an interlude

Many apologies for my recent lack of posts – I have been rather busy and somewhat otherwise engaged of late. Here are a few pictures and words to fill the gap. Many thanks for your continuing audience and support…

welcome noah! (p ward and f owen 2014)welcome noah! (p ward and f owen 2014)

 .

after the storms

after the spring has sprung

we may begin our gathering

of old and new

to make way for,

in preparation for

 .

today

 .

how different is this world

from one place to the next

from one day to another

holding hands with you…

.

car park graffiti; squid ink bowl drawing ( pward 2014)car park graffiti; squid ink bowl drawing ( pward 2014)

afternoon storm, torquay, and storm watchers, westward ho! (p ward 2014)afternoon storm, torquay, and storm watchers, westward ho! (p ward 2014)

gathering firewood, westward ho!, and perusing bundles in ikea, bristol!? (p ward and f owen 2014)gathering firewood, westward ho!, and perusing bundles in ikea, bristol!? (p ward and f owen 2014)

‘the story of bideford black’ display case and ‘pots, fish and ships’ exhibition at the burton gallery, bideford (p ward 2014)‘the story of bideford black’ display case and ‘pots, fish and ships’ exhibition at the burton gallery, bideford (p ward 2014)

how different this soil, how different this place… cheddar gorge (p ward 2014)how different this soil, how different this place… cheddar gorge (p ward 2014)

woodland stairway, cheddar gorge (p ward 2014)woodland stairway, cheddar gorge (p ward 2014)

indigenous spirit – art:cycling:mapping:earth pigment:drawing process project (p ward 2014)indigenous spirit – art/cycling/mapping/earth pigment/drawing process project (p ward 2014)

bir! bir! bir! bir! – invitation to exhibit some old work in manchester, june 2014 (paintings p ward 1993)bir! bir! bir! bir! – invitation to exhibit some old work in manchester, june 2014 (paintings p ward 1993)

local earth pigments used on historic roodscreen, st peter and vincula church, combe martin, north devon (p ward 2014)local earth pigments used on historic roodscreen, st peter and vincula church, combe martin, north devon (p ward 2014)

st audries bay and porlock weir, west somerset (p ward 2014)st audries bay and porlock weir, west somerset (p ward 2014)

home life, old and new, westward ho! and ilfracombe, north devon (p ward 2014)home life, old and new, westward ho! and ilfracombe, north devon (p ward 2014)

materials for an ark (p ward 2014)materials for an ark (p ward 2014)

with love to Francesca, Noah and all my family

P Ward 2014


Woodpigeon 151213

.

One magpie flies roadside to a tentative roost upon a barn roof

But on coming closer

The sorrowful bird

Has transformed itself in my sight

To peace and sustenance

A plump woodpigeon sitting calm in its place

.

seaside reside, westward ho! (p ward 2013)seaside residue, westward ho! (p ward 2013) 

driftwood, northam burrows (p ward 2013)driftwood, northam burrows (p ward 2013) 

grey morning, westward ho! (p ward 2013)grey morning, westward ho! (p ward 2013) 

protective bundle, northam (p ward 2013)protective bundle, northam (p ward 2013) 

sunset storm, northam (p ward 2013)sunset storm, northam (p ward 2013)

(Photographs taken near my home in North Devon during December 2013 using my phone camera.)

© P Ward 2013


even if…

.

even if our actions in this world are bringing life (as we know it) to a rather messy and untimely end,

even if we are polluting and degrading the soil and the oceans and the skies to an irreparable degree,

even if we cannot seem to work out at this stage of our evolution how to partake in, or to share in, the universal abundance for the good of all (when all it takes is a little kindness and common sense),

even if we continue to abuse and degrade all of creation, including ourselves, through greed, ignorance and fear,

.

even if we shout and scream (however cleverly) and make compassionate, intelligent and informed choices in the face of adversity and injustice, but sense no change,

even if we can see how everything has gone so dreadfully wrong,

even if we feel completely powerless in the face of it all,

.

(even if we are fundamentally small and insignificant),

(even if our existence is essentially superfluous to the functioning of the universe),

(even if we will all die one day anyway)…

.

we may still feel wonder

we may still sense beauty and joy

we may still find peace

we may still love

.

this life

.

that we may still survive

.

spirit (p ward 2013) spirit (p ward 2013)

abundance 1, chithurst buddhist monastery, west sussex (p ward 2103) abundance 1, chithurst monastery, west sussex (p ward 2103) 

painting with the earth, art in the woods, courage copse creatives, north devon (p ward 2013) painting with earth, courage copse creatives (yeo valley primary school), north devon (p ward 2013)

abundance 2, westward ho! (p ward 2013) abundance 2, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

sand prints, northam (p ward 2103) sand printings, northam (p ward 2103)

dog and frog, westward ho! (p ward 2013) dog and frog, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

© P Ward 2013


SUCCESS

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What is success?

.

In this material world it is something I have found hard to come to terms with (or achieve).

As a concept it is difficult to measure, to enjoy and even to aspire to

When judged in terms of, and against, the failings and misfortune of others.

But in a world of animate totality, of dynamic energetic exchange

What might this much-maligned expression denote?

.

If I do not live among mountains, how may I climb them?

 .

momentary composition, westward ho! (p ward 2013) momentary composition, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

 .

Is it simply a moment of movement,

A statement in time of our good-natured evolution,

Taking all and everybody’s best interests into account?

.

Is it a milestone of achievement, material and otherwise,

A gateway to another place, another sense of consciousness,

A breath before another, without judgement,

A knowing as yet unknown?

.

quite cold really, westward ho! (p ward 2013) quite cold really, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

 .

Or is it a building block that we willingly grant ourselves

A stepping-stone, a rope swing, a train of thought, a shift of perspective

That leads us elsewhere?

.

circles around ourselves, northam (p ward + f owen 2013) circles around ourselves, northam (p ward + f owen 2013)

 .

And who is to say, other than ourselves,

If we have succeeded or not in our own intimately chosen path,

If our own limitations have been reached or challenged sufficiently,

Or if those standards are to be universally acknowledged

And recognized by just a few (who should really know better)?

.

paradise, county clare, Ireland (m a ward 2013) paradise, county clare, Ireland (m a ward 2013)

 .

In an ecological sense

Succession is a phase of transition

A holistic progression towards a more fitful state

A communal symbiotic process in relation to all

Without end.

.

I shall keep this in mind

As I fail

As I make fresh and exciting mistakes on a daily basis

As I make ready for change

As I step into the unknown

Yet again…

.

october waves, westward ho! (p ward 2013) october waves, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

 .

© P Ward 2013


1 short walk 30813

Quite often living on the North Devon coast I am utterly flabbergasted by the amount of spontaneous creativity that time spent on the beach or in nature may inspire. The following photographs were taken on one two-hour walk around and along the Pebble Ridge in Westward Ho! after a busy holiday weekend. The ‘work’ was not necessarily created by ‘artists’ (although it may take one to recognise it as such), nor was it made for any particular reason that I know other than pure joy, simple expressions of an intimate relationship with an evolving environment…

achieving balance, northam (p ward 2013) achieving balance, northam (p ward 2013)

sand, stones, sea, shells and weed, unknown artists, westward ho! (p ward 2013) sand, stones, sea, shells and weed, unknown artists, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

tar, stones, sticks and sand, unknown artists, westward ho! (p ward 2013) tar, stones, sticks and sand, unknown artists, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

… while other expressions were maybe a little more colloquial!? But whatever, many thanks to all!

bucket man, basket case and burnt grass,unknown artists, northam and westward ho! (p ward 2013) bucket man, basket case and burnt grass, unknown artists, northam and westward ho! (p ward 2013)

P Ward 2013


some (more) new works…

I am an artist (among other things) – I do art: I observe things and place them in relation to others and myself; I gather things and stick them together and see how they behave materially and aesthetically and (even) ecologically; I investigate them; I share my explorations in a variety of ways and forms in the hope that it may give pleasure, joy, strength, courage and insight to live with integrity in this place we call home.

Here are some of my more recent adventures  and a fantastic quote from my latest read…

3 types of black - experiments for Bideford Black % artists exhibition at white moose gallery (p ward 2013) 3 types of black – experiments for Bideford Black exhibition at white moose gallery (p ward 2013)

1 hour of feathers, fremington quay (feathers in antique case; p ward 2011-3) 1 hour of feathers, fremington quay (feathers in antique case; p ward 2011-3) 

‘Ecology teaches us that a diverse, open system, when faced with environmental stress, has more ways to respond than a uniform, closed one. That response requires semi-permeable boundaries that are neither too rigid nor too diffuse. In this view, the notion of “the survival of the fittest” finds a new meaning. No longer are the most fit those species or individuals capable of having power over others in a competitive struggle.. “The survival of the fittest,” as Lewis Thomas reminds us, “does not mean those fit to kill; it means those fitting in best with the rest of life.”[i] “Fitting in” refers here to the ability to be open to and to contribute, from one’s unique sense of self, to the well-being of the whole system.’[ii]

knot of grass; power place 2, northam burrows (p ward 2013) knot of grass; power place 2, northam burrows (p ward 2013)

black and yellow roll (sticks, feathers, string and found acetate roll with foam filler; p ward 2013) black and yellow roll (sticks, feathers, string and found acetate roll with foam filler; p ward 2013)

sand castle, westward ho! (p ward 2013) sand castle, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

beautiful skies for beautiful dreams, westward ho! (p ward 2013) beautiful skies for beautiful dreams, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

memorial offering for a friend (birch bundle and earth rust dyed silk; p ward and f owen 2013) memorial offering for a friend (birch bundle and earth rust dyed silk; p ward and f owen 2013)

 … and thank you again to family and friends and to the big wide world for providing such rich inspiration for more life.

P Ward 2013


[i] Lewis Thomas, “Are We Fit to Fit In?” Amicus Journal (Summer 1981)

[ii] Sarah A. Conn, “When the Earth Hurts, Who Responds?” Ecopsychology – Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind; Edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes & Allen D. Kanner (Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1995)


oh, lucky me!

(leaping from one extreme to another)

how fortunate I do be!

no matter where I do be to

whether inside or out

such sights and smells and sensations do tantalize, entertain and sustain

and I do realize just how fortunate I do be

how privileged I be to be

alive at all

 .

oh, lucky me! london, july (p ward 2013) oh, lucky me! london, july (p ward 2013)

oh, lucky me! westward ho! july (p ward 2013) oh, lucky me! westward ho! july (p ward 2013)

 

for family and friends

P Ward 2013


this morning 26613

This morning 26613

waves gently breaking on a pebble ridge

(the sound of rice crispies popping)

a pile of gathered sea potatoes

 

P Ward 2013


home 1513

.
within and without this proximity
this air and earth
this body and breath
in which we share
.
through touch and taste and sight and smell and sound
just what we are
and may become
in limitless community
.
exercising subtle calculations
towards possible mutability
and sense what sense
there might be here
.
these birds and beasts
and other entities
that befriend us
and listen and learn
.
to value all
to conjure magic and mystery
within symbiosis
endlessly revealing

.

shuffle, northam (pward 2013) shuffle, northam (pward 2013)

turning, northam (pward 2013) turning, northam (pward 2013)

copy, northam (pward 2013) copy, northam (pward 2013) 

tracing, northam (pward 2013) trace, northam (pward 2013)

virtual, northam (pward 2013) virtual, northam (pward 2013)

.. 

P Ward 2013


the raven, the rook & the guillemot, wh! 18413

i am without time and without form with you
a friend from hereafter
this, my home

as often mentioned, the importance of connecting with the more-than-human, the land and fellow beings about my home, to just spend time here, to allow time to feel, to see and to heal and to be consequently open to inspiration, is an essential element of my arts practice, and arguably of any healthy participation in this miraculous existence. this short film and set of images documents one such circuit, one small journey, one mindful walk around my home – northam country park and westward ho! in north devon.

the best painting i have seen for ages II, westward ho! ( p ward 2013the best painting i have seen for ages II, westward ho! ( p ward 2013)

wave drawing in sand, westward ho! (p ward 2013) wave drawing in sand, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

concrete bridge across the pebble ridge, westward ho! (p ward 2013) concrete bridge across the pebble ridge, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

raven on the ridge, westward ho! (pward 2013) raven on the ridge, westward ho! (p ward 2013)

guillemot with raven footprints, westward ho! (pward 2013) deceased guillemot with raven footprints, westward ho! (pward 2013)

raven moving guillemot, westward ho! (pward 2013) raven moving deceased guillemot, westward ho! (pward 2013)

molehill soil balls, northam burrows country park (p ward 2013molehill soil balls, northam burrows country park (p ward 2013)

rushes and dry grass, northam burrows (p ward 2013)rushes and dry grass, northam burrows (p ward 2013)

while I feel privileged to enjoy my time with nature – others are not so fortunate to live within easy reach of such obvious beauty – a classically grounded education in the arts has deeply enriched my everyday experience, helping me see more clearly, to observe more rigorously, to feel more deeply and to appreciate and enjoy the wonder of life as a whole. it may not be for everyone to paint or to become what has been traditionally known as an ‘artist’, but the skills, insights and experience that the arts give, combined with an informed respect for the natural world, will most often make us more contented and creative beings in every aspect of our lives. on days such as these when all I see and everything I do becomes a thing of immense beauty, an intricate part of this rich complex tapestry of life, I am more than grateful to be alive. my only desire is to share such joy with others, to enrich lives as mine has been enriched and to continue to do so…

P Ward 2013