Thursday, 31 July 2014

Take My Hand

“Only- but this is rare-
When a beloved hand is laid in ours,
When, jaded with the rush and glare
Of the interminable hours,
Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,
When our world-deafen’d ear
Is by the tones of a loved voice caress’d-
A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.”

—   The Buried Life, by Matthew Arnold

The Serpentine Dance

One of my favorite things...

The Gold Field

"L.A. 1990. Ross and I spent every Saturday afternoon visiting galleries, museums, thrift shops, and going on long, very long drives all around L.A., enjoying the "magic hour" when the light makes everything gold and magical in that city. It was the best and worst of times. Ross was dying right in front of my eyes. Leaving me. It was the first time in my life when I knew for sure where the money for rent was coming from. It was a time of desperation, yet of growth too.
1990, L.A. The Gold Field. How can I deal with the Gold Field? I don't quite know. But the Gold Field was there. Ross and I entered the Museum of Contemporary Art, and without knowing the work of Roni Horn we were blown away by the heroic, gentle and horizontal presence of this gift. There it was, in a white room, all by itself, it didn't need company, it didn't need anything. Sitting on the floor, ever so lightly. A new landscape, a possible horizon, a place of rest and absolute beauty. Waiting for the right viewer willing and needing to be moved to a place of the imagination. This piece is nothing more than a thin layer of gold. It is everything a good poem by Wallace Stevens is: precise, with no baggage, nothing extra. A poem that feels secure and dares to unravel itself, to become naked, to be enjoyed in a tactile manner, but beyond that, in an intellectual way too. Ross and I were lifted. That gesture was all we needed to rest, to think about the possibility of change. This showed the innate ability of an artist proposing to make this place a better place. How truly revolutionary.

This work was needed. This was an undiscovered ocean for us. It was impossible, yet it was real, we saw this landscape. Like no other landscape. We felt it. We traveled together to countless sunsets. But where did this object come from? Who produced this piece that risked itself by being so fragile, just laying on the floor, no base, no plexiglass box on top of it…. A place to dream, to regain energy, to dare. Ross and I always talked about this work, how much it affected us. After that any sunset became "The Gold Field." Roni had named something that had always been there. Now we saw it through her eyes, her imagination."

--  excerpt from "1990: L.A., "The Gold Field", by Felix Gonzalez-Torres from Earths Grow Thick, Wexner Center for the Arts Roni Horn exhibition catalogue, 1996

So moving! This is why art is so valuable and so neede. It can touch places and emotions we can't reach with words and can unite others in that understanding.  I think the same of movement (I'm a yoga teacher, I don't think i've ever mentioned that here!) and music.

1. Roni Horn, Gold Field, 1982
2. Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Roni Horn, April 2005

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Wrist preparations.
 These are golden!

Three-minute hand exercise

A simple exercise can help you to prevent long-term digit damage

Photograph: Graeme Robertson

If you're reading this online, stop. Lift your hand and let it relax with the palm upwards in front of you. Look at it. If you spend hours each day typing you'll certainly notice the palm of your hand is concave, with the fingers curling round. As you get older, this will  happen even more, and can lead to arthritic pain and reduced mobility.

"I remember an architect in one class," recalls Pam Horton, a teacher-trainer for the British Wheel of Yoga. "He said that when he got up in the morning his fingers were curved over. He had to manually straighten them."

Horton recommends a very easy exercise to prevent long-term damage.
"Put your left hand out with the palm facing upwards, separating your left thumb out to the side," she says. "Keep the forearm, wrist and palm out in a straight line from the elbow.
"Now turn your right hand palm-down," Horton continues, "and make a kind of crocodile's mouth with the thumb as the lower jaw, and the four fingers as the upper jaw. Grip the fingers of your left hand in this mouth, with your right thumb forming a supportive beam beneath the four knuckles of your left fingers where they join the hand. Without bending your wrist, gently bend the fingers down beyond the horizontal and hold them there for 12 seconds. Release and then repeat. Now reverse the process and do the same stretch twice on the other hand."

Horton recommends doing this three times a day, although you could do more, or fewer, depending on how much time you feel you spend with your hands curved over.

Article by Leo Benedictus
Via The Guardian,

Hanging out

YES to hanging out. This is why.
Perhaps get a bar, unless your household doors are industrial, and definitely don the pop socks and lipstick.

Hanging instructions here...

(Images found here)


Hands by Andres Serrano

Making Colour

Painting: Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato 'Virgen rezando' (The Virgin in Prayer) 1640-50

I went to see the 'Making Colour' exhibition at The National Gallery last week. I was completely transfixed by the colour of Sassoferrato's Virgin Marys cloak. Go and see this painting if you can,  the reproductions don't do it the slightest bit of justice. 

1) Chantal Michel
2) Paolo Sorrentino, dir., The Great Beauty, 2013.

Yves Peintures

"In 1954, Yves Klein made a looseleaf booklet with ten color plates of monochrome paintings that didn’t exist. The Yves Klein Archives describes them as commercial samples of colored paper, tipped in and given arbitrary dimensions and locales: Tokyo, Madrid, Nice, Paris and London. Fictional monochrome artist book making tells me two things: make things up, and make things."

 -- Claire Cotrell from Colors Come and Go

“To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary, which is its strength.”

--Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Maggie Casey

Installations by Maggie Casey.

keep it simple

After each exhalation there is a yawning release that happens in the body, right through to the palms of the hands and down to the soles of the feet. You just have to let it happen.

It's not about doing, but letting these tiny little messages travel as far as the hands and as far as the feet allowing you to feel fully in contact with the ground.

(Source: Daniel Minnick)

Spirit Moves

The hands the hands!
I think the spirit is in the hands....most definitely an extension of the heart.

Monday, 28 July 2014

(image found here)

Gabriel Orozco
'my hands are my heart'


“Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.”

-- Michel de Montaigne

Claudia Wieser

Claudia Wieser, a new favourite!
"Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. I’m going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. It’s this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point, imagined."

--Neil Gaiman

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Tune

Sunday Tune

this is how i walk
when i have given up
do you see how free
the body moves?
the bones inside
the skin are loose
and i know if i could see you
that you’d be walking
like this, too

Friday, 25 July 2014

le weekend

Zaragoza, März 2014 © Laía Argüelles


I've been thinking a lot about transitions in my own practice recently, like really really precise foot work when climbing and noticing the subtle shifts in weight when doing floor work, and how important awareness in those small linking movements improve the quality of the shapes with bigger demands on the body.
It's been a really nice theme for my classes this week too. To prepare for class I've been making little 'movement riddles' for my self. I'll start with a particular asana or pattern (I think of it as a phrase) and then break that phrase down to the most basic elements try it with pauses, linked with more fluid movement,  then reversed and maybe inverted...I end up holding acres of movement in my head, what I'm going to teach always starts like a broken jigsaw. In getting students to use these phrases to inquire about their own movement we learn together. I love that. 


Monday, 21 July 2014

Diana Scherer

Diana Scherer is an artist / photographer / collector and her work and process is one that I appreciate and admire greatly. The above photos are of wildflowers and weeds grown from seed and taken from her garden in the Netherlands and patiently manipulated, sometimes for up to six months, in vases so that the soil and roots are coerced to take the shape of the vessel. When the moment is right, she breaks the vases and 'captures' her pieces. Thus, collecting the fleeting moment of a bloom in it's prime before it fades and dies. After shooting it she puts it back in her garden.

“The ambiguous nature of collecting intrigues me,” she says. “It involves loving attention as well as a fanatical desire to control. The collector documents and stores the object of his desire in a systematic and detached way. I also treat and present my work in an objective manner, even though working with nature has an emotional charge for me.”  - D. Scherer

read more about her process and work here
see more of her work here