NCWQ Arts and Letters Report January 2017

By Jennifer Ann Davies, NCWQ Arts and Letters Adviser

A New Year with New Opportunities!
New Ways of evoking poetic versions of our fluid reality exist….be they through rhythmic sound effects, scratching pens, humming electronic devices, guitar music, sneezes, the buzzing of a bumble bee, song or action….new ways decidedly exist….fluid…hopeful…effective…artful, beautiful communications and expressions!

Ideas forming – hearts hoping..
Memories moulding – shadows softening..
Words, images, motion..
Jennifer Ann Davies 2017

Some, in the world of Arts and Letters, will mesh together an essential combination of body, mind and soul, by smuggling personal commentary into, perhaps, a play, by means of a hidden melodramatic configuration, like the famed Russian, Anton Chekov, lauded as “…the gentlest and the most impersonal of all the great modern dramatists…” . Anton Chekov, Signet Classics, Penguin Ltd., London WC2R, 1964…..gifted by Lydia, Moscow, 2015.

Art, of course, has its own morality, and many of the rules of this morality are the same as, or at least analogous to, the rules of ordinary ethics! Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. Every possible realm of the arts, however, has, as an authentic foundation, a congruent understanding of and expertise in the use of Language itself! Without this critical basis, dilution, pollution, misunderstandings and lack of clarity and meaning are potential!

Perhaps, few, in our ‘fluid realities’, challenge people to continue to remain as committed to the exploration of linguistics, and the positioning of linguistics in relationships with the developments and understanding of philosophy and congruent teaching, as has Avram Noam CHOMSKEY. Born in Philadelphia in 1928, and raised by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe; surrounded by aunts and uncles who were garment workers,union members; communists, Trotskyists and anarchists, Chomskey found intellectual and political stimulation from New York’s linguist, Zelling Harris. Noam Chomskey, The Essential Chomskey, The Bodley Head, London, 2008.

Chomskey effectively promoted the understanding and application of thinking more clearly, speaking and writing more effectively, and listening and reading with greater understanding. These skills, in turn, directly reflect the purpose of the lectures and writings of Hayakawa, from whose works some may wish to sight some of the celebrations of Language and its use, quoted from Leonard Bloomfield; and the ways in which ignorance and the hindrance of true knowledge can be effected by the abuses of Language – quoted from John Locke! S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action, Unwin Bros Ltd., London 1966.
Given the tidal movements away from the effective use of language, values and attitudes, actions and inactions in our everyday lives may yet be inspired and shaped by those in the Arts who continue to progress, enliven and infuse works with the Language of Community and Humanity, rather than that of the depleted and depleting Language of Economics!!!!

Song! Dance! Music! Joy!
….born of the Language of Community & Humanity
A group enlivened, indeed!
Joy, song, music and dancing!
I had the pleasure of dancing with a number of
residents in an Aged-Care facility, in Cairns –
This was a Christmas event, in which the old became young again..
hearts and feet as light as feathers, as yesterday and today
melded with the memories, music and movement –
lots of Fun!! – humbling….

Australian Women’s Voices…
Then, I had the pleasure of reading an article written by Australian David LESER, about bringing our wise female voices OUT of the shadows and listening to the stories of the worlds women created for themselves; the places they inhabited, externally and internally, and the bold, imaginative and inspiring elements employed, that run contrary to the ‘currents’ of modern society!

Confessing, still, to loving Kylie’s bottom, and Angelina’s lips, Leser cites the contemporary, collective labels – “old dears” – “seniors” – “dowagers” (if they are rich!) – “hags” (if they’re ugly) – or…..”crones” (if they’re older than 50)!! This interestingly observant, insightful writer and father of an eleven year old daughter at the time of writing, is, assuredly, seeing something far deeper than just physical appearance – and something that goes to the core of our values system.

Leser writes of a number of older, wise Australian women – one of whom is Barbara Blackman, wife of artist, Charles Blackman, and a dear friend of the late Betty Churcher, featured in our NCWQ Reports. Barbara, blind for so long, still built a career as an artist’s model and writer and raised three children! Betty, in fact had said that Barbara could see enough out of the corners of her eyes to put the nappy pins in! She sewed little bells on her first child, Auguste’s, shoulders, so she knew WHERE he was!
War was an inhibiting feature in the lives of many others recorded. The feminist poet, Adrienne Rich, once observed that women had been the ‘truly active people in all cultures’ – and that human society would have perished long ago, without them.

Instinct, intuition and innate deep unselfish love invariably fuelled their actions, preserving the infinitely precious gift of Life, for their children, their men; for society….. The Australian Women’s Weekly/Health & Wellbeing/2009:
Ice sculptures, magnificent music and stunning art are in store for me in Feb/Mar 2017! Lots of work and lots of fun in store, which I will communicate from Europe!

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