Well, the only constant is change, whether Evolution devolution or destruction… Hopefully this new thing which knocked on my doors of conception in the wee small hours the other day is an Evolution for Dreamspace and friends….?
The thing is, I’m an artist but I don’t want to just fill Dreamspace with Things I Created – I want there to be a Life here for more than just me. I want to Share Dreamspace and its ‘havenly’ qualities with others – and not just visitors who come, look and go away. Hence, ‘LIFEGYM’ (working title – could also be Artgym or Mindgym or Dreamgym or…)
Let me know if the following trial prospectus interests you. It’s a concept doc only, not set in stone – or woodblock – yet!
At Dreamspace Gallery and Workshops, 61 Carnarvon St, Gisborne
A safe haven for artists, spiritual and mental seekers A workout space for the mind and spirit…
-a supportive place to learn and create art and crafts, read, meditate, practice Yoga, Chi Gong, Positive Psychology and other life-enhancing techniques
– a venue for workshops on a rainbow of fascinating, life-enhancing topics
– meet and synergise with others of like mind and heart.
Membership of [ballpark] $17 a week gets you into your own Dreamscape, a kaleidoscope of life-enhancing experiences:
Use (scheduled) of the various workrooms and their equipment –
Picture framing, glasscutting, stained glass area
Blue Room for meditation etc
Library and fibre broadband
Bookbinding, embossing and printmaking room
Woodworking, metalwork and carving area
Stone/shell/bone carving and lapidary room
Routing and shaping room
Mouldmaking and casting area
The Ferrocement yard for sculpture of anything from garden pots to ponds to statues to ‘hobbit cabins’
The large gallery room for meetings, talks, dancing, yoga etc, also exhibitions and other events.
The ‘upper room’ to eat, drink and lounge…
Individual and group life/art/writing coaching from Peter Harris (MA in philosophy) based on his 4phase creative process philosophy – see 4phase.org – and metaphysics, a mix of Plato, Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), Nietzsche, and others of the ‘Perennial Philosophy’ of the Western tradition (and some wisdom from the East, naturally! – mainly Taoism, Tantrism and Zen).
Our goal is to create in ourselves a dynamic, ultra-creative ‘Great Health’ as Nietzsche called it, honouring the Balance of masculine-feminine, left brain-right brain, rational and intuitive, dynamic progress and stable prosperity.
As in Star Trek, ‘It’s LIFE, Jim, but not as we know it.’ It’s LIFEGYM.
Come to Dreamspace and have a look and a chat with me now! (At present open Monday to Friday 10 AM to at least 4PM but I’m normally no more than 5 minutes away – this is Gisborne!)
Follow us on the website www.dreamspace.nz and get email notifications of new posts. Phone Peter Harris 022 3326568
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):
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,
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.
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.
I haven’t posted for ages, on account of being away North a lot sorting our property – the land and the Ark
– for sale and migrating stuff down to Gisborne, and waiting for our ship to come in, in the form of a sale which releases us from the Mort-gage. But meanwhile we have almost built a ‘ship’- or ark – of possibility here at 61 Carnarvon St. The gangway is not out yet, but visitors who get past the infinite improbability field (thanks Douglas Adams for that and many other nice concepts!) are most welcome.
We now have four – well, three and a half – studio rooms, a gallery space, a front shop area, and a back workshop for woodworking, as well as a yard for ferrocement building and sculpting. I say ‘we’ as a man of many parts, not as the leader of a mass movement! Or any movement, as yet. But this may change, if I am true to myself, i.e., don’t keep going without but instead strengthen the going within. ‘Of all treasure pits, one’s own is the last to be digged’ – Zarathustra. Indeed if there’s a movement it must start in this truth first – that we go within for our true treasures. And then as through a magic folding of spacetime, we find ourselves outside again, as if we had lived all our lives on the inside of a sock, and one day the sock is turned inside out – nothing has changed, yet everything has (Wittgenstein’s delightful metaphor). And we can begin to create in the outer world… out of the inner one. And truly meet and recognise others who do that too.
This clarity about Dreamspace’s inner vision came to me this morning watching the 2015 graduation address at Naropa University… interesting place! – It was good. Thanks Raewyn for the link! The title is ‘Living from the Inside out’. The link to the youtube video:
So how do WE live like that? Dreamspace is a place that really stands for what he describes…isn’t it? Vulnerable, about faithfulness to ideals, not mere effectiveness at the cost of openheartedness.
Can you see it? Could you join me?
To make it partly concrete: Dreamspace is where we make only things (namely: hobbit havens and accessories, elf havens and accessories, artworks, sacred scultures, arches etc) of beauty, with integrity, for community. Where we bring forth treasures from within, from a cultivated heart and mind. Where we practise and teach digging that inner treasure pit which often is the last thing to be digged…
Increasingly in this new economy we really have to ‘go within’ , or we will ‘go without’… the rewards just aren’t there for us when we try selling our inner life for outer material success. That path has mostly been outsourced…
We need a prospectus for Dreamspace. ..and an ‘Athanor’ covenant by which only those dedicated to living from the inside out may join the ship, as there are limited berths… and from that focus on inner being, do, and finally from the doing, have. This is how we turned around memory frames… after it had been insolvent for years, until one day I picked ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ off my brother’s shelf, and read that Quality is what makes up our world, and is the mystical-empirical wonder we all glimpse in the world through all the confusion…
But now it’s at a whole new level of awareness, able to be articulated, a flag hoisted, people enrolled… Dreamspace is a ship awaiting its crew. But first it needs its captain and first mate, to really step up. Well just its captain, truth be told. And that’s me.
So here I am, at the threshold again…
Live hand in hand, and together we’ll stand
On the Threshold of a Dream’
– our motto at cafe Eutopia, from the Moody Blues.
In Cafe Eutopia we built a threshold with blood sweat and tears, but we never fully went through ourselves. Dreamspace, which was built 100 years ago this year as a woodworking factory, at the tail end of the Great War as they called it, has a new motto: maybe it could be from the song:
…. (Who is the Mighty Quinn in Dreamspace? well, I think it’s the great aspectual diagram of the four phases of all process, and the Fifth Element which is the synthesis, the living organism which results from these four weaving their evolutionary magic… see https://4phase.org/
And whosoever wields these five…. in this case, in the first instance, me 🙂
I recently asked a wise Lady, Anne Hamilton who I think of as a prophet of the threshold and of destiny (see her series on names and thresholds and covenants here: Anne Hamilton), ‘Is my whole life to be threshold, and never promised land?’ I think I know the answer – it’s up to me. As it always is… Do we enter, or not…
Yet we have to know that here at the threshold of great things ‘lie in wait for us our seven devils’ (see Thus spake Zarathustra, On the Way of the Creator) God is at the Gateway – and the Devil is at the door – and it is us.
Anne being a Christian, says – as I understand her – that there must always be a sacrifice there at the threshold, before we can safely pass over (just as at the first ‘pass-over’ where the blood of a lamb had to be put on the threshold so the angel of death would not enter). Not to be so churlish as to argue here the literal truth of the cross, I can see that the thing is, we are that lamb, or if you are a Christian the idea is that we must identify with the Lamb of God – and what crosses our threshold is not our old self, but our true self, reborn, freed from the shadow self or ego, which imitates the true us but always lives backward and fearful of losing itself, and out of fear tries to freeze-frame life … and therefore lives a kind of death in life. It really must be sacrificed if we are to be free to be the divine selves we all are to be.
I will let that gangway down, for the sake of those brave souls who will sail with me. We will set sail! There are Blissful Isles to be discovered!
To dream, reason, articulate, and actually live, a vision of the ideal human as an individual and in society, evolving through the process phases of Love (openness to new input), Beauty (new ideas), Truth (logical evaluation of new ideas), and Freedom (action based on logical plans).
To do so with pride in the ideals of our Western culture as developed over the centuries to honour individual freedom and dignity, enterprise, nobility, beauty, justice, rationality and truth, and love. Millions of our ancestors died for these values…
To imagine, invent and lovingly make such items of beauty that reflect those ideals, particularly in the European Renaissance tradition, in the Arts and Crafts movement, and in the traditions imagined and enshrined in Tolkien’s Four Kindreds of Middle Earth.
These items to include ‘Hobbit havens’ – ‘tiny houses’ or curvaceous cabins in ferrocement lined with natural wood and plaster; and items and artefacts to go with said cabins, or with natural homes where beauty and natural materials are still held in honour.
Also, of course, to include ‘fine art’ – paintings and sculptures which reflect these ideals and the positive, noble, ‘romantic’ view of life.
To live in harmony with nature, sustainably and healthily, avoiding toxic processes and products.
To do what we can to restore hope and faith in the high ideals of our civilisation and to counter the arguments of nihilism, cynicism, relativism and despair.
To communicate, inspire and teach these ideas, techniques and knowledge to all who seek them.
To offer the best things with the best quality at the best price we can, and rely on willing buyers of our goods and services to make ourselves and those we train solvent and profitable without subsidies from any authorities which force people to pay them taxes then distribute said taxes to gain votes. I.e., to sink or swim in a free market. (However, gifts of love, given willingly by those who can afford them, to support the cause will not be despised!)
To hold open a great space for the display of all the above, for the founder’s work and for others’ which is compatible with this vision
To encourage the use of this space for informal and formal discussions, meetings and cultural events which reflect the values herein described.