by Geoff Hall on 10 August 2014 with
This image is of the Arabic letter ‘N’ or ‘nun’. It was painted on the houses of Christians in Iraq as a mark for their annihilation. It has been taken up as a symbol of solidarity and identifying with the victims, by those on Facebook and Twitter. Please change your profile pics to show that you stand with our brother and sisters in Iraq and Syria.
I have been reading a little of Martin Luther King’s wisdom of late and it seemed very pertinent to the current violence flashing on our screens. His words I think speak to us today, as Followers of the Way and the need for non-violent action.
by Geoff Hall on 1 July 2014 with
I’m just trying to process something, an experience that I don’t think is uncommon, but this is my spin on it. (In fact, to undertake this ‘process’ means that I will inevitably have to write, to try and make sense of things).
For someone like me, who should have been dead three times by the age of 8 (in order: choking on a dummy –soother- hit by a van, and lastly by a motor bike). My early years were precariously perched on the edge of the rocky outcrop called life. This is what I think has produced in me a ‘matter of life and death’ perseverance to trials and tribulations, a kind of artistic stoicism. Anyway, that’s what I put it down to, rather than any allusion to sainthood.
by Chris Lorensson on 3 November 2013 with
How should we ‘be’? As people who intimately know the most powerful being in the universe? As people whom that being calls children and even friends? As citizens of an ancient culture?
How do we treat our co-workers, friends, family? Do we embrace our human nature or do we strive for a higher level of morality?
What should it be like when we talk to others? When we love? When we work? Should it be in any way different? Different than what, or whom?
Recent personal experience
Last week I experienced a feeling of disappointment, anger and even hatred rolled into one. I felt used. I can’t go into specifics, but suffice it to say an acquaintance of mine treated me very badly for their own benefit, then pretended it never happened. It wasn’t the first time I’d had this type of experience with this person. Shortly after the incident I was livid. By the grace of God I managed to hold my tongue.
by Geoff Hall on 1 September 2013 with
The big issue, my biggest issue, is not a matter of social justice.
My biggest fear, does not concern being oppressed by Corporate Government or Corporate Church.
As an aside, I sometimes wonder if God gives us our artistic gifts to drive us mad? We produce quality work, whether in word, image or performance arts and God then seems indifferent to us and what we’ve produced. We cannot find that breakthrough to a wider audience, we cannot find the finance to make the film, we cannot attract a publisher or agent, etcetera, etcetera. And then,
And then we see a celebration of kitsch, of poorly written, or poorly filmed, poorly performed work, of art with cheese impasto-ed on it, songs with a saccharin melody, the dance of the genuflectors! What is God playing at?
If you could tell someone’s taste in art by what they invested their money in and then neatly displayed it on their perfectly prepared walls for all their friends to see, then you could talk about a good taste for French Landscape, Dutch Portraiture, Scandanavian Expressionism (angst). What concerns me is that if we were surveying God’s current investment portfolio, we’d have to conclude that God had very bad taste in art!
My biggest worry is that God overlooks our work because of it’s inherent quality, that God is into kitsch, sweet, sickly and tinselly things; that Divine taste is for music that’s an anaesthetic administered before the preacher comes and performs the lobotomy. For God loves a cheerful automaton.
These are the things which trouble me, the things which disturb my sleep and which frighten me when the sun is high, or the moon is full in the sky.
by Geoff Hall on 12 August 2013 with
I was looking at this notion of being created as ‘imago Dei‘ and wondered what it meant for us in the 21st Century. I did a little etymological investigation into the root of this word. In Hebrew ‘tselem’ is the word for this creative act (imago). It apparently has an unused root meaning ‘to shade’.
by Geoff Hall on 24 February 2013 with
Ennui, exhaustion and consumption
Here’s a quote from ‘The Cultural Way of Being’.
“From the hearts of people, this resonant art of the shared life will exorcise the despair of Postmodern distractions—the playing of meaningless games to quell the boredom of a purposeless life. It will gradually fuel the longing to escape the exhaustion of forever consuming, perpetually updating and downloading the next digital fix, injecting into the mainline of your digital self. This art will answer the burgeoning boredom of life and its dissipation through consuming each other or anything else that catches the eye. It will create the hope of anticipation and the longing for redemption, for cultural renewal. It may even point the way. For when artists gather together in a creative community which shares freely with one another, when they are assisted by publishers and gallery owners, patrons and soul-mates, then art can move from the personally expressive to the culturally formative and historically potent.”
Citation from: Hall, Geoffrey; Lorensson, Chris; Hall, Mark (2011-07-11). The Cultural Way of Being (Spiritual Direction in a Postmodern Landscape) (Kindle Locations 114-122). Upptäcka Press. Kindle Edition.
by Geoff Hall on 4 February 2013 with
So, I’m sat here looking for a film to watch and all I can find is “Source Code” with Jake Gyllenhall. Well, not bad you may think. Mmm, I agree, it’s clever, but does it really change anything. If you want to find film-makers who give a damn and want to play a part in changing the status quo, where do you find them? So, what do dissatisfied men in my position do? Well apparently we turn to porn or horror films! But that isn’t an option for me.
by Geoff Hall on 10 January 2013 with
Thanks for coming along to the Tree House last night. I thought I’d add the quotes from the Intro to our evening, so here goes. They encapsulate the challenges I’m making of my own work in 2013. What challenges do you face?
Gaston Bachelard – “…touch the depths before it stirs the surface…” Who was he? A French philosopher who influenced the work of Andrei Tarkovsky and wrote on the ‘Poetics of Space’ and the ‘Poetics of the Imagination’. A must read for Geoff in 2013! This is a call away from the obvious to the suggestive, to alluding to and moving away from describing reality in the hope of achieving some kind of objective truth, (as with social realism).
by Chris Lorensson on 13 July 2012 with
I’m down at Lee Abbey for the Wayfarer Arts Conference this week. We’re talking about the stories in the bible where water represents chaos. This led us to ask about the idea of chaos itself. What role does it play in the artist’s journey? What is chaos, really?
Shortly into my career as a ‘maker’, I swallowed the red pill, embarking on the dangerous journey into ‘self’, in search of meaning among the caverns of my personal, internal chaos. I traveled the labyrinth of rock tunnels blasted by each pain and regret, never knowing how remote was the chance of emerging in one piece. I explored the caverns of self-doubt, meeting to battle subconscious monsters. Some battles won, but most lost, each leaving a scarring wound. That’s one thing I’ve learned for certain – we cannot make this journey unscathed. Read the rest of this entry »