VISITING JOHN WATSON SCHOOL - New Beginnings and Hope - An Oxfordshire Artweeks inspired exhibition 2021
John Watson School
John Watson School is a community special school located in Wheatley, Oxford. It "offers a relevant and balanced education that recognises individual achievement and prepares each individual well for their future lives". The Arts are very important part of the school's curriculum, serving many purposes. It allows many of the children to express their emotions and experiences in a safe and therapeutic way. Some of the children are also quite talented young artists!
New Beginnings and Hope
'New Beginnings and Hope' is the theme of an Oxfordshire Artweeks inspired art exhibition in Spring 2021 at the school.
"The aim of the week was to celebrate our student’s work after a particularly challenging year and every student has a piece of work represented in the final display. Each pupil joined in with a week of creative experiences involving painting and printing, taking photographs and making sculptures."
Every class selected an artist they felt inspired new beginnings and hope and the children painted their own version of one of their artworks. The results were stunning! Each piece of art reflected the personality and styles of the individual children. In many instances the art provided valuable insights into the children's inner selves and perceptions of the world around them.
A VITUAL GALLERY is available to see on the school's website. A small selection of the magnificent artwork is in the gallery below.
Wish Upon a Star
It was an honour to be selected as the 'muse' by Adele reception class (5 year olds) as an artist reflecting 'new beginnings and hope' in their artwork. Out of the blue I received a lovely email from Jennie Eyles, telling me her class were using Wish Upon a Star as the inspiration for their own artwork to, 'send a message out to the universe'. The class were using it to engage in their own sensory exploration. Jennie had discovered Wish on the Oxfordshire Artweeks website.
Well done Adele class! Your artwork and exhibition were amazing. I really enjoyed meeting you all, seeing your art, and your stunning tie-dye t-shirts.
Adele reception class - 'WISH' ARTWORKS
After a wonderful tour by Deputy Head Sue Woodward a group photograph with a few of the children was taken beside the Tree of Hope. Each child had hung a dove or rainbow decorated in their own way, sending out their hopes into the universe.
Paint Along With Karen
At Cornerstone Arts Centre (on 14th March 2020) I ran a Paint Along With the Artist workshop as part of International Women's Week.
Using acrylics has the main benefit of drying fairly quickly so we could add layers and do some acrylic flow with some success. The them was going to be zoning areas of square blocks but it became very apparent that I could not 'box' people into doing this. Instead I encouraged different shapes of colour areas. Acrylic flow then integrate or differentiated these zones, plus it added an element of chaos to the order. This certainly contributed to energising the artworks, which were very static.
'Expression' by Karen L French
Well done to the 7 artists for their stunning 'expressions' of themselves!
Arms of a Cross mark doorway into the square setting out stable foundations on the earth. Each door also is a doorway out into the regions of the cosmos. Through these you enter the model gradually moving into the central bindu via the 9 layers, or chakra. Each of these 9 levels have a distinct shape, name and are associated with a number of aspects of the Great, or Supreme, Mother.
In essence, you enter the constructs of the physical world and our bodies, bound within it, to ultimately experience the union of Shiva and Shakti in the Point of unity at the centre, the highest peak of the mountain.
Every yantra has a mantra(s), tones in ancient Sanskrit that activate and invoke the power of the geometric model. During Sri Yantra puja about an hour of these are chanted by the swami. The presiding deity of the Sri Yantra is Maha Tripura Sundari, the Great Mother. Each layer radiating out from the bindu has mudras, or deities, residing within them. This is describe in the Sri Devi Khadgamala Stotram, a hymn to the Divine Mother, which 'bestows a garland of swords upon those who recite it, symbol of the energy that enables us to transcend attachment and rise on the spiritual level'. This Sanskrit stotra is a progressional worship of the many Goddess forms within the Sri Yantra and is considered as the highest form of worship to the Devi (Godess).
This is a simplified description of a multi-step, sacred ceremony that is many centuries old, with layers of rich symbolism. Doing a full worship is extremely difficult to do properly and few can do it!
The Sri Yantra puja is said to remove all negative things from your life.
Experiencing the Sri Yantra Puja
This summer Jaswinder Chali kindly invited me to join her and participate in a Sri Yantra Puja held in the Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple in Uxbridge, UK, a great honour. It was the first time Acharya Umesh Tiwariji (Instagram: Acharya Shri Umesh Tiwari) had visited the UK. He is a noted master trainer in the Sri Yantra Sadhana from Shrishri Vidhyadham.
You can experience the mantras of the Sri Yantra Puja by Acharya Umesh Tiwariji in the youtube video below.
STEP 1 - First a Brusho water colour background was created, a chaotic cloud of potential, of many vibrant colours in the void. Then I had the urge to create circles in random locations.
3 'major' circles resulted, each a container and also a point, placed a-round a central copper circle. This middle copper circle is the focal Point of the painting.
Creating accurate circles with clearing defined edges is tricky. Any slight deviation or indent immediately shows. Straight edges are much easier! All the circles were made using 3 layers of lustre, applied with circular strokes, then polished and sealed.
STEP 2 and 3 - More circles of copper lustre were added, moving freely about the energetic domain. They all lie outside of the space delineated by the Trinity.
Each of the 'major' circles in the Trinity were haloed by a geometric shape - red circle:green square (space), green circle:pink circle (time), rose pink circle:green octagon (Directions). These 'major' circles are bound by force fields (symbolised by the yellow lines) to create a sacred space.
3 is the number of creation, of Mind Body Soul, different states of Being (such as liquid, solid, gas). From the Centre of 3 a created Being emerges.
The central copper circle, or sphere, has a crystal code within it that is the basis of the structure of the Being emerging out of the quantum field.
In Step 3, gold lines and patterns where then added around each of the shapes. Recognising the sacred nature of the creative process through the use of geometry and colours from light.
QUANTUM BEING - So much like the emergence of a form of being out of the Void, constructed out of geometry and light, so too did the geometric grid in the painting Quantum Being emerge out of the canvas.
Using it as a meditative tool for visualisation you can either focus of the centre and move outwards to see what form of being emerges, providing you with some insight for interpretation depending upon what is created. Or, you can choose your own body, or that of another object/animal/person/plant, and move inwards into their central code in the quantum field. At the end of your meditation move back to the point where you started. Reflect on the impressions you had as you move in and/or outwards, and also any insights you gained.
After 7 months of planning and preparation LiterArties' first exhibition is underway...with 5 more exhibitions to follow in 2019, and more in the diary for future years!
The Jam Factory Exhibition 27th February - 16th April
Our Private Viewing last night was great fun!
'Living' pink with mellow yellow-gold undertones characterises Living Coral, Pantone Colour of the Year 2019, far softer than the vivid Ultra Violet of 2018. Certainly it brings some warmth to somewhat chilly times and draws our attention to the stunning beauty of the natural colours within the world of the fragile coral reefs.
Recently I became part of a dynamic, exciting new group based in and around Oxford, UK. Dennis Hamley, an active member of Writers in Oxford and prolific author, put out the call within the society for artists to exhibit together. And so our group of published authors and artists came together.
As artists our styles include a wide range of styles, subject matter and mediums. And, as writers we cover a diverse range of subjects; from local history to transgenderism, psychological thrillers to children’s stories, gritty life to romantic escapism, and esoteric symbolism. Collectively, we are not only published authors and skilled artists, but also teachers, mentors, publishers and actively working in many other non-arts related professions.
Although we were brought together by our skills in writing and art, many members are involved in other aspects of the Arts, such as music and drama. Because of this, and our desire to work with others, our common vision is Capturing our Creativity, through many modes and mediums.
The chemistry works and in a matter of a few months we have a name, LiterArties, a website and also can be found on the social network - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Not only that, galleries have responded enthusiastically to our proposal, appreciating both our art and literary talents, keen that we should run talks and workshops during exhibitions.
These are the exhibitions we have organised so far and more are in the pipe-line. Please check my Diary for all exhibitions, talks and workshops I will be doing. For all workshops during the exhibitions see the LiterArties Diary.
Numerous times I have had conversations about how worthwhile it would be to teach children the significance of mathematics using examples of geometry around us in Nature. In fact, using examples everything we interact with and the many fun ways in which we use it - as in our games, clothes, music and so many other relevant ways that a child can easily relate to, and understand it.
Sometimes I dabble with the idea of producing a book for children describing the richness of the language of numbers. Maybe I will do one day, but in the meantime I searched around to see if anyone else had already done so.......and discovered.....
This Disney animation, "Donald in Mathmagic Land" was recommended to me. It is an example of how much more interesting, and memorable, mathematics could be made using visual, real examples from around us.
"The Greedy Triangle"....and several books that were already showing how fun the world of geometric shapes can be for the younger audience. In fact there were DOZENS approaching geometry-shapes and colours from different 'angles'!
Books on geometric shapes for young readers
"The I Hate Mathematics! book" by Marilyn Burns - '....a way of looking at the world and that it can be relevant to everyday life (Street maths) and fun'.
"Shapes, Shapes, Shapes" by Tana Hoban - 'Whenever you are - inside or outside - there are shapes to discover.'
A gem of architectural mystery, internally the Rosslyn Chapel is covered by carved images that have piqued the interest of historians trying to unravel their meaning. Made famous by Dan Brown's 'De Vinci Code' the chapel welcomes hundred of intrigued visitors every year, which helps to restore and maintain this delightful structure.
Founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair the chapel took only 40 years to build. Naturally, with so much overt symbolism, the Knights Templar and Scottish freemasonry are part of the chapel's history.
'The Rosslyn Motet' (2006) by Stuart Mitchell Music. Stuart composed this beautiful piece based on some 27 years of research by Thomas J Mitchell (Stuart's father) into the musical references of the Rosslyn Chapel carvings of organised cubes, now called the Rosslyn Frequency. The first youtube below describes this research and its links with cymatics, and the second introduces the Rosslyn Motet.
Purchase the Rosslyn Motet from Stuart's store.
Rosslyn Chapel, Rosslyn, is located in stunning surroundings a short journey beyond the southern fringe of Edinburgh, Scotland.
All set up and ready to do the first talk of the British Society of Dowsers Conference 2018. It went down very well, as did the workshops on each day of the conference. A very welcoming society with quality values (such as their magazine) and aspirations to grow. I highly recommend it.