Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The image is the invitation to the opening of an exhibition of the drawings of Hassan Harouni. Hassan had been working on a book called Hassan Everywhere but he unfortunately drowned before he finished. Hassan was a Palestinian artist and this card fell out of one of my diaries yesterday ,as I had attended the exhibition opening. It came at a moment when in a sense I was being overwhelmed by the world and it suddenly caught my breath as I remembered the feeling that the exhibition had engendered in my head and heart. You might think that the unfinished drawings for an unfinished book do not warrant an exhibition, but there was magic in that room the day I was there- it was palpable and it was special. The thought of magic and whimsy cheered me up immeasurably- it seems to appear so little in our busy lives.It also started me thinking about art- which has to be serious, weighty, intellectual and thought provoking and whatever else- but where is whimsy in all of this? Those little stolen moments of magic which I felt in the exhibition of Hassan's drawings.
We read stories to children full of whimsy and magic. My children built many fairy gardens in the hope of attracting a fairy ( and I still find the remains of some around my garden)- they were wonderful little collages of moss, twigs,mushrooms and flowers often placed in hollowed logs- every bit as whimsical as the delightful installations of Andy Goldsworthy - not "art" but on the other hand designed to transport into the world of the imagination and magic.
Just like piles of wood are installations of an almost bygone era- the image that it conjures of woodfire, leaping flames,crackling and skipping,glowing and glinting;imagine camping without a glowing fire to talk into the night.
Sometimes living is an art;I watch my children , nearly all teenagers pulled and tugged by peer pressure,tv and media and the internet; there are few moments of whimsy in a teenagers life. I know this is part of growing up but I do hope somewhere sometime they will seek to find a refuge from the madding crowd and indulge in moments of whimsy- of immersion in the world of magic. The power of imagination is strong- we need to indulge it now and then and fly on whisps of whimsy.