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number 48
June 1999


News & Letters



pages 2 - 5






Magister Ludi, theatre project in Bolzano, Italy, by Roberto Lun, 1999.
Video projections of drawings by Jacqueline Wassen (The Netherlands) were projected on the titled table surface while four actors performed around the table.

This image is copyrightedMargaret Nagawa (U.K. / Uganda)
Last year I moved from Uganda to do a Masterís degree in Curation at the Goldsmiths College here...
...At the end of the course, I went home to realise a project I had been working on long distance: a group exhibition entitled ďSmiles and Shudders: perspectives on war and peaceĒ.
This is the sort of work I am doing now...
I was aiming for a dialogue on the war in the region and perhaps to see if art can work towards peace, and how... The exhibition took place at the Uganda Museumís temporary exhibition space, run for a month from December 4th 1998... We organised a panel discussion during the run of the exhibition to discuss The Role of Art in Development...


detail of Tahirih by Anisa SkuceCatherine Patrick, (Canada)
One of the main sculptures in an exhibit that opened November 1998 at the Prairie Art Gallery in Grande Prairie, Alberta Canada is titled Tahirih. The artist, Anisa Skuce's work is part of the National Paper Exhibition which continues to tour across much of Canada. This exhibition is related to Grande Prairieís designation Ď1997 Forest Capital of Canadaí...
Tahirih is lacy, tree-like, white, on a grid...very delicate looking...





Sculpture in Carrara marble, 1998,
by Caroline Ruizeveld, The Netherlands.


Caroline Ruizeveld, (The Netherlands)
Last summer I worked in a studio for three months sculpting marble in PietraSanta in Northern Italy. This area is where the world famous Carrara marble comes from. Michelangelo and Henry Moore have also sculpted in this area. I started sculpting in stone at the end of 1997 having decided to devote myself to becoming a sculptor. Since then I have travelled to places such as Zimbabwe, where there is a strong sculpting tradition, to learn as much as I can.

The Italian marble is harder than the Opal stone of Zimbabwe and the method of working it was also different.
In Zimbabwe I used the rough -natural- form of the stone to influence to the forms I sculpted which tended to be figurative. Here in Italy I was confronted with a formless sawn-off block of marble...
Please contact me via Arts Dialogue about any residency possibilities in your part of the world.

Jacqueline Wassen
(The Netherlands)

Recently I participated in a theatre project in Bolzano, Italy. Magister Ludi, loosely based on short stories by the Swiss writer, Peter Bichsel, and directed by Roberto Lun, was a theatre of stories around a large table.
My task was to make illustrations of the stories.... ...The projected illustrations, often styllized figurative references to the texts, reinforced the force of the words spoken by the actors...

...At the premiere the actors left the differences and difficulties that had continually surfaced behind, and now performed with such clarity that it seemed as if a whole new work of art had been created. Something had been achieved and everyone felt this. Using the medium of telling stories -where voices refused to tell the truth, only about the possibilities of truth-, Roberto Lun created links between the intellectual and the emotional spirit of the body. One actor danced, another remained in his wheelchair with a television image of his face above his head, and the two others continuously gestured around the table. The music was composed and performed by the local band, N-Venus.

Reviews

pages 5 - 6



Workshop coordinated by the European Bahá´í Youth Council

The Hague Appeal for Peace conference, May 99.
by Sonja van Kerkhoff, The Netherlands.
A conservative estimate would be that 5000 people from around the globe gathered in The Hague for a high powered sessions and programmes where issues peace related were presented from various perspectives. At the end of the conference the Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century was launched.
As well as incorporating the arts into various aspects of the main program, from the use of visuals and music to having speakers such as the Indian author, Arundhati Roy, there was a film festival and a cultural program.

The program said it all:
The cultural program we have prepared is based on the belief that sustainable change needs culture to thrive and endure. Indeed,

over this millennium we have seen how culture can be a powerful mobilizing tool to increase awareness, encourage debate and even change significant realities. Our idea is to offer a sampler of music, art, dance and film from many different countries: an inextricable mixture of activities that explore the innovative ways in which the arts contribute towards a culture of peace. (p. 57)

There were approximately ten arts events on each of the 5 days.
Some were... ...the 90 minute play, The Road Home performed by the New York, River Arts Repertory and John Burt... ...The actors, either victims of war themselves, such as Yolanda King (the daughter of Martin Luther King) or actively involved in the peace movement, told the stories of children of war using a wide range of acting techniques. They were so convincing that you didnít know if the character was really the victim or an actor or at times whose personal story it was.

The scenarios were accompanied by live music, performed by one of Tibetís foremost world composer/musicians, Nawang Khechog, (himself a child survivor of war) and by huge photo and video projections. This performance told stories of children of war as well as giving us a glimpse of their culture through potent yet minimal images and text... ...This theatre provided a means for removing a silence caused by intolerance and ignorance... ...Awake a Dutch Bahá´í dance group of teenagers also performed, sponsored by the European Bahá´í Youth Council. There were a range of musicians performing...

Artist Profiles


pages 6 - 7


Ben Roberts, actor / theatre director, U.S.A.

Interview with Sonja van Kerkhoff,
The Netherlands.

I´m pretending Iím living in Kiev and saving up my paycheck for months until I have enough money for an Arch Deluxe. My salary isn´t keeping up with inflation, there aren´t enough jobs anyway, the food and water is suspect ever since the Chernobyl plant blew up, and the future looks lousy. So why are those Americans

Ben Roberts performing,
A Clown, A Hammer, A Bomb and God
at The Hague Appeal for Peace, May 1999.
spending all the treasures of the world to threaten me? Why are they still pointing missiles at me? If I were living in Kiev, I´d personalize it. Iíd start saying ´Whatís wrong with these people?´. I´m ten feet away from the silo that holds the death sentence for everyone within thirty miles of Kiev. None of us want that missile to fly over and blow up the city of Kiev. Do we? I said, DO WE? Well, your name is on the missile. And so is mine. It says US right on it. If you´ve been paying taxes and living in the confines of the law, you can´t pretend you didnít think the missile going off over Kiev was a good idea. You canít even pretend, the way the German civilians did after World War II, that you didn´t know what your government was doing in your name. Even if you don´t read papers or watch television, you can´t say you didn´t know anymore. I TOLD YOU. After today, you´ll never be able to say you didn´t know. You´re welcome.

Text from the play, A Clown, A Hammer, A Bomb and God
written by Daniel Kinch and performed by Ben Roberts.

"I tell people that the only two playwrights I work with are Dan and Shakespeare, and Shakespeare wonít return my calls! The work I do with Dan, which involves co-directing and co-producing, as much as performing on stage, is issue-oriented, faith-based, often comedic, and always political.

I live in New York City. I was waiting tables, doing the odd acting jobs, going to the right acting classes, doing all the networking stuff to get casting directors to take notice of me, and was getting sick of the rat race way of living. Then in 1996, I met Dan. Danīs work not only appealed to me because of the subject matter but also because of the way we worked together."

During the 7-8 years prior to that, Ben was associate director with Kim Johnson, who was the artistic director, in a theatre called Artists In Search of... Inc. They gave free acting classes to teenagers on Saturdays for 8-10 week sessions, which ended with them putting on a show...

pages 7 - 9

Alison Vardy,
harpist, Canada.


I think that there´s probably a musical instrument that best fits each one of us. I feel very lucky that I found my fit, even though it wasn't until I reached my thirties. My parents provided me with piano lessons for many years and this training was of immense practical support in my self-directed study of the folk harp. I enjoy practising, and if I don't, I leave it for another day. My most intense joys in music have been when playing




Alison Vardy, 1998, Canada.

for myself and discovering new melodies, harmonies and rhythmic patterns. Then there's the fun of sharing it!
Now, when I teach others I'm facilitating, encouraging and hopefully inspiring, as much as instructing. The capacity to learn is already there...it's just the will to apply it. The bottom line is enjoying the process of learning and playing the harp (or whatever instrument) for there's no end-point where you can say
"There, I´ve made it." Good thing there isn´t; I would have lost motivation long ago...

You can hear clips from her CD, Harping On at:   http://www.canadiana.bc.ca/harp.htm




Poems


page 15

Longing

Mary O´Malley, Ireland.


They came in lovely leathery cars
from their big houses


Untitled 1996
by Tom van Teijlingen
light sculpture The Netherlands

being nice. What was the evening line
of roofless coastguard stations
black against the bedtime sky

to them, or the round towers
of Slyne Head?

They had pillars and porticoes
and Georgian houses where they sat

speaking of Beethoven and Bach.
They listened to the golden music
at nightfall, they knew
what each instrument was called.

The little girl twisted.
When they were gone she asked God
for the gift of tongues.





The Glove
by Sen McGlinn, The Netherlands.


...an excerpt

Times of the heart-skein flayed
bare as ´anatomy of a horse´,
tissues shrinking from the touch of air.

After this mainly silence:

Saint John writes to us
out of the night.

Then, the pressed-down question-rod,
prayer,
touches a buried main.


Creative Writing

pages 9 - 14

Excerpts from the novel, The Island of the Same Name

by Joseph Sheppherd, U.S.A.





Wound, 1992 by Mary Gregory
glass sculpture, Finland.
This was made in response
to the atrocities occuring in Saravego.




The Cell of Akka, ceramic by Chris Clay,
basketry by Suzette Nyokka, U.S.A.

Bird painting, 1993
by Ashraf Geibatov, Russia.

I - The Distant Past
As the legend predicted, the future homeland of his people would have to be unnamed, a new place, not an old place won from another tribe in battle. To the boy the word ´unnamed´ meant uninhabited, but he knew he could be wrong.

Approaching the island, it was certainly unnamed to him. It was an unknown place, as nameless as an unmet stranger. With this thought, Small-Seafarer hoped that it was after all, uninhabited, without strangers.
The clouds had begun to clear and it was time to lower the raffia sail and secure the sail-pole to the side of the boat. Small-Seafarer watched the black silhouette of the high peaks
against the fleeting clouds and said the name quietly, with the humility one shows to an elder.
´Abode-Haven´ he whispered, calling to the island.
In the silence, the boy waited for the island to answer in his heart. As with all things greater than himself, he knew that a superior could choose when or if to answer. In a moment of panic, he supposed that this wasnít the island. Perhaps he had gone astray in the night and perhaps this island didnít recognize the name. He reassured himself that he had followed the Oracle-Fatherís instructions correctly.
It really didnít matter now, the time would soon come to land the boat and find out if there was an answer waiting for him. He had listened well to the old stories the Oracle-Father had told. He knew them by heart and he knew what to look for. Abode-Haven was a feeling, a scene viewed with more than just sight. Thinking about it Small-Seafarer decided that even if it were the future safe homeland of his people, Abode-Haven would not be good name for it. After all, Abode-Haven was similar to the name Peace, a name without a place....


Article

pages 14 - 15


Interacting with Sacred Geometry: the Labyrinth

by Dan Orey, U.S.A.

Excerpt

...The labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in religious traditions in various forms around the world. By walking the labyrinth.. ...we are rediscovering a long-forgotten, but newly re-emerging mystical tradition that is insisting to be reborn, not only in Western Christianity, but all world religions. This labyrinth has only one path so there is no trick to it and no dead ends. It is not a maze, but a unicursal path that winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives; it touches our sorrows and releases our joys. So walk it with an open mind and and open heart. The Labyrinth is non-doctrinaire, non judging and non-competitive. Persons are at different places on the path, not better or worse, right or wrong. They are all on the same path journeying toward the ONE! This labyrinth is very ancient, very traditional, and very Christian. It is also very Jewish, (Kabbala - Tree of Life), Buddhist (A walking meditation), Hindu (Mandala), Native American ( Hopi, Medicine Wheel), it is Universal...






Photographs and Illustrations of work by:









Labyrinth painted on a French castle door, by
Hervé Constant, U.K.

Hervé Constant, U.K., Myriam Bargetze, Lichtenstein, Mary Gregory, Finland, Jacques Paratian, France, Olesya Tsutskova, Russia, Jacqueline Wassen, The Netherlands, Sophie Lampkin, France, Tom van Teijlingen, The Netherlands., Ilmara Blumberga, Latvia, George Fleming, Northern Ireland, Ruth Park, Australia, Martin de Wit, The Netherlands, Keike Twisselmann, Northern Ireland, Paul Aarts, New Zealand.


Time Moves On 1990, oil on canvas
by George Fleming, Northern Ireland. In the catalogue, Beyond the Partitions, Queen Street Studios, Belfast.

Translations, editing, layout, by:

Kathleen Babb, Japan, Alison Marshall, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Steve Marshall, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Sonja van Kerkhoff, The Netherlands.

 
 Arts Dialogue, Dintel 20, NL 7333 MC, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.
http://Bahá´í-library.org/bafa     email: bafa@bahai-library.com