Friday, January 22, 2010

Earth Spirals

Spirals made in my garden, during the last warm days in November, before the first snow. A last resurgence of the earth spirits before the quiet dormant months. We won't see these patterns again till spring. Then they'll emerge from the melting snow like crocus emerging from the soil.

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Blogger Elisabeth said...

Wonderful land forms here Art. I wonder how they will look after they have endured the privations of winter.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Hi, Elisabeth. They tend to look a little rougher and disorganized. One of the things about working with these materials, with land art sculpture like this, is that it tends to be ephemeral. Some things endure more than others. A snowman melts quickly. A rock garden endures longer, but it still slowly erodes or settles or shifts in its bed of earth. So some things are meant to endure, others are not.

for me part of what it's all about is watching what changes throughout the seasons, and what doesn't.

Of course, my neighbors think I'm a bit weird to do these sorts of things in my garden. LOL but they're "stealth" in that, like in a Japanese garden, you come upon a view or element suddenly, as a surprise. They're not obvious from the road. You have to go out into the garden itself to see them.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

What you say here, Art, reminds me of a monument one of my daughters once described to me. It's in Germany, I think.

It is intended as a monument that does not sit for all eternity as a reminder of some event or person. Instead it rests on sand and slowly, gradually month by month, year by year it sinks, until eventually it will disappear altogether.

I like the idea of preservation, I like the idea that we can keep some hold onto the past, particularly through our art and writing, but also for some strange reason, I like this idea of the disappearing monument.

We have such difficulties as people accepting the inevitability of change. We try to kid ourselves that some things won't change, but as far as I'm concerned it's the one certainty of life. Along with the inevitability of death, the only thing we can be sure of is that things change.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...


I was having an argument with some poet who should know better the other day about enlightenment, the Buddhist idea. He seems to be fixated on the misconception that enlightenment is a static state of nonlife; he has this idea that once you achieve an enlightened state, you just stop there. He went so far as to compare it to non-life, and furthermore compared his idea of this to soul-dead people like Eichmann. It would be laughable if it didn't seem so sincere. Beyond the simple truth that lots of Westerners have completely wrong ideas about Buddhism (which has come up a lot, lately, for some reason), this was a particularly bizarre misconception.

One thing I've learned from my own experience, which is supported by Buddhist philosophy, is that there is nothing but change. Change is the one certainty in the universe. Just as you say.

I like art that reflects that.

You might enjoy Andy Goldsworthy's work, if you haven't already encountered it.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the reference to Andy Goldsworthy, Art. I had not heard of his work and checked it out via Google. Wonderful concepts behind wonderful stuff. Thanks so much.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Glad to make that connection for you.

Goldsworthy has been one of my favorite artists for somme time now. Obviously there's an influence, which I'm happy to acknowledge. His work is utterly amazing at times.

10:30 PM  

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