Saturday, August 24, 2019

Nature is ever present

Nicole Page-Smith

Nature is ever present

You would think the act of metamorphosis into a tree would be a logical thing to do as humans having come out of the garden. Were we born of tree or did we come out of the flowers, grow up with their roots like flower bulbs in Spring? One could imagine. However, if this were the case where did other creatures come from, the stars? Despite theory to the contrary we more than likely were born of the universe. A Christian view holds a centre of the universe to be the Sun as with the centre of every cell but the organic garden substance we formed out of is like a remnant of the universe something akin to cells under cell stress cause a waste product the body has to get rid of. We are cells and organic matter's form of expression. For example, the character of the face grows into an expression over years of life much like another Baroque artist, F.X. Messerschmidt and his sculpture of "Character heads". Bernini's Apollo and Daphne sculpture from the legend told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, a subject better known to painting and painters of the Baroque, holds a similar form of expression. The organic tree and leaf, highly decorative sculpture of Bernini is a subject more reserved for architecture, another of Bernini's genre. We fly off with the Holy Spirit like the dove, here and the masterpiece of Bernini's Daphne takes us back to the forest and the birds. Sculptured with incredible alacrity, Bernini's Apollo and Daphne is well designed, the flow of arms and foliage do not appear ready to break and have survived for several centuries. Perhaps, of another universe the sculptors of the Baroque training make the sculptures look easy. You wonder of the purpose of the sculpture and whether there could be another twenty casts of the Bernini sculpture of Apollo and Daphne, as was the fashion of the day. 

Rome, cats meowing, walking, strolling on by.

Transcending blue skies take us to whispering history and reading the signs.

Heaven is in the voice. The birds do sing and at the dawn of another day, the trees make you aware of the voices of angels in heaven with birds singing to glorify God and the trees. Stars twinkle down from heaven all evening while the birds and trees sleep. We dream of another universe and God bless the angels. 

When you think of the development of Baroque sculpture from religion to the influence of early Greek sculpture, Hellenistic ideals and philosophers like Rene Descartes we are enfolded in the drapery of sculptures and almost draped in the cloth of the veiled Christ of the Dead Christ Lying in the Shroud by Giuseppe Sanmartino. Reminded of the grimace of the "Character heads" of F.X. Messerschmidt we are taken to Vienna and another type of Baroque extravagance developing out of turbulent times combined with inner turmoil. Stylistically the development of French and then, Italian sculpture twirls us once again around Bernini and his Apollo and Daphne and we grow up with Classical thinking with the crowning of the laurel leaves. We fly off with the birds and think of the philosophy of the day.

Nature is ever present.


Nicole Page-Smith

General Bibliographical Reference

"Italian Baroque Sculpture" by Bruce Boucher. Published by Thames and Hudson, 1998, ISBN 0-500-20307-5

"Bernini" Edited by Andrea Bacchi and Anna Coliva. Galleria Borghese. 2017 by Officinia Libraria. ISBN: 978-88-99765-56-9

"Bernini" The Sculptor of the Roman Baroque by Rudolf Wittkower. Phaidon Press Limited, 1997, Reprinted in 2000. ISBN: 0 7148 3715 6

"Michelangelo, Divine Draftsman & Designer" by Carmen C. Bambach. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2017. ISBN: 9781588396372 (hardback)

"Baroque and Rocco, Architecture, Painting and Sculpture" Editor: Rolf Toman, Text: Barbara Borngasser, Photographs: Achim Bednorz. Published in 2003 by Fierabend Verlag OHG. ISBN: 3-936761-57-4 61 05 5005 1

"Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, 1736-1783", Edited by Michael Krapf with texts by Almut Kraft-Weiler and Michael Kraft. Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers. ISBN: 3-7757-1246-1

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Apollo and Daphne (detail), 
1622-25, Rome, Galleria Borghese

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

One day, one world

Nicole Page-Smith

One day, one world

Chapter 2.


Rome is the place. Walking around the museums there are Bernini's every step of the way. Growing with arms and legs as if through the fingertips, branches start to appear and leaves and forests have the birds fly by. Flying could be an idea but marble is as heavy as the stone sculptures throughout the forest, themselves. Green and as green as the trees birds land on your branches and nest, there. All sorts of twigs and bits of rubbish were gathered from the floor of the museum by the birds to build nests in the branches of trees once inhabiting the forest. Daphne's arms stretched out with the branches and became trees familiar with nature. Leaves littered the floor as if forest was something not of the nature of the museum, not only imagined but, once there as if ghost trees. Daphne was not just a memory of a nymph turned tree but sculpted, imagined, written about and pursued by Apollo, the Greek myths relived. Marble, once forest and petrified in the mountains carved into the sculpture of Daphne and trees. Trees, Rome and marble flies off with the angels and the birds into an idea of imaging trees through the violin and the resonance in the wooden instrument. Stars appear and it is evening and time to walk past the forest and home amongst the trees. You walk and are imagined by God.

Stars shone.

Universes of the angelic realm of heaven contain constellations of the order of angels known to man. Maybe the bible does tell us of angels falling to earth like rain and we would have come from the astrological star patterns we see from Earth. Falling to Earth from the stars seems like a strange idea and you do not want to be walking through your forest and suddenly be hit on the head by a passing falling star but we have known little of anything falling from the sky other than rain. Rain evaporates from the Earth then falls down again from the clouds. 

Earth and clouds are known to man like rock, mountains and ice and as we ski in our mind down the slopes of a mountain covered in snow we understand falling, gliding and gravity but little about stars and the very formation of snow. God, tries to give us small indications of where it was we came from and icicles on your nose. Freezing in icy conditions is the temperature of outer space but how would we know this with not ever having been there? We are from god's divine garden but the garden is Earth. The garden tells us all about ourselves from the flowers down to the tree roots.

One day, one world.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Angels fly

Nicole Page-Smith

Angels fly

Libraries of imagining and manuscripts of Bernini were as the metamorphoses and you felt as the sculpture, chiseled.

Chiselling trees in my mind I thought of God and his relationship with nature. Trees and nature and the divine sculptors of God have you imagine there-to-be sculptors in heaven or the heaven on Earth in gods divine garden. When God made the Earth, all nature and the garden as comets, meteorites and stars in heaven, we are reminded of the Earth and its nature. Tinkering away in heaven the gods may be thoughtful of the universe but thinking of immortal ideas and only in a vague way contemplating our Earthly needs. We are in reflection of their universe but only in part and in such a way unknown to man for mortal intelligence stops with our mortality.

Existing mmm...  

Leaves scatter on by. We see the trees and through the trees we see the light. Seeing the light the trees are like the stars and shine in the rain. More constellation then, star map branches of the trees represent the cosmos in the divine geometry of nature. Your fingers extend. Reaching upwards like branches and new tree shoots with the leaves you extend. Extending upwards your leaves quiver and a gentle breeze blows through you. Blowing with the wind, tree leaves scatter in autumn until trees are bare. Birds fly above in the sky. Flying with the trees and blowing in the wind birds feel free in flight. Flight is the flying of birds and they glide in the knowing of flight as aeroplanes fly at night in the sky. Although, birds are more asleep in the trees at night they too spread their wings as though in the omniscience of flight. The airports are the trees. Landing on branches must take some skill without flight towers. However, with wings flying would be upon wing from the nest. Flight with the branches, the trees and the birds takes you to the forest and you are as familiar with the streams as though the ancient mythology of Rome and Greece were the trees, themselves. Nymphs may appear but leaves scatter and you walk on by. The bare trees lay barren in winter with the odd empty nest and the birds fly off to another place. The wind of nature carries forth. 

Trees are there for God. Nymphs of the forest and worth frolic in the woods where Daphne called the forest her home and river gods are another matter. Stars are present in the sky at night but oh the moon. Forest of the tree gods, the odd nymph and the stream are a river in the knowing but are of worth to God as the tree is to the forest. Woods are there, too and creak and groan in the wind. The immense noise of a forest is something to walk through in your mind with gently rustling currents of streams and bird flying through. Screech owls pass through at night but oh the hoo. Hooting owls and creatures of the night are their for the gods of the night but oh the sleeping owl. Forest flora and fauna grow resplendently in Spring for the creatures of the forest floor to live amongst but come winter snakes can be found asleep. All number of forest creatures frequent the forest floor and oh the branches waiver in the breeze. Tantalized by all God and the gods have on offer the trees, grow and experience new spring bursts of growth. New leaves, flowers and branches grow forth to entice the birds and they love the forest. The new seasons encourage a whole universe of activity for birds and creatures alike but the trees sit there for God, quietly observing. Blessed with the spirit of nature trees are there for the birds and God. 

Angels fly.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

I become tree

Nicole Page-Smith

I become tree

Sitting quietly, I enter my forest of imaginings and wonder

About, the world of the forest

Chapter 1.

Forest trees are to be imagined on Earth for they are the earth. Roots travel down into the earth only to reach down like branches. Branches of roots are something like the branches above in the forest and travel in a cross pattern traveling down and then across as the branches travel upwards, to the sky.

Skies are blue.

Above the forest and up mountains other creatures can be found. Creatures of another species not known on the earth and in the forest frequent the area up the mountain. Birds and possums do not tell you about anything up the mountain for they are frightened and seldom go there. But, the creatures are not human. Human beings were once a species of creature known to the forest but were chased out by the birds. The creatures up the mountain had to learn a new way of traveling and flew like the birds. The birds were not anything similar in species and much smaller but the flying creatures did not have any means of walking and sort of bounced on mutated and once legs but now fleshy stumps. Some of the creatures were in the process of losing the mutated stumps as well and although it is hard to imagine a completely airborne creature, this they became within time. The creatures looked somewhat similar to a cross between a cat and early dinosaurs with more flight in view. Gliding around the mountains all day was their pastime but the noise was horrific. Beware of the mountains.

Forests of imaginings and idyllic places for gods...

Are where the creatures once lived but where not ever known to the Earth or the forest. We exist in another planet all planets for God exist on Earth. As humans we do not realize we were once part of another universe and all the stars out there are small fragments of Earth. At the end of the world there will be a Big Bang but a silent one for the universe like an atomic explosion. The core of the Earth, our fiercely guarded secret is like the centre of every cell but will explode as with the creation of human beings. We do know the catalyst for creating humans and do know in our hearts, the catalyst for the end of the world but do not tend to get there emotionally as the end of the world happened before the beginning of the world, the beginning of time and sometime before and after the beginning and end of the world. Getting back to the forest and creatures frequenting the forest along with the trees, the trees have knowledge being older than the species of creature. Gods of the mountain live there along with other creatures finding a different realm their idyllic home, up the mountain beyond the forest.

Up the mountains there is snow and forms of angel not on Earth or part of the planet Earth. The distance between the Earth and the Sun is an angelic realm known amongst the fixed stars. Planets are not involved. Apollo is the god of music and known to the gods and goddesses of the mountain for the angels sing in heaven.

The gods answer your call and you are taken back to the streets of Rome.

Thinking about Bernini and Apollo and Daphne I am taken back to trees. Sculpted leaves. Becoming Daphne, I become tree.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

God bless the angels

Nicole Page-Smith

God bless the angels

Saint Cecilia heard the music, the music of God. Trees are like the spirit bird, the spirit bird flies like a dove. Doves fly with the wind. To fly as with God, the gods and the angels is to fly to the stars, flying. Flying with angels you go amongst the treetops but at night angels are twinkling down from the sky like stars but angels. Angels try and communicate to your heart via the music. And like the treetops pointing to the sky heaven meets earth amongst the tips of cathedrals. Cathedrals are as pleased as the birds amongst the treetops and sing with the choir, singing, the organ is playing and as birds fly by they may hear it but continue with the doves flying or circling like homing pigeons. Native bird calls can be heard in the distance and the birds appear to long for forest trees almost calling them and their bird friends with their birdcalls. You may sit amongst the church pews and listen to choirs and the organ but to hear the birds takes you to heaven and the treetops. You fly with the sky angels and fly as though the stars are out. Birds are nestled, comfortably in the trees but come morning you are awoken.

We fly with the spirit. Music is the wind. Lutes and woodwind instruments play the organ, piping sound. Churches are involved with the sacred and we are reminded of Saints, Saint Cecilia and her sculpture. A long history of the site of the church in Rome's Trastevere has the sculpture portraying the uncorrupted corpse of Saint Cecilia's martyrdom represent the spirit. We almost hear the angels for her and the connection between heaven and earth is well met. Trees start singing to us like the birds at dusk in Rome and we continue to feel the blessing of the Saint by God. Nature is always our blessing and our connection to the earth by our feet like the roots of trees in the ground makes you think of the sky. The sunny, warm days of Rome takes you further to the gods and the angels. The music of Baroque Rome is in the breeze, the church and strong history of religion but the music is with the birds and flight of the improvisation. Angels sing to us on Feast Day and as they did to Saint Cecilia for the celebration. We are the birds as with the Holy Spirit. 

God bless the angels. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The spirit tree is God

Nicole Page-Smith

The spirit tree is God

The music of the Baroque equally flows with tonality like painted or sculpted drapery. The luscious time of early music is of the emotion and very romantic in its "memento mori". The harpsichord and Baroque instruments flow with the sound of violas and the violin. Woodwind instruments, the flute, lyres, oboes and the organ take you back to the land of trees, gentle breezes and the birds. We can imagine the elaborate fashions of the Baroque and small orchestras, court players. However, the tonality of the music and polyphony is interesting in its improvisation with sacred music and their choirs, the echo of angels. We are then taken back to Saint Cecilia and realise through the drama of the sculpture why the Saint was canonised for the blessing of angels. Music was Saint Cecilia's heart.

Music rustles in the trees with the birds singing in celebration of the Lord and the song of God is nature. Nature is all God planned for us and the garden was where God lived. Thinking is not the devil snake. Philosophy and trees have heaven meet earth but go deep into the roots and to come up with the surface of bark to the treetops is to know God. God is all trees have to look forward to but the music of the birds and the animals are of the spirit. The spirit tree is God.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The sculpture flows

Nicole Page-Smith

The sculpture flows

Chapter 4.

One wonders about the times of the Baroque movement and why such highly grandiose work was met with any kind of darkness. The Saint Cecilia (1599-1600) sculpture by Stefano Maderno from the Baroque was an intellectual concern where classical Greek and Roman literature was a popular subject. The high drama of Early Greek literature and philosophical writing of early Roman emperors could give an indication. Greek and Roman myths also seem to be a very well established theme of an educated class in High Renaissance as still is the case in Western culture. However, the romantic ideal of Hellenistic literature is expressed in a visual form. Later, Bernini surpassed the style and in favour of patronage took the 'romantic ideal' of Hellenism to heights. The funeral monument of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni in a church down the road is high testament to Bernini's Baroque style. Music of the Baroque was not central to Rome.

Themes of the mythology of ancient Greek and Roman times flourished more in the musical field of the Baroque. We have a difference in tonality and Hellenistic philosophy put to music becomes highly intellectualised to listen to. The new music of known composers like Vivaldi was more familiar to a Venetian audience and Florence was another centre for music in Baroque, Italy. The music of our patron saint to music, Saint Cecilia, was even more prevalent than the visual arts. Tonality put to music from the stars speaks again of our mortality. Nature at its best is the sound. The instruments of the day give such a wooded resonance you imagine they give the trees transcribed an annotation. The harpsichord is almost the running stream through a wooded forest. Heaven is however in the voice. Operatic voice seems to be born of an emotion and we are made more aware of the taste of a very floral Baroque. The sculpture flows.