Posts Tagged ‘books’

for the love of trees

Posted: August 4, 2019 by Mo Crow in good books, It's Crow Time
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Ficus at Blackwattle Bay Mo 1997
I have just finished reading ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers, back in June Terri Windling wrote a fantastic review
inspiring, compelling, this sprawling wilderness of a book helps us shift into a biocentric world view- a life centred point of view;
“The salvation of humanity — for it’s us, not the world, who need to be saved — and our continued lease on this planet depend on our development of tree consciousness. We are here by the grace of trees and forests. They make our atmosphere, clean our water, and sustain the cycles of life that permit us. Just begin to see them. See them up close and personal. See them from far away across great distances. Notice all the million complex beautiful behaviors and forms that have always slipped right past you. Simply see, and the rest will begin to follow. Every other act of preservation depends on that first step.”
By moving into a biocentric world view where the whole planet is sentient we have to look after our beautiful broken world not exploit her!
Boab Dreaming Mo 2008
photo by Rod Morgan (aka Old Man Crow) 1991
dream on!

Crossing Boundaries: The Art of the Book
Elizabeth Beronich has gathered book artists from all around the world for this exhibition
I sent “The illustrated Lyrics of Old Man Crow” Limited Edition no 83/100
the show opens this Friday, if you’re in northern California have a look!

the pursuit of absurdity

Posted: August 18, 2018 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
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Jonah and The Whale by Michael Leunig
“My need to pursue absurdity has overwhelmed my need to stay out of trouble.”
from ‘The Anthropology of Turquoise’ by Ellen Meloy (p 213)

‘The Spell of the Sensuous’ and ‘Becoming Animal’ by David Abram
Trace Willans of Soewn Earth sent me these two books recently, they had been on my wish list for years
here’s an excerpt that resonates deeply;
“With the first hint of dusk in those high valleys, various flying insects launched into the air, including large flies that would bedevil me where I sat cross-legged, usually on a boulder, watching the light fade from the upper ridges. It was during those crepuscular hours that I discovered a useful technique for disbursing such unnerving, whirring beings when they disrupted my quiet contemplations. (It’s a technique I still use to this day, although only when I’m off in the back country, since it requires a focused clarity and precision tough to muster in the middle of town.) Whenever a fly’s feverish orbit around my head begins to unravel my poise, tearing apart with its buzz the simple calm of my mountain ponderings, I search my inward awareness for any small but annoying thought whose unpleasantness matches, in some way, that monotonous sprite buzzing again and again past my undefended ears. Oddly, such an irksome thought always seems easy to find at such a moment – as though the fly’s buzzing had already drawn forth that nagging notion from the depths of my awareness. Once I’ve become conscious of that thought, I shift my attention to the air just in front of my face, watching that near space through which the fly weaves, again and again, trying to catch its trajectory in my gaze, waiting patiently for the serendipitous moment when I will manage, for an instant, to focus my eyes upon the fly. As soon as I do so, in that split second of visual contact, I offer my vexing thought to the insect. At which point the fly – to my considerable amazement – buzzes away! Sometimes my eyes have been able to follow the fly as it departs into the distance before me, becoming smaller and smaller until it dissolves. I am left sitting on the rock, unburdened of both bug and bothersome thought, released into the ringing silence.”
from page 121 of ‘Becoming Animal’
there is such deep magic caught in this notion
I will try it with mosquitoes this summer!
Sea Urchin IV in process
felt pod by Bronwyn Hunter stitched with Deb Lacativa’s magic thread and Glennis Dolce’s indigo dyed silk
getting back to basics with Braille for the Soul
I have been busy this month applying for grants for the project, one of the good things about the process is it gets me organized  with writing an artist statement
Mo Orkiszewski’s forthcoming exhibition Braille for the Soul (scheduled to take place at Artsite Gallery in March 2019) explores the restorative powers of love and community via the sense of touch. Sewn and knotted, beaded and feathered, these votive vessels, pennants and talismans are bound with love and deep intent for mending our beautiful broken world stitch by stitch. The major work ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer’ is a collaborative project bringing together a worldwide circle of 70 art and craft practitioners with the purpose of making connections, communicating a sense of how we belong to our earth, that each person has value, each moment of reaching out has potential, collectively lighting a beacon of awareness and respect for our planet Earth.

understanding the purpose of the work
The purpose of this project is to make art as agency for change, to shift the dominant paradigm from planetary exploitation to a restorative one of kindness and repair. The central work is a collaborative installation inviting a worldwide circle of 70 makers to dream of a world where love is the answer, encouraging a sense of community and caring by thinking globally and acting locally. As the humanitarian aid worker Carl Wilkens wrote “When we make something with our hands, it changes the way we feel, which changes the way we think, which changes the way we act.”

and working out a budget and a production schedule-
Production Schedule for Braille for the Soul exhibition Artsite Gallery March 2019

July to December 2018
finish binding armature for the main installation “I dream of a world where love is the answer” that will carry the 70 pennants and talismans
finish & frame wall mandala Sea Urchin III
finish votive vessels

December 2018
deadline for receiving the pennants and talismans contributed from makers all around the world

December 30 2018
Artist Statement and CV, high res images of all work, catalogue details, confirm opening speaker & guest artists for talks and associated activities for promotional material

January 1-February 14 2019
assemble main installation “I dream of a world where love is the answer”
prepare materials for visitors to make votives in the gallery
place ad with Art Almanac (deadline February 1st)

February 2 2019
contact newspapers, council’s What’s On & radio stations
post snail mail invitations
photograph and document work for publication on

February 25th 2019
deliver work to Artsite Gallery for installation
post invitation for the opening on social media & blog

March 2 2019
Preview exhibition
post online catalogue on

March 3 2019
Official opening of exhibition

March 10 2019
artist talk & votive making

March 17 2019
guest artists talks & votive making

March 24 2019
Close exhibition

with deep gratitude to everyone who is contributing their pennants and talismans for our beautiful broken world

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours

Posted: July 19, 2018 by Mo Crow in good books, It's Crow Time
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this beautiful little book just arrived in the mail
the title page
love the analogies
a good book is such a treasure
Werner’s greens for Marti

Mr Curly taking a little time out by the fire with cat and book by Michael Leunig
just finished reading ‘The Hour of Land’ by Terry Tempest Williams and have ‘The Spell of the Sensuous’ and ‘Becoming Animal’ by David Abram thanks to Trace Willans of Soewn Earth and her generous studio sale of art, art materials and books, here’s the link
missing our beautiful muse Ariel P Cat so much!

excerpt from
The Wave in the Mind : Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Shambhala Publications 2004
one of the most beautiful & inspiring pieces I have ever read about the creative process
(NB to enlarge for easier reading just click on the pics)
binding the branch for the dream
crepe myrtle branch bound with vintage electric blue suede
round and round
waxing the dress form & mandala to hold the rust

The Letter W
from An illuminated Book of Cats
by Mo Okiszewski, Rod Morgan and Ariel P Cat © 2010
It was 45˚C (113˚F) here yesterday… my brain melted down but this morning the memory of this page from our book put the heat into perspective with the deep cold happening on the other side of the world, the balancing act as Jude talks about today over at Spirit Cloth, she helps me keep my head on straight!

I am reading a beautiful writer at the moment, he’s like reading a Michael Leunig cartoon in novel form, very plain spare words speaking about the wonder of all things.
from “Martin Marten” by Brian Doyle pages 200-201 (2015) a book about martens in NW Washington state
and so much more;
“… Who knew? And perhaps that’s how all things change; one decides to try this, and another notices and decides to try also, and then there is a new idea loose in the world, from which even newer ideas might someday hatch. And there is time and time enough for such ideas to flower, over the course of millions of years and ideas, and while some beings do not change – having found the idea in which they wish to stay forever, like the ancient ideas in which crabs and crocodiles and dragonflies live – other beings do change, some constantly, like the human beings, who were once animals who snarled and hooted and hunted and were hunted, animals little different from their omnivore mammalian cousins. But ideas bred easily among the human beings, and their snarls and hoots became songs and poems, and their solitary pursuits became plans and plots, and their slabs of split stone became swords and rifles, and so they commandeered the world, or tried to. But once they were dominant, their ideas began to wither, their success being poison to their dreams, and there were those among them who wondered if some subtle wildness had been the food of their greatest creativity, and if their salvation as a species, and their dwindling chance to clean and balance the world they had fouled and rattled, depended on something in them that yearned for trees and ice, waters and animals, mountains and caves, mystery and attentiveness, the humility before wonder that once they had thought merely their lot and fate, but was instead perhaps their greatest gift and grace.”

from “Chicago” by Brian Doyle pages 294-295 (2017) a book about the chigago-ness of Chicago and a dog called Edward who is an extraordinarily ordinary illuminated being;
“… At this magazine I hope you have learned the rudiments of the craft, the way you must balance ego and humility, the way the profession is finally one of service, not of heroic gratification of your urge to be important. We are not important. We are crucial, yes; without us there is naught but lies and thievery and souls easily led to the altar of Mammon, thereupon to be sacrificed to serious profit, which is our first and foremost deity and principle; but we are not important in the eyes of the world, and will never be. I hope you learned that here. Those among us who expose and uncover the most chicanery and greed will be soon found to have feet of clay, and hands of the stickiest glue, and the sexual proclivities of maddened weasels; those among us who ferret out the true facts of imbroglio and crime will soon enough be banished and exiled, doomed to flog useless products of one kind or another for the rest of their days; those of us who write most beautifully and gracefully and eloquently and powerfully will be suspected of plagiarism, rumoured to be dope fiends, assumed to be self-absorbed egomaniacs, and eventually doomed to be forgotten, our books and articles turned to mold and mulch. That is the fate of all journalism.
“But we are crucial. That is what I hope you have learned. We listen and collect and share stories. Without stories there is no nation and no religion and no culture. Without stories of bone and substance and comedy there is only a river of lies, and sweet and delicious ones they are, too. We are the gatherers, the shepherds, the farmers of stories. We wander widely and look for them and gather them and share them as food. It is a craft as necessary and nutritious as any other, and if you are going to be good at it you must double your humility and triple your curiosity and quadruple your ability to listen.”

and from “Mink River” by Brian Doyle p16 (2010) a book about a not especially stunning town in Oregon “bounded by four waters: one muscular river, two shy little creeks, one ocean”… and a crow
“Billy, he says quietly. Billy. We heal things. That’s what we do. That’s why we’re here. We’ve always agreed on that. Right from the start. We do as well as we can. We fail a lot but we keep after it. What else can we do? We have brains that still work so we have to apply them to pain. Brains against pain. That’s the motto. That’s the work. That’s what we do. Soon enough we will not have brains that work, so therefore.”

I am loving every one of these books reading them back to back, sadly this beautiful man passed away in May this year but he has left a legacy of stories celebrating the magic found in observing the wonder in the ordinary, the beauty in the day to day met with deep love & compassion for our beautiful broken world
these passages may not make that much sense out of context, to get more of a sense of his deep compassion & grace read this short piece from that terrible moment when the twin towers in NYC fell
Leap by Brian Doyle

Carolyn Skinner of Oz Arts Magazine wrote a glowing article about our Crow Book!
now what was it that Dickens said ?… ah thank you Google
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
isn’t it funny (as in odd rather than hilarious) how this is the saddest week of my whole life and the most exciting all at the same time!
On Monday Madeleine of Artsite Gallery sold “Honesty” in ” The GPS has no idea where I am going”
x fingers Dark Moon with Ladder sells too!
the show continues til the 23rd

PS we are missing Ariel so much but all the heartfelt good vibes from around the world are helping heaps