Before I ever thought able to contribute to this list by writing to and in
it I would read from it. I was struck at how amenable the ideas expressed
often were to the concerns of the Fine Arts, especially the visual arts.
One contributor who nowadays seems absent as writer is Rol Fessendon. (Hi
Rol, if you are reading today.) He encouraged me to write to the list,
saying that many business people and people generally involved with LO's
were in his opinion 'artists of a kind'.
The materials differed, the form content was the same. Human
Later I wrote to At de Lange, (Hi, At!) who provided me with the 'nudge'
I needed through explaining to me the mystery of 'disappearing water' and
When I had left these two 'virtual studios' of At and Rol' I felt uplifted
by their virtual company. In my years training as an artist I occasionally
met artists who had left for and within me the same or similar feelings.
In my study of the history of human creative cultures I saw and recognised
themes that revolve here in this digest. So I felt enabled by the gentle
touching encouragement of these two men.
Twenty five years ago I visited the house and studio of one of England's
greatest abstract painters Patrick Heron. It stood high on a cliff and it
was called 'Eagles Nest.' To stand, walk, sit and reflect in the home of
an artist who covers his walls with his life's works is a very strange
experience. It is one of the most wholesome experiences one could undergo
as a human being with another human being. It is as if the man is
surrounding himself with his own complex polyphonic voices, of his own
ages, so that pictures call out from every wall, singing the song of it's
unique creative moment.
Who would not wish to be able to do this with the products of their live's
work, to so assemble it in one place and be able to say to anyone, here,
look, this is my life before you.
Of course the organisational creator does this with 'living' materials.
People are his songs and verses, the passages of his paintings, the masses
of his sculpture, the forms and spaces in his architecture.
I was once taught by an equally brilliant artist, now a very old man who
at fifty years of age, who in his own words, stopped making the 'frozen'
works he had hitherto produced and began making tiny light filled
water-colour studies of people and plants.
Over the years his vision grew and he eventually achieved national and
international status. In the company of such people one looks to recall
things they said that sustain through more challenging times. Artists
nearly always seek some creative credo. 'More is Less' is a famous one
that architects, like Tom would know the origin of. The words my drawing
and painting master gave me in a memorable tutorial were few, but have
sustained me a lifetime and I see the words echoed here every day.
STUDY NATURE, ESPECIALLY THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE STATIC AND DYNAMIC.
One can spend a thousand lifetimes and never need more to direct one.
What binds us? What binds the arts to the sciences, the left to the right?
The child to the man? Below is not the answer, but an answer that might
have utility if utility is what you seek if you wish to envisage yourself
or those you work with and among as artists.
- But it is wrong to think of form and expression are separate things. For
instance, if I put my hand on someone's shoulder, I can put it in a way
that seems to be gripping or just gently touching, I may be touching it
with affection and gentleness or I may be making some kind of empty
gesture. All this is in the intention of the sculptor, it's part of his
expression and it's part of form; you cannot separate the two. It is
integrated. The way Giovanni Pisano used and understood marble gave the
stone life, the power to live from the inside. Michelangelo once said,
'The figure is in the stone; you only have to let it out,' so that the
stone sculpture is not man made but man revealed. Giovanni let the inside
of the stone out; he freed something from the inside.
His humanism has a quality shared by Rembrandt, van Gogh and Michelangelo.
He showed the situation of the whole situation of the human being, the
man. If I were to choose ten of the greatest artists I would choose
Giovanni among them, because of his understanding of life and people. I
feel strongly that he was a great man because he understood human beings
and that is a true basis for judgement. It would not be because they are
clever at drawing, or in painting or in designing, but their real
greatness, to me, lies in their humanity.-
Henry Moore OM.
What is a signal quality of humaneness? Uniqueness? O.K. run with that-
' We were driving through a dazzling landscape. Sun. Meadows. Olive trees.
Lakes and cypresses. Mountains. Picasso said, 'The terrible thing is that
there's not one of these colours that you can buy in tubes. They'll sell
you a thousand greens, veronese green and emerald green and cadmium green
and any sort of green you like; but that particular green, never.'
( Pablo Picasso, as reported by Helene Parmaline 1966 )
Can we make the connection?
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