"And still after all this time, The Sun never says to the Earth, 'You owe me'. With a love like that, It lights the whole sky." Rumi.
"The Angel of Light" October 2019
It has been a while since I have written a full post as I have been focusing all my energy into finishing the Angel of Light. This angel, I had started a number of years back and for different reasons never finished. She is the second angel of the Angel Trilogy, "Guardians of the Lighthouse Keepers".
I decided to return to this sculpture when I injured my finger, thinking it would be quick, easy and I would have it finished by the beginning of the summer. Little did I know! Because of life's twists and turns it has taken me twice as long as I had expected.
"Working on the Sculpture"
I always knew how I wanted this sculpture to look and when I returned to her, the problems I had been experiencing, I could now see clearly how to resolve them. Sometimes space is often the only thing needed when faced with a problem.
My vision for this sculpture was that I wanted her to be filled with light and also to radiate light. That every surface of her would reflect light. This sculpture was about bringing the light into the darkest of times and into every corner of our lives and as a practical light to guide our next step.
"Angel of Light and Three Blackbirds Detail"
To achieve this amount of light I realised I needed to completely changed the way I had originally render her. This meant I had to prepare a new and different kind of foundation to work the mosaic tile on. My work is systematic, one thing leads to the next and when there is a fundamental change to that sequence then it's like starting from the beginning again. A big change like this is very time consuming but worth it to be able to follow my inner vision.
The slow progress of the work was frustrating and tedious. The mosaic patterns were very detailed and at times it felt endless and that I was getting nowhere. When Sam is in respite I usually get a long, undisturbed run at working but this year that never happened as I was sick for each of his respites. At other times the slow pace has been really grounding and helpful.
"Angel of Light at Night"
The past few years, Sam's health has been crises after crises and in contrast this past six months has been steady and calm. Crises can be very distracting and when removed, it now show us clearly the reality of our situation and future, in the stark the light of day.
For me this sent me into a very bleak and dark space. It is no longer possible for me to live at this level of caring 24/7. My body is no longer able to sustain this intensity. Something inside me broke and it was necessary for me to go into the darkness for healing.
" Angel of Light"
A friend recently reminded me, that during these times when I go into the darkness, into the underworld, I've always returned with gems, a new way of doing things that is creative, inspiring and practical in application. I believe that everyone needs to go into the underworld, those dark places, not to run from the pain of them because it is only in the darkness that the seed can germinate, where true creativity begins to grow.
While in this space I was acutely aware of working on the Angel of Light. The Angel's qualities and blessing kept me going. She stood next to me like a pillar of strength the whole time, sometime I only saw a sliver of light, other times I basked in her glow. My life and my work are one.
"Detail Of Light Box"
I am entering a new phase of being a Carer, where the light is now being focused on me and my needs. I don't know what this looks like yet. But something to do with living my life fully, not putting it on hold anymore, letting go of the guilt of being well and at the same time living wholeheartedly with Sam. A tall order. I am in a place of transition, coming out of the underworld, feeling the stirrings of new growth.
So at the moment everything is about bringing in the light, bringing in ways of seeing with more clarity. I consciously choose a white iridescent tile for the dress as it would have the most reflective qualities. Working with the bright white tiles over a long period has helped in a very practical way to bring that light and clarity into me.
"Detail of Face"
The face is always the last thing I do. It is the most nerve wracking part, as the whole sculpture hangs on it and I have to do it in the one sitting. I don't allow myself doubt. I trust that the face that appears is the face that is meant to be. I never know how it's going to turn out and I go with the flow. The personality always shines out and it's always a surprise.
The leaves were fun and a new departure for me. I tried many techniques but in the end settled on fiberglass and resin. There was something about the transparency and texture in the fiberglass that I loved.
"Detail of Leaves and Blackbird"
I have been swimming every days for the past past month. I hadn't intended to, it just happened. The lake has been calling me. My morning walk have always brought me by the lake and now I just hop in and out and then continue on my walk. Although it's part of my daily routine, there is also something so freeing and spontaneous about doing this. Swimming every day has helped me through the dark times.
The lake is like a huge reflective mirror. Some days it's like silver and almost blinding, other days it's a steely grey. I am drawn to the light, even on the dull days the lake reflects light. When I stand neck deep in the deep blue lake and hold out my arms, it's like I'm holding the sun, moon and stars, all our light sources and drawing them into me. It is a meditation, a communing with nature, with spirit. Being connected to the changing seasons and nature is a balm to my soul. The shock of the cold brings me into the moment and the beauty of the lakescape brings a sense of awe.
"Detail of Flowers"