentary, Mr. Patterns, at the Esker Foundation.  I was so happy to meet up with Wendy Lees of Love Art in Calgary and to sit back in such a perfect space, nibbling on popcorn and sipping lime bubbly.  If you have not yet visited the exhibit Fiction/Non-Fiction, please do.

The thirteen artists in Fiction/Non-fiction challenge mainstream cultural and political narratives by offering transcultural critique through works that propose counterpoints, rhetorical questions, and revisionist statements (often as increasingly abstract forms of representation) to official historical records or archives.

Sometimes people appreciate my book suggestions.  As related to the topic of the documentary, I recommend two books.  A 1986 book, Songlines, written by Bruce Chatwin is directly related to the Dreamtime of the Papunya Tula artists.  I had tears in the dark when I saw in the documentary, the artists singing the Honey Ants…a powerful piece of iconography, strong symbols, on the side of a building.

Papunya Tula Honey Ants

Papunya Tula Honey Ants

I also recommend, especially for my women-readers, Marlo Morgan’s Mutant Message Down Under.  These two books will introduce the reader to a context as it relates to the status of the indigenous peoples of Australia.  The documentary presented parallels to the stories of indigenous peoples the world over.  A must-see.

The Papunya Tula art movement says so much about the human spirit and Geoffrey Bardon is to be commended for his vision and his promotion of the artists throughout that period of history.  The documentary was laced together with 16 mm. footage.  I enjoyed that sensibility as it contributed to themes of memory.

Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi

Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi

Recent News

I haven’t been able to respond to or report about the tragic explosion of the oil rig in the Gulf, up until now.  I have been consumed by the news of it, and while sitting in the Canadian foothills, miles from where I can SEE or SMELL or EXPERIENCE the tragedy, it is tragic none-the-less.  Daily, I fear for the state of the ocean.  Before this even happened, I was upset by the trawling and the overfishing and the fact that human beings do not look below the surface and so they do NOT REALLY KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!  What a person does NOT experience OR SEE doesn’t bother them.  I have begun to use my art to speak of the truth, but at this point, I feel that I am helpless.
 
I know that my readers are few and that you also must be feeling this helplessness, but this blog provides a forum where I can at the very least, vent my frustration.  Lately, I have wondered if I had been diligent and hard-working; if I had studied biological science, would I be able to make a better contribution to the world than I can as an artist.  As I scan the various wildlife sites and foundations and organizations, I notice again and again, that unless I have the proper skills and training and experience with wildlife, the only other way I can really volunteer is through my financial contributions.  So, you see, I seek to understand what I can do and I become yet another citizen who stands by while the ‘experts’ try to clean up their mess.  The public consciousness has got to come to some huge collective inspired ‘thought’.  We have to work as nations, the world over, to create a common good.  We are depleting this planet.  It is evident in so many different ways.
 
As long as we enjoy our individual comforts, we do not feel the urgency of it all.  I am as guilty as everyone else.  I am seeking answers.