Monday, 18 January 2010

Friday, 15 January 2010

The Gathering of Artists

My first Image from our day recording the Winter Solstice.
A group of Artists, heads buried deep into their books.
The silence was stunning.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Documenting the Wood

Item 1: Hazel Leaf

Item 2: Sweet Chestnut Leaf

From my notebook:
Thoughts - had not held - walking today without a notebook.
1) Parson's Wood as a museum; the curator of the wood; observing, documenting, preserving, interpreting.

2) Wood/winter song. I am the bell's clapper. A proclaimer. Or the wood. Vast, silent, unfathomable. Clay. My footsteps merely tickling the paths, hardly registering. In winter the wood is turned in upon itself.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Benjamin at the Rose & Crown

Benjamin's Paris address book

A merry meeting last night in the Rose & Crown - one of our local pubs. This was first time all four of the quarters have reconvened since the Solstice, so it was an opportunity to share words, pictures and photographs, and to make plans. There was an impromptu reading session from our various journals, which sparked discussion about the power and energy of the collective mind. Several intriguingly overlapping ideas, themes and even words emerged.

At one point late in the evening I tried to paraphrase a quote from Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project - kindly sent to me recently by a fascinating new friend, Terri Mullholland. It was a feeble attempt at verbal recall and so I've decided maybe the safest place to keep the quote is here. Though I should probably also write it into my journal. Benjamin's words raise the hairs on the back of my neck which means, for reasons I have not yet entirely discovered, they are important:
‘The interior is not just the universe but also the √©tui of the private individual. To dwell means to leave traces. In the interior, these are accentuated. Coverlets and antimacassars, cases and containers are devised in abundance; in these, the traces of the most ordinary objects of use are imprinted. In just the same way, the traces of the inhabitant are imprinted in the interior...’

[Walter Benjamin, Exposé of 1935, in Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 9.]

Friday, 1 January 2010

One Half

So two of the four quarters have made a foray into explaining what it is all about...

Firstly, Sian does us proud here:
Sian Thomas: Four Quarters

Then I make a dash into the same bit of the wild wood here:
Zina Dreams: Four Quarters

For me at least this was a useful exercise in an initial attempt at explaining what we are doing and why. Because when you live and create in a small village it seems like you're always trying to explain yourself. Our High Street is one that is still lined with shops - a butcher, baker, florist, garage, bookshop, corner shops x 2, pubs x 3, and all the rest - and as well as selling a variety of merchandise for hard cash there is also a brisk and rambunctious trade in gossip. The old curiosity shop is doing well here in the Weald; it's impossible not to contribute at various times. And (no point denying it) there's also a certain quirky pleasure in taking up my pen and giving the murky village waters a quick stir - before sitting back and watching the ripples slowly spread, disperse and then attenuate.