Will will travel

I am a part of all that I have met

Ek is deel van alles wat ek ontmoet het

Je fais partie de tout ce que j’ai rencontré

Είμαι μέρος όλων αυτών που έχω γνωρίσει

Soy parte de todo lo que he contrado

Ich bin ein Teil von allem, was ich getroffen habe

나는 내가 만난 모든 것의 일부이다.

Sono parte di tullo quello che ho incontrato

Ik ben onderdeel van alles wat ik heb ontmoet

Namibia from space

 

I am a part of all that I have met; 

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ 

Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades 

For ever and forever when I move. 

How dull it is to pause, to make an end, 

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use! 

From Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1833

 

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

October, 2017

 

Sources

The earth

me

 

Images

Space Panorama NASA 1969

 

 

 

 

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Coventry Cathedral – contemporary sacred art

Coventry Cathedral, a 14th-century gothic church, was bombed during the Blitz in the Second World War.  For me, it was an unusual experience to stand in those ruins which they have preserved.  I can’t express the many emotions I experienced, from anger to sadness, from wonder to inspiration.  The modern cathedral abuts these ruins, almost as if the new has grown out of the old and the building began from 1950.  Amongst the engineers was a team of young Germans.  

                          Cathedral ruins

 

      Cathedral ruins with reconstructed cross

The modern cathedral, remarkable architecture, is a treasury of contemporary sacred art.  Everything has been carefully considered.  The baptism font is a hollow rock from the hills near Bethlehem.  One chapel is approached through a crown of thorns.  A moving likeness of Christ was made from the torn metal of a car accident.

                               Baptism font

                                      Chapel

Above the nave is the tapestry Christ in Majesty by Graham Sutherland, one of the largest of its kind in the world.  In every aspect there is majesty, except, for me, in one, which has left me uneasy over the years.  It is the expression on the face of the Christ visage.  Perhaps it is my Rorschach, but for me there is a creeping cynicism in the faint smile.

               The Cathedral nave with tapestry

                              Detail of tapestry

Amongst these art works in the cathedral there is a figure of Christ by Jacob Epstein in the ruins of the old cathedral, sculpture of the 1950s. (Observe to the far right against the wall in the photograph of the ruins.)  This work is a radical departure from the usual portrayal of Christ as a wrung out, vulnerable figure on the cross.

    The Epstein Christ figure

What came up for me was the word primitive, with exclusively positive connotations.  This mode, it seemed to me, takes its cue from the jungle cultures – the Congo, the Amazon, Indonesia and even Easter Island.  I grapple for words to contain this – winter clouds over night mountain ranges; the deep voice of a coming volcano … This prehistoric figure, I feel, will burst through his bonds and stride the curve of the earth in thunder.  It is sacred art that stirs much in me.

© Will van der Walt

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

July , 2016

 

Source

Wikipedia

 

Images

Cathedral ruins – mapio.net

Altar with nail cross – cathedrallicking.wordpress.com

Baptism font – tripadvisor.co.uk

Chapel with crown of thorns  –  stopprocrastinatingandjustdoit.blogspot.com

Cathedral nave – lovelyoldtree.wordpress.com

Detail of tapestry  –  blog.arthistoryabroad.com

Epstein Christ figure  –  source lost

 

Dedicated to my niece Dawn Denton for the support she has given me. 

 

  

STONEHENGE, EASTER ISLAND and LISA GERRARD

Out of the mists …

This is an inward journey.  It is about two places and a voice.  I spent 20 minutes at Stonehenge and then fled from the sub-zero temperature to the car.  I have not been to Easter Island and I have spent many hours listening to the voice of Lisa Gerrard.

They hunch over me …

I could speak about the speculations concerning Stonehenge, that it was a burial place, probably an observatory and is the biggest of the Neolithic monuments, at least 5000 years old.  But it is what the place does to me.  I stand in an archway, these gargantuan blocks made by bloodied hands, hauled and pushed with raw shoulders.  I feel the tonnage, the weight of millennia.  They hunch over me, these monoliths, faceless and impenetrable.  The Henge is a broken circle, but somehow still calls into the unfathomable night.

They stare beyond galaxies …

The Statues of Easter Island have riveted me since my childhood.  There too, theories proliferate.   Those giant visages of granite with their long ears, solemn, taciturn … the eyes are nights without stars.  Some have fallen under the weight of who they are.  Others lie back and stare into eternity. Do they carry some terrifying knowledge?

Some listen. Some have fallen.

I found a voice that sings these places.  It is the voice of Lisa Gerrard, born in Melbourne of Irish parents, in 1961.

“The earth is a mirror    pool”

Her vocal range and ability are beyond belief.  She can tower over Asian plains; she whispers a prayer.  She sings in idioglossia, a language she made up as a child, she says, to speak to God.  The sources of her other-worldly melodies are researched with passion.  Each track has a nature of its own, wrought with depth of feeling and creative musicality.  In that music the ancient Celts breathe.  There is Turkey and India.  It can be dark-clad chanting from dank crypts and paths in night forests.  It moves across a prehistoric landscape, monumental as monoliths.

“A sliver of sun; a leaden sky”

The confluence of these three things, for me, is something that strains beyond the curve of the earth.

 

©  Will van der Walt, 2017

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Les Semboules, Antibes

March, 2017

 

Sources

“What was the purpose of Stonehenge?” – gotQuestions.org

“Why was Stonehenge built?” – Ask History (internet)

Lisa Gerrard:  Mirror Pool; Duality and early Dead Can Dance collaborations.

Images

Easter Island – stuff.co.nz;  globaltreks.com

Stonehenge –  marruz.at;  bistrobarblog.blogspot.com

Lisa Gerrard:  lisagerrard.com;  2016 festival Melbourne

 

 

 

 

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