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Awakening the storyteller.

Noel Ashton - Under the Oak2

I sit in silence under the old weathered oak, waiting for the poet’s return,

those gentle voices of the soul that cannot be heard amongst the cacophony of life; but here,

under the ancient bough amidst the calm of the earth,

the seeds of thoughts begin to appear like the first tiny drops of rain onto a landscape of belonging.

I pick up an acorn, and soon see many scattered around the base of the tree – for the past few weeks I have watched the acorn-pickers, bent backs and hurried hands shuffling below many of these great ancient oaks of Greyton, collecting these seeds of pure potential which now carry my own thoughts to the past year in the country, and to the many journeys that have brought me to this moment.

Between encounters with the extraordinary wild horses of Greyton and their spirited temperaments, I have had the space to review my body of work as an artist, especially the sculptures, and I began to notice that there were some which just couldn’t be placed in my journeys into the worlds of whales and dolphins, wildlife and birds, some which just didn’t fit the mould. I soon realised that these works spoke of a different journey, with many holding elements of symbolism and deeper meaning, speaking of a journey within, and a search for the truth.

Sacred Ocean in the Aquarium, The Wayfinders, and sculpting Mapungubwe Revisited

Sacred Ocean in the Aquarium, The Wayfinders, and sculpting Mapungubwe Revisited

These included some of the public works, including Sacred Ocean and its exploration of the dichotomies and complexity of the human condition, and Mapungubwe Revisited, and its sacred thread of belonging linking us to the land, and the unseen works, such as the Terianthrope, exploring our journey as a people from the painted caves of the San to the hum of the Hadron Collider, and the Mandela sculpture, speaking of potential and living the highest expression of ourselves.

For many years now, in the quiet times, I have been thinking and writing about these topics, and as we prepare to return to Cape Town, the time has come to link these sculptures to the texts and to share them, and in the vein of 52- Artworks where thoughts and narratives were combined with works of art, I will launch a new programme that gives voice to these thoughts and share them with a wider audience.

Rawiri Parantene visits Sacred Ocean

On a trip from New Zealand, Rawiri Paratene visits Sacred Ocean

When we launched Sacred Ocean, one of the most profound moments was when Rawiri Paratene gave the sculpture a sacred Maori blessing which spoke to the threads of life and their intertwined nature. Fortunately this moment was captured on film which I will edit and post soon, but in the meantime I thought I would disperse the seeds of potential around the new initiative in the hope that by sharing its beginnings, they will fall on fertile ground and attract the energy of growth…in the gentle shade of an ancient old oak under the blue African sky.


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