Archive for art

Just Being

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, education, health, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2022 by kathydasilva

Today marked a new start, and I had not expected it. Great to think, I will focus on the writing finally and exhibitions of my visual efforts.. called ART.

Back to the bucolic of countryside walks, and totally without any control, my summer took on a strange activity of walks between the last stop where a bus would take me near to my workplace and the fact that most country roads are without pavements. Machines can accelerate, and cars pass like huge bullets. I have just my own sense of the size of such a possibility of if an accident should occur. I have seen two forms of roadkill in the last week or so. One a butterfly, the other a young red squirrel. All smashed or squashed by the vehicles which transport us the humans to our ‘destination’. There is no time machine, to reverse the ‘accident’. The little squirrel had met its fate, and so had the tortoiseshell butterfly. But, the latter even after dying, still displayed such wonderful yellows, and markings, and the wings of which translate as something of a marvel. Perhaps I do envy a little the speed of the big silver metallic machines we call cars to get around, but, the walks show me something more.

There are ‘amplifiers’ and ‘amplifiers’, some of which extend the sound range of a piece of live music, and some which, simply enlarge what we wish to view with more clarity, like a microscope or camera lens. I found myself soaking up the atmosphere of blue sky and sunshine today. It is a privilege and a wonder, just to see miles of fields of grass or hay. At this time bales of hay are dotted around, the yellow dryness of straw everywhere.

It is said England has reached a peak temperature of 33 degrees celsius, this weekend alone. The air is somehow hard to breathe, but, perhaps that is just heat and the effect on a human body. At my workplace one of our guests lost a cute scotty dog, a little white dog expired in this heat. Unusual and sad, and horrid, to lose the pet you brought on holiday to heat. Human life is a fragile thing too.

How fast how slow are we supposed to be, in our age? No matter how they try to slow traffic along country lanes people disobey the rule. The large lettering in the road, is redundant to the task, if a car is going faster than it should, the words are not going to be read. They are words that are ignored. The words say in large, long letters SLOW.

Time is sometimes, something of a strange event. The moon has cycles, the Earth follows too, something of a relationship like a good clock, that keeps Mr Time, at his work. I lean on everything I have known, and everything that is spontaneously to hand to deliver a message. I guess it is the tortoise and the hare type. Slow, slow, quick, quick slow.

The butterfly wings flap at a fast rate to keep the little creature in the air. Its body its thorax being the thickest part of its shape, but, still light weight, and still, there is not much to it. The wings are huge in comparison, but, very thin, and veined, and magnificent. The fluttering is rapid, nonstop, pretty, and it alights on a leaf, momentarily. The little creature is observing even me through ommatidia and has tiny thin antena. They are like a fly, with many images receiving the information about my huge beaming face perhaps. 12,000 images of me?

And observing as I do, the stroll, down a country lane has transformed my whole day. There are just miles and miles of fields. When I got to the bus stop, there was a bug on my hand luggage, I had thought to photograph it with my phone, but it vanished as quickly as it alighted, it had bright orange legs and mandibles, and almost irredescence of some sort of blackish blue coloration on its body. Small, tiny less than two centimetres, he the less observed creature who most people will not have the privilege of seeing, suddenly he is a star performer in my day, Mr Pimpla rufipes, like a Jimmy cricket.

‘Enlightened Heart’ a book preview

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2021 by kathydasilva

I started this book with the idea of showing a positive image of a woman living her dream of becoming an artist. I myself studied art at a graduate level, and was the only one of my parent’s offspring, the youngest child to have passed at this level. It was in my own sense a huge achievement to have gone away to university. It took me in all four years of study, including the foundation course, to get there. But, the rewards have been infinitesimal. I moved to London to study but, for the sake of my story, I have based the main character’s student years in a southern township in England. The influence of reading, on for example, the direction of thought and ideas, was a big part of what had made a change for myself. The main character Sarah Cuthbert, is already settled with a flat and partner in a town apartment with balcony. Her thoughts, her reminiscences, are all part of her character makeup, and direct the flow of her days as she completes her studies. I had intended to have dug a bit deeper into the reasons for the literature, or desire to read better literature. I myself, had what I call an ‘awakening’ moment at the age of 15 years, when for my leisure reading, I had sought, to find a book by Mary Stewart, who wrote romance/thriller type novels, but, ended up with a novel by John Steinbeck, The Moon is Down. If as in my own family there is no one to truly ‘guide’ you, then it takes perhaps an accident and possibly an encounter, that gives a person new direction. The fact that the sister I shared a room with at home read, Mills and Boon and Mary Stewart, was one such thing influencing the first initial choices. But, thereafter, my encounters with better book reading individuals, also served as a wonderful moment of ‘enlightenment’… I say that with a bit of humour. When I went up to London to study, I would make a note of any references people made to books, and what they chose to read. On one of the events when a band of art students including myself, rode in a car together, and one of them mentioned ‘Plath’. I had no idea at the time who she was, and followed my nose to a novel, and then the poems of Sylvia Plath. I lived the first two years of my undergraduate time, with no television and vowed to catch up read all the major classics, as I felt woefully behind with what other students had accomplished. I did English up to an ordinary level, so had achieved a good ‘A’ grade for the written side of the subject. It bothered me that students with a private school education seemed to be so ahead. I sit happy now, with a very extensive paperback library, of my own, with the ability to choose quite an array of material. Art helped me see, and a I saw, with greater clarity, and observation my own world changed for the good. I felt wonderful for all of the four years of study. I felt I owned London town. I still do to some extent, as I know the roads, and places, almost like the back of my hand. But, truly that was a moment of time, which for now stays a good memory of positivity.

My new title ‘Enlightened Heart’ really needs to be a 400 page book. I seemed unwilling to do more than about 149 pages for this one. I did not want to make the book too heavy a read, more of a hint toward what happens when you start to change your own life for the better by taking a course. The entanglement with romance and couples getting along together, so there is no ’empty’ or ‘lonely’. Well, that is why the romance filled a gap, and then too becomes ‘the way forward’, it cannot be denied that company is better than feeling isolated. With regard to the story line, Sarah comes from a broken home, Theo from a family whose parents attend church and own a business, they are successful millionaires. Both are at an age of wanting to travel and explore the world they live in.

‘The bird call, was amplified, and the
sounds of nature, made a calming atmosphere of
sorts, resonating with the bucolic backdrop of the
countryside. ‘Every bird has its own nest’ Sarah,
whispered to the air, as one of the most important
decisions of her life, was being finalized.’ ‘Enlightened Heart’ Copyright Katherine Da Silva 2021

Coming soon through bookshops and amazon.com/ and all amazon sites.

Moving Furniture…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2019 by kathydasilva

There is a plethora of dramas appearing on television, with the theme of time travel or deja vu, some of which I myself have had the experience of, well at least in a sort of dream state. Even, now, just now, I was so wholly concentrated on the computer screen, that I had imagined myself where the desk was last set, as if I was facing the wall opposite, to where I actually am. For one whole moment it felt like a time jump. I looked up and quickly realized that some part of my brain actually liked the position of the other wall, perhaps a tad more. Some people will liken this to the need to apply Feng Shui But, given that, for one second, I felt I had ‘jaunted’ across a metaphysical/psychological previous moment or placement. Well perhaps today I did feel a bit tired too and my powers of concentration a little weaker. I cannot help myself sometimes, because of the need for asserting a different look to the lounge to make it less familiar, and experience a type of newness, like when you discard old furniture for new design. I sometimes do it to tidy or try to declutter in general. Sometimes I think the oblong of a lounge I have is never going to be harmonious. When I first moved here, the previous tenants curtains were still up, and they were heavy lined poly-cotton style made-to-fit. The pinkish floral design, only flawed by the age, and mildew. After a while the curtains looked too heavy to wash, and too old really to spend the £25 at the dry cleaners. I replaced them with something a little lighter. But, the problem now is the current curtains, have been ripped by a climbing cat, and they never looked as weighted and heavy, and therefore lacked quality. Harmony I think comes with good design. But, there is a secondary problem. Noise, and intrusion. I say this while stating I am quite a tolerant person, I do not mind the odd party even if there is a bit of noise, but, the sense of intrusion on occasions, or risk of it. Well, now in Newhaven, where I lived, it was a much more relaxed place of dwelling, and I remember by accident leaving my back door open one summer night, and I had drifted into a deep sleep, right through until dawn, but, no one intruded, or even thought to enter my back garden. It was halcyon. The big problem with living in the capital is the number of relative strangers in any neighborhood. The temporary nature of some of London’s residents for example the heavy student population and itinerant workers. A person finds themselves subconsciously watching ‘their’ own back, nearly every day if not every day. Communal ..living .. even a garden, can be quite a place of contention.. a little yard or fenced partitioned part of a garden, is much more relaxing. I am a creature of habit. And the wonderful habit of reading, well, that comes more easily if there is a little sunshine and some time to sit in a sun drenched corner soaking in the warm. I end up reaching a point where if I don’t read I start to miss it, but, so many things today distract us from activities that create calm. Time spent browsing on the internet is something that has to be watched in my opinion it is such an addictive toy. It is the same with television, that the flickering warmth of an object projecting some of its own luminous glow perhaps imitates the warmth of the hearth fire. I almost could quote Susan Hiller at that point! Rather spookily she did mention alien intervention of our media networks, and telescreens. Watching too many ‘action’ movies and thrillers, well all of them projecting the need for survival, is bound to stay somewhere inside of ourselves.

I use to love going for walks when I did the odd field trip at sixth form, many years ago.. it left me feeling intouch with the planet and that was something very unique to the study of geography. But, at the end of each day after much rambling, and discussion, there were moments of solitude and time to fill in a diary or do some writing. I had also gained some reputation for my ability to draw pictures, and this is a handy tool if you are having to replicate certain features of rock or land and what is happening before you. Though most young people now would flick out their iphones instead and just snap the scene up with their internet connected ‘toy’ of the modern age. Susan Hiller died this year January 28. She was probably in her forties when she first came to Winchester School of Art Foundation course to do a workshop. She was the first significant female artist, who had work in at least Tate Britain, that I had the good fortune to meet. I also met with Charlie Hooker too, at my art foundation level. It is true you have to be strong in your desire to get somewhere if you choose art or writing as your career goal. It is also the problem with being way out front of the art scene, with almost no hope of a fortune unless some gallery manages to open their eyes. I realize, for women that this is almost doubly so. (…to be continued…)

I’ll Be Home

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2018 by kathydasilva

Poems are where I start to understand some of what life throws at me…and this is a completely off the cuff moment when I had an invite to my old art teacher friend’s funeral she was indeed someone who made such an impression on me in life, because she was a career woman and eventually a woman of means.

And I’ll be home

 ‘I’ll be home someday soon!’

I left one summer late August

Taking a road to another town

Something had drawn my attention

Away from the bobbing flowers and grasses

Our forest scene.

The life road of wild, and happy, and furious

But, who knows, what art and culture can bring

I was happy for a while or so I thought,

And only when I found a country field,  did I really

Begin to hear again, so I celebrate

Whenever I come to a place of calm

Often I have worried myself into quite a stupor

Often, for no reason, other than loneliness

And it is in the company of others,

That we gain that ability to see

What nonsense the world is.

But, lest you think all is failure

Today I celebrate that which I truly discovered

The works of art amuse and deepen us,

The works of literature, give us heart and sense

The exchanges of all that is creative make us see worth

Education is the greatest endeavor.

What is the adventure worth?

I make art, and now write whatever I feel, and share it

I am in the life that surrounds me,

Daily there is something to wake for, and do

Daily I guess, there will be people who miss me

But, when I have endeavored to look back every now & then

I start treasuring nostalgically the truth of goodness.

A single act of kindness is something to note

All the good in people, all the brave in people

And we who gather every now and then to

Celebrate what is brave, I will not forget

For every friend who lent a hand,

And gave me their time

For every person who remembered me every

Now and then with a card a Big Thank you.

You paved my road and took away my fear.

For Anne

 (Poem from K Da Silva alumni student at

Hill College & Winchester School of Art)

The poem is three voices, my own, Anne’s and Jesus.. His call to us I guess in finding our way home eventually through life’s pathways and experience… it kind of reminds me of some of those classical references to walks through the woods..because in truth all of us are apt to take a walk through a wood every now and then and some of us can feel quite lost at times.. there are some wonderful memories I hold inside from people who helped me along the way to understanding art and it’s history…Anne taught me art and history of art at sixth form many years ago…but it is something I have continued to research and develop through… the medium of art.. for ever. There is an eternal principle in these things… art is glorifying to God too…..

Anne Howarth designed for a TV series The Avengers, and had her name in the credits. She also later ran a sixth form art department, and retired early at 55 to continue in Norfolk her pursuance of art, as a water-colorist and studied a second bachelor degree in history of art at East Anglia. She was born in London around I think 1933 Catford, near to Blackheath. The Reverend Elizabeth Jolly took the service in the Greenacres Woodland burial grounds which are housed inside Colney Woods ancient  forest in Norfolk.  The service took place on the 16th November 2018.

 

 

Green Acres Burial Site Colney Wood, Norfolk Credit: Katherine Da Silva

The Music Drive

Posted in music, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2018 by kathydasilva

I have been rounding up old song sheets of mine this last week. The stray and straggling words that rhymed or did not, according to the song, and whether it had been worked on or finished adequately. It seems an endless task to keep up with social media pages, and looking for work, but also realizing, daily, the work could be what I can do already, but, then, there is still the need to practice and perfect and make a choice for change. I was mindful that I had let my MySpace account drift into non-activity. And to be truthful a few events over a five year period held me in a stasis of sorts, not able to explore or move on. Songs for the asking. I think that was an old Art Garfunkel number.

How clever, and talented and timeless. I was so keen to see Snow Patrol recently, in London, there was a private event, which was I suppose the only time this side of Christmas to see them live, but, for an error on my part, over ticketing and entering with the grand masses the tombola of chance freebies. I had as it turns out signed up for their newsletter, but had not seen, that I needed to go out and then back into the web address again and submit my details for the competition. Oh me oh my, how my heart suffered on Tuesday night. Very pleased, to see Gary Lightbody back on tour with his band, with a completely new set of songs.

I watched a video once at a college, teaching the Btech in Music technology. And the video showed American song writers at their own homes in Beverley Hills. The writers of Madonna’s song ‘Like a Virgin’, were two humble, I think gay looking guys. It shot her to fame. And there you have, the main problematical relationship between, all factions, writers, composers, artists, producers. Marketing has changed so much since Apple kind of stole the market on the internet. But, there is always room for more, and the experiment to create something new and original. It is a wonder that these brave artists who spend a vast amount of their lives and freedom touring, and traveling to sell the latest offering of songs, are not given more time out.

Steeleye Span always fascinated me, because of their take on old folk songs of a few centuries back, adding the electric sound of newer rock sounds. Maidens, knights, and highway men. They even fit the subject of religion more graciously than any modern pop, (I saw his blood upon the rose). Lyrics for the song come from Irish poet Joseph Plunkett.

Snow Patrol have outdone anything they produced before with their latest offering. I am a hard person to please, but this album was an easy purchase, and will last I think for some time ahead. I think I love every song on it.

I use to love as a teen, bands like 10cc, or thereabouts, but, even then, most of the ‘bands’ that were worth listening to, were at least a decade ahead of my own years. Billy Joel, was a favorite, and Elton John, and many soloists who of course would sing ballads.

My guitar tutor, who originally was supposed to be teaching me finger-style picking rhythms, use to pick out all the songs with my name in them, even starting me with ‘Kathy’s Song’. But, hey, new songs for old rags.

Savage Garden, meet with a lot of respect from me.

 

I remember posting up some songs/lyrics on a poetry board in Brighton, one National Poetry Day. I did it to show off, my latest scrawling. I did not explain on the sheet they were lyrics, and rather strangely, I may not have even signed the sheet! Some people will call that a naive move, but, I was after all taken up in the spirit of ‘community’, not world market competitiveness. And how strange now it feels, the same goal there in all the work, but, more of a mellowing ascendance.

The Verve came to light in Brighton one day too, when I was living down there, I saw them play live at a promo event. But, even for them, the ‘chart’ had been split between Dance Rave music and Pop. I still feel frustrated that, the Beeb, stopped doing Top of the Pops, and cannot understand, how, anything now gets to be heard, other than through specialist channels, and Television interviews. And to the finer endeavor. I was feeling fierce, about a decade ago, over song rights. But, because of YouTube.com and a few other sites, there is every chance of protecting a song just by recording it. I hope to see some more bands some time this summer.

My own lyrics from a decade or so back, were about me trying to put together some semblance of who and what I believed in in life. They were supposed to be about romance and faith.

(Following lyrics by Kathy Da Silva)

Into the dark night slip away like a tide at the touch of your hand, And the hand of a clock ticks away to the sound of the beat of my heart.

In the blink of an eye turn around to see someone but no one was there, taste of salt on the breath of a love put to death on a cross,

Wood broken skin and the splinters within, The pained cry of a child living on in the memory of a woman, and the stain that’s within is your love growing dim as you move like the wheels of a car rolling swiftly away for a day.

Take a train from your mind and the spider inside weaves a web in your head like an intake of breath or the sweat on your brow when you’re tired.

Repeat ..

Wood broken skin, splinters within…

There, there a song stood, it explained something in my future. The more strange a thing is, the more I find I have to listen. Yes, it probably is not in its finest moment either the poem/song above. But, it is where I wanted the ‘feel’ of something I wrote to be.  My songs need other sounds than me and a guitar. Music is a bit more like a ensemble of percussive and other instruments.