Open Studios Event. 21st – 30th August 2020. #ArtMapArgyll

It all started with the invitation from fellow artist and member of ArtMap Argyll, Lizzie Rose, to join her in the village of Ardfern, for this event.

This was a perfect, first, trial of the travelling gallery/studio on wheels. Only 6 miles of country road between our house and hers.

The whole 10 days was quite an adrenaline rush for this quiet, simple living, hill dweller! I am only just landing over a week after it finished!

I already shared a cheeky wee video of us arriving at hers, but here I will share more of those 10 days and of all I learned from working with this Hut, that I affectionately call the ‘Gaia Hut’.

It really was a joy to share space with another artist and her lovely family.
A joy too to be more in the centre of things, in our local village, and meet so many new, curious, people.

To experience the Hut working.

Perhaps I will start there, with these words copied from my FB profile. Words inspired by watching this wonderful video , titled ‘Guardians….not Gardeners’, featuring Mary Reynolds.

“Loved this so much I am weeping ๐Ÿ’š Especially this part in her introduction.

“The real truth of these goddesses is that they were wild, they were ambiguous, they were not gentle. They were as mad as a brush in the way that any good wild woman is. They are angry, very highly sexual. There is nothing hidden in them them, only truth. The truth of what true Nature is when it is allowed to be. We have actually lost Nature.” Mary Reynolds.

I am no goddess, but in this last week of public exposure, I often felt ‘mad as a brush’ as I clumsily explained ‘Gaia’, standing barefoot, or described how I garden with ‘weeds’, my deep love of them, how we have to sit in Nature, really look, really listen and learn the lessons from it.
How we need to become stiller to hear that.
When I explained the role/how I use my home-made smudge sticks. Showed others what I see in the branches, got excited about the beauty of the collected wasp-spit paper, babbling re-compost the importance of soil, of ‘shit’, my new love of ‘brown’. Talked of how we need to learn new ways with what grows now in abundance, the bracken, the rushes, demonstrated my rush cordage making. Talked of indigenous understandings and ancient myths.
How ALL my art comes from this place of honoring, playing and being curious.
How I am, slowly, phasing out big works and framing, the buying of factory produced pigments and materials, in favour of home-made pigments and recycled backings.
How my work now focuses on, slowly, using up all the hoarded materials of the years.
Also how I am moving away too, from the retangle ‘cage’ of conditioning. How my art is becoming all ‘small and original’.
How I have ‘reconnected with my inner child at 51 and am determined to never let go of her.’
How my own creativity is becoming a multi-media, travelling, song.
A loving response to the environment I find myself in.
One lady described my ‘wilder’ illustrations, with horns and talons, as ‘gruesome’. We had a good chat about that ๐Ÿ˜‰
Others eyes twinkled at my ‘battiness’, but I could feel were rejecting my message. Not listening really.
Many loved the physical trailer, but barely looked at my expressions. Too small, not impressive. Ridiculous even.
My favorite visitors were always the children……as without exception they all got it. Instantly.
I am deeply grateful to all those that purchased pieces from me and made this whole event a ‘success’. To experience that the Gaia-Hut can be ‘viable’ has helped my confidence enormously. (It also has helped our family dynamics in this econmically driven world!), but it is the MESSAGE of the Hut that means most to me.
I can only pray that some felt it…..I am exhausted now from standing in my truth under such public scrutiny for 10 whole, continuous, days. Shattered. Unsure, even now, whether I should share these words, but this video come in Divine Timing, and this lady’s eloquence encourages me to do so.
Perhaps I can learn from her how to refine my schpeel….or perhaps my wild, ambigous, slightly angry and sensual approach to creative expression is just enough…..?
Perhaps we can all become humble gods and goddesses, loving guardians of this land???”

I think perhaps these words hold most of the experience for me!
This little hut has been a long time in the dreaming.

I also, significantly, learned that ‘Gaianism‘ is becoming ‘a thing’ these days. Something I had been unaware of.

Definition of Gaia by Merriam-Webster
the hypothesis that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system in such a way that the living component regulates and maintains conditions (such as the temperature of the ocean or composition of the atmosphere) so as to be suitable for life
alsothis system regarded as a single organism

(More words copied from my FB profile.)

“Gaia.”What is Gaia?”
So many people asked this during my wee exhibition with the Gaia Hut. All I could really say is that I understood it on a deep level from the first time I heard this expression, this word. I explained in simple terms and pointed them in the direction of James Lovelock’s work. His marvellous, remarkable, life changing, Gaia theory.
Randomly I wondered, as I ‘spread the word’, if I was a ‘Gaianist’. If there was such a thing as ‘Gaianism’. I googled it and blow me….there is now! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Not really one for ‘ists’ and ‘isms’.
I do find I resonate with nearly all contained here though.
I wonder what James Lovelock makes of this new branch of ‘his’ tree??
I do not see him as a ‘guru’, certainly not a spiritual leader, ….but I am deeply appreciative of his brilliance as a great thinker, scientist and author. And for giving us this glorious word to discuss the WHOLE of it. ๐Ÿ’š๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ

Perhaps this is enough words?

All that is left is to share a few videos of the event, the second and third cobbled together from all the photos I took, and to thank again all who came and enjoyed.
To thank, also, all who bought my #100daystreetales and other experimental, Gaia-inspired, artworks.

Please look out for the Gaia Hut in the lay-bys, camping and beauty spots around Argyll next year.

You would always be most welcome to come in for a chat and a cuppa!

Hope you enjoyed those!

(The music for the last one was one of my kookie music experiments. On my own, in my box room, playing with myself and Audacity app. It just happened to fit perfectly. So Grateful. )

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