Dillan Marsh & Eleanor Clare
Assembly House Studios 20-29 Nov. 2015
Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm or by appointment
With cardboard boxes over their heads and two holes punched out for their arms, they began with wet clay, and without any other idea than to see what came by handling it. What they arrived at was not a sculpture, but a way to begin. The possibility to destroy and remake was always there: it was just a means of getting to the thing.
On a wet and windy day, they journeyed out to Tigh na Cailleach, home of the Old Woman of the Glen, just before she withdrew into her shelter for winter. They were not sure what they might find, or what to do when they got there. They were walking a path that had been walked for thousands of years. They were hopeful that they would make their destination on time, and fearful of regret, lest they should have to turn back. It was not that time or nature were against them; it was simply that the elements continued, and would continue interminably, before them, after them and in spite of them. The night was drawing closer with every step further into the heart of the glen. Colours were changing to soft and rusty ochres, greens and bluey-greys. The form of the land was becoming gentler and more rounded. The deep, broad loch had now tapered off into a trickling stream; yet the wind raged on, and the rain beat with a stinging patter against against their faces.
They were looking for the very beginnings of meaning and making: to connect thousands of years ago with today. They wanted to find it, but when they arrived, they still didn’t know what to do. Not there at the shrine, nor in the studio with the clay.
He would lie in wait for monks grown weary with working in the oppressive heat, seizing a moment of weakness to force an entrance into their hearts. And once installed there, what havoc he wrought! For suddenly it would seem to the poor victim that the day was intolerably long and life desolatingly empty. He would go to the door of his cell and look up at the sun and ask himself if a new Joshua had arrested it midway up the heavens. Then he would go back into the shade and wonder what good he was doing in that cell or if there was any object in existence. Then he would look at the sun again and find it indubitably stationary, and the hour of the communal repast of the evening as remote as ever. And he would go back to his meditations, to sink, sink through disgust and lassitude into the black depths of despair and hopeless unbelief. When that happened the demon smiled and took his departure, conscious that he had done a good morning’s work.
Comedy and Tragedy
text by Eleanor Clare, 2014, published in NEVERODDOREVEN, Deuxpiece and Buro fur Problem, Basel
I was frantic, feeling a little sick and dizzy, but determined to carry on.
What had to be done, had to be done. It was a desperate attempt.
It was a hollow action.
It was just doing for the sake of doing.
It was doing to find some momentary release from the feeling of total inertia, of being stuck.
Now I must talk of hollow laughter.
Some say it is the laughter of a psychopath: cold, hard, unfeeling.
I say it is simply laughter at the end of the tether.
They say, if you don't laugh you'll cry.
I have been laughing this way.
I cry until I laugh, and laugh until I cry.
There is not much in between, but for an empty and desolate expanse stretching out ahead.
When I am laughing, I do not know if the laughter itself feels unreal, or if I myself am unreal.
It seems like I have been caught by something I cannot quite grasp.
I am in its grip: the grip of humour.
Watching myself on a screen, I make myself laugh, for I am hysterical.
Here I am comedy.
I laugh a senseless, reasonless laughter that has no meaning, other than to shake and move in a way that is ridiculous.
It is laughter in the extreme, because it cannot end until it reaches the opposite pole: tragedy.
"Emotions exist beyond time, as the pulse of pure physical connection to the world and its music.
Like music, they are a form of movement _ the origin of the word emotion lies in the Latin, emovere, to move out, remove, agitiate."
As cosmic man or the personification of the intelligence in the tree of life, the Green Man is
the point at which the truth is manifested in creation, whether as life, light, song, words or
other figurative forms of art. He is the medium through which divine inspiration guides the works
of time in the fullness of space. He is the point of entry of eternity into time. Space is the
medium of sound, and therefore the music of praise.
W. Anderson, Green Man: The Archetype of our Oneness with the Earth.
Such circles designate, like the spirals, the paths of entry between worlds, and the pacing or
dancing of such designs in imitation of the journeys of the Gods, offers a perfect explanation of
The Avebury henge was not a sculpture in the sense of being a finite, completed object.
Instead, it was brought to completion at the right time by human participation.
M. Dames The Avebury Cycle
In the extraordinary madness which periodically invaded Europe from the fourteenth to the
seventeenth century, people danced until they dropped.
At Liege in 1374, after certain possessed folk had come dancing half naked into the town
with garlands on their heads, dancing in the name of St John, we are told that many persons
seemingly sound in mind and body were suddenly possessed by devils and joined the dancers.