Monday, October 17, 2005

"The Renovation" and Mayan Jaguar Dancers

I've decided to type until my fingers turn blue because my computer is temporarily working, and if this storm comes, who knows how long it will be until I can communicate again.
I haven't told you anything about what I did while off the island. The first part of the trip was spent servicing my wholesale accounts traveling on the mainland to the west and south of Belize going to the different resorts that carry my prints in their giftshops. The second half was spent painting. Bigness did me the favor of leaving me alone for a few days at a time while he started "The Renovation"
I've decided to just try and describe "The Renovation" since its still on going (and I'm suffering from concurrent traumatic stress disorder right now), in a few short sentences, so here goes. Mistake #1 - they started it without me. Mistake # 2 they didn't move anything or put a drop cloth over anything BEFORE THEY RIPPED THE MOTHER-LOVING CEILNG OUT OF MY STORE, and 35 years worth of dirt and other STUFF RAINED DOWN on my merchandise, original paintings, silk scarves, cafe, dishes..... I have to stop now. O.K. one more thing, in describing this to my female friends, they have all said the same thing, almost using the exact same words. "Its a guy thing" I hope not, because I would hope that my Dad wouldn't be that stupid. I couldn't tell Bigness he was stupid, well for one, he's 16 years older than me, that's disrespctful, and second of all, he owns this property, not me. He inherited this lovely beachfront property from his father. I could only THINK (and now write) the words, YOU ARE SO STUPID YOU ARE SO STUPID YOU ARE SO STUPID, now clean that mess up.

So, I'll show you what I've been working on, while disaster struck behind my back. I did a series of photos which I'll post later, you can see some of the new ones on my flickr page, I did about 12 that I'll be publishing. Not bad for 2 days work. But what I was working on when I refused to come out of the bush, when you all were worried about me, that maybe hurricane Stan ate me or a jaguar came out from the bush and bit my hands off. Here it is. I'll share with you a little bit of the press release.

I lay at the end of a pier on Caye Caulker. The electricity was off again, which is not unusual. Just trying to catch a breeze. It was quiet, no pestering boom boxes or street lights. The island asleep. The sky was so big and round, sparkling in the blackness above me, I flew upwards into the night.

Before beginning this series I studied the beliefs of the ancient Mayas recorded in their art and architecture as if they were a part of a fascinating alternate reality that had little relevance in my personal life. I did what I was supposed to do, keep an objective distance. Like the majority of people raised in a first world country, I was secure in the superiority of my world view. Preparing this work has changed my attitude. I now come to this alien world with respect and awe, knowing that the world view created by the Maya was, and is, just as powerful, meaningful and viable as my own.
To make this collection I had to reach inside myself to find both the empathy for their way of being and a method to communicate this to others. Because their way is spiritual, I had to discover my real feelings about spirituality and faith in the shared wisdom that guides daily life and conduct. I had to accept the significance of its supernatural reality and learn to play by the rules of its own logic.
Maya reality places humans at the center of the cosmos and makes humanity responsible for creation as an ongoing and endless process. I have only opened a window of understanding into what they have created.
Recurrent themes of K’ul and skyband appear in most of the hand-painted silk images that Vanderwalker has illuminated. K’ul can mean God, but also the indestructible soul spirit that imbues all living things and sacred places. Human K’ul resides in the blood, so blood giving sacrifices were to offer soul force. The Maya placed K’ul in their buildings and objects during dedication rituals. The Skyband consists of a narrow band divided into segments by bars. Each segment contains a glyph for the sun, moon, stars, planet or other celestial object.

4 comments:

cream said...

Glad you are back living in paradise! Love the illustrations and the magic!

ghostdavey said...

Good God! Your paintings are beautiful. I'm glad you survived the hurricane and big cats. As far as the missing roof (in the midst of a hurricane --- what were they thinking???) well... This too shall pass.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yes, magical paintings, and fascinating too, the life of the Mayas.

Caribbean Colors said...

Thanks guys.
I'm back on Caye Caulker after a fuitless search for plywood in Belize City. We thought we weren't getting any more storms this year, so we had cut up the plywood for new shelves and cabinets in the cafe. Bigness said he would just nail a cabinet across the window. That comment made my jaw drop, my eyes took on a dull look and my skin became a yellow pallor. Nobody better complain that I just made coca cola shoot out their nose. I feel like a chicken with my head cut off right now. We have troops on the island, which is NEVER a good thing, no matter who's on the end of the machine gun. Its supposed to be a deterent for pirates who like to pillage during emergencies, but the police and soldiers are the worst looters. Thank goodness no one steals art, in Belize.
So, I'm going for a beach walk now to see if any drug money floats up.