Archive | Art RSS feed for this section

The Nine Realms Art Workshop Special

16 Oct

 

DSC_4004

 

We ran two workshops in The Gallery at Hanse House on the 4th day of The Nine Realms: a Norse-themed poetry workshop in the morning, and an art workshop experimenting with the printing technique of monotypes in the afternoon.  Both workshops were facilitated by creatives involved in The Nine Realms project: poet, Rebecca Audra Smith and artist, Robert Fitzmaurice.

What you’ll find below is the second of of the 2 post specials on the workshops. This week we’re focusing on the art workshop with a written exploration of the whole workshop process by Robert Fitzmaurice. 

.

IMG_0869

 

.

IMG_0865

 

Background

As one of the participating artists in The Nine Realms project I was pleased to be invited to deliver a monotype workshop. It was planned to take place on the last day of the Hanse House event and be offered free to any members of the public who wished to attend. Norse mythology is full of bold words and images, so following on from a poetry workshop in the morning which had been held by Rebecca Audra, an afternoon of uninhibited image-making made perfect sense.

Most printmaking techniques rely upon a reusable matrix (e.g. an engraved, or etched plate), which can be repeatedly inked to produce a series of identical, or nearly identical, images. In contrast a monotype image derives from an unfixed ephemeral matrix (e.g. a sheet of glass or aluminium) on which the image to be printed is created and manipulated. Sometimes the monotype artist will get a second impression, termed a ghost print, which they then develop further with a variety of media. Degas is one such artist who adopted this approach.

Similarly in my own practice I have often turned to monotypes to unlock new motifs and generate new ideas that can be turned into paintings. Unlike other forms of printmaking the results come relatively quickly and quite often unexpectedly. I think this is the key thing about monotype, that one is liberated from those very rigorous processes normally associated with printmaking to focus purely upon image generation. In essence it is an act of unlocking.

Planning

I took the view that the surrounding Nine Realms imagery and texts could act as a spur, however it was to be each individual’s wellspring of imagination that I would aim to appeal. Since the focus would be on releasing imagery I decided to avoid coloured inks and limited the materials to a good quality water-based ink, rollers, acetate sheets to act as the matrices, and a variety of mark-making tools, including a variety of brushes, pens and sticks.

The workshop


On the day the workshop twelve people turned up. As it had originally been planned for eight people seating was somewhat tight, but fairly quickly one person decided they preferred to go and do something else, and so it was time to make a start.

By way of introduction I gave a quick overview of the monotype process and how it differs from other more rigorously procedural printmaking techniques. I really wanted to emphasise the liberating nature of monotype to ensure people felt free to enjoy themselves. To this end I cited Leonardo Da Vinci:

“Look at walls splashed with a number of stains, or stones of various mixed colours. If you have to invent some scene, you can see there resemblances to a number of landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills, in various ways. Also you can see various battles, and lively postures of strange figures, expressions on faces, costumes and an infinite number of things, which you can reduce to good integrated form. “

I felt this was very much in line with the Norse tendency to imbue the ‘meaningless’ of the natural world with symbols, especially with regard to seeing landscape as the figure writ large.

Perhaps my introduction went on a bit too long for some, but I got everyone’s attention again once I started demonstrating the basic principles and techniques and it wasn’t long before the floor surrounding us started to fill up with images. Forest forms, blackbirds, songbirds, dancing lines, something that somehow referenced a helter skelter and a bipedal crustacean – these were just some of the fabulous monotypes that emerged during the afternoon.

.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

.

The learning process was interesting to observe. Sometimes ink was rolled too heavily which caused loss of detail when printing and other times the opportunity to take second ghost prints was overlooked, but quite quickly people learnt from each other and adapted.

.

 .

Looking back

By the end of the session everyone had got suitably messy but that didn’t matter as we were able to enjoy looking at what must have exceeded fifty images, many of which turned out to be strikingly original.

What would I do differently next time? I think I would put more of my verbal introduction into printed hand-outs, and include some images of monotypes by famous artists. I would also provide the practical content (tools, techniques, tips and no-nos) in a separate section.

Overall it was a rewarding session for me, and from the feedback received, for all of those who chose to attend.

 

Robert Fitzmaurice
www.robertfitzmaurice.co.uk

 

Extras:

Here’s a short snippet video from Rob’s workshop:

.

.

Here are a couple of pictures: Rob beside his piece ‘Odin riding through Niflheim to save his son Baldr from nightmares’ and a close-up of the same piece. 

.

 

Many thanks to all those who participated in Rob’s art workshop, and to Hanse House for the great gallery space which seemed to be the ideal informal environment for our workshops. I am looking forward to developing the use of workshops further in our future projects and the national tour we are planning for Transformations and The Nine Realms in the years ahead. 

NB. You can find the link to the poetry workshop post here.

 

Thank you, as always, for your interest.

Advertisements

Realm 9: Alfheim – Overview and writing prompts, The Nine Realms, an ArtiPeeps Combined Arts Collaboration 2014-2015

8 Jun

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat= a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

Alfheim

(the realm of the Light Elves)

 

Vikings Ahoy!

Here we are in early June with the deadline for the poetry and writing for the 8th realm Midgard having just passed on Friday 5th June ! Who’d have thought we would now be on the final realm! 

From this week onwards I will be posting out Midgard poetry.

This month we are outlining the final Norse realm of Alfheim. The final deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for this realm is Friday 19th June 2015. I can hardly believe that this is the final realm. Congratulations to all the Viking poets for their creativity, interest and perseverance!!

These monthly posts will draw from a range of primary and secondary source materials and focus on selected gods, themes and stories that circle around the highlighted realm. They will not attempt to cover everything, and writers can embrace any other stories and characters within their writing which is not covered. Month by month we will be building our own magical, contemporary norse world whilst exploring the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION. The project’s overall intention is to embrace orality, translation, storytelling and rhythm all of which are inspired by the origins of the oral tradition of the Norse Sagas.

I may well put out little mini-posts intermittently focusing on orality and poetic form as necessary.  

What is presented below is designed to inspire, present basic information and offer a starting point for individual creativity within the project inspired by the themes, characters and spirit of the myths and stories.

.

The Crossover by Ann Supan (Alfheim, Realm of the Light Elves)

The Crossover by Ann Supan (Alfheim, Realm of the Light Elves)

 .

1. A Brief Overview of Alfheim

 .

It is often said that there are two sorts of elves in Norse mythology:  the Dark Elves and the Light Elves. The Light Elves are said to live in Alfheim near the gods’ halls and palaces. In old Norse,  Ālfheimr, is known as ‘Land of the Fairies’.  Alfheim is quite an elusive realm, and is only mentioned twice in the Norse Saga texts, making the realm quite hard, in actuality, to bring to life. The god Freyr is said to be the ruler of Alfheim.  Elves, along with Freyr, are generally associated with the sun  (Ellis Davison: 156). This derives from ‘a kenning for the sun, álfrǫðull…to some suggestive of a close link between the elves’.  (Motz 1973, p. 99; Hall 2004, p. 40.)

Scholars of Old Norse mythology now focus on references to elves in Old Norse poetry, particularly the Elder Edda. The only person explicitly identified as an elf in classical Eddaic poetry, if any, is Völundr, the  main character in the Völundarkviða  However, elves are frequently mentioned in the sequence of words: Æsir ok Álfar (‘Æsir and elves’). This sequence shows a strong tradition of an association between the elves with the Æsir.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81lfheimr

.

.

.

The two references two elves within the Edda texts are as follows:

1. In the eddic text  Grímnismál, describing 12 divine residencies of the gods

in stanza 5 :

Ýdalir call they     the place where Ull

A hall for himself hath set;
And Álfheim the gods     to Frey once gave

As a tooth-gift in ancient times.

nb. A tooth-gift was a gift given to a child on the cutting of the first tooth.

You can find the whole Grímnismál  here 

2. In the Gylfaginning of The Prose Edda:

‘That which is called Álfheim is one, where dwell the peoples called ljósálfar [Light Elves]; but the dökkálfar [Dark Elves] dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature. The Light-elves are fairer to look upon than the sun, but the Dark-elves are blacker than pitch. There are in fact some references that there are three places within the heavens where the light elves live: GimléAndlàngr and  Víðbláinn. This information is passed onto the king of Gylfi by a figure called High.’

You can find the whole Gylfaginning here.

.

For more information on the history of elves see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elf

.

For more details on Dökkálfar and Ljósálfar see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%B6kk%C3%A1lfar_and_Lj%C3%B3s%C3%A1lfar

 

.

Eye of Freyr by Elaine Offley (Alfheim)

Eye of Freyr by Elaine Offley (Alfheim)

.

2. Story Focus: Lovelorn Freyr

.

.

Freyr goes to  Hlidskjálf (the high seat of Odin which allows him to see all the realms~). He gazes across the realms and sees Gerðr the giantess with whom he falls immediately in love. Rather than becoming full of joy he broods and ruminates. Opening up to his page Skírnir, he asks Skirnir to woo Geror for him.

.

Þá svarar Skírnir, sagði svá at hann skal fara sendiferð en Freyr skal fá honum sverð sitt. Þat var svá gott sverð at sjálft vásk. En Freyr lét eigi þat til skorta ok gaf honum sverðit. Þá fór Skírnir ok bað honum konunnar ok fekk heitit hennar, ok níu nóttum síðar skyldi hon þar koma er Barey heitir ok ganga þá at brullaupinu með Frey. Gylfaginning 37, EB’s edition Then Skírnir answered thus: he would go on his errand, but Freyr should give him his own sword-which is so good that it fights of itself;- and Freyr did not refuse, but gave him the sword. Then Skírnir went forth and wooed the woman for him, and received her promise; and nine nights later she was to come to the place called Barrey, and then go to the bridal with Freyr. Gylfaginning XXXVII, Brodeur’s translation

S

Sword of Freyr

Sword of Freyr

.

As mentioned above, Skrinir asks for Freyr’s sword in return. This request has apocalyptic consequences as Freyr does not have his sword to fight Surt at Ragnarök .

.

3.  Völundr, the main character in the Völundarkviða in the Poetic Edda (see overview above)

.

Völundr

Völundr

.

Volundr is an artisan and is said to be one of the three sons of the king of the Finns. He is called  “prince of the elves” (vísi álfa) and “one of the álfar” or “leader of álfar”. 

So the story goes, his wife Hervör-Alvitr, a valkyrie (“chooser of the slain”), abandons him after nine years of marriage. He is then captured by Níðuðr, a cruel-king of Närke (Sweden) who is out to get Völundr’s gold. Völundr is put to work on an island making artifacts for the king. Eventually he finds means to take revenge and escapes.  He kills Niðuðr’s sons, impregnates his daughter and then flies away laughing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6lundarkvi%C3%B0a

You can find the full Völundarkviða here

.

4. Fertility Ceremonies and the Elves

.

Sunwheel

.

There is a story of an early King of Norway called Olaf, to whom, In a times of scarcity, men sacrificed.  This is stated  in Flaseyjarbok, one of the largest medieval manuscripts. At times of famine they also sacrificed to Freyr as the god of fertility. ‘When Olaf the Holy was born, he was named after the earlier Olaf. He was christend ‘Olaf, Elf of Geirstad’ [11, 106]. Viking burials quite often seemed to be connected with elves, right into the late Viking age (Ellis-Davidson: 155-156). This is seen to be evidence of the connection between fertility, elves and Freyr.

.

King Harold receiving the Flateyjarbok

King Harold receiving the Flateyjarbok

.

Another mention…Sigvat, a poet who served under King Olaf the Holy,  in 1018,  describes how the king could not find a place to stay because everyone was too busy sacrificing to elves.

Cupmarks on rocks and stones are found in association with sunwheels. Farmers have often poured milk into similar cups as offerings to the elves.

.

Themes, Relevance and Questions

.

Good versus evil

It has been suggested that this classification of the two types of elves has come in as part of the influence of Christianity. A division of good and evil, light and dark.  To consider this in relation to notions of power, fairness and spirituality within The Prose and Poetic Eddas is an interesting notion.

Exploration Point:  What other examples of dualism, or contrasts can you find in the Eddas and how are they used to comment on the world and the heavens? 

 

Things of Interest:

.

1. The Speech of Elves

 J. R. R. Tolkien anglicized Álfheim as Elvenhome, or Eldamar in the speech of the Elves. In his stories, Eldamar lies in a coastal region of the Undying Lands in the Uttermost West. The High King of the Elves in the West was Ingwë, an echo of the name Yngvi often found as a name for Frey, whose abode was in Álfheim according to the Grímnismál.

For an Interview with Tolkien from 1968 go to: https://youtu.be/DFcjBzP7H-E

 2. Light-elves, Dark-elves, and Others: Tolkien’s Elvish Problem by Tom Shippey

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tolkien_studies/v001/1.1shippey.html

 

 3. Norse Elements in the work of J.R.R. Tolkien

.

.

4. Drawing Lessons: How to draw Elves

.

.

5. Prospero’s Speech from The Tempest : ‘Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves’

.

 

6.  Words For Sentient Beings From Norse Texts

.

_field_diagram_of_words_for_sentient_beings_in_Old_Norse

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elf#Old_Norse_texts

 .

Optional Poetry and Writing Prompts:

.

Luc Bat

A Vietnamese verse form. Where lines of 6 syllables alternate with lines of 8 syllables. The name Luc Bat means six-eight. The rule is that each rhyme occurs three times – first at the end of an 8-syllable line, then at the end of the next 6-syllable line, and finally as the sixth syllable of the next 8-syllable line. The end loops back to the beginning. They can be both long and short.

See here for more details.

Writing Word Prompts:  Song, Hope, Motion, Contempt, Time, Darkness, Haunting, Magic, Heavens, Memory

.

To confirm, the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for the Alfheim realm is Friday 19th June 2015.

 .

 Thank you so much for your interest. Do keep an eye out for more of The Nine Realms project updates. 

.

References

 Allan, T (2010) Vikings, The Battle at the End of Time, London: Watkins Publishing

Crossley-Holland, K (1993) The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings, London, Penguin Books

Ellis Davidson, H.R. (1990) Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Books

Hollander, L.M. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Austin: University of Texas Press

Larrington, C. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Oxford University Press

Sturluson, S. (2005) The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. Jesse L. Byock

The Art of FORGIVING but not FORGETTING by artist Ann Supan (FreeSpace #3)

21 May

MANILA CATHEDRAL 1600px

MANILA CATHEDRAL by Ann Supan 

 

.

The Art of Forgiving but not Forgetting

Art, for me, is the artist’s converted thoughts and emotions of a subject into something tangible such as a sketch, drawing, or a painting.

I won’t dare argue how others defines Art because Art is quite subjective. I do, however, believe that ‘WHY someone makes Art’ reflects a lot about what Art really means to them…

(in no particular order)

– adventure, fun and enjoyment

– to connect

– to edify or educate

– reuniting and recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories

– to communicate

– money

– to be famous

Probably an artist should make a percentage chart of ‘Why I make Art’ instead of the usual direct statement as answer to this seemingly simple question. I myself can agree with a number of above mentioned reasons because they are sort of interrelated with one another.

It would be such a mendacity if I say that I don’t make Art for money at all…How else will I be able to buy the materials I need to create without money?

However I draw the line between trying to be “recognized” as an artist and to be “famous”. I have every reason to believe that someone can be an artist yet not be famous especially now that the term “fame” has been somehow “evolutionatized” by how the majority uses social media. I don’t intend “educate” with my art either as I am learning myself.

Nevertheless, based on my own definition of art, there is one which I agree most –

– reuniting and recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories

My memory triggers my thoughts and somehow exaggerates my feelings with this imperative desire to create.

I observed that I’m having a hard time to draw when I’m happy. I’m actually able to make what I consider memorable pieces when I feel deep melancholy- a feeling that, though part of life, I wish I could just ‘pray my way out of ‘ but can’t. So instead, I just ‘create my way out of it’.

For this reason, I realized that I draw to be able to forgive too because I’m usually sad when someone hurts me. I momentarily forget about the pain when I’m able to concentrate all my thoughts and emotions in the process of creating art-

– When I draw I tend to think of something else…go to another world…whether fiction or not, I don’t care…as long as it’s not here- my real life. I create lines/shadows over and over again until I get tired and accept the fact that it’s over. Usually, this is the same time when sadness drastically turns into anger until I realize that I can’t keep hating someone forever so the feeling of self pity strikes in. As I continue on forming figures these feelings subsides and then gradually turns back into sadness.

I choose to forgive this way but that does not mean I could just choose to forget what was done to me…that is just not possible.

“Your memory is a monster; you forget – it doesn’t. It simply files things away; it keep things for you, or hides things from you. Your memory summons things to your recall with a will of its own. You imagine you have a memory, but your memory has you.” – (In One Person by John Irving)

No matter what, as long as I have a pencil and paper in my hands I can choose to draw rather than focus on this feeling of immeasurable pain brought by my ‘uncontrollable’ memory. Should one day the finished piece would remind me of what I felt when I was making it, that is “OK” because it serves also a proof that I was able to overcome that miserable part of my life and “laugh” about it now.

As artists, we presume that all the artworks we make are our favorites but, whether we admit it or not, there are those which really stands out for us. Pieces we could spend a day looking at…pieces which brings a lot of memories…pieces which we understand far beyond the audience does…pieces which we find very hard to “let go” – mine are those that I usually made from sad memories which would somehow be translated as portraits and, most recently, as landscapes as well.

The Places series is a collection of architectural landscapes pieces, in different styles, which ‘I’ve been to’ and ‘dream of going to someday’. What the audience doesn’t know, until now, is that those pieces “I’ve been to’ included on this series are of places that ‘I would rather forget’ due to personal reasons.

Since every piece is unique, to read about the description of each piece, kindly click on the corresponding Facebook link below (“Places” album) so as to avoid making this blog any “longer” 😉

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.739950812786497.1073741833.125692274212357&type=1

But why do we end up creating something tangible out of those feelings we would rather forget? – because ‘we have to’…WE MUST.

That is what creators do.

Otherwise, we could always end up doing something else instead of creating like those who just ‘drink and/or wallow their way out of things’.

*** The image (Manila Cathedral) I used on this blog is the 2’nd piece of my PLACES series ****

*** Why ‘I’ Make Art ***
50% – reuniting and recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories
20% – to connect
15% – to communicate
10% – adventure, fun and enjoyment
5% – money

 

Biography

What if?’ will always be the question Ann Supan tends to ask herself every now and then. She is an Engineering graduate who knows she wanted to be an artist since she was 10 years old. She is a Filipina visual artist who loves to draw and likes reading as much as travelling. Her main interest in art is portraiture as it is her ambition to express beauty and emotion on her work. She focuses mainly on likeness as her technique and style is simple. Recently, she has been making ‘dual portrayal’ portraits in order to make her work ‘thought provoking’ as well.

She specializes in traditional drawing in the categories of figure drawing, illustration and shading using graphite and charcoal as her main medium. She also likes to use different mediums as shown on her selective impressionistic pieces.

Through years of practice and experimentations her artworks now revolves around on both realistic and impressionistic form.

https://twitter.com/Sketchbook0918

.

*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects (encouraged) or self expression. If you’re interested in FreeSpace do get in touch via the reply box on this post or the contact form on the What’s On page. 

.

9 Realms Viking Showcase: featuring Jasmine Renold (artist)

14 May

nine realms8

19 Poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat

.

Featuring

Jasmine Renold

(One of 2 Realm artist s for Jotunheim)

Question: what piece of your art best represents you at the moment?

.

IMG_4334

.                                    ‘Come into my parlour’

.

Most of my work is made from objects I find and wire. I love wire for its malleability and resistance. Sometimes it has a mind of its own and wants to go in a different direction. I like double meanings and so many of the titles to my sculptures are a play on words, sort of 3D conundrums. The themes of flight, freedom, constraint and being stuck or trapped are evident throughout my work. Sometimes with the sense of how we restrain ourselves from being free and being able to be true to ourself.

Biography:

I live in Manchester, UK and I have been a teacher for more than twenty years and have always been passionate about communication in its many forms. To teach well one has to be an amazing communicator. I studied Physics and Music for my degree and so my creative and logical sides often do battle with each other. My art work often displays a certain inner battle , particularly the mixed media sculptures.  It also reflects my purpose in life: exploring effective and beautiful communication. Jasminerenold.wordpress.com @jrenold on Twitter.

.

Please do take a look at our Indiegogo Campaign.

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

nine realms8

 

Realm 8: Midgard – Overview and writing prompts, The Nine Realms, an ArtiPeeps Combined Arts Collaboration 2014-2015

6 May

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat= a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

Midgard

(the realm of the people)

 

Vikings Ahoy!

Here we are in early May,  with the deadline for the poetry and writing for the 7th realm Muspelheim due in on Monday 11th May ! I shall be posting out more Helheim poems this week and next week. This month we are outlining the realm of Midgard. The deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for this realm is Friday 5th June 2015.

These monthly posts will draw from a range of primary and secondary source materials and focus on selected gods, themes and stories that circle around the highlighted realm. They will not attempt to cover everything, and writers can embrace any other stories and characters within their writing which is not covered. Month by month we will be building our own magical, contemporary norse world whilst exploring the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION. The project’s overall intention is to embrace orality, translation, storytelling and rhythm all of which are inspired by the origins of the oral tradition of the Norse Sagas.

I may well put out little mini-posts intermittently focusing on orality and poetic form as necessary.  

What is presented below is designed to inspire, present basic information and offer a starting point for individual creativity within the project inspired by the themes, characters and spirit of the myths and stories.

.

Aurgelmir: Sea from Blood, Sky from Skull (2015) by Raymond Bentley

Aurgelmir: Sea from Blood, Sky from Skull (2015) by Raymond Bentley, for The Nine Realms Project

 .

1. A brief Overview of Midgard

 .

Crossley Holland (xx-xxi), explains that Midgard is on the second level of the Norse universe’s ‘tricentric structure’. Midgard is in the middle, surrounded by a sea, which Snorri Sturluson (author of The Prose Edda, See ‘Things of Interest’ below) says ‘to cross it would strike most men impossible’.

When Ymir formed the world he allocated Midgard, the central region, to the human race. Midgard is ringed by a fence made out of Ymir’s eyebrows. Human’s did not make their home in Asgard until Midgard was formed where they created their palatial residences. One root of the The world tree, Yggdrasil, runs through Midgard. It is the place where Odin, in disguise, would go on a quest for more understanding of the world. Midgard is also the only realm that is seen to be visible, the other 8 realms move between visibility and invisibility.

.

Líf and Lífthrasir by Lorenz Frølich

Líf and Lífthrasir by Lorenz Frølich

.

2. Midgard Following  Ragnarök

.

It is said in The Prose and Poetic Eddas that, Midgard will be destroyed at Ragnarök, the battle at the end of the world. Out of this  Jörmungandr, the World Serpent, will arise from the ocean, poisoning both land and sea with his venom. He will cause the sea to rear up catastrophically against the land. The final battle will take place on the field of Vígríðr. After this battle Midgard and almost all life, will have been eradicated. The earth will sink into the sea.  The earth, however, will rise again, fertile and green when the cycle repeats and the creation begins again. 

After the cataclysmic events of Midgard it is said that a couple (Lif and Lifthrasir) will survive the destruction hidden in Hoddmimir’s Wood, a dark cavern or forest, where they survive living off dew. From their children life will engender, and offspring will be born, repopulating the earth. 

From The Lay of Vafthrudnir,45, Gylfaginning, The Prose Edda

‘In the place called Hoddmmimr’s Wood, two people will have hidden themselves from Surt’s fire. Called Lif [Life] and Leifthrasir [Life Yearner], they have morning dew for their food. From these will come so many descendents that the whole world will be inhabited. So it says here:

‘Lif and Leifthrasir

will hide themselves

in Hoddmimir’s Holt.

The morning dew

they have for food,

from them springs mankind.’

(Byock: 77-78)

You can find the whole Gylfaginning here

.

 

Jörmungandr: World Serpent by James Mackenzie

Jörmungandr: World Serpent by James Mackenzie for The Nine Realms Project

.

2. Thor and the Midgard Serpent

.

Jormungandr, the world serpent, lives in the ocean surrounding Midgard. He was so long that his tail circled the entirety of the realm.  He is one of the three children of Loki. There are a number of stories attached to the serpent:

.

.

1.  Loki’s Challenge

.

Where Thor comes across the serpent in the form of a huge cat, disguised in this guise by the magic of Loki. Loki challenges Thor to lift the cat as a test of his might. However, Thor is unable to lift Jörmungandr entirely, but does manage to raise the serpent far enough that it lets go of the ground with one of its four feet.

.

Thor and the Midgard Serpent

Thor and the Midgard Serpent

.

.

2.  Thor’s Fishing Trip: Hooking Jörmungandr

.

Thor goes fishing with the giant Hymir. However, the giant refuses to give Thor any bait to catch the fish, so Thor cuts the head off Hymir’s ox to use as a lure.  They fish for a while, but Thor wants to go further out to sea, despite Hymir’s protestations. Once further out Thor gets a strong line on which he hooks the ox’s head. The World Serpent, örmungandr, is hooked and pulled onto their fishing boat. Thor and the serpent face each other,  Jörmungandr, dripping venom and blood. Thor grabs his hammer to kill the serpent, but Hymir cuts the line and the serpent goes free.

For more information see here

See ‘Things of Interest’ below re: The Gosforth Cross

.

Máni and Sól

Máni and Sól

.

4.  Mundilfari, and the Sun and the Moon

.

Mundilfari is the father of Sól , goddess of the sun, and Máni, the son,  named after the moon. Mention of them can be found in The Poetic Edda in the Vafþrúðnismál stanza 23 and in The Prose Edda (chapter 11, Gylfaginning).

Sól married a man, Glenr (‘Opening in the clouds’, responsible for driving the horses across the sky), which angered Odin. Therefore the gods, in retaliation, grabbed both Sól and Máni from Mundilfari, and placed them in the sky to guide the sun and the moon and the constellations (created by the sons of Bor). The world was lit from the sparks from Muspelheim.

.

Themes, Relevance and Questions

.

Stasis and Visibility

It is interesting that  Midgard, the realm of the people, is seen to be the realm that is seen; maybe meant to be seen. It is the place of destruction and the place of rebirth, which to all intents and purposes could be  considered a replication of the fluctuation of all living things. It is powerful that this profound dynamic is embodied within the realm of the people. of man. As if the beginning and the end is rooted in man and how humankind overcome adversity through reformation. A Norse retelling of Eliot’s ‘the end is my beginning’ perhaps? 

Exploration Point:  What is the relationship between humans and the gods in The Prose and Poetic Eddas? What is the dynamic and how is it manifested? 

 

Things of Interest:

.

1.  Snorri Struluson

.

.

Born 1179, Hvammur, Iceland—died Sept. 22, 1241, Reykjaholt, Icelandic poet, historian, and chieftain, author of The Prose Edda and the Heimskringla.

The Heimskringla is a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with the Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history.

See more here.

.

.

 

2. The Gosforth Cross

.

Gosforth Cross World Serpent

 

.

The Gosforth Cross is a large stone Anglo-Saxon cross in St Mary’s churchyard at Gosforth in the county of Cumbria, UK. The area was settled by Scandinavians some time in either the 9th or 10th century and was previously part of the kingdom of Northumbria. The cross itself dates to the first half of the 10th century.

For more details see here.

.

3. Icelandic Alphabet

.

.

 You can see more ‘Icelandic Lessons’ here

.

 Optional Poetry and Writing Prompts:

Clerihew

Consists of two rhyming couplets which attempt to encapsulate the life and works of a character or famous figure.  As Vole Cental puts it:

‘Exaggeration, wilful misunderstanding, and even complete fabrication or character assassination, are permitted, and perhaps encouraged. The first line is always the person’s name. ‘

This might work well with a Norse character.

See here for more details.

Writing Word Prompts:  Striding, Killed, Wane, Edge, blood, licked, sky, hostility, ice, path, raised

.

To confirm, the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for the Midgard realm is Friday 5th June 2015.

 .

 Thank you so much for your interest.

.

References

 Allan, T (2010) Vikings, The Battle at the End of Time, London: Watkins Publishing

Crossley-Holland, K (1993) The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings, London, Penguin Books

Ellis Davidson, H.R. (1990) Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Books

Hollander, L.M. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Austin: University of Texas Press

Larrington, C. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Oxford University Press

Sturluson, S. (2005) The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. Jesse L. Byock

9 Realms Viking Showcase: featuring Heather Burns (artist)

29 Apr

nine realms8

19 Poets, 23 artists, 3 musicians and a Viking boat

.

Featuring

Heather Burns

(Realm artist for Vanaheim)

Question: what piece of your art best represents you at the moment?

.

woven landscape close-up

Woven Landscape (close -up)

 acrylic and graphite with mixed media on canvas, A1 size 20/2/2015

      This piece was made in response to the challenge of interpreting the realm of Vanaheim visually for the Norse Myth collaboration for ArtiPeeps. I arrived at this response having explored the male and female nude in landscape settings after researching written material on the realm. I found it strangely illusive though, and difficult to visualise. It constantly slid away from any concrete image. The only thing that did stay with me was Freyja’s necklace, or Brisingamen, which was stolen from her by Loki, and which is central to her story. The explorations of this precious thing that stimulated the Goddess’s greed and actions that had huge consequences for her community fascinated me. Having also gone on a field trip to explore the Viking and Christian Gosforth Cross in Cumbria, with its mix of iconography from those cultures, I felt the need to blend these aspects. Great Gable mountain in Wasdale known as Odin’s Mountain, is also in there as well as a motif relating to Norse cable designs for knitting. 

Next, the interlocking Yggdrasil tree of life carving from the base of the Gosforth Cross suggested notions of family and community so central to the Vanaheimers as I imagine them. These aspects all come into focus and disappear much as my explorations have done. I accept the illusive nature of the realm in my response; it is part of it all. However, I am fascinated by concrete aspects available to me especially evidence of a Viking presence in Cumbria. Finally, the necklace itself which I painted at Christmas, was a gift from my sister-in-law Mara who is half Orcadian. The Orkneys also being a special place of colonisation for the Norse explorers. The piece reflects this weave of influence, narrative and history as well as being a treasure itself both physical and metaphoric.

.

 Biography:

Heather Burns is a practising artist and art teacher with an interest in landscape and  a sense of place combined with gestural marks and colour. She studied Fine Art at Leeds University, became a mother, took a teaching post in teaching English as a foreign language in Cambridgeshire whilst continuing to paint throughout. Now settled in Clitheroe Lancashire she is experimenting with oils again after a period exploring acrylics, and has recently had an exhibition at her brother’s gallery in the Lake-district. You can find more out about her via www.heatherburns.co.uk@Heatherburns201 

Freyja

Loki

Brisingamen

.

*Vanaheim is the realm of the Vanir Gods. You can read the realm overview here

* You can find more information about The Nine Realms here

.

Please do take a look at our Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign for our Viking Boat.

We have some great Viking Rewards:

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

nine realms8

“Art between HAPPINESS and MEANING” by artist Ann Supan (FreeSpace #2)

23 Apr

CONFUSED

CONFUSED by Ann Supan 

.

“Art between HAPPINESS and MEANING”

” Unhappy men are all alike. Some wound they suffered long ago, some wished denied, some blow to pride, some kindling spark of love put away by scorn – or worse indifference – cleaves to them, or they to it, and so they live each day within a shroud of yesterdays. The happy man does not look back. He doesn’t look ahead. He lives in the present.

But there’s the rub. The present can never deliver one thing: meaning. The ways of happiness and meaning are not the same. To find happiness, a man need only live in the moment; he need only live for the moment. But if he wants meaning – the meaning of his dreams, his secrets, his life – a man must reinhabit his past, however dark, and live for the future however uncertain. Thus nature dangles happiness and meaning before us all, insisting only that we choose between them. ”  (The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld)

I interpret the word “insisting” on above quotation as an implication that even though nature may “insist” for us to choose between HAPPINESS and MEANING, it does not mean that it’s “impossible” for us to have both.

I think that I cannot “always” have both HAPPINESS and MEANING at the same time but as long as I can find MEANING in my life, I know I’ll find HAPPINESS there too “at certain times” no matter how brief or long it lasts.

I know I am happy whenever I make a piece of art simply because I enjoy doing it…but what does that mean? It means…

– not having enough time for other things which may affect my relationship with others because they don’t understand my passion (this includes taking time to make something that is not actually paid for…some people with full time regular paying jobs just don’t understand that).

– giving people more reasons to criticize me.

– putting my ideas at risk because I cannot be an artist by just locking myself in a room drawing all day. Sharing art in the real word is, indeed, “a double edge sword.”

– doubting myself and my artistic abilities because, the truth is, I am not the “best artist” in the world (if there is such a person as “art is subjective”). I am not ashamed to admit that as I know for a fact that there are a lot of great artists out there (living or dead).

– always having the fear of “failing” at what I’ve always thought I am born to do in this world – to be an artist

Despite all this, if I must choose, I’ll choose MEANING as I’m certain that I cannot totally “just” be happy. I believe, just like any other feelings ( e.g. sadness, grief, etc.), HAPPINESS too shall pass…it always does. MEANING, on the other hand, is definite as it gives us purpose…the reason to live “no matter what”. I would rather know that there is a meaning for ALL  the things I’ve been through in life than to be a happy person by ignoring my past that I cannot “just” forget.

However, though I choose MEANING, I don’t live in the present “entirely” for the benefit of my future because for all I know I may die today. I honestly do not desire a longer life. I just want to “live” the life I’m given by learning from my past and doing the best I can with what I have until the day I stop breathing (period).

The SHADOWS series is a collection of portraits intending to show emotions  OTHER than those typical portrayal of  complete happiness and joy as I hope to convey those I believe are “meaningful” part of someone’s life.

As every piece is unique, to read about the description of each piece, kindly click on the corresponding Facebook link below ( “Playing with SHADOWS” album) so as to avoid making this blog any “longer” 😉

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.603474029767510.1073741830.125692274212357&type=3

***The image (CONFUSED) I used on this blog is the 17’th piece of my SHADOWS series ****

.

Ann will be returning for her third FreeSpace on Thursday 21st May. She is one of the artists to be exhibited in our The Nine Realms  combined arts experience this  September in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

 .

Biography

What if?’ will always be the question Ann Supan tends to ask herself every now and then. She is an Engineering graduate who knows she wanted to be an artist since she was 10 years old. She is a Filipina visual artist who loves to draw and likes reading as much as travelling. Her main interest in art is portraiture as it is her ambition to express beauty and emotion on her work. She focuses mainly on likeness as her technique and style is simple. Recently, she has been making ‘dual portrayal’ portraits in order to make her work ‘thought provoking’ as well.

She specializes in traditional drawing in the categories of figure drawing, illustration and shading using graphite and charcoal as her main medium. She also likes to use different mediums as shown on her selective impressionistic pieces.

Through years of practice and experimentations her artworks now revolves around on both realistic and impressionistic form.

https://twitter.com/Sketchbook0918

.

*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects (encouraged) or self expression. If you’re interested in FreeSpace do get in touch via the reply box on this post or the contact form on the What’s On page. 

.

Please do check out our Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign: 

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

%d bloggers like this: