Monday, January 08, 2007

For Jude - symbol of wholeness

Today, I was contemplating the new symbols on Jude's "Listen To the River" quilt. I felt a feeling of wholeness from the arrangement (as I could see it from the photo). A red crescent, circle, and wavy lines on blue indigo ground with two white cranes wheeling about the circle. I immediately understood the symbol of the circle as completeness and wholeness, but why did the crescent, the waves and birds seem to resonate on the same lines?

While musing on the feeling of the day in a restful lull: the barometric pressure unsure of its direction towards fine or stormy, the breeze of the mind caught me up in a felt vision of the crescent, a feeling of rightness accompanying it. My eyes travelled to the shape of my new crane toy (Snow Walker) hanging on the wall, it too having a crescent like shape. Then the symbol transformed into the crescent on the sea and grew into the house-boat moon ark, an image recalled in the illuminations of William Blake. You can see it above. Interestingly two angels - winged beings accompany the boat.

Since the feeling of completeness came with the image I unfolded its understanding to be an image of the self. The Divine Ark that with consciousness illuminates life and man, held in the physical vessel of the body, sails upon its companion the unconscious sea, the angel points to it as the way of wholeness that man must come to.

Jude's quilting, in my opinion, is the work of someone who has grown past the stage of the novice, rather her work is that of the true artist as master craftsman - free to make truly unique works of art, fit for the contemplation of a matured soul. This is what I look for in art. I inwardly thank every artist that I find it in, for their devotion to their craft and to the work of unfolding themselves as unique personages.

Image: Plate 44, Jerusalem:The Emanation of the Gaint Albion, 1804. This printing from 1991 reproduction, The William Blake Trust in conjuntion with Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02907-5.


jude said...

what a delightful gift for me, the one who has always been so untrusting of communication and so driven to try to say something through my cloth making. something that would be understood.
thank you for your eloquent composition of thoughts and your compliments, and thank you for opening up the door to the william blake images, a wonderful resource indeed.

Florence said...

your most welcome, Jude, most welcome.


shango said...

Thanks for this post Florence, i think I'll make you my art critic.

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

Honest I am not try to be funny, but I thought when I looked at Jude's quilt how it would mesh well with a room in my father-in house. (he lives in a beack community in Southern California)

Once again you have helped me look at something that seems very everyday (to a non-craftperson type) and see it in a way I would not have on my own.

I knew there was a reson I like stopping by here. :)

lotusgreen said...

the graphic is amazing; how often i've looked at blake and never seen it

& thanks for the richness

shane said...

An intersting adjunct i thought,

today while gleanng gems from,

SUFI; Expressions of the mystic quest.
(SL Qld)
i came across,

'without the Ark one is drowned in the flood of materiality....'
and that the Ark is made of planks and dowel, planks: knowledge, and dowel; actions, The Ark is said to be Divine Law -- (which law i dont know)


Florence said...

AOC, I tried to look up Beack (and variations there of) but couldn't find anything about it to helped me 'see' inside your father-in-law's house.

I'm glad that you stop by :)

Lotusgreen, Tadeusz Kantor once described a work of art as something that was closed. It has to be opened to be understood - because it is ultimately an understanding or fine tuning of oneself. Oh what a difficult task! ;)

Shane, great to hear from you. Happy New Year.

It is very encouraging of you to validate my writings on art. I'm attempting to find my voice within its turbulent territory. I can at least tell the tale in my own style here on windbag without being thwarted by sterile forms.

I had in these last few days had sufism cross my mind. Interestingly, in the census before last I put down sufi as my religion - not having anything to put other than none...which seemed inappropriate. I looked up the (beautiful) book you mention on amazon and this quote popped up..

"To the Sufi, both the ritual of the worshipper and the work of the craftsman evoke the life that resides within all things: the preparedness of matter to answer the call of God."

I have just read Jung's "Man and His Symbols" it was surprising to find my thoughts so closely mirrored and it has given me some much needed keys. I'm very surprised that his work has been so over looked in art theory for the past decades...but these are thoughts for another time..


shane said...

Its very surpising and rewarding, i can understnad that, but, at least according to the Census, as a sufi, how can you be surprised?! :-))

This qoute below reminds of those mosques in Uzbekistan, some may remember the Baraka film depiction by Ron Fricke.

Come you lost atoms, to your Centre draw
And be the eternal mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide
Return and back into your Sun subside.

Farid al- Din ' Attar
'Mantiq al-Tayr' .

(SUFI: expresisons of a mystic quest.)

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

Florence: you could not find Beack because I misspelled Beach (as in beach community)

I am shamed. I will go and study in a cave on how to type slower and with more care. :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A beautiful post, Florence. Thanks for joining my Community.

helle Jorgensen said...

Hi Florence
Such beautiful words... they stopped me in my tracks. Jude's quilt images and words often stay with me and I have pondered for a while the meaning of her beautiful work. You have expressed it so eloquently.
Thank you.
Helle Jorgensen

Florence said...

Shane, I do remember the film Baraka, it had such a profound effect on me when I first saw it. I can still remember the gold and silver simmering mosques that featured, all too briefly.

The poem sits beautifully with that image. Thankyou.

The Persian poets are said to be among the best in the world, like Haffiz of Shiraz. It's an area I hope to explore soon.

AOC, oh beach community! now it all makes sense. I didn't try beach at all...though then I wouldn't have had to look it up. When you emerge from your cave let me know ;-D

Captian, I thought that was a niffty new thing so I added one to my blog as well :)

Helle, thanks for stopping by, please feel welcome here.

Thankyou for your lovely comments. I'm quite a fan of your crochet sea creature. I'll add your blog to my friends list in the sidebar.