Colour & Music Links

Image, Nature and the Moment.

Just the other day, I was invited to a private viewing of the Lithuanian filmmaker Jonas Mekas’s work. This great exhibition is currently showing at the Serpentine gallery and gives a glimpse into his working. In it there are passages of poetry, still’s of his numerous films, and documentation of his life. There was a beautiful new film installation, which contained snapshots from his life. During the first hour of being in the Serpentine, I became completely immersed in his world. Then I walked out of the room, and there was the great man himself, now nearing 90 years of age filming the private view and observing. It was as though the private view itself had become his studio. It made me think of poets such as Rimbauld and Baudelaire, their observations of life and more recently of poets like Bernard O Donoghue writing eloquently about displacement, being neither here nor there.

Viewing the John Gerard installation. Photo by Edmund Blok.

At a Private View of John Gerard's work.

The Serpentine show brought to mind an amazing great show I stumbled upon in Italy a few years ago of the visual artwork of Fredrico Fellini. In this case it was reams of sketchbooks and transparent workings of drawings of dreams. The great filmmaker was making sense of and drawing his dreams and in many cases then putting them into a film.

I have recently been looking at Carolee Shneemann’s groundbreaking work from the 1960’s and 1970’s where  life, process and performance become interlinked.   There is an exhibition of Shneeman’s rather neglected work at the Richard Saltoun Gallery in London next month. Amazingly, her work has been left out of the “Bigger Splash “ show running at the Tate, which explores painting and performance.

Seeing Mekas’s work also made me think of how art and life become as one. More powerfully though it made me think of how vital life itself is. In the woods near my house recently there have been the most spectacular mushrooms next to the solid 100 year old Oaks, due I expect to such a wet year in the UK. These Fungi burst from the ground momentarily beautifully and with such force which brings to mind the recent tragedy of colleague and friend Mike Stanley whose untimely and difficult memorial I attended last week. I can’t help but think of him as I look at wonderful mushrooms in a wood. The “Mushroom in the Forest” for the great poet Misrolav Holub was like an event, a symbol of upheavel. In the last couple of months I have experienced all this, the amazing experience and great joy of delivering my own son and experiencing great shock at losing old great friends and new ones suddenly. Life and nature feeling entwined as ever.

POSTED: 12/8/12 10:58 AM