Category Archives: Art

Barely there

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With That Moon Language

Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that sweet moon language, What every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

-Hafiz

Images  Anne Corr

‘True Impressions’ – the essential necessity of art

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‘And art and literature – what of them? Well, there is a violent uproar but we are not absolutely dominated by it. We are still able to think, to discriminate, and to feel. The purer, subtler, higher activities have not succumbed to fury or to nonsense. Not yet. Books continue to be written and read. It may be more difficult to reach the whirling mind of a modern reader but it is possible to cut through the noise and reach the quiet zone. In the quiet zone we may find that he is devoutly waiting for us. When complications increase, the desire for essentials increases too. The unending cycle of crises that began with the First World War has formed a kind of person, one who has lived through terrible, strange things, and in whom there is an observable shrinkage of prejudices, a casting off of disappointing ideologies, an ability to live with many kinds of madness, an immense desire for certain durable human goods – truth, for instance, or freedom, or wisdom. I don’t think I am exaggerating; there is plenty of evidence for this. Disintegration? Well, yes. Much is disintegrating but we are experiencing also an odd kind of refining process.’1

 

 

This paragraph of wisdom was gleaned from Saul Bellow’s lecture in 1976, and encapsulates some of my recent thinking.  I both applaud and deplore the recent breakthrough in technology , bringing the immediate and the virtual to practically every home or person via internet and smartphone.  I am aware of the changing awareness it provides me – the gratification of satisfying curiosity quickly and easily , whilst simultaneously eroding my capacity for concentration. I am a gadfly, settling momentarily for bites of informative , entertaining distraction rather than entering into a thorough investigation of one area of interest.  That is possibly character led – I have never been the model for applied intelligence, but even within my own modest parameters I feel an unease at how I limit my attention to reading matter in particular. And yet the other side of the coin gleams attractively – the range of newly discovered channels of information is thrilling. I watch video of life on earth previously undreamt of in even my mother’s generation, introducing whole facets of human and other strands of life that can only inspire further exploration and discovery. The vast multitude of available paths is itself discombobulating – sometimes paralysing. It can be both inspiring and frightening, to be open to so much possiblility can overwhelm and freeze , halting the desire to progress. So I cheer the idea  of Bellow’s ‘quiet zone’.  I know that we are so much further on too, than when this was written- forty years is after all, a lifetime to some. We are experiencing a world in flux -it has ever been thus – and still we need to champion the Arts as a way of life, one which explores, enhances and illuminates the human condition.  It is not only in the world of the novel that the ‘individual’ is petrified – never more than now has our species depended on the interconnectedness and the application of that knowledge of interconnection in order not only to flourish, but to survive , both in a literal and a metaphorical sense.
We grow our technology at a rate that imperils our planet and ourselves. We grow our technology in order to save the planet and ourselves. Both are versions of the same reality. We choose, as individual human beings how to behave, both individually and collectively. Some of us choose our governments to act on our behalf, some are less fortunate, but all of us are responsible for the reality we choose.

Saul Bellow’s lecture discussed the value of literature in exposing the ‘true impressions’ to ourselves.  It is as prescient today as it was then;

‘The value of literature lies in these intermittent “true impressions”. A novel moves back and forth between the world of objects, of actions, of appearances, and that other world from which these “true impressions” come and which moves us to believe that the good we hang onto so tenaciously – in the face of evil, so obstinately – is no illusion.’

It is the artist’s gift to show us what is generally unnoticed by us.

The march of technology will continue to move us through different method of exploring that creative expression and I have no problem with that. When I thought about it, the popular mass of human beings on the planet have not enjoyed the easy access to books for that long, perhaps reading is only part of a creative journey to be taken by a comparative few. Perhaps the experience of being human and expressing paradox and complexity will follow different routes of expression, but express it we must. As Joseph Conrad explained, and Saul Bellow related:’ the novel tells us that for every human being there is a diversity of existences, that the single existence is itself an illusion in part, that these many existences signify something, tend to something, fulfill something; it promises us meaning, harmony and even justice. What Conrad said was true, art attempts to find in the universe, in matter as well as in the facts of life, what is fundamental, enduring, essential.’

The lecture can be read or listened to in full via the  link in the citation.

Citation:

1 ; MLA style: “Saul Bellow – Nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 11 Feb 2016. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1976/bellow-lecture.html&gt;

Please do not reuse the images on my site without prior permission.

Savour

savour

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My capture of a wonderful morning sky earlier last month.

Oh,and a reminder to attend.

 Against Entropy

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

— John M Ford

 

The Daily Conundrum

I have woken up this morning in a conundrum.  I don’t know what to do.  This is not a new feeling for me – but it is uncomfortable.  There is much I COULD do, mainly of the domestic nature – that never goes away. There is some of what I  MUST do – the arrangements for food, the dog walk, the reading of son’s draft for his dissertation ( though why he wants me to is questionable as I understand so little in it).  At the end of all that remains the burning question what do I WANT to do.

I spend alot of my creative time playing at illustration,  a little of my time actually making, and too much of my time trying to promote myself via the new technologies – and all without a great deal of success since my social media savvy is minute.  I have decided to try and be brave and do what I want to do more – which is create, and less time at the  techy end. That doesn’t sound that brave does it?

The more time is sucked up by t’Internet, the less time there is to do what nurtures me.  I realise this is slightly paradoxical as I am here, typing my resolution to stop trying so hard.

This is the plan then,

Coffee, Muesli, planning strategy to limit time spent on promotion. This may involve some research , so that will demand more time. See what I mean?  I need to reach a decision whether to commit to a new start with Folksy which is a U.K based online crafts seller.  I have been there in the past without much successs, but I like the look of it much more now, and Etsy has changed considerably since it opened up to the stock market.

Already then my first plan is unravelling, as the decisions I need to make suck up the time I wanted to reinvest in making.

And I havn’t even touched on whether I should consider my own website. A step too far methinks.

I have to go now. I have to start something. Now.

Here’s something I made earlier. If you want to investigate more of what I am up to in the handmade arena of my little life, then leap over to my Etsy store here,www.etsy.com/uk/shop/modestly  where I have some books and cards ready for your delictation.  I generally make to order, so the ones displayed are examples of the finished article.  The covers vary , as I like to make each order individual. If you go over to my facebook page, you can see photos there of completed books.

My illustration work is sold via a variety of sites, and is fairly eclectic in style.  I tend not to box myself in. The downside of this approach is that I don’t fit anywhere.  Sounds somewhat familiar, and it is this that I need to resolve.  Does it matter that I don’t fit? What am I trying to achieve?   I will never be ‘successful’ in any way that means anything to the outside world. I love the affirmation that selling something gives me – it is a reward that someone values something enough to pay for it. But it isn’t WHY I do what I do. I do it to stay sane in a mad, mad world.

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The Universe in a Flower

universe

I took my camera out yesterday, not really expecting to achieve anything – rather in the hope that I might kickstart my mojo, as I am climbing out of that hole in my head and I will try anything as soon as I am able!  So imagine my delight when the universe sent me a heart shaped message amongst the briars.

I remembered the  Buddhist monk Sengai Gibon who made simplicity look , well simple- managing at the same time to raise the deepest questions we ask ourselves- what and why is the Universe?

Go quietly in the world. Be kind.

In the end is my beginning

A calendear of images by Anne Corr based on interpretation of poetic text

A calendar of images by Anne Corr based on interpretation of poetic text

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http://www.redbubble.com/people/anni103/calendars/16136050-in-my-end-is-my-beginning?p=calendar&ref=artist_shop_grid

In an unashamedly brazen attempt to get you all to look at my illustration work I have put together twelve images from my Redbubble page which have all been inspired by poetic works from various poets.  I have a preoccupation with the themes of time and nature , and constantly draw solace and inspiration from art and poetry alike that resonates.  The title of the calendar was taken from T.S. Eliot’s poem East Coker from ‘The Four Quartets’ – a poem that invites speculation and re reading time and time again.

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

I hope this is inviting enough for some of you to investigate the other products that have my illustrative work on them and please forgive the self promotion!  At the moment Redbubble are offering a 20% discount with the code THESEDAYS.  Simply quote the code at the checkout stage.

Parkland in Metropolis

parkland in metropolis

parkland in metropolis

Walking – one step in front of another, and the trees bend one way then another , whispering  , living lives of mystery beneath my feet.  I love the dialogue I have with these forebears. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t notice the living companions growing beside me, I only remember how bleak it was when I lived for a time in a concrete jungle, because it was the cheapest housing.