“The Eternal Heart-To-Heart” by Jim Carpenter
Acrylic on Paper, 17″ x 22″
Collection of the Artist
“Heart to Heart” (5:45 mins) © Helen Davey
(for 6 voices, plucked piano strings, piano keys, warm pad & strings)
Jim Carpenter’s comments
My qigong teacher, Sifu Anthony Korahais, speaks of the importance of the “heart-to-heart” transmission when it comes to teaching the ancient Chinese art of qigong. Something intangible and essential is transmitted from the teacher to the student. I have no doubt that my practice of qigong plays an essential role in my ability to be open to painting intuitively, and this painting in both title and concept owes much to that practice.
I see this painting as a manifestation of my gratitude of all those who have gone before me. Ancestors whom I’ve never met have transmitted something to my genetic makeup; ancestors recently departed whom I carry in my heart, have taught me how to see the world and have instilled in me a love for beauty. In that sense they are eternally present in me, and are perhaps the wellspring of inspiration.
That is one personal and limited view of the painting. But I think that it also has a broader meaning. I think it can also stand as a representation of the creative process and of inspiration. In some intangible way we are inspired by all that has come before us – we are a product of all the artistry and knowledge that has come before us – and in a sense the great philosophers and writers and artists of the past (as well as the present) continue to influence us and add to our understanding of the world and affect the way we respond to it.
Jim’s artwork is rich with layers that offer so many options for interpretation. We discussed some of his works at length and I was inspired to try musicking to them all! When I chose this painting, I decided to work with Jim’s comment that “The Eternal Heart-to-Heart” could represent the creative process and inspiration that is transmitted from our ancestral past… This is the main voice in my music.
Perhaps your astute ears heard whisperings. I was trying to evoke info that Jim shared with me. There is a very moving story behind this painting and I would say it encapsulates a seminal moment in Jim’s creative life. Like many Artists, Jim likes that the art speaks to individuals in a personal way. I decided that although it wasn’t the main essence I was trying to convey, that I couldn’t withhold that knowledge in my sound-painting; so I have alluded to it musically with some dutch proverbs for clues, as Jim’s revelation stems from the Netherlands… I overdubbed two vocal tracks, one in Dutch, one with the English equivalent/translation. These are those whisperings:
De geschiedenis herhaalt zich:
History repeats itself.
Alle waarom heeft zijn daarom:
Every why has a wherefore.
Des volks stem is Gods stem:
The voice of the people is the voice of God.
De muren hebben oren:
The walls have ears
Hoping you’ve enjoyed the art and the music this week. I’m interested to know what you hear/see in these artworks and welcome hearing from you via the comments section below; please feel free to share this around to anyone interested in art & music via the little icons below.
Thanks for spending your time here. If you were a little low on creative fuel, trust it’s helped to put the art-glow back in your heart.
Next week will complete the first quarter of Project 52. What a joy it’s been. I will celebrate my little triumph with a digital CD (volume 1 of the project). More info on that next week.
PS. Go on, have a heart and feed the fish 🙂 all it takes is a click from your mouse.