Architecture from the heart
From the dawn of science, man tries to define his place, his identity in a world enlarged by knowledge. Romantics in literature and in painting, are echoing such awareness, anxiety, wonder while facing the infinite power of nature and the unknown.
Art is this sacred place where man reaches an inner shore, the feel, the consciousness of being.
Our ultimate adventure starts with a magical fusion between hand and matter, body and space. The simple act of apposing marks, drawing, letting our fingers wander on the sand to trace some form, plunges us into the inner world of our intuition, allowing us to grip our identity. We write, paint, sculpt or dance to the peaceful rhythm of our breathing. Whether we hold a tool or not, our hands and bodies remain an instrument carried by the sensitivity, the energy, the heart.
In his search for a sense of purpose and knowledge, for means of controlling his destiny, man moves forward, prompted by the urge of creating landmarks: from our first languages, music, tools, cave drawings, to writings, paintings, potteries, sculptures, technology and science, all our creations stem from a contact within and form the most precise code of our humanity.
We think with images, and this awareness alone allows us to look upon reality as if we saw it for the first time: observation, contemplation become a visual meditation or rather a perfect concentration while the observer is totally absorbed in a subject.
A state of wonder, curiosity is at the heart of science. Einstein perceived our quest for identity, knowledge, spirituality as the indivisible core of our being. He warned those who cannot stand in awe in front of the universe as being as good as dead: art is nothing without science and science is nothing without art…..
Thus the magical act of drawing is to be integrated in our lives, as a tool of expression and perception.
The rhythm of line forms as music, the architecture of our perception, the channel or path of our thoughts. Initially, brain research stems from criminal sciences statistics which establish an intricate, mathematical link between our environment and behaviour ( beyond economic, social , family parameters).
The structure or architecture of our surroundings, somehow, shapes our mind, induces within us some emotion and when we create, we only render a code of what we have felt and perceived. Thus, we could say that pure abstraction and imagination do not exist. To retrace our humanity, we need to focus on the deep ties we form with the visual world. And the architectural explosion, fragmentation of reality depicted by cubism, the vorticist movement, futurism reflect, indeed, our present conflicts, our wars, our difficulty to define a balanced relationship between man, nature, science and technology.
A curve and a straight line :
This is why Prince Charles had pleaded for a balance between curves and straight forms in modern architecture. He reminded us that arches, from roman architecture to flamboyant gothic, have been inspired to us by our forests, by their natural arches. Also our visionary Leonardo de Vinci had already sketched some very high, elegant, gothic looking pillars with an arch made of foliage.
A curve is an opening, a wide, soft and slow move like a wing, carrying the mind, our freedom of thought, the incarnation of what is light, sensitive, sacred. It reflects life itself through a movement which is not interrupted, without any breaking points for our eyes’ path. It glides within the fusion, the bridging of opposite dimensions or directions, rendering a feeling of togetherness; completeness : a soft sheltering and yet, an opening to the outside world.
Susan Parkinson, founder of the Arts Dyslexia Trust , invested her all life supporting visual thinkers, so often alienated from our educational system. Her team of artists and researchers are in fact teachers of perception , defending, defining the place the arts, critical thinking and creativity must have in our lives.
Her delightful, soft, small drawings render the magic feel of perception, this impression of only slightly, tenderly touching what we see : detail is only hinted and raised in 3d by a very few marks and contrasts. Rhythm rests upon a few fluttering touches of light and shadows within a deep perspective . The power of evocation of such tiny pictures is deeply moving . They are literally animated by a gentle breeze and as in Corot’s work, one could hear murmuring the most delicate foliage .
Roy Pickering, while working as an artist and lecturer at the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, pioneered this initiative of bringing an artist’s experience into the classroom, establishing a direct, inspiring dialogue with children.
Among the various international projects he leads, his support in our exhibition in Paris in 2004 , involving children aged from 7 to 18, his concern for allowing each pupil to discover one’s identity and uniqueness, resulted in the most beautiful artwork which made history in the recognition of our youth’s talent.
He inspired all age groups with his paintings and teaching., bringing indeed a new landscape and vision into the classroom. He taught us so well how to break an outline, to seek , to feel form through the doing and undoing of outline , the apposing of marks, the weaving of a sensitive fabric of contrasts where form as and detail emerge with lightness and spontaneity from transparencies, various veils of colour or marks. An absolute master of creativity, willing to share .
In these studies, children aged 7 only, being perfectly guided by Roy Pickering inbto trusting their intuition, discovering thei ability to make choices, spontaneously achieved the most beautiful balance of form and colour.
With a gesture which sweeps the wholepicture, rhythm and movement carries all details in a perfect and sensitive composition.
In this last study from a student aged 17, we can feel the same flight across the picture, the intense relationship of oneself with music as if one’s whole being was gliding down upon a musical sentence or on the strings of an instrument.
With these two masters, we retrace a fundamental approach: the constant rhythm of gesture, its spontaneity, lightness, rendering the feel of a mysterious contact with reality whose architecture gradually emerges from.
In our interactive workshops between music and painting, Walter Fabeck, contemporary composer and director of the bank keys studios in London, shared with us his amazing search linking emotion and movement through sound. His music thumping as the most powerful heartbeat, with all the tones, subtle shades and power of emotion inspired so many children the most intricate and flowing designs : they journeyed freely in their inner world ,drew many hearts along, forming the new fractals of the reality our adult world needs.
Photos related to Walter Fabeck’s work
The poetess Emma Elliott, somehow paints and sings our emotions. Through rhythm and language, she wraps our images with the inaudible. In her philosophical fables, children and adult alike are invited to journey-so far in search of their own space, on the wings of her vibrant poetry, wings of freedom, determination. Her response to the children paintings though poems opens the most profound dialogue between adult and child. Her own research for visual thinkers in partnership the Arts Dyslexia Trust and the team of achieve ability is invaluable to our cause.
So let’s fill our scrapbooks, with our drawings, words, our stories, our music, our present and past landscapes, our family memories, with all the fabric of our identity.
Our environment is our mind’s matrix.