Saturday, May 1, 2010

the velma book/the wendy book

wendy golden-levitt, a toronto based jungian therapist, has given me permission to write about her work with children and an elder using my book. she also uses textiles made by several other artists. if you have been reading this blog you know about this book, the cover is shifu over flax, the pages are all different botanical and rag papers that i made here at my paper mill (wake robin). the binding style is functional and medieval in origin. the first child to work with this book, p., has suffered huge loss, the deaths of his parents, and is trying to come to a place of understanding and surviving this. these are wendy's words and photos, and a few comments from me.
first p. wrapped the book with some cloth from india flint. he said it held things impossible to say. he felt india's (india flint) cloth was just the right amount of seeing and not seeing. p. felt that your book allowed him to look and not look... he thanks you for that.
this next picture was p.'s attempt to look into a bad dream he had. he felt this cloth from india f. would help if he saw his dream through that and therefore it could land differently onto the velmabook.
this photograph was when p. had visited quite a number of times and discovered that jude hill's little "what if" cushion could hold his place while he went into the sandtray or sat with me for a while. he said that the velmabook did very well holding what he needed to stay with in his work with me....and that the judelady had invented a good thing. p. said they both smell good.

it seems that the wendy/velma book can hold dreams, nightmares, pain, imaginings, letters, and even be held. an elder who works with wendy wrote me a letter and placed it in the book to "bake" for a week before wendy was to send it to me. this letter told how she was an interred child in europe, and the only thing of hope and beauty for her was a patch of grasses, the book spoke to her of that. the letter was then to be planted in the garden she and wendy plan to dig. another child puts it under her shirt, next to her heart.

i always knew that making art transforms, and that art evokes strong emotions. i never thought my art, an artists' book, would be the conduit for people to process their pain and heal. one very good answer to "why make art?".

big thunderstorm coming, a good thing, because i seem to be verbose today!


jude said...

and the wind has begun to blow from there to here.

Dianne said...

Very moving post.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

my screen is like a river running sweet and
slow because of the tears that came from
reading your words.


it is THE answer
with your hands, with love

This is extremely beautiful
and an extreme honor.
I hope that question that we pushed around
about what's the point of making
lays quiet in our MINDS
because it is a MIND question, not a heart
and this should help us All to

get over it

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i just love the thing of

it is the most primary of senses for us
as a species

we identify the
of our Mothers


Dee / Cloth Company said...

this speaks to the energy of objects... it's not just their beauty... keep writing about this, it is so uplifting and moving.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

yes, please keep writing about this

Anonymous said...

I so often think 'what's the point?' - about all kinds of things - and here is the answer. Thank you.

iNdi@ said...

these connections from one hand to the next are what matters

Deb G said...

Yes, this would be the best reason I think...

Velma said...

thoughts: connections, a thread. one friend was coaching me riding said the reins should be treated like silk threads. i think of how fungi are connected and how we tie ourselves one to another...
and i have been taught that a filament of flax is stronger than a filament of similarly sized steel is stronger. threads make up so much of what i make.

cbolyard said...

keep making your art because you have to do it.........the rest will all happen....with or without you knowing it.........maybe now.....maybe 50 years from now.........but just do it now because of the drive to do artist has no choice but to create....that in itself is enough...

Velma said...

in spite of all of the life stuff, it has happened. and you're absolutely right. do you listen to your own advice?
(signed, instigator velma!)

mjc said...

I loved this post. Just loved it. Thanks.

Virginia said...

What precious, beautiful things you and Wendy and Jude and india have provided for the healing of souls.

Handmade objects do hold energy. I find that I often 'recognize' artists when I meet them for the first time after caring for their artworks for months or even years at the Arts Council. Some of them leave very strong impressions.

neki desu said...

cbolyard said...
.an artist has no choice but to create....that in itself is enough...

that's the mantra.

touching post.

cbolyard said...

actually, velma...........yes!

Anonymous said...

working with kids and making and healing- it is more than enough. beautiful.

Judy Martin said...

Velma, so glad I visited your blog and found this very moving post.
It answers the question so well.
I agree - those of us who have to create - must just do it. There is a purpose although we may not be aware. This post reminds us. Thank you.

Velma said...

thanks for the responses. everyone.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *