Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tell me a story

Sadie Brockbank: Blue Dog Journey
Stories are important to us.  Most if not all cultures have folk tales.  Our histories (from the Greek for stories) are told to us to help define us, and we retell them in our turn.
Stories are especially important when we are new to the ways of living - as a child is, or when encountering a new culture or situation.  And we need the dark as well as the light, to help us distinguish the appropriate path forward.
Sadie Brockbank: Rising Waters
But at some point we should develop an understanding that the story is shaped by the teller of the tale.  We as listeners, readers, should be able to stand apart.  Just as with stories told through the puppet theatre, we should progress to understanding the back stage workings as well as enjoying the suspension of disbelief.
I believe it is when our feet are grounded in curiosity and evidence-seeking that our minds can soar through the fresh atmosphere of imagination and creativity. 

Sadie Brockbank: Becoming
The danger is that we are encouraged to seek out only the stories we want to hear, and never look behind the presentation.  That way we run the risk of shutting ourselves into a smaller and smaller unreality.  I wonder if the political choices being made by large numbers of people in the UK and the USA and other countries perhaps are a result of gaps developed in society so that not everyone appreciates the whole story.
Sadie Brockbank: Long Way Down
I have chosen Sadie Brockbank's work to accompany this post because I find that her sculptures evoke so many aspects of folk and mythic tales.  And also I was lucky enough this year to spend a day in her studio learning how she constructs the mixed media pieces.
Sadie Brockbank: Give Me Another Minute
The aspect of Sadie's work I enjoy the most is the way her creatures and their antics stir memories of complex tales, sometimes unsettling, sometimes beyond immediate understanding, but always compelling ... and at the same time inspiring the imagination to create myths anew.


  1. Interesting and timely reflection. And wonder not Olga. At least here in the U.S. there was too little questioning of the storytellers, their agenda, is it really true. Way too little curiosity about things that sounded too bizarre to be true but some little part of the listener wanted it to be so. Too little desire to be challenged, to come to one's own conclusion thoughtfully.

    I love how you put this - grounding in curiousity and evidence-seeking to soar through imagination and creativity. Words to live by! I truly cannot understand those who lack curiosity. To me it is the key to a full and interesting life.

    1. Thanks, Sheila. We are living in really 'interesting' times these days.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful post - your reflections and the sculptures.

    As for the state of the world, I am still unable to articulate my sense of horror and feelings of doom following the results of the American election. I fear for the future.

    1. We have to hope, and keep alert for the truth.

  3. I found your explanation very interesting. The 'gaps in society' that you describe seem to be growing wider by the day and the news since the UK Brexit vote and the US election doesn't seem to bring insight or a route through the difficulties on either side of the Atlantic. If anything, the confusion seems greater than ever. The worrying thought that enters my mind is that those in charge (certainly in the US) have no idea of the route they want to take. Interesting and worrying times indeed.