Humans are incredibly skilled at both making, and understanding symbols. Indeed, our cultures rely on it.
The symbols I respond to most are generally visual; paintings, sculptures, photographs — but especially sculptures.
I saw this piece a couple of weeks ago in an exhibition at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. I find its simplicity both beautiful and powerful. The judges who awarded it the exhibition’s supreme prize had this to say:
“This beautiful disk, fastened to its base by a bronze cord, acts as a talisman of guardianship in the garden bed of critically endangered native plants. It is a superb and accomplished linking of form to site, evoking both the preciousness of our botanical heritage and the idea of keeping it safe forever. The work is placed near the entrance to the Threatened Native Plants garden … ” News, Auckland Botanic Gardens.
I won’t pretend my response to the work was analytical or erudite. I just felt — and continue to feel — uplifted by it.
I had a similar experience with a painting I saw on Instagram. So much so, I bought it.
The artist is local (New Zealand) and also makes wonderful small sculptures of houses (you can see them here).
I didn’t fully realise it until I was sorting photos for The Changing Seasons, but the colour palate of the landscape around me right now, is the same as in Natalie’s painting.
I’ve mentioned a few times this month that parts of New Zealand, including Auckland, are in drought at the moment. It’s particularly noticeable where land has been cleared for animal grazing. On a recent trip to Raglan, we drove through mile after mile of fragile, brown grass; broken only by occasional stands of trees and irrigated fields of maize — presumably being grown as animal feed.
At home, I’ve been incredibly grateful for our rainwater tank which has allowed me to keep my plants alive without resorting to “city water.”
I’ve managed to sustain “proactive hopefulness” largely by not engaging with mainstream news media and spending as much time as possible in my little garden.
As always, I end the month with a list of projects that excite me, but in which I’ve barely made a dent. I can partly blame a cold which hit me harder than expected and has clung on far too long. But I suspect that I perhaps need to take stock of my life and prioritize my time better.
And of course, in that spirit (NOT), I bought some lovely writing paper and envelopes so that I can send real, actual letters to people.
I could explain why, but I think it deserves a separate post … to come.
About The Changing Seasons
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.
If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them.
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.
If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.
Darren at The Arty Plantsman
Joanne at My Life Lived Full
Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful
Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani
Tish at Writer on the Edge
Tracy at Reflections of An Untidy Mind
Sarah at Art Expedition
Ruth at Ruth’s Arc
Pauline at Living in Paradise
Brian at Bushboys World
Gill at Talking Thailand