In the corner of our lounge we have a gathering stack of leaf skeletons, made from copper, wood and wire.
These are intended to be blank canvasses for artists to make large leaf-art for this event. The leaves will be suspended to form an installation in Benmore Gardens.
We are looking for artistic collaborators- so if you are reasonably local and fancy taking a leaf to make your own contribution, please get in touch! You do not need to be an ‘Artist’ with a capital A- rather someone who has a story to tell on these empty leaves…
Here is a short piece of writing that hopefully gives some context and inspiration for the event;
We are all going to die.
There are no exceptions; no get-out clauses for the rich or the famous.
It is sometimes possible to live as though death is another country;
A place we know to exist but never plan to visit- Moldova perhaps, or Azerbaijan.
We come to believe that death happens elsewhere; in other houses, other families; to other people.
So it is that we hope to banish fear of the unknown
The terrible pain of separation.
But what if life itself is impossible without death?
What if a good life has to also embrace the inevitability its ending?
Like these leaves…
At first a dream in some distant DNA, secreted in the seed of some old spreading tree.
Budding in the harsh days of winter.
Unfurling shyly in the soft mist of the early spring, vulnerable to any late frost.
Spreading out into a canopy community, shouldering for space and light.
Frayed by the beaks of birds and the lash of summer storms.
Caught up in production, forgetting the play of the evening light.
And the singing sound of a warm breeze when it catches them all in concert.
Then comes the calling in of days; each one shorter than the next.
But rather than just let go, each clinging leaf becomes a blaze of colour.
For if the fall will surely come,
Let it be beautiful.
For though winter is dark
It can never put out the light
We humans live in a complex world defined above all by this one word;
May we learn to love most deeply in the dancing shadows cast
By falling leaves.
Alongside this event we will also have an evening of music an poetry in the lovely Benmore Gardens courtyard gallery. Music will be from Yvonne Lyon, whose new work is a collection of songs co-written by people reflecting on issues of hope and loss. It is sublime.
The poetry will be taken primarily from the section entitled ‘Losing’ from the Learning to Love book, and I hope to have some of the poets who contributed as part of the readings. Hope you can join us- tickets will be limited due to space being tight at the venue!