Saturday, March 31, 2012
From Plywood to a Work of Art Called "Flow"
By Kellie Meisl
I came out as a brook from a river,
and as a conduit into a garden.
I said, I will water my best garden,
and will water abundantly my garden bed:
and lo, my brook became a river,
and my river became a sea.
I will make doctrine to shine as the morning,
and will send forth her light afar off.
I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy,
and leave it to all ages for ever.
Behold that I have not laboured for myself only,
but for all them that seek wisdom. --The words of Sophia, the Book of ben-Sirach, 1st century B.C.
I located this passage when I was doing some research on goddesses recently, preparing to make another piece of goddess art for a series I am working on. They are the words of Sophia, goddess of wisdom. Her name is contained in the Greek word philosophy which translates to love of wisdom.
I was astonished to find the passage well after I had created the mermaid “Awareness,” whose goddess name is Venus. If you have already read the story of “Awareness” then you know she literally came from a brook!
And you know she is part of a greater dream where she was rescued and lived in a garden bed.
So to find these words from Sophia, while preparing to do my next goddess art piece, was just such an amazing synchronicity, a boon to me about my process and the meaning of my work. For me, it is a confirmation that I am on the right path, aligned with my soul’s purpose, and connected to the divine creative energy source.
The title of my new art piece is "Flow," with the goddess name, Sophia, and as you will see in the photos below, it has gone through a number of transformations. This work -- which started with a plain piece of plywood -- is a composite of several materials and a number of my dreams. To begin, I work very intuitively, selecting materials that catch my eye and touch my heart. One such material was a discarded piece of plywood left over from a hardwood floor we had installed in our home a few weeks before. It beckoned to me from the wall where it was leaning in the garage. Each time I would pull my car in I'd glance at that plywood against the wall and all of a sudden something would kind of flutter up in my heart and light up my mind.
As is usually the case, dreams followed; dreams always help to form the foundation for the art piece, and the art in effect always honors the dreams that appear.
In the case of Flow, two big dreams featured the theme of flow. The first big dream came in 2009, and in it there was a huge amount of turbulence that resulted in the walls of a disturbingly oppressive classroom being blown over, with the floor opening up to reveal a gaping river of fermenting apples flowing along beneath it.
This dream is always with me; it summons me to heed its plea, “Look below the surface, transformation is happening, be aware of the process, give in to the flow.”
In the second big dream, which came in March 2010, I was in my neglected gardens and had been given a helper, an older woman, with white hair; she helped me to remove a thorny, dried up rosebush that had not received enough nutrients, plucking it out with her bare hands, and casting it in the flowing brook behind my home. As we stood from above watching the water move by, a large tree stripped of its bark, its roots and branches neatly severed off, came rushing by. Its wood was light and twisted, I saw it as a work of art, but it was so big and moving so quickly I did not know how to retrieve it alone. I was panicked. In the dream, the wise woman somehow reassured me, without words, as dream guides do, that I need not panic, but should instead let the tree go. I was relieved to be relinquished of this huge task and grateful for the support I received from the wise woman. I have returned to her advice often in the past year. I am reminded again and again to let go, to be mindful of the process and be aware, but not to panic--instead to go with the flow.
And so, it is in the spirit of the messages of my dreams that I created “Sophia.” When she was finished I asked for another dream and this is what I received:
I am vacationing on the ocean with my family. We are in a cottage, separate from a chain of resorts, along the ocean, where others are staying. I am standing by a picture window, like the one in my family room, and the glass breaks from the pressure of a wave...I realize there is a storm and I must act now, it is up to me to move us...I look out the window and see that others along the chain are trapped by the waves. I feel fortunate that the location we are in allows us to get away from the rushing water. I look back and see a woman, who appears to be trapped by the water, but she is not worried, she knows she will be okay…
So the flow continues…I am curious, but I am not worried.
Artist and writer Kellie Meisl, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, relies on dreams as a springboard for her work. In 2009, she published her first book, "Dream Stories: Recovering the Inner Mystic." Her visual art, including the collage "Shattered Cups," which appeared on the cover of Seeing Red, can be viewed at her website: www.kelliemeisldreamart.com.