Making art makes me see art.
Does this happen to you? When you start taking photos of beautiful or interesting things you see, do you then start seeing things of interest and beauty everywhere?
I just got home from a “golden hour” of location scouting for tomorrow’s THIS LAND shoot, and in a 4 block area of West Oakland I saw art everywhere: sensational murals and graffiti (a great piece by Swoon – I’m such a fan); a community flower and vegetable garden; a humongous dead raccoon; a broken window in the shape of a butterfly (I caught myself reflexively titling it “Free”); a block-long grove of redwood trees; and a very tall man waiting for a pause in the traffic before leading a very small girl on the next leg of their evening skateboard ride.
Making art makes me see art.
After tuning in to music, I am more attune to the music around me.
When I’m looking for the art in nature, I discover more about the nature of art.
This year I’m focusing on making site-specific dance. This creatively satisfying genre is an invitation for an integration of the senses. It is in relationship with the sites, sounds, smells, and textures of the territory; and it interrogates, “How does this environment impact my choices? How do my choices impact this environment?”
It is a communion of the senses that connects us to our sense of community.
From West Oakland I drove up into the hills, on the hunt for photogenic trees and cliffs and sunset vistas. I was typing notes into my phone as I walked the path from my parked car toward a clearer view of the bay and skyline. “Hey, Is that Sarah Bush?” the voice was bright and friendly and familial. I looked up, which gave confirmation to continue, “I knew it! Hi!” It came from a group of silhouettes several yards between me and the glowing sky. We put a few fewer steps between us until her face illuminated. It was Carla Service. She and her stellar crew of Dance-A-Vision progeny were on the steps of the Joaquin Miller Cascade, making their art, sharing their stories under the hugest moon and the craziest pink clouds. Hugs and genuine love passed around the circle between Carla, Zoë and me with talk of projects and threads of serendipitous history: from Krissy Keefer and Nutcracker Sweetie to Alice Arts Center to Malonga… In a daze of bewonderment I recounted to them the beauty of my last hour, finishing in earnest awe, “I love Oakland.”
Zoë doesn’t miss a beat, “it’s the best city.”
A communion of the senses, a sense of community.
Keep making art. Keep seeing art. Appreciate it anywhere and everywhere. Appreciate the artists who create it.
Ask questions. Make connections.
Make a joyful noise.
Accept the invitation to commune with nature.
Partake in this communion of the senses.
Be in community.
Watch other This Land videos.
More This Land posts
- Critic’s Choice – Dance Europe Magazine 2016
- Photos: “Reach” at SPF9 – ODC Theater
- KALW Radio 2016 – Interview on Open Air show
- Photos from This Land show at Laney Theater
- SF Chronicle – “Dance production to take a journey through Oakland”
- “Bringing the Outside In” – May 22 #ThisLand #Oakland
- KQED Arts video feature – This Land Oakland
- April 17, 1pm “Recall” – This Land Oakland
- This Land – Photoshoot at MLK Shoreline
- KQED Arts Dance Critic Review – ‘This Land Oakland’