Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Looking at the outline of the oak against the heavy white sky
a repetitive, breathing,swish, unnerved me
swish, had me look up, swish,
I was sitting in the centre of a V ( the other way up) of Canada Geese
white and grey against the white
symmetry of wing and pattern
an uplift of magic
on this seeping, dull, lightless day

Sunday, 26 December 2010

It is bright sun

ice crystallizing the bricks

breath of steam, the only moving cloud

The birds are back.
At least six kinds
The birds are back.
Stacking their claim to holding onto sound

I listen like a dull grey seed hugging my winter self.

A shard of shadow pierced with light reaches under the barn door.

 Must walk home.
Holding tense against the ice
gentle          cautious             careful

Hold it tight.

Friday, 24 December 2010

strong sun and shadows
snow is actually ice crystals like rock salt enlarged
clinging together to reflect enough light to be white
and give the appearance of snow

there are no birds
just the wind
no rustles no squeaks - just air
almost bleak
are they all in hiding?

off towards christmas

Monday, 20 December 2010

Looking at tracks trying to work out which tracks belong to what sort of car

Enough light in the sky to give things a colour, more pronounced and variable today

deep dulled magenta of faraway birches
black shadows in soggy brown pines
bright orchre of oak
old fashioned dark green velvet of yew
turning tan of last lying leaves cradled in icicle snow

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A day later, snow on the ground, snow falling, the view has drawn in and the sounds are muffled
Even sitting in the doorway snow has blown in and covered the pages, crunched  together  bits , midway between hail and fluff. Snow moves sideways and the branches of the trees which stayed dark yesterday
are being outlined with white today.
What other colours than white -
copper brown at the bottom of the young oak
sledge green of the reeds around the pond
black dead leaves on nettles
a slumped green of grass, almost a shadow green one knows it should be green yet coated with white it loses particularity
Our footsteps are already filling up, left behind two minutes ago.
Another covering of snow hits the page, a breath filled with tickles, flicks and moisture.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

late sun

December 14

A squirrel skimming along a branch of the oak
Birds glueing on and off trees
The clouds curve into the earth
Late sun glows the sky
The pit of dew in the long grass
In absolute still
Of sundown

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December 9

I took the seeds the nine dancers had gathered from all over the site on our Dancers in Landscape day, and buried them near the oak tree with the bird box, marked the spot with a forked branch. I photographed the white sheets of people in their various states of weather evolvement. I covered the hole made by the animal in the floorboards.

December 9

ice still thick and unmoving on pond
snow in lower field
hard ground
to plant our ritual seeds
sun floods in
lightening the wintering

Something has moved into the barn!
neat bits of straw parquet the brick threshold
lumps of earth and eaten mud ricochet across the planks
there is a hole  - edges worn and growing
bits of acorn crunch underneath
Something needs to be done!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Seed Poem Exhibition November 22

bunces barn

November 24

White light cuts from the pond -
So bright I can see my eyebrow hairs around the shape of my nose if I close one eye.

A last leaf jangles across the air in front of me,
Clicks and ticks,
Another bombs in
Sharp lightness -as if all bass notes are missing
Another leaf, slow,dignified ,lowers its way to the ground, another sound of clack
Two flies buzzing around each other and around the wall, rumage with life and speed

take grace
make gratitude
allow beauty

resounding essence of place

Monday, 22 November 2010

November 22 Judith & Clare

A busy day at the Barn
Seed Poems up
Film on windows
Paper in places
charcoal and mud
soup apples satsumas

Friday, 19 November 2010

November 19

A heron flew up from the pond
-As I tramped in-
Its solemn wings
Breathing in space-
It landed in the field below the beehives
After a pause, it rose again, swirled and made for the distance

A pigeon - surprised by me quietly sitting-
The white middle of its wings
Moving away like camera shutters

Against grey sky
Some ragged leaves descend
Nearly the last -
Rain follows

Against grey clouds
A small aircraft
White light on its tail

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

November 16 sunset

Arrived late to a lit up sky and undercoloured clouds.  Crab apples were on the floor for the first time. Sat and read my  early morning writings. Watched the sun go and felt the brightness of the moon over the oaks.

Walk to the pond nov 16 from clare whistler on Vimeo.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Nov 11 place

The strongest activism around place really starts from the centre, a very specific place, in what William Heat Moon calls a 'deep map'.  And then with really consiously lived experience, it moves out from there in ripples.  A great way of learning where you are is to think in terms of these ripples and how they affect  your centre and where other rings intercede to affect you and the environment and so forth.
Lucy R Lippard

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Quote Amanda Ross-Ho

We live and act in the present and yet it is the hardest moment to describe.  The present is our ongoing ever changing moment of origin, a collage of everything, a multi-faceted jewel made up of memeory, feeling, thinking, and whatever you are looking for.

Nov 10 Great Dixter visit

Glorious autumn sun, slightly soggy ground, alders and willows before the gate to walk in
Talked at home, walked to the Barn,  compared experience , looked around, walked back for lunch.
Talked about the Barn and what I am doing, in relation to what they are doing at Great Dixter.
Talked to Victoria and Catherine

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Colette vsit November 5th

Too wet to walk, and Colette's shoes were lacy, her coat grey patterned with silver.
She choose her wildflower 'yellow rattle'  , and we talked poetry and fireworks.

November 1 All Souls Day

I am standing where you stood  in June -
Alive with honey
Alive wth beauty
Alive with golden

This is the day you go

Monday, 25 October 2010

Judith Alder & Clare Whistler Bunces Barn

Start of a year long collaboration.
The perfect autumn sunlight
An apple to share, seeds and water
Tiny apples and golden seeds
Inside going out and outside going in
A day a month for a year

Saturday, 23 October 2010

 The colours mute
The damp is believable and rising up to meet me

There, a strike of light
Through the edge of the oak -
Like breathing, opens it all up again

Bottomless Tub

Pond at Bunces Barn


Monday, 18 October 2010

October 18

Mary Oliver
We speak a good deal these days of the loss of community, and many of us feel that we have lost therefore something very precious.  Essays can move us back into this not-quite-lost realm.  Tackling a hundred subjects, in a hundred different syles, they are like letters from a stranger that you cannot bear to throw away.  They haunt you, they strengthen you.
In the time of all time, the Now, some essay for each of us, be it old or fresh on the page, may turn out to be a most fervent, provocative, and valuable friend.

This reminds me of how I am opening up to the hundreds of ideas that Bunces Barn offers

Sunday, 17 October 2010

October 17th Julia visit to Bunces Barn

Tractor Trundle 1 from clare whistler on Vimeo.

Tractor Trundle 2 from clare whistler on Vimeo.

After the excitement of the Tractor Trundle ( 80 tractors touring the environs of Ashburnham for a few hours) which we jumped onto via Alan Petty's scoop and tractor outside my house, and lunch, Julia and I walked up to the barn in bright autumn sun.  So many conversations had already been had but when we were sitting quietly at the barn Julia came up with an explanation of what I am doing via the thoughts of her friend Barbara
"Intimacy and diversity" working project by project over time - produces a quality of neighbourliness which enables people to contribute their skills and ability to a common effort when needed in a transformation or crisis.  If you don't know what you have in other people, how can you use it in the best way.
Always learning the skills of engagement and negotiation to face uncertain futures, its what the timeless role of a middle-aged woman does, having the mobility to  cross cultures and class, to make it safe for others.

"To weave things from your doorstep"      "To bring the world back into your body from your feet"
"After all the shouting we need to whisper"

Intimacy and Diversity  could be the name of the conversations I have at Bunces Barn.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Sunday, 10 October 2010

walk to the barn sunday 10.10.10

subtle lines of white wavering in the bouncy windbreath
the leaves hold onto their last green, autumn colours seem hidden
sun breathing new life into all
heat loosens up the cycle of seasons and we go off kilter

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Walk to barn october 8

Walk to the Barn with David Rhodes from the De La Warr
Bright hot sunshine, and even vehicles going to the cows in the field below the barns and a chain saw in the woods opposite the road as we were walking up.  So maybe not silence, but definitely bucolic.  We sat and talked at home first, and a tour of the paintings.  The conversation was ever winding, hard to recall what was said so here are fragments -
St Leonards community, Angie and Len, Kate and her two exhibitions, Norman's Road and Polly's leaving party and a mother slapping her child
John Cage and his new book and exhibition
De la Warr as a hub for artists to meet
the drawing class and its unknown participants
the bricks in the ruined farmhouse, the blue headers, the r and d in the snow, the metal buckets in the grass, oak trees and my collection of photographs, giving him an acorn, a shower of acorns as we stood next to the bee hives, which looked like wasps outside one, the charm of the empty outhouse, the old iron window, practicality, his father a master tool maker, his 8 years as a toolmaker, how things 'made' for art appeal to him, that the artist does not have to be the 'maker', conceptual art.
What is education and what is art, I replied all art can be education
we both left school without A Levels, he did an access course then a degree, that people should go to university later
conversations as art, conversations as communication
things about our parents, things about my children, his partner
Pam Dor and Shaping Voices
The story of the owner who only liked ruins and not seeing anyone
'We must be modest in front of the weather" a Greenlandic saying.  He liked the lenticular photograph more than the others
Two wasps came in, they were not bees, we had the last two honey biscuits  I  had bought for the visit to  Angie.
 About Joanna and Biber,  about teaching the children this week to do improvisation, and their answers to how it felt, weird, unusual, feeling on the edge of something, unknowing - and how I was pleased with their answers, that it made them artists - that's where we all want to be as artists
about walking and thinking, about ghosts - from the people who walked on the ground before us, to the cold air moment of feeling one, to my sons easy recognition of them before he knew they were ghosts, to my "Visitor" project with Judith, to teenage girls and menopausal women hormonal change giving one a kind of extra sense, a heightened intuition.

a certain awkwardness
re defining conversation in the realm of art and ordinariness
a shared thermos and honey biscuit
high sun and John Cage
To have a viewpoint
like the owner only wishing to see ruins
ghosts among the blue headers, practical makers, brick after brick
unsettling wasps visited, a newly dead squirrel kept life and death close
Plunking acorn drop
gift of a seed

to more winding voices

Friday, 8 October 2010

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Poems about seeds 2

"To see things in the seed, that is genius."

Lao Tzu

Poems about seeds

"Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom."


Felicity Harvest meeting October 7

Arrived in a flash of brightness, a crabapple and chili jam in her hands.  We sat in the kitchen and talked, in a roundabout way.   About becoming celebrants, about training, about what it entailed, about her life, especially since retiring,I told the story of Angie, seeds, a tiny bit about the barn, Jonathan's birthday, gifts, mixture of ritual and performance.  Left with the idea of collaborating as celebrants...
ideas come from  anywhere - I am opening to all.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Visit to the barn

Possible rain at any moment, autumnal and blowsy, last blackberries kept children going. Niki and Alf, Iona, Arthur, Iris did the walk with Raphael and me. Dividing into different groupings, I talked to Iona about her Autumn box and helped her collect acorns and pink leaves, carried Iris and remembered how when your children are two, one's arms are at their strongest. A gentle approach to a small idyll. We sat on the steps and the children used the pond nets to find newts. Niki could sit and watch her children in their beauty and inquisitiveness and rejoice in it, tinged with her illness, her fear, her shaken hold on life. Capturing a wonder at her children in the simplicity of experience. That is what I will take away from that walk. And the long conversation I had with her on the way back as she carried the sleeping Iris. A barn visit can take many directions. I must try to collect them all.
October 3rd 2010 

New and upcoming projects

Hello, welcome!
To compliment the site www.clarewhistler.co.uk this blog will host images, films and useful information. Eventually these elements will migrate to fully featured pages on the site.