2017 RUD AIR, Bengtsfors, Sweden rudair.tumblr.com
First you must land, ground, settle, then calibrate. The journey was long but the landscape is familiar as family. I am back with the tall burgeoning pine, spruce and birch trees. I am back with the composed lakes and bosky groves. I am back with the generous lichen, slugs and exotic mushrooms. I am back with the rapeseed fields and falu red houses. There is an evenness in energetics here, the swells are subtle, the axis and orbit seemingly balanced. A space for deep echoes and deeper looking. Weather is a binding force, the spark of connectivity. The sky has opened, the armor of day has changed from wet and foggy to sunlit and loquacious. Clouds of fantasy are fastly moving, light powder blues materialize from gainsboro greys and flat mission blacks. I am being warmed by radiance. These flattering clouds are rolling toward me like galloping whispers, not sure what secrets need keeping, I will try my best.
2016 AIR Tranås, Kultivera, Tranås, Sweden kultivera.nu/
May feels like an early summer. This bucolic countryside is part of the heritage of Sweden. An able sized town with a history of industry and healing. Shirts are becoming scarce, men mow lawns, trim hedges, soap, water and scrub cuddy cabins for hobby fishing, exposing common upper parts. Somehow though the still here is too still. This is Scandinavia but it is like winter never existed, like we skipped a season and just arrived, a last indication being sandboxes and stacked firewood. The weather here is not extreme, there is room for expectation. Tomorrow will be tomorrow. It is like we stepped into a period of modesty, everything is well behaved, no one or thing breaking order. Except for the birds, they cluster being mischievous and chatty. Birch in bogs pioneering even aged stands. Fair white vistippa and blankets of glory of the snow carpet the many woods; 6 lively petals welcoming spring. The air is dry, the heat has settled, the dandelions have opened. What will come? Walking. What say you will come? Walking. What will come of this walking?
ever aroused by words and long walks growing heavenly in hamlet, in meadow, in wood. No longer a stranger or witness to wilderness but rather present with epic feelings expanding in groves, fields, pastures and plots of green. And what of this notion of weather, this we must speak of, as it remains on the minds of many and its host of possibilities inform but do not inhibit saunters. A shared expression of experience, engrossed feelings of connectivity, the living art in everyday, creating new myths, new sensations, new sounds, new songs, new scripts, new glorious pathways, within new gallant landscapes, exposing new dynamic phenomenons to new siblings of destiny. fancy that.
Light is a soft commodity, it appears midday and escapes suddenly. It is never a case to bear witness to all of its glory, that being a bright golden ball in the sky but it is exquisite, oh so profound, it's like she whispering bare miracles, blowing cooling breaths of pale ale, charming indigo, true powder and pearlfrost into the sky. When she finally arrives, the sun that is, hands will clap, fireworks will sound and bells will ring in approval, jubilee, joy and glee.
The town is at rest, now in a low heap of snow and ice. Majestic peaks and stately mountains tower above flanking the sides of this memorable place. This sleepy village lit up with festive seasonal lights sits in the armpit of the fjord, with an outstretched hand toward the Norwegian Sea. We are all subject to the elements and nothing quite is lasting, a stark reminder of our impermanence in relation to the ferocious qualities of the natural world. The changes that happen in a day are drastic, an unfolding melodrama of sorts. It is like she is playing tricks, going back and forth, testing us, teasing us. The weather patterns are so extreme, there is no telling what will prevail, all possibilities are open.
Undeniably, in this well of darkness, light is the saviour and it’s increasing presence however subtle it might be heralds the coming illumination of spring. But what lies underneath these geological place mats of history, the large solid rocks and boulders withstanding the test of time. In the etched latitudinal ridges of activation, there is a story of lava and mercurial creation. Yes, this could be a different era, as the landscape appears primitive but also certainly of the now.
There is a slower pace of life when night is day and day is night but I assure you she is listening, nature can hear us, attune to her frequency. I will be here, I have docked like the intermittent ferry. I will discover the discoverable daylight, how nature batters, bruises, and alchemizes from without and within. I will collect. I will gather. I will walk. I will stand. I will hunker. I will transform. I will fix. I will exclaim. I will exhalt. I will assertain. I will...........
2016 Skaftfell Residency, Skaftfell Center for Visual Art, Seydisfjordur, Iceland skaftfell.is
WAYS TO COMMUNE WITH NATURE, Limited Edition Artist Book (100), can be found at:
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2014 Solo Exhibition, Five Myles, Brooklyn, New York fivemyles.org
2013 Seventh Gallery Residency, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia seventhgallery.org
2013 WARP Artist Village, C-Mine, Genk, Belgium warp-art.be
2013 Mustarinda Winter Residency, Paljakka, Hyrynsalmi, Finland mustarinda.fi
What is here? Silence.
The birds have gone. Small furry mammals are hibernating, nesting beneath the frost. Winter is beyond belief, a luminous light softly blushing. There is snow, abounding snow, smothering, pinching, coveting, blanketing, and burying the forest. Towering trees frame lone open roads, stoic prehistoric creatures created by the new white flurry fashion. This is a partial manmade reality of once spruce trees clear-cut for newer pine. Truth be told, no one is allowed in the heart of the boreal forest. It houses a unique ancient ecosystem that must be preserved.
What is breathing? Everything.
In a low come-hither tone, the silence has depth and history. Within the comfort of stillness lies a message carried forth from our old lofty forebears. Listen to this story, during this lengthy cold season for with spring comes the promise of summer and nature will do as it always does, continually unfold.
They begin to speak.
They begin to quake.
In this remote wilderness the snow is real, more than a memory. It is seducing and at times disorientating. With heavy winds it can be difficult to distinguish quietly falling snowflakes from the uptake of millions of snow crystals from surrounding trees, dusting and dousing everything in sight. Walking becomes a game of balance and proficiency. Every step must be precise to feel supported without the proper gear. Sure-footed, you coast and glide with no real concept of depth. Today I walked sometimes upright, other times on hand and foot to the nearby Kota shelter and further afield to the Paljakka observation tower within the nature reserve. During these extended spells of silence there was a surprising uprising within the woods. This is the magician sun at work. It is out directing, melting ice and snow from treetops, a beautiful reminder of its omnipresence.
I am on a different rhythm, staying up into the early morning and rising even later. There is something keeping me up. The answer might lie within these trees. Spruce and birch inhabit the immediate surroundings along with endless fields of snow. One soon learns to co-exist with the snow, it is never forgotten. It is a distant relative that disappears for a few months and returns only to extend it's stay. Rather than shoveling it away onto streets in eagerness, as one might do in the city, the snow acts as a vehicle for so much more. It is a road; it is a foundation, a home. The snow is insulating and heating the Mustarinda house along with the geothermal energy. Mustarinda is moving towards self-sustainability. The goal is to strengthen its connections to renewable resources. One way it seeks to do so is through creating tangible energy. Rather than being an abstract concept, it seeks to acquire its energy methods directly from the elements in nature instead of employing fossil fuels. When considering alternative sustaining solutions one must return to the land. To live in harmony with the land is to understand the cycles of nature.
How does one create a new road or novel path? Walk.
The roads are open. I walk alone. On ground. Under soil. Under foot. Moving through high country. I am a foreigner in the unfamiliar. I am the spectacle. The trees are with kinfolk, brother, sister, aunt and uncle evergreen. No other person can be seen for miles. I am the new inhabitant in this winterland. I am the lone traveler becoming familiar with place. I am the shadow of man.