Although this time of year seems to be full of sales and shopping galore which isn’t our favourite past time, we are happy to entertain and always enjoy, as mentioned in previous blogs, a good dress up!
We love that ever popular contrasting colour-combo of green and red, which adds to the visual appeal of this season and is now iconic to this time of year. But, as you know we like to look back at the Origin and start of these festive diary dates, so let’s clear away the wrapping paper, cards, tinsel and plastic trees and have a look at where it all began…
The origins of Christmas come from Paganism beliefs and traditions. Christmas or ‘Yule time’ is a celebration for the return of the sun, after the winter solstice on December 21st the days begin to get longer as they get closer to spring. There are many Christmas icons that have interesting origins also. The modern Christmas tree originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany but there are a number of theories as to its ultimate origin. There is a story that tells of Saint Boniface cutting down an oak tree that the German pagans worshipped where he replaced it with an evergreen tree, telling them about how its triangular shape reminds humanity of the Trinity and how it points to heaven. A great place to find out more is with Royal Museums Greenwich and their article on equinoxes and solstices.
Inspired by the origins of these Christmas icons, we decided to create a collection of images to look at some concepts that have their own historic meanings or ideas, and which speak to us about our Mind Sets. Combining our brush strokes, this time with the odd bauble, we played with one of our favourite challenges, painting illusions. We hope you enjoy this Christmas Collection!
‘The proof of the pudding’, exploring the idea that to fully test something you need to experience it yourself.
The experience our wonderful model Helen Claire had when dripping paint over her head was quite something also, thank you again Helen for putting up with our make-u-believe antics!
‘Fragile Dreams’ explores our ideas and dreams being ultimately very fragile, they can be beautiful, colourful and limitless, but easy to break.
The dream of creating this piece was almost shattered when the headdress completely fell apart before shooting, thanks to one of our make-u-believe pals and excellent assistant Michelle Southern we persevered and got the piece re-made, thank you Shell!
Lastly, a piece that has been intended for a while, and the title of our blog, ‘Life is a gift’.
The wise words of Bill Hicks ring true here, “I believe the cost of life is death and we all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born.” Making the most of life and treating it as a gift, valuing all it has to offer without worrying about all the material aspects can be difficult with the noise and crazy shopping all around. Returning to mindfulness in this busy time seems key.
Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice which is very relevant for life today. Mindfulness is a very simple concept. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality.
And the beautiful words from Babatunde Olatunji re-inforce this concept and inspired the work:
“Yesterday is history. Tommorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”