Art IG, Germany, 59 packages of white printer paper (500 pages each for a total of 29 270 + pages), 2012.
Text above read: In the white space of a blank page lies the unlimited potential for creation. The average German life spans 29,269.35 days. What will you create?
This was a fun project to create with an artist friend of mine in Hannover, Germany. Anna was interested in collaborating on a show that she was curating and I had to be able to send her a concept that she could carryout for me from across the world.
Based on my interest in ‘create with intention’ and the idea that life is the BIG masterpiece that we get to create, I thought it would be interesting to look at each day of life as a stack of blank pages.
You could get caught up in what was written on the already used pages, but all that really matters is what you do with the blank page you have each day.
Raising the white flag is only defeat of the ego and it happens when we are too weary to swim against the current. We resist it often and for as long as possible. The brightest lights always follow the darkest moments. In surrender we see that we are powerful beyond measure when we release ourselves into the flow. Life is the greatest creative outlet imaginable. There is nothing else, no greater masterpiece.
This gesture is all about pause. In the creative process there are times where we must stop, reflect and surrender. Without this step of yielding to the flow of life we risk forcing things or trying too hard to control the outcome. Admitting mistakes and stepping back is nothing to feel ashamed of. Where can you raise the white flag in your life as a sign of surrender and releasing attachment? This moment happened for me on an beautiful Oregon coast.
My greatest lesson from this time is that we can create anything we can imagine, but just because we have the power to do so, does not mean that we should. We must be completely accountable for our desires and what we want to manifest and make. Creativity is often about patience and knowing when to act and when not to.
My art practice felt stagnant. There were creatives around, but we weren’t talking about creativity. ‘Non-artists’ seemed hungry for creativity too. I realized that life is a process constructed in each moment, through focus, imagination, creativity, and serendipity. This felt relevant and accessible, like a good place to start awakening creativity. I began with G.I. Gurdijeff’s idea that:“To gain anything real, long practice is necessary. Try to accomplish small things first.” The first step I took was this project of a series of gestures to begin to rethink my relationship with creativity. The first gesture? Open heart for art meetings.
THE FIRST MEETING: Tues. Jul 19, 7-10: 15 pm | 4th Floor Lounge, Lloyd Hall, The Banff Centre
Practicing (or trying to practice) artists, lots of yummy snacks, good conversation, and ideas shared. Sometimes we struggle to keep our meetings happening regularly, but overall we have been meeting about once a month. There is still enthusiasm from the group. People come and go from our community and it has been very encouraging to see new faces turning up.
An update from 2018…
I moved away from Banff in 2012 after meeting my future hubby. The meetings stopped when I moved and I focused on other projects and ways of bringing community together. You’ll have to check out the other projects for more on that!
If you are looking for ways to bring people together, open heart for art meetings or any other conscious community meetings are a fantastic way to start.
Collections & Collaboration | Wed. Jul. 27 11 am 2011 | Other Gallery, Glyde Hall The Banff Centre
Acknowledge some hopes and fears to yourself. With a pencil, mark one envelope with the word ‘hopes’ and the other ‘fears. Place seeds and sticks in your envelopes. Your hopes will be planted and fears burned. You are welcome to take hopes for sending to others or planting on your own. Fears will make good fertilizer.
Thanks to all 58 people who contributed hopes and 45 who contributed fears to project 108, 2.
A NOTE ON FEAR: Lake Minnewanka, Sept. 2011 | a cloudy evening, a good friend, and a lot of fear
I lived with the hopes and fears in my new apartment for a couple of months while I settled into a new job and new surroundings. I wanted to find a sense of calm before I burned the fears. After a weekend of solitude and reflecting on my own heart-felt desires and worries, I went to Lake Minnewanka, or ‘Lake of the Spirits,’ as someone later pointed out. A friend and I sat together under a cloudy late summer night sky. We watched as the envelopes marked ‘fears’ dissolved in flames. That night I dreamt that I was putting out fires. The hopes are in safekeeping for spring planting.
This was a seemingly simpler approach, but when good initiatives are in place I think it is important to join in and support them. There was a call for the Banff Community Art Committee in October. I took it as an opportunity to commit to an important initiative already in place in town. I meet with the committee about once a month to discuss public art in Banff!
The details: Paper plates, string, drawings and stories by the After School Program students
What a fun day with the After School Program! 18 excited students and talented young storytellers/designers got to work on creating mobiles. First they thought about a memory or story they wanted to share. Next they drew pictures relating to their stories and cut out images and words to hang on the mobile. They wrote about their story on the base of the mobile and strung on the pictures. The results were outstanding! One student wrote about learning to sew with her Grandmother, and another about his father teaching him how to goal tend. I most excited about sending kids home with these demonstrations of their thoughts, feelings, and appreciation for loved ones. Some stories were imagined memories, but very special just the same!