Photograph by Kimberley Murray
I can’t remember the last time I wrote a poem… wrote anything for that matter. Why oh why as soon as I rejoin the rat race due to financial demands do I lose that which makes life magical MY CREATIVITY!!! I am on a mission this year to fight the mundane forces that drive me to a slow death of work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep… and steal my will to express and exude all those colours I hold within.
I’ve realised creativity really does take courage, courage to hold on to what makes your world brighter, and like all else worthwhile, courage to fight for its consistency in your life. Yes I’ll be tired tonight after the hour-long drive home from the busy office, I’ll cook, change in to comfy clothes, and probably slump into the nearest armchair with a hot, sweet cup of tea…but I’m bringing a pen and paper to that armchair too, if it kills me! Even if I fall asleep mid composition at least I’ll be creating, focusing for but a moment on more than heavy eyelids!
In order to transcend traditional ideas as stated in the above, it seems one must first overcome tradition itself. The working man’s/woman’s tradition, the evening slump tradition, the “I’m too wrecked I’ll do it tomorrow” tradition. I have already lost years to the woe’s of tradition, routine ruts we fall into gladly and perish in without notice, until so much time has passed that we have missed our dreams. NO! Not this year!
I used to excuse myself with the well known phrase “I can only create when I’m miserable.” Ah, I’m happy, that must be why I’m not writing, ugh! waste! waste of precious time! What about those moments when a view takes your breath away, or a happening that brings a song or a poem or a painting to your mind instantaneously. I agree, creativity certainly does lie in chaos, but it also lies in peace, because it lies, with us.
If you’re an artist and you’re struggling with the everyday, remember one vital quote that rings in my ears every time I fall off the creative grid… “Life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself!!!” (George Bernard Shaw)
I spent last night at the opening of a wonderful new exhibition by Anthony Haughey named Citizen. Hosted in the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, I was at once struck by the architecture of this beautiful space combining it’s early 19th century roots as the former Drogheda Franciscan Church and Friary, with elements of the building dating further back such as the former Franciscan burial crypts and it’s modern renovations including the open plan display rooms and a new floor at the height of the old church balcony. Suiting this stunning space perfectly was the equally exhilarating exhibition itself, telling the tale of citizens or rather none citizens as they exist in the space between their countries of origin and the countries within which they seek asylum and or a better life. Focusing upon the borders and no mans land where these people face the reluctant hosts alongside whom they long to settle, through interactive video, photography, instillation and text Haughey reveals the heart wrenching journeys and struggles of many different nationalities searching for one of their most basic human rights, a place to live in peace.
Following on from a fabulous location and a fascinating exhibition you would think that things couldn’t get much better culturally speaking, but culture was to raise the bar once more in the form of The Notas.
A six piece indie band formed in 2010, consisting of talented musicians from Pakistan to Nigeria, France to Zimbabwe, The Notas performed an acoustic set that left all reeling in awe at the dulcet tones of excellent musicians and the velvet vocals of their lead singer.
A three fold recommendation I urge all to visit the beauty that is the Highlanes Gallery, to delve into the depths of Haugheys inspiring exhibition and to become an avid follower of ever talented ever amazing The Notas!!
For more information please see below:
Highlanes Gallery: http://www.highlanes.ie/Default.aspx
Anthony Haughey: Citizen http://www.highlanes.ie/Activity.aspx?ActivityID=187
The Notas: http://www.facebook.com/TheNotas
I love those rare mornings when you wake unknowing of what the day will hold. Your mind quick to list the things that should fill those coming hours and yet some small part of you screams for a break from the mundane, a holiday right at home. What better way to escape reality than to delve into the mysterious depths of ancient artifacts, artwork and literature? I roamed the streets of Dublin at 8am contemplating this fact when a dear friend, once my lecturer in Joyce came to mind. A fellow fanatic of all that is cultural. To my delight he too had greeted this morn tres tot, and so we collaborated for a day of cultural escapism.
We began with light thesis chat over strong brewed coffee, sweetened by honey, his morning cigarette, and my morning contemplation gazing across the still water at Georges Dock. A morning as biting as I have felt so far this autumn, sent us red nosed and blush cheeked across the river Liffey with a weak and yet bright rising sun at our side. Our expedition began with the National Gallery, wandering and pondering through an array of paintings dating from the 13th to the 20th century. Reliving Jack B Yeats’ transformation into the abstract as if it occurred in front of us, and falling in love with the beautiful Lady Lavery, posing as Kathleen Ni Houlihan (female personification of Ireland)…
Following this visual feast we made our way to the Chester Beatty Library where we gorged on his extensive collection of artwork, largely French painters, admiring especially the vitality of Ziem’s Venice…
Dizzied by the beauty and innate grandeur of so many astounding works we walked the memorial gardens of Dublin Castle, collecting our thoughts in silence and soaking up the now striking afternoon sun.
Overloading our greedy souls with one final colossal collection of East Asian, Islamic, ancient Egyptian and Western artifacts. Among my favourites being the rare slabs of jade inscribed with Asian poetry…
showcasing some of the most beautiful books I have ever laid eyes upon…
“Inebriate of air” as Dickinson so perfectly put it (a mystical state that she experienced through her soul’s awareness, so overwhelming & uplifting that she felt as one does intoxicated by alcohol) we left full of history, myth and renewed artistic dreams.
If as Marcus Garvey states, “A people without culture… is a tree without roots” I am now firmly planted in this rich Irish earth, ready to spend winter preparing many shoots for spring bloom.