The 4phase round table

After 17 or more years thinking I should build a Round Table for creative discussion, I’ve finally done it – or the prototype, last week. The catalyst was Nathan the young American man from Waiheke who appeared at the gallery one day, and roused many of my wilder dreams from their shallow graves by being even more otherworldly and mystical than me… He was fasting and praying. . He saw the 4phase tree of life as a way of uniting people in the most noble and knightly quest for the holy grail of community. I bought some props in the form of silver spoons and forks from the Salvation Army stamped with the mark ‘community’. Representing the Status Quo in the centre which feeds us as we enter the dynamic phases of new Love Beauty Truth and Freedom… And walking the beach I found a rubber ring which resonated even more when I painted it gold. It’s a great symbol I think of true community – flexible and strong, pure gold but with a black interior like obsidian, representing the ability to absorb and neutralise negativity. And it’s too big for one person to wear like Sauron’s One Ring of power.

And Nathan? He caught a cold, stayed with us a few more days, then slipped away again. I hope he made it safely back to Waiheke… He did work magic with me here.

Soon we’ll be able to use the room of the round table for all kinds of meetings and creative workshops… in the rainy weather I’ll be able to do the finishing touches. ..and make the next, smaller, round table, for a group of brainstorming children. But that’s a story for next week…

A bubble of creation

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I hope these photos say more than the many words I don’t have the time to say right now about the wonders, the synchronicities of new friends, wizards, Gods in hiding etc… Come and see if you are in Gisborne. 61 Carnarvon st. ..or follow this blog! And join Lifegym our ‘dojo for creative misfits’…  http://www.lifegym.nz  It’s transformational stuff! And even …dare I say it… fun…

Embossing-etching, a new guillotine, and a Quest for the True West

After the workshop on embossed books, I was inspired to finish drafting my ‘Declaration of the True West’ poster, which I plan to etch into a steel plate and print in embossed letters with a green or black background ink… Here’s the digital version of it, as I hope it will print onto card at about A2 size (narrower to be a Golden Rectangle shape):

declaration as if printed with green

See my other blog if you’re interested in this True West vision… www.thetruewest.org

The actual print will be deckle edged by means of a deep groove on the plate, which tears the damp card during printing – a cool extra function as well as the printing of the background and the embossing – all in one pass of the etching press AKA pastry roller! I use Flint waterbased printing ink.

I had thought I’d do the poster on a wood block, but the size meant it would probably have to be plywood, and steel just seemed better, especially since it can be etched,

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whereas the ply would have to be carved – a long job with so many small letters! Unless it was lasered into the wood (or MDF) – that is an option too… some of my book cover plates were lasered into perspex by Engraving Systems of Whangarei when I was up north. Looking for a laser service here in Gisborne…  So, here’s a trial card I did with the green  ink and embossed lettering and a deep groove on the lines to be deckle-edge cut…. also little boxes by the same method.

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Anyone interested in a workshop on embossing/etching with wood (or recycled MDF) or steel blocks? contact me! You could make a poster from A3 to over A2 size, embossed etched artwork, greeting card, bookmark, even a box… Exciting possibilities! Oh yes and as with the bookmaking workshop, I can help you design and lay out your work on computer using photoshop and Indesign, and print out for transfer to the block.

Bridesmaids dresses in the Holographic Universe

Another sign we live in an interactive holographic ‘theatre of reactions’ as C.S. Peirce called it: arriving at dreamspace this morning all primed to at last get onto painting our daughter Anna’s wedding invitation painting we found what look like two bridesmaid’s dresses on the outside door handle… A good sign for a wedding painting or what!

Totally ‘random’ yet whatever the causal i.e. mechanical reasons may turn out to be, the mental/spiritual reason is clear: we are resonating with a clear weddings vibration and it is attracting things of like vibrations…so to speak!

Well hallelujah anyway – I love it! Now I just need to continue in this vibe and the painting will flow. Robert Pirsig in Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance says ‘You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It’s easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.’ Or to paint something at least good, just be in the flow, move naturally toward the perceived good and away from the perceived bad, in life and in the painting, and it will turn out not bad, maybe even good:) I’m going to test this today:) and report back… watch this space… no watch your space today, and see signs of Pirsig’s mystical Quality in it…

A Retrospective, nostalgic, fantastically optimistic, long-overdue Opening Do

This is the sheet we printed and didn’t get around to handing out…

Dreamspace Opening  13th January 2018

A Retrospective, nostalgic, fantastically optimistic, long-overdue Opening Do

Welcome, present or future friend, to Dreamspace, an everything-I-love space for dreaming my Possible Human!

This Space only took me about forty-seven years to find. It could have been sooner, but I blew it after my first lucky exhibition in the summer of 71, in the condemned Denby Golf club building with its wavy wooden floors and a beautiful view over Whangarei. Other plans than following my bliss seemed more important… mostly trying to discover the Meaning Of Life, find True Love, and Save the World… Oh and raising four kids and trying to get rich or at least get less poor!

There really are legions of excuse devils dressed as duties lying in wait for us poor souls who venture upon the plane of human existence. One excuse in the age of Google is, hasn’t  EVERYTHING been done, already? But no, the key is to digest what you like, compost it, and grow your own tender plants in it. If you make it your own, it IS new. Retell the old tales in YOUR way, and you never know, a new generation might just be inspired to carry the torch of some Good Thing, some aspect of LOVE, BEAUTY, TRUTH, and LOVE…

Why teddy bears?

Art is about the sacred (see my www.altarsofart.com if you agree – or disagree). And one of the most sacred things is domestic bliss – home and hearth, childhood, bedtime stories… We need to get ‘back to the Days of Christopher Robin and Pooh’. Old song from the 70’s – google it😊

Likewise for old hand-tools and ‘working ornaments’ (there’s a wonderful old blacksmith’s vise from Cornwall in the workshop – a lovely old guy (even older than me) virtually gave it to me with a sturdy bench and two other vises mounted… as I like to say, I now have THREE vices! Plus coffee addiction that’s four… So, ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. Here’s to old tools, motorcycles, and old guys who give a damn (you know who you are!).

Of Wolves and the Meaning of Life

There’s an old Indian story about the Two Wolves… Well I’m not going to tell that one. I reckon there aren’t just two wolves inside us, one good and one evil. There’s a whole wolfpack of values, most of them ‘good’, fighting it out for top place. Which ones win? The ones we feed. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to shoot a few of the worst buggers! There ARE Wargs in this world, all is not sweetness and light. That makes even one little candle so wonderful. In my (unfinished) cupboard triptych The Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit, I quote Zarathustra – A ‘sacred No’, even to (some) duties, is required for the spirit to create as it should. There IS a cost, there will NEVER come a day when you wake up and say, ‘I’ve got nothing on today, no debts, no duties – I might as well start being a sublime creator’ You will have to be a devil to SOME value to be an angel to the ones you choose to dedicate most of your days and years to… You have to put food on the table, you say? Rice is cheap, fish are free for the catching. Have to pay the rent? Come on! Live in a garret, for art’s sake!

‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it now!’

‘Follow your BLISS.’ ( Dammit!!)

I am finally doing that right here. ‘Best time to plant a tree is fifty years ago. Second best time: NOW’). As Nietzsche’s Zarathustra says,

‘…of all treasure pits, one’s own is the last to be digged – the spirit of Gravity is the cause of that. Almost from the cradle we are presented with heavy words and values: this dowry calls itself ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’. For its sake we are forgiven for being alive.’

And:

…‘O afternoon of my life! What have I not given away that I might possess one thing: this living plantation of my thoughts and this dawn of my highest hope!’

A big part of my highest hope is to share the skills and wisdom I have been learning of how to locate your personal Dreamspace, explore it, dig the treasure buried there. Would you like to join me in a group which can meet here at Dreamspace say on Wednesday at 7 for coffee, tea, and communion with each other as creators, seekers after a life that is up there in the stars with the gods and goddesses, not down here where bank managers and landlords rule. ‘Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these things will be thrown in’. I have found it to be true: the times I followed that higher duty, things worked out strangely well practically too (not without sacrifice but hey that’s life! See the Wolf story above).

For God’s sake, in the free world we are all gods and goddesses, having more freedoms, more powers via the free internet than kings and queens of old. What the @#%@# are we doing with this freedom? Worrying about repayments on that fizzboat? That ‘ceiled mansion’? There IS a scale of values, and how inverted most of ours are here in Godzone, and the whole Free World! So let’s begin righting things in our own worlds! Sacrifice a little. Create good art, good love, good things. ‘I love him who creates beyond himself, and thus perishes’ Die to that old boring life, live for art – that is, the Sacred, whatever that means to YOU.

The Dreamspace Club??

So, anyone want to join a club for doing just that? I know, not for everyone, lots of conceptualising, challenging, daring, meditating in blue rooms, trying some new art… But let’s!! Talk to me, or leave your email and what you’d be keen on (Dreamspace club, learning some philosophy, writing, reading, bookbinding, etching, painting, ferrocement, casting, carving etc…) in the Minute book (one of three donated to Dreamspace by our esteemed land agent Colin McNab).

Oh yes, enjoy the evening, drinks and food by our daughter Anna and her good man Marco of Endcliffe Spit fame (they’re doctors too if you need one for some reason – beware hazards in the workshops, and keep an eye on that kid! Toilet is through the back, handbasin at foot of the stairs). The paintings carvings and handcast items are mostly for sale (time to really sell stuff later – doors open from now on as often and as long as I am here… and Raewyn is studying here so will also be serving in between early childhood education assignments… There is eftpos here, I trust, and I have change for money. We take pledges, pigs, produce, old books too… If something I made (or could make for you) enchants you, could be you can get it from me for a song…

So, this space is your space too. It’s just over 100 this year (council permit application dated 1917). So, an opening and a 100th birthday! Dreamspace was built while WWI was still raging. That’s faith…  I hope you will see it as part of the ‘eutopian’ landscape of this good city and visit often, especially when we do a show, on one of a hundred different things I’m keen to create, if I am spared! ‘Somebody, stop me!’ as the Mask said. Enjoy this evening and make it count – and every day beyond today, let’s treasure each one and get out of our own way and create something wonderful!

Peter Harris. wizardofeutopia@gmail.com. Ph 022332 6568 Website for Dreamspace: www.dreamspace.nz. My personal art blog :  www.altarsofart.com My process theory and ‘phasetimer’ clocks etc: www.4phase.org My personal blog: www.wizardofeutopia.com  The fantasy epic: apples of Aeden www.applesofaeden.wordpress.com – google for amazon smashwords etc – free volume one as ebook there. Other free or cheap ebooks by me on Amazon and Smashwords.