Monday, September 19, 2011

Art Chess - Object arranging on the coast of Maine

Working with found objects on the coast of Maine
My husband, Guy, and I collaborate in designing temporary arrangements.

One person starts the arrangement by placing the first object, which defines the space.

The second person adds a new object in relation to the first creating a tension that defines the form of the arrangement.

Finally, the first person adds a third object that is the energy that arises as a natural consequence. 

We work with the open attitude of wonder and curiosity about the immediate area of the rocky shore, selecting large boulders as the setting/canvas for each creation and selecting our objects from the immediate vicinity. While each arrangement is a spontaneous creation made in minutes, there is a feeling of "just so" that arises with each placement. 

Since we take turns with each placement we are always starting from a fresh "Square One", that reminds us to return to "don't know mind" and look with fresh eyes, a key practice in contemplative design. 

This practice is adapted from the object arranging exercises I teach in the Shambhala Art training program, a 5 part class that mixes meditation and the creative process, first developed by my root teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  In his writings, he refers to the roles of each object as Heaven, Earth and Human for the first, second and third strokes/objects placed.  In truth, all creations whether they have one, two, three or more elements, include these principles in the form of a vision(heaven), a form(earth) and energy(human) that arises from the joining of Heaven & Earth. 

If you are interested in learning more about this process here are two resources for classes and more information.
Shambhala Art International Rebekah Younger's website

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