Memory Jugs

Memory Jugs Descansos

The first memory jugs were made by African Americans for grave adornments. Memory jugs are mosaic vessels covered in mortar and encrusted with shards, shells, and various found objects. They were popular in Victorian times as folk art but the idea is believed to have originated from African mourning vessels. “ These were memory laden mosaics…three dimensional scrapbooks. In essence they are fascinating time capsules that link the past to the present as poignant narratives.

What would you put on a memory jug? Contemplate a narrative that might spring from making this art form.

Grandmother’s Coat

Grandmother-s coat heller kleinI have always been fascinated by Clarissa Pinkola Estes idea of making a full length scapecoat to detail in painting, writing, with all manner of things pinned and stitched inside. But I really love what Alice Wellinger has done here. This beautiful piece truly resonates and fuels the desire to do something using a grey coat that I have had hanging, unworn for many years.

In order to come to know them better it could also be good to explore what the inside of a character’s coat looks like

Arriving at Riversleigh

It is so good to see residents arriving at Riversleigh Manor! A warm welcome to Sleepy Raven

Simple, rustic, beautiful <3 I love the disheveled way the curtains are draping.

I do believe this will be the year I get out of bed. But don’t wait for me. It will be a while. I am a sleepy raven. My feathers are heavy with memory. I cannot fly anymore. I have come to Riversleigh to clean my feathers that have become coated by the by-products of a natural disaster of a life.

I am a sad and sleepy raven, but a raven still…a trickster. Don’t count me out. I am a gatherer and an assembler. I work with what I find and there is no end to what I discover on my ravenly way.

Steph

A Foraging We Go

Since I gave up full time work and worked primarily from home I have come to enjoy going out for a few hours in the middle of the day. Over summer, when so many people are on holidays and out and about, I find it all the more important to go out for a few hours.

Yesterday while I was out I stopped at the Guildford General Store for a late lunch and then browsed at Book Heaven on the way back to Castlemaine.

Book Heaven Castlemaine

I managed to find a rare copy of Don Quixote with exquisite  Salvador Dali drawings.  With over 90,000 titles at Book Heaven it is hard to come away without anything.

Today a friend and I headed over to nearby Maldon and had Apple and Rhubarb pie at Zen Produce Store and then found the ‘inland beach’ at Welshman’s Reef Caravan Park area.

InlandBeach

Photos on the Caravan Park’s site reveal a water wonderland here. But with strong gusty winds whipping up off the water it was not the time to have ‘dip’. However, there is no doubt that this is another good site for one of those spontaneous picnics.

A Room of Her Own – At Riversleigh

Soultide

Virginia Wolfe filled the hearts of women with yearning when she wrote about ‘A Room Of My Own’. Blogging technology enabled women to have rooms of their own at Riversleigh Manor.

Soul Tide’s blog remains a tribute and shows how you do not have to have independent means to have a very private room of your own.

Purveyor of Creative Stimuli

I used to pride myself in being a purveyor of creative stimuli! Feedback from those who trawled through Soul Food supported my claim that I was quite good at triggering creative responses by providing a smorgasbord of tempting fragments.

Here is one I used to love to use with students. I would insist that there was complete silence and then I would take them through this guided imagery. After we completed the imagery exercise, the students would write what they saw in their imagination and then share their writing with other students. The experience was always exhilarating and there were times when the class spontaneously broke into applause.  I was always impressed by how insightful my students were.

You are walking down a road…. As you are walking, you see a house. Look at it. Notice its details…. Walk towards it. What do you notice about it?…. You start to walk around the house, looking at it as you walk…. Now you are halfway around. Notice the details of the house as you continue to walk around it…. Now you come back to where you were when you started…. As you walked around the house, you noticed a way to get in. Now go into the house…. What do you see?…. Explore the house, what’s inside?…. As you were exploring, you noticed a secret door leading to a secret room. Go inside that room. What do you see?…. Now leave the secret room and go back into the main part of the house…. Now leave the house. As you are walking away from it, you look back at it one more time…. You are back on the road once again, walking.

It was sessions like this that led to a collection of prompts being housed at Soul Food.