The Golden Dragonfly.

In dawn’s new light:

Dew laden wings dry in the sun:
I leave the memory ~ A flash of gold:
Of astonishing beauty ~ Of Earth and Heaven:
Before I fly into the space ~ Of the ‘Light Bearer.’ ~Ally.

If you could untie your wings and free your soul of jealousy, you and everyone around you would fly up like a ‘Light Bearer.’ ~Adapted from Rumi.

The Home of the Golden Dragonfly.

I often walk barefoot over the local golf course early in the morning ~ Before the first players arrive. A majestic ‘manor estate’ of hills and valleys, on an ancient sandstone escarpment ~ All to myself.

At the highest level of the course is a huge ‘lake’ ~ A 25 million litre man-made dam that collects stormwater from the creek, running through the course on its way to Sydney Middle Harbour, as an alternative watering source for tees, greens and fairways.

The lake, surrounded by a host of indigenous reeds, bullrushes and grasses, is now home to native ducks and frogs ~ And a favourite mating ground for many varieties of dragonflies.

The first time I saw one of the ‘Golden Dragonflies.’

A glint of gold ~ Flashing from the reeds in the marsh-like surrounds of the lake, about 10 metres away. Keeping my eye fixed to where I’d seen the golden light, I slowly walked up to it ~ Along the pathway beside the reeds.

What I saw, an impression I’ll always remember ~ One of the largest and most beautifully winged dragonflies I’d ever seen. I didn’t have my camera with me ~ I just stayed motionless ~ Breathing in the beauty.

In the photograph above, I initially thought the lime green ball/sac was an imperfection in the image ~ However it became a fascinating feature, which to date no-one has been able to tell me what it is. Do you know?

Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me. ~Cloud Atlas: Andy and Dana Wachowski.

Photographing the ‘Golden Dragonflies.’

From that Spring morning, I spent the next 4 months visiting the lake about 3 times a week for a few hours at, or as close to dawn as possible ~ Photographing the Golden Dragonflies.

As Spring turned to Summer, there were so many dragonflies around the lake, almost invisible amongst the grasses and reeds ~ And as I’d move through the reeds, they would fly out from no-where (not unlike the bats that fly over the lake at dusk.)

Most would fly completely away ~ But some would fly just a few meters away so that as I moved towards them, extra, extra stealthily ~ I could be that close to them, that my camera was literally only a few inches away from them.

The mud beneath my bare feet was black and squelchy ~ A perfect swamp for mosquitoes and spiders. If I’d allowed my thinking to have its way, it was also the perfect quagmire for more harmful creatures as well ~ Snakes and crocodiles.

Fortunately I had to be so mindful and present to my environment that the fantasised thought of snakes was replaced by the wish to capture the beauty I was in touch with.

Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly. 

There were actually three dragonflies close together when I took this photograph above, but then one flew away. I was told later that the number 2 relates to the Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly ~ Providing just one more example to me that everything is as it needs to be?

Just as light can bend and shift and be adapted in a different ways, so can the archetypal forces associated with dragonfly. Dragonfly yields the message that life is never what it appears to be. ~Shamanic Journey by Ina Woolcott.

Understanding a little more about the shamanic symbolism of the dragonfly and tuning into the ‘Energy of dragonfly’ I sensed was allowing the dragonflies to assist me to photograph them ~ After all why wouldn’t they want their beauty to be shared with everyone?

In my future articles about the Golden Dragonflies, I’ll explain a little more about my understanding of the Shamanic symbolism of Dragonfly.

And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself? ~Rumi.

My camera? 

My first digital camera: An inexpensive Traveler DC 140 ~ Without a zoom or macro lens and virtually no depth of field. And the only way to capture the Golden Dragonflies was to BE: BE with my breath, BE with the sensation of mud squelching through my toes, BE with the stillness and gentle breezes of dawn, BE with the morning light, BE with the chill and warmth in the air, BE with the sound of rippling water and the songs of birds.

Reading the postures of the ‘GoldenDragonfly.’

In the photograph above, I see the posture of ‘Humility.’ A quiet reflectiveness. Coming to see that although my existence may be a relatively short one ~ In whatever time I am granted on this Earth, it’s up to me to shine my Light and Beauty, in a way that only I can do.

The most amazing aspect of these images is that to take them, I had absolutely no choice but to be so up close ~ And to be so up close, I had to be so still when I moved towards them. And being so still allows us to take in so much more of the wonder of it ‘all.’

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: The Golden Dragonfly.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

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The Secret Garden of Wendy Whiteley.

Moreton Bay Fig trees: Majestic Boabs:
Patterns of light flit through palms:
Bird’s nest ferns: Statues: Seats:
Flowers edge upon winding:
Walkways: An OASIS:
It is called. ~Ally.

 

The  spectacular view from the Secret Garden: Lavender Bay spanning from Luna Park to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city skyline. The garden extending all the way down to the railway siding.

And we shall walk and talk in gardens: All misty and wet with rain. ~Van Morrison.

Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay, Sydney.

About a year ago a friend invited me to have lunch with her at Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay, Sydney.

It was a week day as we sat on a seat, quietly, in a protective grove of bamboo absorbing the atmosphere: Joyful: Peaceful: Nurturing: Healing. Watching couples leisurely strolling through the garden, mothers with their boisterous pre-school children and the occasional business attired person, escaping from the bustle of North Sydney.

The Top Entrance to The Secret Garden.

The garden is terraced on an extremely challenging steep site, with many of the trees and plants, sculptures and other objects of interest holding a personal meaning for its creator, Wendy Whitely.

All the plants used are ideal for the Sydney climate and combined to provide harmony and contrast of colour, shape and texture. Dramatic bold leaves contrast with lacy foliage and brightly coloured flowers with various tones of green.

Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs, jacarandas and boabs, palms and bamboo, ferns and flowers come together in artistic harmony.

Visitors can also sample edible plants as they meander up, down and along the pathways following the line of the escarpment. No harmful chemicals are used in this garden.

The view from the top entrance of the Secret Garden, leading down to an enchanted open space from where pathways wind up the steep incline in all different directions.

And we shall never never grow so old again. ~Wendy Whiteley.

Wendy Whiteley

Wendy Whiteley was wife, muse and model to Australian artist, Brett Whiteley. When Brett died, followed by the death of their daughter Arkie nine years later, Wendy threw her grief and creativity into making an enchanting hidden oasis out of derelict land owned by the New South Wales Government. ~Janet Hawley.

Brief History of the land. 

The Secret Garden was once a picturesque harbour beach surrounded by sandstone cliffs but then in 1890 the inlet was buried in landfill, to enable the railway line to travel across the mouth of Lavender Bay.

The resulting ‘rubble valley’ became an unusable wasteland for the next century, overgrown with weeds and lantana: Until in 1992, Wendy Whiteley awakened its new incarnation when she began making her Secret Garden.

Aesthetically combined trees and plants ~ Many of them indigenous to Sydney/Australia ~ Have now attracted a wide variety of birdlife that was previously unknown to the area. If you love kookaburras and magpies this is the special place to be, early in the morning.

Loss is something all people end up dealing with one way or another. Sometimes loss can seem too much to bear, but we must allow ourselves time to get through the stages of grieving. I’ve never owned it (the garden) but I do feel as if I am its mother. ~Wendy Whiteley.

Future of the Secret Garden.

The reclaiming of the land for public use is a tribute to Wendy’s creativity, passion and tenacity, the delightful working relationship she has with her four gardeners and the volunteers who have continuously supported her project.

At considerable personal expense, Wendy initially reclaimed the derelict land, strewn with items such as discarded old train carriages, abandoned refrigerators and children’s toys ~ A tricycle was converted into a featured piece of garden sculpture.

The artist was then able to treat the garden as if it were a giant painting ~ Structuring, planting, pruning, moving things around, and letting nature do its work.

But until recently, the future of the garden had been extremely precarious, as Wendy initially created the garden without acquiring ‘permission’ to do so ~ On what is now regarded as ‘prime real estate.’

Thankfully in 2015 the Secret Garden was granted a 30-year lease by the New South Wales Government, with a 30-year renewal option.

Pathways converge ~ Handrails of twirling timbers ~ Railway sleepers border pathways. MAGIC lives in this garden. Let yourself be guided on the pathway you will take.

I’ve loved making this garden. It’s been a great gift to my life. It let me find myself again, and it’s my gift to share with everyone. ~Wendy Whitely.

My own Secret Garden.

The garden I have created in my own backyard over the past 8 years, pales in significance to Wendy’s Secret Garden ~ Although there are similarities in our stories.

In a future article I will illustrate the transformation of what was a pile of rubble (including discarded furniture and screen doors) covered with wandering jew, bordering a council storm water drain, into a thriving mini-rainforest oasis. I will also describe the nature of healing that working barefoot ~ Once all the glass and rusty wire had been removed ~ In a beautiful garden can bring.

Resources: 

Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden by Janet Hawley: bit.ly/WWSecretGarden

New battle over Secret Garden by Nicole Hasham: bit.ly/WWSecretGardenBattle

The Healing Power of a Magical Garden: William Yeoman: bit.ly/WWSecretGardenHealing

This article was originally posted at my Steemit website and titled: The Secret Garden of Wendy Whiteley.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

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Contemplation of Earth’s Beauties

I am alone ~ I come to know:  

Earth’s beauties ~ I enter with love:  

A calmness settles me ~ I come to know:

I am never ~ And never will be ~ Alone. ~Ally.

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. ~Rachel Carson: The Sense of Wonder.

Yet, does it always have to be this way?

Our sense of childlike curiosity and awe of the smallest ant, may be hammered out of us at a very early age ~ Or so it may seem.

Yet with an undeniable acceptance of ourselves: Who we have become to meet the outside world. as well as who we are in those moments of total solitude ~ We CAN ‘turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties, reclaim the sense of wonder and humility we had as a child.’ ~R.C.

It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ~Rachel Carson. The Sense of Wonder.

Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Can you remember your early childhood ‘dreams?’

Prevailing conditions in our environment, social and financial, health and relationships, will take our life’s journey in directions that we could never have believed as yougsters. Some beneficial ~ Some that may not seem like it at the time but in retrospect were needed to shape us.

Often it’s a challenge to recall our early childhood ‘dreams’ and our lives just go on ~ Albeit somewhere between a little lack lustre or so demanding we become overly anxious and stressed. However at critical times in our lives and often when we least expect it, life may make us STOP: An ordinary ‘cold’ or a separation from a loved one. And if we are fortunate, we may be given a wake-up call to come back to venerating our ‘dreams’ once again.

Our core ‘dreams’ will always there. We only need to pause long enough to catch hold of them once again. ~Ally

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will ensure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature: The assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. ~Rachel Carson. Silent Spring.  

Photograph: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

Rachel Carson. 1907 – 1964.

Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. ~Wikipedia.

Silent Spring meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings and caused cancer and genetic damage. A single application on a crop, she wrote, killed insects for weeks and months. Not only the targeted insects but countless more and remained toxic in the environment even after it was diluted by rainwater.

Carson concluded that DDT and other pesticides had irrevocably harmed animals and had contaminated the world’s food supply. The book’s most haunting and famous chapter ‘A Fable for Tomorrow‘ depicted a nameless American town where all life, from fish to birds to apple blossoms to human children ~ Had been ‘silenced’ by the insidious effects of DDT. Ref: bit.ly/StoryofSilentSpring

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC) was founded in 2009 in Munich, Germany. The RCC is an international, interdisciplinary center for research and education in the environmental humanities. For more information visit: bit.ly/RachelCarsonCenter

Process of this work.

1. Glass stones under a thin layer of ice. Crystal tumble stones and a phalaenopsis orchid resting upon the ice.

2. White chrysanthemums added.

3. Another phalaenopsis orchid and more chrysanthemums.

About my work. 

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants and combined with other natural materials that I find in the local  bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced.

I  literally fall in love with individual pieces of nature that I’m using, as well as how the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs that can’t possibly capture the beauty I see with my eyes are taken at different stages of the arrangement. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

A fuller description is in my introductory article: The Heart of Immortality.

I really enjoy receiving comments and questions about my work ~ From people who may see and add another dimension from their own reality. So if you have another layer to add ~ Please do.

This article was originally posted at Steemit: Contemplation of Earth’s Beauties: To know the sense of Wonder and Humility.

All photographs: ©Alison Lee Cousland.

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Finding Peace

I give myself time and space to reflect.

I care for my temple. I eat simply. I breathe deeply.

I open my heart. I feel at peace. I open my mind. I think joyfully.

I bend and straighten with grace. My direction becomes clear. ~Ally.

Beginnings:

Small smooth stones in tones of gray were placed randomly ~ But one by one ~ Onto a sheet of thin ice. Tips of Leucadendron Salignum were then nestled into the stones, balancing upright. There always has to be an exception though.

Leucadendron Salignum originated from South Africa, but as part of the Proteaceae family, blends exceptionally well with Australian indigenous plants in cultivated bushland gardens.

Ego: ‘Once it all falls into place, I’ll feel peace.‘ ~Marianne Williamson.

Leaving her be:

The arrangement was covered with a very thin layer of water and frozen. The one rebellious Leucadendron Salignum could easily have been disciplined at this stage and made to sit upright like her companions. But it was decided to leave her be ~ In peace.

Spirit: ‘Find your peace.’ ~Marianne Williamson.

 

‘You’re ALWAYS going the wrong way Alison.’ ~Not unknown. 

Peace comes to the one who always seems to be going the ‘wrong way’ ~ When she accepts that she doesn’t need to ‘stay put’ in just one place or go in the one direction or follow what everyone else is doing ~ And can still be just as gracious in her bending as in her uprightness.

Free to explore her own truth and reality, she will also attract like hearted beings and together they’ll never need fear rejection and ridicule again.

Forming of the Heart:

Rougher rocks with dusky pink tones formed a loosely heart shaped rockpool. More water was added to cover the ice and partially cover the Leucadendron Salignum. Six double jonquils were floated upon the water, echoing loosely the shape of a heart.

The wayward one is barely visible, bowing to the beauty of the jonquil.

Essence of  Jonquil:

When you feel swamped by the pace of the world around you and life continually presents you with a variety of directions and you don’t always know which way to bend ~ Remember the intoxicating fragrance and beauty of the Jonquil.

And if your mind tells you that you haven’t always made the right choices, the healing essence of Jonquil will allow you to ‘Slow down and smell the Jonquils’ ~ To accept that you have always been where you were meant to be, to arrive at where you are NOW.

‘Go with the flow’ to move more confidently into the ‘Unknown.’ ~A Heart filled with Joy.

Spirit: ‘And then everything will fall into place.’ ~Marianne Williamson.

Azaleas:

Delicate pink azaleas were placed around the edges of the rockpool. Softening the boundary with different tones of pink and curling transparent forms.

The wayward one is no longer visible, and now bows to the beauty of both the double jonquil and azalea.

Essense of Azalea:

The Azalea corresponds to the Heart Chakra and is a symbol of femininity and womanhood, love and gentleness.

Living in moderation, practicing temperance and taking care of ourselves and our loved ones, we find that our direction can become clearer to us.

And as all things are in constant change, remember that what may be hidden one day ~ May be revealed the next. So take heart ‘Princess.’

New depths of colour beneath your beauty. ~Ally.

Pink:

The colour pink is also attuned to the Heart Centre: Whispering of love and femininity.

Usually associated with the early awakenings of romantic love as well as a mother’s love filled with tenderness for those she cares for ~ Pink is also a wonderful colour to wear, look at or breathe in, to help us connect to our feelings of self love. So that our ability to love and be loved can flow unimpeded.

Reflections of love. ~Ally.

About my work:

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Most of my materials, like these shells and stones,  and the lichen covered branches and twigs are recyclable. After being photographed all the materials are gathered up and restored. The flowers are often floated in bowls of water, as simple house and garden decor.

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments:

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may see another dimension of them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.

 

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Fragrance of the Heart

The heart:

Can remember: 

Her true fragrance: 

Accept change is constant:

Slow down and smell the Jonquils. ~Ally.

Flower Essences:

Flowers, plants and trees have been used by indigenous people from all over the world for thousands of years to bring gentle holistic healing. The oldest known living tradition lies with the Nyoongah Aboriginal people of the South West of Australia.

Dr. Edward Bach introduced flower essence therapy to the Western world in the 1930’s with his system of 38 healing remedies made from English wildflowers, to correct emotional imbalances where negative emotions are replaced with positive.

And may we ever have joy and gratitude in our hearts that the Great Creator of all things, in His Love for us, has placed the herbs in the fields for His healing. ~Dr. Edward Bach: Heal Thyself.

Since then flower essences have been crafted from wildflowers, growing in wilderness area all over the world from the celtic plains of England to the rainforests of the Amazon to the desert and mountain regions of Australia.

The effect of these essences is similar to that of meditation in that they enable the person to access the wisdom of their Higher Self ~ Negative beliefs and thoughts are dissolved, balance is restored and true healing occurs. ~Ian White: Australian Bush Flower Essences.

Visual energy and vibrational fragrance:

When I was painting on silk in the 90s, a herbalist  introduced me to the idea of absorbing the healing vibration of a flower from a photographic image of that flower.

‘Holding’ the healing energy of a flower as I was painting it, was quite a challenge at the time, but opened out a whole new way of working as my belief in visual energy transmittance increased.

It wasn’t long before I began to make my own flower essences from Australian wildflowers growing around the rural areas of Sydney. Some of the flowers with their healing properties were not yet listed in any of the publications at that time and so my task became to intuit what their healing properties might be.

For instance, I was fortunate to see a Xanthorrhoea spike in full bloom and make an essence from it. I was later told it was one of the most powerful of all the Australian essences ~ Too powerful if not used correctly and so not available commercially.  I wasn’t selling my essences ~ But giving them to friends for their feedback.

Beginnings of this piece:

A rockpool with a ‘natural’ appearance was formed with a scattering of small rocks, sculpted to leave the shape of a heart at the centre. The  arrangement was then partially covered in water and frozen.

Shells were placed on top of the ice, inside the heart shape. Double jonquils were positioned on the edges of the heart shaped rockpool.

If your heart is already awakened: 
Sleep peacefully, sleep in the arms of Love. ~Rumi.


See with your heart the beauty of Jonquil.

The healing essence of Jonquil will allow you to more fully accept that life is continually changing. So that as you gather the force that your lifetime of experience has given you ~ You can move into the being you, in your true heart know yourself to be.

The heart can remember its true fragrance ~ Always. ~Ally.


Breathe in Jonquil.

The healing essence of Jonquil will also help to ground you so that you can ‘Slow down and smell the Jonquils’ and then ‘Go with the flow’ and move more confidently into ‘The New You.’

About my work:

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Most of my materials, like these shells and stones,  and the lichen covered branches and twigs are recyclable. After being photographed all the materials are gathered up and restored. The flowers are often floated in bowls of water, as simple house and garden decor.

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments:

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may be led to see another dimension to them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.

 

 

 

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The Centre of my Heart

Is the Centre of my heart:

A place where my life:

Can begin: 

Again and again and again? ~Ally.

Background for ‘The Centre of my Heart.’

The assemblage for ‘A Heart filled with Joy’ formed the background for this next stage of the ice piece: Where larger rocks, meeting the edges of the rock-pool are covered with miniature pink azaleas and double jonquils float like waterlilies upon the surface of the water.

The Heart Remembers its True Fragrance.

As the heart absorbs the beauty of the Jonquil you can become more of the being you truly are. The essence of the Jonquil can help to ground you and the fragrance reminds you that you are stepping into a ‘New You.’

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. ~Marianne Williamson.


The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. ~Marianne Williamson.


Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. ~Marianne Williamson.


The Centre of the Heart.

If the centre of my heart is where my life can begin afresh each day ~ And any moment of the day ~ Why do I forget to simply stop what I am doing every now and then, to simply feel the beating of my heart?

And how would my life change if I started to do this TODAY ~ At this very moment.

When I gently place my hand over my heart ~ What do I feel? What else do I come in touch with now?

Playing with assemblage.

How I ‘work’ ~ Rather ‘play’ with my art of assemblage: I pause, feel my heartbeat, listen to the sounds about me, feel the space around me ~ And then just softly gaze at what is there before me ~ What is it calling for?

I have a bountiful assembly of rocks and shells, sand and water, dried and fresh flowers on my table, window ledges and shelves. And I let myself be guided to select what is needed for the container of water, ice, sand or rocks, whatever it happens to be, before me.

Sometimes I have to work/play very quickly, particularly when ice is my media. But even then it only takes a second or so to feel the pulse of my heart once more ~ Calming any extraneous thoughts.

How can I be in touch with the centre of my heart? 

It’s a two way stream: And my wish is that it can always be one continuous cycle:

I connect with my heart, my breath, my being and connect with the beauty I am working/playing with.

I connect with the beauty of fragments of nature and the placement of them and reconnect to my heart.

To experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. ~Marianne Williamson.


Sharing my images at Tumblr.

The above image was featured on the Tumblr Radar: In effect making it visible to millions of Tumblr users and attracting over 6,000 notes.

After sharing my art and photography at Tumblr for a little over two years, establishing many non-verbal connections with some wonderful artists and photographers: Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice is now my avenue for a fuller expression of  my work.

Images can speak directly to the heart ~ Without justification. However the experience can be further enriched when the underlying meanings and associations of pictorial elements are understood.

This ‘understanding’ can be quite personal ~ As no two minds need to think alike.  Therefore the messages that come to you may be quite different to those I receive.

About my work:

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Most of my materials, like these shells and stones,  and the lichen covered branches and twigs are recyclable. After being photographed all the materials are gathered up and restored. The flowers are often floated in bowls of water, as simple house and garden decor.

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments:

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may be led to see another dimension to them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.

 

Share

A Heart filled with Joy

Spring brings Joy to the Heart:

A fragrant balm to the Air:

Living on Land and Sea:

Dolphins and Whales:

Her middle name:

Is Joy. ~Ally.

Beginnings:

A rockpool with a ‘natural’ appearance with just a hint of it being heart shaped had already been formed by a scattering of small rocks, sculpted to leave the shape of a heart at the centre, then covered in water and frozen.

Some tiny spiraling shells were added to the surface of the ice with three flat aquamarine crystals placed at the centre.

Aquamarine:

Aquamarine has been called ‘The stone of sailors’ ~ Providing protection when upon the water. It’s also called ‘Water of the Sea’ because of its soft aqua colour.

Aquamarine is believed to support a greater peace and serenity within one’s being, along with the wisdom to see truth. Making it an excellent stone for uplifting your spirit and to use when meditating or simply gazing out to sea.

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. ~Marianne Williamson.


Symbolism of the Spiral:

These tiny spiraling shells are often included in my rock-pool images along with other shells.

There’s something about a spiral that we are intuitively drawn to: Which is not all that surprising considering that the spiral is one of the most ancient of all sacred symbols.

An archetypal symbol, that in ancient cultures and religious traditions represented the cosmos and the movement of creation, the spiral relates to the journey of life, from inner to outer or from worldly existence to the return of our spiritual essence.

Linked to the forces and cycles of nature and the seasons, the spiral is also associated with the energy of growth and evolution, femininity and intuition, fertility, the womb and birth.

Seeing the spiral, a symbol of change, progression, and development: Either in nature, as an inscription, or as part of an artwork, can assist us to accept change as a positive flow, even as it appears that our lives may become most uncomfortable in the transition.

My favourite of all the portrayals given to the spiral is that of being: The slow revealer of things that are hidden.

Jonquils:

Another layer of water, partially covering some of the shells and the aquamarine crystals was frozen. Three double jonquils were placed on the ice ~ One for each aquamarine ‘lily pad.’

Spring brings Joy to the Heart: A fragrant balm to the Air. ~Ally.


The Nature of  Imperfection:

Initially the tiny shells were arranged to emphasize the heart shape of the rock-pool ~ But perfection slide into random disarray as soon as the ice started to melt.

Larger rocks were placed on the ice, around the edges of the rockpool.

Living on Land and Sea: Dolphins and Whales. ~Ally.

Essence of  Jonquil:

Jonquils signal the arrival of Spring and in the northern hemisphere are considered to be the birth flower of people born in March. I guess that would also mean that Jonquil is the birth flower of people born in September in the southern hemisphere?

When life seems to become a little overwhelming ~ It’s a good time to let yourself be intoxicated by both Jonquil’s visual beauty and perfume. Feeling the joy this can bring.

And if you start to feel that this world is traveling way too fast for you and that life can never be quite the same again, the healing essence of Jonquil will allow you to accept this as ‘Just the way it is’ at this time ~ However its vibration will also help to ground you so that you can ‘Slow down and smell the Jonquils’ and then ‘Go with the flow’ to move more confidently into the ‘Unknown.’

More rocks were built up around the edges of the rockpool. The ice had started to melt. The spiral shells were becoming more visible.

Her middle name:  Is Joy.  ~Ally.


Ephemeral nature of my work:

One of the joys of working with water and ice as my media, is that most of my materials, like these shells and stones,  and the lichen covered branches and twigs (still to come) are recyclable.

After being photographed, the ice is allowed to melt and all the materials are gathered up and restored. The flowers are often floated in bowls of water, as simple house and garden decor.

About my work:

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments:

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may be led to see another dimension to them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.

 

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The Heart of Immortality

Softly gaze into the depth of my heart:

I am fragile ~ Yet I am SO strong:

Delve deeper into your heart:

I will be with you there. 

Forever. Forever. ~Ally.

Beginnings:

The rockpool had already been formed by a scattering of small rocks,  sculpted to leave the shape of a heart at the centre. The idea was to form a rockpool with a ‘natural’ appearance with just a hint of it being heart shaped.

Some tiny spiraling shells were added before water was trickled in,  completely covering the arrangement without disturbing the formation. Small rocks generally don’t move out of place, but the lighter shells tend to immediately start floating. Most of the time I let them settle naturally, but sometimes I’ll guide them back ~ Or along into their final resting place.

After the water was frozen, a few more smaller rocks were added to suggest a bank of rocks sloping away from the centre of the pool. Groupings of larger rocks were placed a little further out from the edge. A few more shells were added, nestling between rocks above the ice level.

The final touch was to add some pink blossoms to the centre of the rockpool ~ Suggesting the beauty of the inner blossoming of the heart.

Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable. ~Mahatma Gandhi.


Outer Heart:

Another heart was formed with pink blossoms. This time on the banks of the rockpool. Looks simple? Was actually quite tricky because of the different heights and spacings of the outer rocks.

Plum Blossom:

The appearance of Plum Blossom reminds us that Springtime is on her way after Winter’s bitterness ~ Signifying the strength and courage that grows through the endurance of hardship.

And a heart of Plum Blossom lifts our Spirit  ~ Trusting that life will continue to regenerate.

Where there is love there is life. ~Mahatma Gandhi.


Azalea:

A few bright pink azaleas were placed in the foreground. Adding beauty in vibrant colour and curling forms, transparency and fragility.

Like the blossom, the azalea is renowned for its delicate beauty. The flower is a symbol of femininity and womanhood, love and gentleness.

Azaleas corresponds to the Heart Chakra and suggests to us that we learn to live in moderation, practice temperance and taking care of ourselves and loved ones.

Pink:

The colour pink is attuned to the Heart Centre and whispers of love and femininity. Early awakenings of romantic love ~ A mother’s love filled with tenderness for those she cares for.

Let us work together for unity and love. ~Mahatma Gandhi.


About my work:

Relatively small assemblages are built from flowers, weeds and plants combined with other natural materials that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets.

During the creation of these pieces ~ The process is incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced. I simply watch as the different elements greet, merge, compliment and/or contrast  with each other.

Hundreds  of photographs are taken at different stages of the arrangements. Then ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the resulting images give form to a new expression ~ Short ‘poems.’

Introduction at:  Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

Comments:

I work with the notion that the energy that supported the creation of these assemblages in ice ~ Can be made palpable in these photographs.

In viewing these images you may be led to see another dimension to them, from your own reality.  If you have other layers of thought to add ~ Please do.

 

Share

Welcome to Earth ♥︎ Sand ♥︎ Water ♥︎ Ice

My Background:

After working with many traditional art modalities: painting, drawing and printmaking, mixed media and photography, environmental sculpture and ephemeral art ~ My art making has now become far more attuned to working directly with nature.

Assemblages:

I work with relatively small assemblages, built up from branches, twigs and fronds, flowers and other plants, combined with other natural materials like pieces of bark and seed pods, that I find in the local bushland or surrounding urban streets. I liken these arrangements to ‘nests’ and ‘towers.’

Arrangements in Ice:

I also work with arrangements of these and other natural materials in earth, sand, water and ice. The creative process is similar ie start with one element, pause, and see what it needs. Just the tangible processes vary: Adapting to suit the medium.

Creative Process:

During the creation of my artscapes the process is all embracing and incredibly magical. Thoughts of anything else are silenced.

I fall in love with the individual pieces of nature, fresh or faded that I’m using and then how the different elements can greet, merge, compliment or contrast with each other.

I’ll describe some of the processes involved with the production and photography of individual works in my articles.

Photography:

Hundreds of photographs are taken at the different stages of any one artscape, that can’t possibly capture the actual beauty I see with my eyes or the feelings felt while adding and removing, arranging and rearranging components.

As selected photographs are given just a touch of Lightroom magic, I watch them give form to new expressions, that often can be enhanced by other ideas/thoughts/words that come to me, as I look at the image.

Poems:

Words based on the actual image and the symbolism of the elements that have been used are manipulated, as a collage of words, into short ‘poems.’ Words are also based on what has been or is happening in my day/week/month/year/life:  A quote I’m drawn to, a comment on a social network, a spoken word ~ Whatever I am sensitive to in my surroundings at the time.

Sometimes the resulting ‘poems’ show me aspects of a piece that I couldn’t see before. As do comments from other people ~ Who may see and add another layer from their own reality.

Comments are Welcome:

So if the beauty of a white chrysanthemum flower on a dried stick covered with lichen speaks to you ~ I’ll be most delighted to hear your thoughts.

 

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