Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friends to Treasure, Photos, Seeing, and Laura's Exhibition

Our Front Window. Photo, Bara.
About a week ago, as the day was drawing in, and the low winter sun had snuggled to its place of sleep just behind Mt Baldy, Laura happened to look out our front window, the window of our gallery, at the same moment that someone was looking in. The encounter gave the owners of both pairs of eyes a little fright I should imagine! We had not had the gallery open that day, as we had been in Dunedin looking after the Potter's Co-operative, and we were not long home. In fact we had only just walked in, flung a few things down, fed the cat, and flicked the switch of the electric jug with the thought of making a soothing cup of tea. I had thrown myself into a chair, but the sound of the gallery door opening, and muffled voices, indicated that Laura had company and was showing someone around.

Soon I was called upon to say "Hello", and was introduced to a young person from the Czech Republic (with a name I did not immediately catch), who was interested in pottery and potting.

In spite of, or maybe because of, our own rather city weary condition, we invited her to join us in a cup of tea, and out of such simple beginnings friendships are made!

Bara ended up staying the week, and I have to say that Laura and I are missing her a great deal.

In life I think it is fair to say that for the most part, the drama of our lives is supported by a cast of acquaintances, people that we wave to and smile at, and generally make living nicer and less solitary. These are friends, and I am very thankful for them, but it is rare that you meet someone at greater depth than this, and when you do it is a precious gift. Something to be treasured.

Bara and Laura, with a lovely frying pan from Bara... so we could have pancakes for breakfast!

Bara was with us a very short time, but I think we skipped the acquaintance level, and she became part of the family. Bara loves to cook, and meals times were most enjoyable! Bara also has a gift for photography, and I enjoyed seeing the photos she had taken on her travels, and of our meal times.

A memorable meal together. Photo by Bara.

Yes, the camera was on hand to record the evening meal! For the most part Bara's photos were not "postcards" or "holiday snaps", but aimed for something deeper.

Seaweed on frosty sand. Notice the strong shadow from the low winter sun. Photo by Bara.

I have been spending rather a lot of hours doing accounts on the computer, and designing an advert for an exhibition that Laura will be having, so my time for work in the studio, or walks outside has been limited. However.... our recent visitor has helped awaken some creative juices, and I have been out for some walks with, and without, the camera.

The without the camera walk was one of the more memorable, in that I ambulated slowly and made myself try to describe in words what I was seeing, words in my head I hasten to add!

I watched a pair of black swans take off maybe 400 metres from me, and listened to the sound of their wings at take off power carried to me over the waters of the lagoon. I tried to think what words I would use to describe the sound of the wings.... "Clock, Clock"? No. "Plop, Plop"? No... "A wet, clayey "Flop, Plop"? Closer..

Then I got onto reflections of trees in the water. What texture did they have? Were they "Slimy"? Not really. "Silky"? Possibly.

And, what of the atmosphere. It was Atmosphere. There was woodsmoke, and the chill of winter air over stale water. Mist rising. You have heard of "50 Shades of Grey", but that is how the sky was, and the trees, and water, and distant hills. Blue-grey, brown-grey, purple-grey, green-grey.

Waikouaiti River near Karitane. Photo by Bara.

I sometimes elect to watch films, not always foreign, with the English subtitles. I follow the plot better that way. I watch and understand, instead of just watch! Trying to express what I saw in words as I walked, was making me look. Take pause. Assimilate. Take root, in what was around me, and that was a good thing. I must try it more often!

 Laura's Exhibition

Coming up soon will be Laura's exhibition at the Stuart Street Potter's Co-operative in Dunedin. She has been welcomed there, and we are joint members of the Co-op. Laura rarely works with clay, and the work in her exhibition will be her paintings on wood (plywood or MDF board). The exhibition will run from 4 - 16 July, and will feature a mid exhibition opening on Saturday 9 July at 11am. Do come along to the opening if you are in the Dunedin area at the time, or try to catch the exhibition at some point in its 2 week duration.

A window, with the ears of Nigella Stopit visible. Photo by Bara


Nicky Gilkison said...

Lovely post. The discipline of really looking is so worth the effort. It's always good to be reminded of it and to be refreshed by anothers viewpoint and other ways of utilising the gift of this incredible sense.

Peter said...

Hi Nicky,
Lovely to hear from you on the blog! Thank you so much for writing in. I need to be frequently reminded of the importance of slowing down and really looking, there is so much in life that can rob us of this simple and profound thing!

smartcat said...

Friends happen in the most unlikely places!
I think people in general are forgetting how to look and really see what they are looking at.
Love Nigella Stopit's curious little ears!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful account Peter, but then who wouldn't love the OPO "commune"!? We can imagine the chatter and deep philosophical discussions with Nigella Stoppit! Keep warm. Graham & Amanda

Peter said...

Hi Smartcat,
Nigella Stopit sees with her "curious little ears" more than I ever will with my eyes.. I am convinced that she has heat seeking radar!

Hi Graham and Amanda,
OPO commune, come and join us! Some may suggest that Nigella has a Meeowist philosophy!

Michèle Hastings said...

Artists are the most welcoming people (generally speaking!). I bet your new friend is missing you and Laura as well.
Wishing Laura a successful exhibitions with lots of sales!

Peter said...

Hi Michèle,
Thank you for your kind thoughts. I will pass on your best wishes to Laura. Not long to the exhibition now.