Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Art of Spirit Influence

I wrote this blog in January 2013. I'm re-blogging it - is there such a word? I am not getting out of writing a blog this week, it's just appropriate. I went and took a sculpture workshop when I got my fellowship last year. 
I have always had a hankering to do sculpture. Now I know how long it takes, I know I will not be doing much but I will continue. I bought the tools, I have a vague idea how to do it and will on occasion continue with it. I was drinking my coffee this morning and looking at my small piece, Warm Welcome, and thought I can see how Nana influenced me. 
And so … meet Nana. Here's the old blog
Last week when I wrote about my friend, Nana Berthelot - a wonderful sculptor in Mallorca, in the Balearics... it brought an avalanche of special memories of our time together for a couple of years when we lived there. Lee and I were living on our 30' sailboat, mostly anchored in the bay off Puerto Colom, a delightful small town with a big natural harbour and an atmospheric old town with high rampart walls and large cathedral dominating it's skyline.
Our mode of transport was 2 fold-up bicycles... old and rather rusty but they worked. Nana lived in a finca surrounded by olive groves in the tiny village of Son Prohens a couple of kilometers away. We'd often ride our bikes over with food in our front baskets. We'd prepare the meal while she worked away at chipping stone. When it was ready, we'd set the table under a tree away from her dusty work and we'd all enjoy a long leisurely meal and wine, talking and laughing.
Other times she'd drive by the harbour, hoot at us, we'd row over and hop in the car and go with her to the quarry to order stone. She drove a little Renault 5 and we'd go barreling down in to the dark mouth of the quarry inside a mountain. I was always sure we'd get lost down there but Nana drove with great panache and speed through dark tunnels, stopped at the right place, placed her order and we'd shoot out the mouth of mountain in to the sun without mishap every time. The day after placing her order a flatbed truck would show up at her olive grove and begin dumping the pieces off haphazrdly. She left them where they were and whether they were horiztonal or vertical, on their sides or flat it didn't matter ... the stone told her what do create.
This photo is of 2 pieces in progress - they weathered naturally as she worked on them since they sat out exposed to all the elements. The man's legs behind the tree are a friend of ours who is about 6 foot, so you can get some sense of scale. These were 2 of her smaller pieces.

Nana's real name is Anne, but everyone called her Nana - a beautiful, tranquil woman who makes beautiful things, we are fortunate indeed to know her. I can hear her lilting voice with her fractured English, mixed with Spanish and French as I write this. Such happy, treasured memories.
And back to today:

Here is my wee piece. You can see how her creative spirit helped drive mine. I am astounded I didn't see it before! I met Nana in the 1980's.. and here in 2013 her influence comes to me. How wonderful is that!?
Please visit my website and my new website on my books... it's early days with this one but it's a start!

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