“nothing to gain and nothing to lose”

Studio news/blog

The play-pretend queen found a story about a ‘flute player”, and she would like to share it with you….


“A new flute was invented in China.  A Japanese master musician discovered the subtle beauties of its tone and brought it back home, where he gave concerts all around the country.  One evening he played with a community of musicians and music lovers who lived in a certain town.  At the end of the concert, his name was called.  He took out the new flute and played one piece.  When he was finished, there was silence in the room for a long moment.  There the voice of the oldest man was heard from the back of the room:  “Like a god!” 

Sketchbook page. Mixed media

The next day, as this master was packing to leave, the musicians approached him and asked how long it would take a skilled player to learn the new flute.  “Years,” he said.  They asked if he would take a pupil, and he agreed.  After he left, they decided among themselves to send a young man, a brilliantly talented flutist, sensitive to beauty, diligent and trustworthy.  They gave him money for the living expenses and for the master’s tuition, and sent him on his way to the capital, where the master lived.

The student arrived and was accepted by his teacher, who assigned him a single, simple tune.  At first he received systematic instruction, but he easily mastered all the technical problems.  Now he arrived for his daily lesson, sat down, and played his tune – and all the master could say was, “Something lacking.” The student exerted himself in every possible way,  he practiced for endless hours, yet day after day, week after week, all the master said was, “something lacking.” He begged the master to change the tune, but the master said no.  The daily playing , the daily “something lacking” continued for months on end.  The student’s hope of success and fear of failure became ever magnified, and he swung from agitation to despondency.

Finally the frustration became too much for him.  One night he packed his bag and slinked out.  He continued to live in the capital city for some time, longer, until his money ran dry.  He began drinking.  Finally, impoverished, he drifted back to his own part of the country.  Ashamed to show his face to his former colleagues, he found a bat far out in the countryside.  He still possessed his flutes, still played, but found no new inspiration in music.  Passing farmers heard him play and send their children to him for beginners’s lessons.  He lived this way for years.

One morning there was a knock at  his door.  It was the oldest past-master from his town, along with the youngest student.  They told him that tonight they were going to have a concert, and they had all decided it would not take place without him.  With some effort they overcame his feelings of fear and shame, and almost in a trance he picked up a flute and went with them. The concert began.  As he waited behind the stage, no one intruded on his inner silence.  Finally, at the end of the concert, his name was called.  He stepped out the stage in his rags.  He looked down at his hands, and realised that he had chosen the new flute.

Now he realized that he had nothing to gain and nothing to lose.  He sat down and played the same tune he had played so many times for his teacher in the past.  When he finished, there was silence for a long moment.  Then the voice of the oldest man was heard speaking softly from the back of the room:  ” Like a god!” 

quoted from a book I received as a gift recently called: “Free Play” by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Sketchbook page. Mixed media

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter-weekend! Take care…xxx

Rabbit! where did you hide those eggs, girl? (detail of a work which I will tell you more about later)

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Worry dolls

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

The concept of the ‘worry doll’ also known as ‘trouble dolls’, served as inspiration of these works.

Blonde ambition aka red right hand – worry doll 87 x 23 cm fabric, found objects, cotton thread, synthetic hair and rubber 2018

Blonde ambition detail

Blonde ambition detail 1

The worry dolls originated in Guatemala and Mexico, and refers to a Mayan princess named Ixucane.  The princess received a small gift from the sun god which would allow her to solve any problem a human could worry about.

Raison d’ etre – worry doll 44 x 21 x 37 cm 2018 fabric, found objects, cotton thread and rubber

raison d’ etre detail 1

Raison d’ etre detail

In modern times these worry dolls are given to broody and sorrowful children so that they can tell these dolls about their sorrow, fears and worries. Then hide the dolls under their pillows during the night.  The next morning all sorrows are said to have been taken away by the worry/trouble dolls.

Pushing up the daisies – worry doll 68 x 25 x 21 cm fabric, found items, cotton thread and rubber 2018

Pushing up the daisies detail 1

Pushing up the daisies detail

if only it were that easy, right?!

Who cares – worry doll 60 x 47 x fabric, found objects, cotton thread and rubber 2018

Fly by night – worry doll 76 x 37 x 16 cm fabric, found objects, cotton thread and rubber 2018

installation view at 99 Loop gallery

for more info feel free to contact 99 Loop gallery