fabric and felt II

art, recent work, teaching

The journey has begun. Our fellow friends, students and teachers from the seminar, have reached Athens, Greece, by now. Those of us remaining behind gather in the Blue atelier in the morning. Our journey will be of another kind, roaming not so much over miles, but through our minds. We go out to meet Mats, the gardener, in the rose garden. He provides us with pruning shears and tells us about the place; how this once was grazing land around a rock where sloanbushes, rowan trees and wild roses still grow. We listen while cutting dead twigs from one of their cultivated kindred, a Rosa alba Minette…

Now, in the wide grounds of the Steiner seminar there is much more than the rose garden. Mats takes us for a walk to some of the places and we experience the characteristics of each one through to the knowledge he shares with us.

In southern countries, the garden is often shaped within protecting walls; a place of shelter and shade with life-giving water where water is scarce and rare. Here, in the North, with an abundance of lakes and watercourses and vast dark forests, one would rather seek the open and place the garden by a forest fringe where the sun gives sweet warmth. We look upon the rocks and hedges, pathways and plants; the manifold situations and meetings created here by artists and craftsmen – beginning with Bruno Liljefors a century ago, then continued by Arne Klingborg, Erik Asmussen and others, up till today; we look at our surroundings through this understanding.

In Hellas, gods were close to human beings; everyday life interweaved with divine presence. In nature, this could be sensed as tangible qualities at certain sites; temples and sanctuaries were designed to frame them. We, the barbarians, will now make our attempt to grasp Hellene spirit by rendering it into our own means of expression. For this sake, we decide to work with two of the places we have found appealing; when we meet tomorrow, we will see how each of us sets out for the task.

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