Monday, November 24, 2008

Sacred Tribal Ritual

'Sacred Ancestral Birth'
© Lloyd Pollard 1994
pen & ink on paper
First published in this blog.
Previously unpublished and not exhibited.

Every moment that a child is born our ancestors cry out with unbridled joy and burst forth with tears of pride and passion.

They see within each child's birth the spirit of every woman and man that has ever walked upon the face of this earth.

Their exuberance is contagious to the living.

They give to each child their gifts of knowledge, love and wisdom. The child in turn now becomes all powerful and begins to share its world and destiny through the cultivation of its ancestral history and awareness. It now become all the things that we have ever been and have the potential to be.

All of this possibility is within each child at birth. A child who must give thanks to its elders and creators as it clams its rightful and prominent place within the history of man.

This is the legacy of our sacred ancestral birth.

Pollard - Sept 21, 1994

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Collecting Art (Part 2 of 3)

What type of art should be collected and who should collect it?
(Part 2 of 3)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so too is art. The categories of 'good' or 'bad', 'beautiful' or 'ugly' are insufficient to properly judge the true value of art. Art needs to be able to touch the interests of the individual via their body, spirit and/or mind. Any work that can touch one of these aspects of the viewer can be considered to be meaningful and worth acquiring. Any work that can touch all three aspects of simultaneously can be considered to be "sacred" or a masterpiece and worthy of greater interest and a corresponding higher financial value.

As we grow and mature the focus of our being continually fluctuates between the body, spirit and mind. The prevailing focus of one's life at any given time will be the catalyst that dictates your art taste at that moment. So, if you are at a spiritual stage in your life, you will seek people, objects and art that have a spiritual resonance and message for you. This will also be consistent with a physical and/or mental life focus therefore influencing the type of work you choose to collect.

A collector of art is anyone who owns more than one piece of art imagery (e.g. sculpture, photograph, painting. etc.) for the purpose of enjoyment and/or personal meaning, regardless of its format or price (i.e. original work, print, poster, cards, etc.). With this definition the seemingly exclusive and elite activity of art collecting is simplified to include as a participant, everyone within a community.

Essentially, the amount of money you have and the type of work you can afford should not be a barrier to participating in the process of art enjoyment and collecting. Art ownership at any level not only supports an artist but also the formation and maintenance of the cultural identity of a community. Art collected by a variety of community members makes the development and sustaining of culture a valuable societal activity.

So what you perceive art to be and the type of art you can afford to acquire should not be barriers to defining who can collect art and assist in the validation of a community's cultural identity.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Collecting Art (Part 1 of 3)


Life is a mystery. A mystery that binds us with eternal questions such as: How did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is love? Who or what is God? To this list of life's seemingly unanswerable questions we can add one more that is equally as perplexing - What is art?

For this purpose of this essay I will define art simply as, any creative expression or object that 'feeds, awakens and inspires the human spirit'. It is essential to the balance and well-being of the human being. It is as valuable as the air we breathe. It is scared. It is life-affirming.

Noting this, one can ask the question, if art is so significant to our being, why is it that we spend so little of our time and attention enjoying and interacting with it?

The influence of art on our senses, thoughts and imagination cannot be overlooked. The enjoyment and preservation of art through a collection demands special attention.

Why must art be collected?

Art reflects how we feel about ourselves, physically, mentally and spiritually. It documents what we are currently experiencing, what we've experienced in the past and what our dreams are for the future.

Every community develops, in time, a unique identity that distinguishes it from its predecessor, while it lays a foundation of inspiration for the next generation. Maintenance of a cultural identity is one of the primary reasons we must collect the unique artifacts that define us.

To survive and thrive in our daily reality, we need the inspiration, reinforcement and support that art can provide. Art is an investment in ourselves, in our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Our failure to identify the beauty, mystery, potential and distinctness of our art creations threatens to gamble away irresponsibly the aspiration, inspiration and dreams of future generations. If the children of tomorrow cannot look back and draw on our experiences and thoughts through art, then what value would our lives and experiences have been worth?

Art inevitably is not just about us living in the present - it is also about the future. This being the case, we must treasure and secure it as a gift for our children and their children.

So why must art be collected? Because we need it to share our stories, accomplishments and aspirations with future generations.

(End of Part 1 of 3)

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spiritual Community

Spiritual Community © Lloyd Pollard 1994
pastel on paper

First exhibited in 1995 solo show.
Burkes Picture Framing Gallery, Toronto.
First blog publication.

A community is a closely knit support oriented structure.

Spiritual Community visually depicts the physical and spiritual symbols from the Yoruba belief system that combine to form the ideal African based community.

Central to the image is the "God Tree" or "Spider Tree". This is the symbol around which the community attaches its history, soul and spiritual beliefs. In addition it represents the tree of knowledge.

Within each home is a symbol of the dual belief system that is carried by many African communities: the Christian cross and the bottle tree (acknowledgment of the world of spirits).

Beneath the ground are two royal pythons, symbols of wisdom, the "life-giver" and messengers of the gods.

The white spirit trees represent the ancestors who have passed yet remain an active presence and overseers to the community's future direction.

Lloyd Pollard . September 1994

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