Reclaiming Objects: The Playful Art of Federico Uribe

Objects have connotations unrelated to their purpose. Art can stretch these personal and universal undercurrents  into something that celebrates life.

Federico Uribe was born in 1964 in war-torn Colombia. The Columbian Conflict, as history books name it, began in the mid-sixties and continues today. His homeland has been ravaged by armed warfare for the entirety of his life. You might think that this would make a broody, angry artist, and he was such for a time, but he decided that, in order to live, he needed to celebrate the life he was given and reconcile with his past. The key to that was to look at the world around him with new eyes and to use his hands and creativity to remake the world around him with humor and beauty.

 

Uribe has also made fantastic animals from colorful shotgun shells, turning something ugly and violent into something beautiful and playful. It is by remembering how to play that Uribe triumphs over the darkness and regains his childhood. That childhood is imbued with a reconciliatory power that shows us we can change our world by changing our perspective and helping others to see our vision. As Uribe puts objects in new contexts, we can put ourselves in new relationship with each other and with nature. The way to capture this energy of transformation is not through political statements, but through authentic feeling.

8948b712db03cb8404a7ae54.png

In Good Faith, Federico Uribe

Mahatma Ghandi once said “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

Please visit Federico Uribe’s website to see more of his wonderful vision.

Quote for Today: Vera Nazarian

Space Planet Surreal Person Looking At Stars

We are all glorified motion sensors.

Some things only become visible to us when they undergo change.

We take for granted all the constant, fixed things, and eventually stop paying any attention to them. At the same time we observe and obsess over small, fast-moving, ephemeral things of little value.

The trick to rediscovering constants is to stop and focus on the greater panorama around us. While everything else flits abut, the important things remain in place.

Their stillness appears as reverse motion to our perspective, as relativity resets our motion sensors. It reboots us, allowing us once again to perceive.

And now that we do see, suddenly we realize that those still things are not so motionless after all. They are simply gliding with slow individualistic grace against the backdrop of the immense universe.

And it takes a more sensitive motion instrument to track this.
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Public Domain Image via MaxPixel

Quote for Today: Jennifer Rodewald

hand_macro_rock_stone-967694.jpg

Sometimes it’s easier to give compassion to those whose troubles fell upon them undeserved. But those who’ve, from our perspective, tangled themselves up all on their own—they need compassion every bit as much. You who are without sin, cast the first stone… No one did. Because you can’t grasp a stone while keeping a grip on grace. One or the other must stay on the ground.

Jennifer Rodewald, Red Rose Bouquet

 

Public Domain Image via PxHere

Quote for Today: Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

earth_space_moon_planet_horizon_nasa_spacecraft_orbit-836389

Suppose two astronauts go to the moon. When they arrive, they have an accident and find out that they have only enough oxygen for two days. There is no hope of someone coming from Earth in time to rescue them. They have only two days to live. If you asked them at that moment, “What is your deepest wish?” they would answer, “To be back home walking on the beautiful planet Earth.” That would be enough for them; they would not want anything else. They would not want to be the head of a large corporation, a big celebrity or president of the United States. They would not want anything except to be back on Earth – to be walking on Earth, enjoying every step, listening to the sounds of nature and holding the hand of their beloved while contemplating the moon.

We should live every day like people who have just been rescued from the moon. We are on Earth now, and we need to enjoy walking on this precious beautiful planet. The Zen master Lin Chi said, “The miracle is not to walk on water but to walk on the Earth.” I cherish that teaching. I enjoy just walking, even in busy places like airports and railway stations. In walking like that, with each step caressing our Mother Earth, we can inspire other people to do the same. We can enjoy every minute of our lives.

Thích Nhất Hạnh (틱낫한), No Death, No Fear

Public Domain Image via PxHere

Expanding Connections: Please Touch the Art

As artists, sometimes we assume that we understand our creations. Connecting with an audience shows us the things we miss.

andrew+paintng+individual+screwheads

Andrew Myers makes clever paintings by screwing screws into a wooden base and painting them. He was deeply moved when a blind person attended one of his shows and was able to experience his art by touching it. Struck by the lack of tactile art and the prevalence of a hands off policy in museums and galleries, he wanted to do something to reach out to those who could not partake in the visual aspect of the art world.

George Wurtzel has spent his life working with wood. He is a craftsman, making fine furniture and other projects, and teacher. In the summer he works at Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa Ca, a camp for the visually impaired, where he inspires blind folk to make things with their hands. He does this by example, as George is blind.

This wonderful project brings these two talented artists together.

 

What an incredible gift to be able to “see” things differently! When art can bridge boundaries imposed upon us by our nature and our nurture, it is a transformative experience that changes us forever. I wonder how musicians might use vibration to reach out to those who cannot hear, how dancers might move with those who have movement issues, how singers might make sounds with those who cannot form words. Our art and culture could not help but be enriched by new perspectives and the therapeutic value of these endeavors would be tremendous.

Maybe you are the next artist to reach out and connect with an unexpected audience. I can’t wait to see what you will do!

All images and video used in accordance with fair use policy for educational purposes.

Quote for Today: Julie Andrews

IMG_7056

Early one beautiful summer evening, when everyone else was drinking indoors, Tony and I walked down to the river. We lay on the grass under a tree and chatted. At one point, Tony said, “Look at the pattern of lace the leaves make against the sky.” I looked at the canopy above us, and suddenly saw what he saw. My perspective completely shifted. I realized I didn’t have his “eyes” — though once he pointed it out, it became obvious. It made me think, “My God, I never look enough,” and in the years since, I’ve tried very hard to look —
and look again.
Julie Andrews, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years

Image: Skylight © Katherine McDaniel, 2017

Quote for Today: Brian Eno

pexels-photo-31329.jpg

When we go out to the country and just sit there, what we’re really doing is just switching off various kinds of alertness that we don’t have to use. When we do that, we are stopping being defensive. We are no longer shutting ourselves off from different types of experiences, we are welcoming them in.

Brian Eno

Public Domain Image via Pexels.com