Archive for January, 2008

Art and Magic

Posted in art, cerri lee, clothing, druid, druidism, druidry, pagan, paganism, sculpture, shamanism, spirituality, wicca, witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , on January 15, 2008 by cerrilee

It seems that the universe is working some kind of magic for me at the moment! So many things are coming into my awareness that are teaching me some very strong lessons about my art and the way I think about it. Not the least of which was a great discussion at the moot last night on Symbolism.
For so many years I have not valued my attempts to express myself and seen nothing but imperfection in the things I produced, always comparing myself to others and never matching up in my eyes. But with a fairly new perspective, I think that was because I was always trying to control the piece and never let it speak for itself.

Art, to me, is communication of ideas and feelings, so the fundamental drive of an artist from my point of view, is to convey that feeling or inspiration that often hits you from both inside and out. It hits your head, your heart and your gut all at once and you feel compelled to share that passion with anyone who will listen, you want them to feel the same fire in their heads. But every time you put pen/pencil to paper or model a lump of clay the language used can often feel limited, not up to the task of conveying all that verve and gusto. To me in the past it seemed in order to reach out and communicate the things that had moved me so strongly, I had to find a symbolic language that anyone could access.

The problem with that kind of thinking is that everyone has their own internal symbolic language built from their own natures and their cultural nurturing. So I spent my time thinking and thinking and thinking and rarely doing anything for fear that I would not be able to speak clearly enough or in a language that people would want to hear!

Blimey! I tell you that is not a fun place to be and all self inflicted! If I want to I can blame my insecurities on my unsupportive parent, who never even passed a comment on anything I did except possibly to point out a number of flaws, but I think that is too easy a get out. I have been a grown up for quite a long time now and had three great kids of my own, all of which have grown up as very creative individuals and I managed to encourage them, why couldn’t I do the same for myself?

I think that I have finally found my own plain and simple truth, my journey has been to find the courage to not control the reaction from others by trying to second guess what anyone might want to hear and manipulate the image to that end, but to put stuff from my heart out there and hope that something I produce may speak personally to another individual. In truth my ego hopes others will see the depth of feeling I have for my spirituality, the natural world and mythical realms through the mediums I choose.

For me the Magic of Art is in the doing of it. In the process of exploration and experimentation you learn your own inner language and the more you use it the greater your vocabulary becomes and so the more confident you are to speak it out loud.

A New Year!

Posted in art, cerri lee, druid, druidism, druidry, pagan, paganism, spirituality, wicca, witchcraft on January 6, 2008 by cerrilee

So Starts another new year, blimey the wheel rolls faster with every turn! I begin the year with a resolution to make this year my year, I’m not quite sure who’s years they have been so far, all I know is that I feel that this is a culmination of a long journey of self discovery.

The Anderida Gorsedd Winter Solstice celebration on the Long Man of Wilmington, was a turning point for me. The day before I had sat at the computer to write the ceremony and was looking back over some of the previous words that we had used, and it struck me how profound this time of year has always been. One of the things that we can be certain of is that our ancestors throughout time have celebrated the Sun’s rebirth. You only have to look at Stonehenge, Newgrange and Maes Howe to know this to be true.

It can be a time of rebirth for all who choose to follow the wheel of the year. We may not need a magical ritual to ensure that the Sun will once again climb higher into the sky and bring the warmth back to the land, but we still need to mark the event and acknowledge our own journey. The Winter Solstice is a time to reflect not only the journey through the year it can also be a time to take a longer look back over a life time.

The day was foggy and cold as we made the steep walk up the hill, the Long Man himself was shrouded in mist to the point where he was almost invisible. When we got to the top of the little Gorsedd Hill at the foot of the Long Man, the mists parted a little to reveal some of the landscape. The bare branches of the trees stretched out and picked at the edges of the mist and pulled threads from it as it thinned. As we began the ritual the mist retreated further and hung in the valley all around us. A weak Sun above the hill did battle with the clouds and tried to bring a little warmth to the company of eighty or so gathered to celebrate the rebirth of the light.

As we moved through the ritual I felt the earth beneath me, I looked at the mists all around us in the valley and felt at one with time and space. I could feel a connection to the ancestors in the barrows on the very top of the hill above us and wondered how their rituals might have been. The landscape was alive, the elements all present, I could feel the constraints of time ebbing away. Was this anything like the ritual our ancestors might have done? Could they from their vantage point up on the hill, recognise anything of what we were doing?

It has, slowly but surely, dawned on me over this past year that my artwork is starting, finally, to find a real voice. In my heart I yearn for the western world to refind the enchantment that our ancestors saw in the earth, to hear the call of crow and have it’s voice speak of ancient lore and of stories long forgotten. To really feel the human journey and value our heritage, not in a preserved and cold way with a talking tape machine giving you dusty archaeological supposition as you trot around an ancient monument wondering if the shop will be able to provide a suitable something to preserve the memory, but in a way that forces one to engage in an emotional way, either by stories, songs or images that bring the earth back to life and us closer to it. I don’t think my voice has a distinct language yet and maybe my need for self expression is just a bit of a self absorbed and romantic notion, but art is about passion and if I can at least try to engage my own heart’s passion maybe it will speak to others as well.

I encourage everyone to find their voice and their passion and to not be afraid to express it truly. There is a old triad that becomes more real for me at every turn in my life as a Druid, but I have to admit that I change one word in it, I replace the word Genius with Art as it feels more real to me.

Three primary essentials of Art are; An eye that can see nature, a heart that can feel nature and a boldness that dares follow it.