Fighting What You Can’t See

12 Apr

It is not a rarity that experiencing poor circumstances leads us to believe the world is out to get us. Occurrences including, but not limited to running late, losing certain belongings, getting laid off etc. 

While I know well enough to discount the world as the cause of all my problems, this week certainly felt that way. It started Sunday with a wave of emotional turmoil brought on by what seemed at the time to be Holiday festivities and a culmination of poor decisions from the weekend. I’m 23 years old. Is it really o.k. to be waking up with a hangover on a day you planned to relish? Can I say that the sheer gratification of flying a kite in the sunlight on a hill with your girlfriend is eminently suppressed in a very austere way? So much so that your willingness to disguise that emotion falters to the point of physical collapse.

Unfortunately these events were only a precursor to the following weeks emotional funk. Last night that funk was obliterated along with the monster that cooked it up and served it to me raw. Like a festering wound my mind became entangled in its ability to generate anxiety. Truthfully, I’d never experienced depression fed by anxiety this severe.

When the storm clouds broke last night I became aware of satans jealousy. It was a constraining attack on the new formed love and alliance that existed since the beginning, but was now something concrete (after baptism April 1st). One slip up and a rush of self doubt and my greatest adversary exposes a weakness. Like salt to a wound I could feel his hands plucking at the iniquities in the back of my mind. If my brain was a ripened fruit one week previous, it now had become a decaying lump of flesh controlled by this monster. A monster that had been lurking in the shadows, waiting for a moment when I’d expose this ignorance and reliance on self. The lord gave me a hint through the message at church on Sunday that such a wave would make its impact soon.

The reason why god is perfect is so we don’t have to be. Remember that even in times of vulnerability, YOU have the power to confront satan head on. There will always be a sword and shield waiting. An arsenal so filled with the holy spirit that even the meekest can fight what was once unseen.

 

Fasting

22 Jan

If fasting is defined by consuming certain things sparingly or altogether, then shouldn’t slowing mean the exact opposite? I mean think about it: “Yea guys I’ve been slowing now for 2 weeks and accumulated a solid 30lbs of fat”.

Maybe this is more of an inference that the English language is fairly inconsistent compared to other languages. It would seem that the resultant of mass consumption would in fact be a slowing of the body, but is better defined as gluttony, gorging, indulgence etc. The thought of fasting began circulating this morning in church service when pastor spoke about our relationship with god in prayer, faith and fasting. Fasting seems to be one of these steps that is so easily forgotten, but all I could think of was how it was tied into my current lifestyle. (Leave it to an insufficient human to be thinking of themselves in church and not the bigger picture). I was adding up all of the steps I had taken to be healthier, act as a social mediator, put more trust in the lord and realize that a concern with opportunity in the present is less important then being being patient and content. All of the physical acts came to mind: Consuming little to no processed foods, withdrawing from sluggish habits (television, youtube, sleeping in late), seeking a connection in those you care about vs. ignoring this lack of vigor in ones self as a sign of too much down time. I realize that everyone has the desire at some point to award themselves with a lazy day, go off your diet day, just to be carefree. The choice to do so often breeds a perspective of loss in self control, but what is actually ensuing here?

One might consider this a fasting of the incessant. The desire to step outside of the pressures we commit to in our daily lives. If it is enough of a window of time to relieve that pressure, we may reinvent a revitalized version of our previous objective. I apply this to my relationship with the lord when the clarity to see his vision is obscure. It is not to say that we should ignore the lord, ignore our friends, ignore our families or ignore ourselves, but if we’ve invested all our efforts to be loved by them and see nothing in return, we are not to fault for waiting for that love to sprout, flourish and reappear in a miraculous way.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But though, when though fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:16-18

 

coalescing days and unseen doors

9 Jan

I was sent an overwhelming number of signs today. Signs that pointed at evidence of the lords self embodiment and his embodiment that exists among people I know. Acquaintances, friends, family and those I admire emerged through the siting of objects in the midst of my own frustrations, confusion and self doubt. For the first time in a long time I began understanding what it felt like to offer myself up. To free fall into outstretched arms while relinquishing any personal thoughts confusion, sadness etc. There were truthfully one too many things after another that seemed coincidental, but added up to the presence of god himself.

Many people I’ve come across in life can’t be convinced of miracles unless the physical evidence is right in front of their face. The more I spend time with god the more I realize all forms of evidence exist. Evidence that often comes with time. Minutes, hours, days, years, a lifetime. You can’t lose faith or decay in a funk of self hatred. I am weak without him and in that weakness palpable failures are inevitable. Last week I lost sight of that and experienced chest pains, disorganization and lack of self productivity. At one point today I was able to remain on the outside looking in. Looking into a week filled with failures, sins and an altercation of mind and body. I made pathetic choices based on a lack of trust in god and in myself. I know this digital evidence doesn’t mend any wounds however, it establishes a day of triumph and a stepping stone to the days that follow.

Goals for the month of January exist on quite an extensive list. So many additions come from the fact that I’m dancing, stretching and training various hand-balance skills again. Establishing a diet of non processed foods as a New Years resolution also makes things quite interesting. For me this has been somewhat like quitting smoking cigarettes in that it’s hard to go cold turkey (stop eating anything processed) Not that I have ever smoked cigarettes or gone through the process of quitting.

The art making process at the moment comes in spurts. Unlike the habitual nature of dancing, eating and job searching, committing to a project seems to be based on random brain stimuli. I completed one wood-working/illustrative piece last week and botched another. I know the lord will be guiding me in the right direction.

Say goodnight and go.

 

 

 

Acclimating

22 Dec

It has been one week since I arrived home from college and it feels as if my body and mind are still acclimating to the change in environment. For lack of better words my eating habits and general health have gone to hell in a handbasket. Two weeks ago my diet was so basic and non processed that it was never an issue digesting and feeling fully energized throughout the day. At the time it wouldn’t be uncommon to make a 7-8AM gym session, and spend 10 hours in the studio with one or two classes in between. Now I just feel disconcerted about allergies, sickness and anxiety. I swear if it were the middle ages I would have died before I reached the age of 20 with the immune system I was given. Wait, I’m pretty sure dying at twenty was average back then… But truthfully, prayer, healthy eating and routine workouts with my fellow brethren are three resolutions in mind.

Being at home has caused a noticeable downshift in the speed and quantity of the making process. Naturally,  the medium I’ve been working with lately is more traditional and less reliant on technology or certain tools. The outdoors usually lends itself to accessibility, subject matter and new ideas. One process in particular is the study of North American songbirds. Using a low-end camcorder with a basic macro video setting, I capture anything from chickadees, nuthatches and titmice inches away from the lens.

Many other art processes are still achievable without the luxury of university facilities. In the long-term an acid bath for steel, zinc and copper plate etchings are things I hope to acquire. More traditional and fully appropriate for the current setting is woodcuts. Also, as of  this week I’ve taken on a more crafty approach to woodworking combined with ink drawings. This methodology came about when I decided to create a simple animal puzzle out of an aromatic cedar board. This project is nearly completed and will end up being a Christmas present. Acrylic laminated coasters with pyrography, ink, and collage are three similar approaches that have sprouted and will certainly be expanded on in the future. I hope everyone reading has a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.

Here is some footage of the songbirds along with documentation of the December 2011 BFA exhibition. Images were taken by Portia, Devin Henry and Katherine Head.

That’s All Folks

14 Dec

Recently I’ve been reflecting on the realization that every unique or respectable person that comes into my life leaves a piece of their story with me wherever I go. All the windows of time that I can differentiate from each other within the past several years truly have shaped my perspective in a social setting and approach to art making. Taking residence in the village of Alfred, New York for the majority of the past 2 1/2 years has a lot to do with this. With that being said, here’s to choosing the positive influences that help us grow and become stronger individuals.

As of now my current focus remains on the Six And Four Articulations performing arts tour, searching for future artist residencies in printmaking or video and finding a suitable profession as a temporary or permanent  means of income.

In the coming days I will be posting some photos from the December BFA Thesis Exhibition, past works and current sketches/ideas. If you are interested in purchasing any of my prints check out my shop in the link below.

–> http://www.etsy.com/shop/WilliamHead?ref=top_trail

A Head With No Legs

5 Dec

It is odd to not have the obligation of attending dance rehearsal any longer. “Stool Dance”, choreographed by Laura Smith and myself was performed Friday evening in the CD Smith theater as a one night showing. The piece was my last duet as an AU student and will be integrated with the Six and Four Articulations Performance Tour for summer 2012. If you are interested in supporting an eager group actively involved in the performing arts check out our kickstarter page in the link below. The tour is across the U.S. so if we make it out your way come see us!

Six and Four Articulations Kickstarter – http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1633879887/six-and-four-articulations-performance-tour

Today marks the 1st day of setup for the 2011 December BFA Thesis Exhibition. The opening and reception is taking place Saturday December 10th from 4-7pm in the Robert C. Turner Gallery.

Six senior undergrad artists will be showing their work in a variety of mediums including glass, ceramics, painting, print-making and video. I am currently building a table that will showcase a cedar stereoscope and several stereo images. All show prints have been finished and are ready to be flattened. Yesterday evening I added a wash of India ink over the show edition of a large scale exotic bird etching. Many happenings prior to the show involve preparing food, creating a pricing book, printing work descriptions and attending three Art History classes.

Yesterday some of the Universities art students organized a “stuff swap” on campus that was quite successful. Those who participated dropped off used clothing and other items in exchange for anything appealing that was previously left. Giving up two pairs of old pants for a funky little winter vest was the highlight of my exchange. After the swap I met up with a friend who attends Alfred State and danced for an hour.

At noon on the Sunday following senior shows is the II annual Lumberjack Breakfast. Friends have been invited to our home to share breakfast foods potluck style and maybe sport some beards and a flannel along the way. It should be an enjoyable way to wrap up the semester.

Here the ink washed version of a recently completed large scale steel plate etching. Ciao

Party Fowl

29 Nov

Things have been rolling along quite nicely here in the land of undergrad. 2 weeks remain in my existence as a senior at Alfred University. Before Thanksgiving I put together a foolish show called COCKS that consisted of etchings, mono-prints and digital prints of roosters. A student run gallery (that closely resembles a shanty) offered me up the space for a November 18th opening. I couldn’t resist.

A curatorial paper for my Asian Art History class is really grinding my gears this week. It couldn’t be any more inconvenient that all senior work needs to be finalized and ready to setup Monday. In my opinion the overlap of the two deadlines is really quite fowl…..wait what?

Anyway, I’m posting 3 scanned prints from the COCKS show (1 of which is a collaborative diptych with print-maker and video artist Tory Keith) as well as two reductive mono-prints from my junior year. Ciao!