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ARTIST NOTES: All Things Blue (5517) C is a digital rendition of the dummy part of the original work ‘’Mars Trojan – Elon – The Shroud (5517) A’’ which featured in ‘’ENCLOSURE FATHOM – PART 1’’.
Vanitas: 1, to the current exhibition, is a flashback to the real drawing of ‘’Mars Trojan – Elon – The Shroud (5517) A’’ in the ‘Blue Room’ hanging next to the items of Vanitas on the ground – during 2018 at Al Rayyan Gallery in Nizwa.
Vanitas: 2 & Vanitas: 3, a box with a story, a redecorated time clock ring with a red car on it, a door sign in the middle and a flying saucer, made by the artist from an aqua lampshade redecorated and gems.
A pair of tailor-made clothes resembling the clothes of prisoners during World War 2 in camps such as Theresienstadt.
Vanitas: 4 – Doudou’s – festival and Mons marble photos – MONS BELGIUM
The Doudou is the name of a week-long series of festivities or Ducasse, which originates from the 14th century and takes place every year on Trinity Sunday in Mons – Belgium. Highlights include:
- The entrusting of the reliquary of Saint Waltrude to the mayor of the city on the eve of the procession.
- The placement of the reliquary on the Car d’Or (Golden Chariot), before it is carried in the city streets in a colourful procession that counts more than a thousand costumed participants.
- The lifting of the Car d’Or on a paved area near the church of Saint Waltrude; tradition holds that this operation must be successful for the city to prosper.
- The Lumeçon fight, where Saint George confronts the dragon. The fight lasts for about half an hour, accompanied by the rhythmic “Doudou” music.
The festival that happens every year (57 days after Easter) in the town of Mons in Belgium, is recognised as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity since November 2005.
The feast comprises two important parts:
- The procession, the descent and the uprising of the Waltrude’s Shrine.
- The combat of Saint George named Lumeçon;
The game of Saint George
This game is played on the Trinity Sunday between 12:30 (p.m.) and 13:00 (1 p.m.). It represents the fight between Saint George (the good) and the dragon (the evil). The name of the fight comes from the old French name Limaçon (old French name meaning a spectacle with horses that made circular movements.)
The combat happens on the central square of Mons. The length of the dragon is about 10 metres. The end of his tail is covered with horses’ hairs (mane). The dragon is displaced with the help of the white men (fr:Hommes blancs).
Saint George is protected by the Chinchins who represent dogs.
The dragon is helped by the devils (French: Les diables). Each devil is armed with a cow bladder full of air (the balloon in the past before plastic had been developed). With this weapon, they knock the Chinchins and the public that are placed all around the arena. The dragon attacks Saint George with his tail. The dragon also attacks the public. So the public is also an important participant in the fight. People try to take the mane of the tail because it is said to bring luck for a year.
Finally, there are also the Leaf men (fr:Hommes de feuilles) that are covered with real leaves of ivy. They help the dragon by defending and supporting his tail. The combat is precisely choreographed. Saint George on his horse turns clockwise. And the dragon turns in the other direction. (This is a reference to good versus evil). Saint George tries to kill the dragon with his lance but the lance always breaks on contacting the dragon’s skin. Saint George uses a pistol and finally kills the dragon on the third try. At 13:00 (1 p.m.), the participants leave the square, people rush into the arena to find the last lucky manes which have fallen on the ground. And the carillon of Mons rings.
The Angels of Mons is a popular legend about a group of angels who supposedly protected members of the British Army in the Battle of Mons at the outset of the First World War.
Vanitas: 4 – Unctuous Creatures – Enclosure Fathom Part 2 – Preview; full story only shared with collector who acquires the work of art.
Vanitas Story – to – All Things Blue (5517) C – Copyright Sharm. T. P
Unctuous creatures and Hamman versus Babushkas and Pyramids BY SHARMAINE T PRETORIUS
The tiny man with the golden rimmed white bone china plates swirled his body around, like a ballerina, between the bed and the fancy wall papered surface. He was clinging to a pamphlet in one hand and an extra-large sized dinner plate in the other hand. He gave the plate an extra twirl and said in a hushed conspiratorial voice:
‘’Mr. and Mrs. ……I give you ……royal line plates.’’
The old man flared up and brushed the salesman’s dream aside with one fling of the clawed hand.
‘’You mongrel, you unctuous little creature’’.
‘’If you want my money you have to at least earn the right. You pawpaw, what is my name please pray tell my wife if you know’’?!
‘’You must know once there was a bright triangle called Abraham Maslow. He had a brilliant idea. He reckoned that one must know a customer’s needs before you can sell him or con him into selling ANYTHING. You cannot sell a pencil to a boy who saved for 6 months for a pencil on the same basis that you would sell a pencil to a rich kid who has 60 of ’hem already’’.
‘’Now go check the pyramids go check Maslow and his pyramids and one day when you reach insight you’ll be well enough to reach self-actualization and actually visit some pyramids that may sell you some ideas and not the other way around. Know your customer, know his NAME – AND NO YOU TWAT I AM NOT MR. GADLOCK.CHECK YOUR LIST. NOW SHOEEE!! OFF MY PROPERTY AND TAKE YOUR ROYAL gold – white, BLUE PLATES WITH YOU!’’
Helena tucked at her Grandfather’s sleeve – he just said ‘’it means ‘’oily and insincere you monkey, go play outside’’. She tucked again. ‘’One can play golf and be as poor as a horse’s ass, because you know your soul and important things and don’t have the need for friends and oily pretense as feed. Your big ego is gone.’’
The girl was gone, out the door as fast as her legs would carry her.
Grandmother was nursing the salesman’s spirit in the kitchen. Helena immediately chirped in.
Sir, may I ask you something?” Her Grandmother watched her from the corner table while she held the fine blue and gold – white teapot.
‘’Is your ego very big? Can you show me how big it is? When Grandpa tells me the secret of the pyramid I can ask Grandmother to call you. I can then tell you how to make it smaller so you can play golf and not worry about anything!’’
Helena was born ‘’direct’’ but was a very shy child. From her Grandfather she got her answers and from endless experimentation and from an equal amount of questions she directed at those she thought held the answers. Mostly, from books. Between her parents and grandparents on her Mother’s side she was stuck in a wonderland of magnificent books. From the angels and the spirit world and other people’s thoughts she learned some of the most significant things that she would treasure throughout her life. Mostly she learned slowly but surely that people were entangled in themselves and not the finished products they thought they were. After the muck up with the salesman the previous day, she cried for a whole day.
She threw her doll in the trashcan the next day. Grandma was terribly upset with the almost hysterically, crying little girl. Helena wanted to know in her childish way, why all people big and small were not in school every day. ‘’Should grownups not also be in school every day? ‘’ They make dolls perfect and it is not true it is ‘’make belief’’, we are not finished. We must learn many things. I am very afraid because all the big people are crazy, or they do not know anything. Who will teach me when Grandpa dies?’’
The week that’s just gone by had proven to be too much for Helena. Grandmother was the epitome of selfless service, kindness, gentleness, and a faithful walk in Christ in her mind. The picture became blemished between sewing, a death and her Grandfather’s bellowing laugh. She felt afraid because of people’s words.
It was Tuesday afternoon. Let sat in front of her sewing machine in the wide passage at the back of the house. The servant was still putting the Turkish lavish carpet back into the middle of the shiny wooden floor of the woman’s boudoir where the old lady usually did all her sewing and necessary needlework.
It was the last day of winter. 2 Weeks before the inners of the duvets were taken out threshed, washed and sprinkled with powder and put back inside their covers and rolled up until the next winter.
Each season Helena’s Grandma changed the curtains in the house. The whole house was mix- and matched according to the season. Helena disliked the tasteful, powdery hint of light green covers that shouted ‘’spring’’ was there.
The whole house changed. To lose out on the velvet sherry colored zip covers in the lounge that always made her feel safe, until next winter, did not make her comfortable at all.
She loved cleaning and especially shining things until they were bright. She would spend hours shining and polishing the arrangement of pokers in front of the fireplace with Polly. Polly loved the little girl and had taught her to clean the fine dust off the lines between the tiles surrounding the fireplace and how to push the massive, big flower pot on the trolley, that Grandma filled with flowers twice a week.
Helena was sitting folding napkins with super clean hands next to Grandma Let in the passage. The girl was sitting on her small chair and was folding the napkins for the servant to iron.
Grandma would check that Helena folded the corners exactly straight and shout something in a soft but firm voice to the servant rearranging the boudoir every couple of minutes. Mostly she was making a shirt for Helena for Spring day celebrations. ‘’Aviv’’ was an important celebration for the Jews. So also, the Purim festival. Earlier that day the little girl helped Gran to bake ‘’Hamman’s Ears’’ for the celebrations. Helena would always sit shivering throughout the services listening to the Rabbi reading the scroll about the 23-meter-high gallows that Hamman prepared for the Jews and then got hanged on himself, including his family. To her it was all fine and noble, but she could not understand why people would bake ‘’those’’ tarts and give them to children to eat as food.
She asked her Grandfather earlier during the day; what you called people who ate other people.
That night she had nightmares about Hamman. When she grew older she realized that the word sounded like ‘’nam (a)’’ – south – backwards.
Helena was somewhat consoled by being able to sit near her Grandma and watched the newborn kittens running amuck, from far away. Let was in a hurry, nightfall was approaching, and she still had to see to the last trimmings of the evening meal. She was punishing the foot wheel and the Zephyr sewing machine was clacking away as she was rushing, sewing the blouse in front of her. She got really annoyed as the machine double stitched without any prompting and cried out – satan!
At that particular moment Helena saw the one black kitten running away from his sibling, who was just a bundle of fluff himself, down the passage. He ran full speed ahead, ears flailing and beached right under Grandma’s clacking foot. Grandpa was on his way to the bathroom and wanted to check on his wife first. He witnessed the ktmiaauwhelpppp crash and picked the kitten, with his skew neck facing in the opposite direction, off the floor under Grandma’s foot. It took the old man about two minutes to get down to the ground very shakily. He told his wife it was a man’s job to deal with the burial and rituals of the dead.
Helena watched in fascination as she saw the glimmer in his eyes, the glimmer of barely concealed laughter.
He held up the find in one hand, resting and holding himself upright by pushing against the mobile sewing machine set. That was a mistake. The whole caboodle cartwheeled, and Polly stopped Gran and Grandpa from injuring themselves seriously. She managed it, by blocking the whole mobile and the 2 of them with her own weight by slowly keeling the whole train the other way again. That still managed to send them both flying and landing in a confused heap, the dead cat hanging over the top of Let’s forehead looking south from his vintage point in Grandpa’s hand. Helena fled in time to miss being slammed with the mobile s. m. unit but lay flat on her back giggling uncontrollably at the spectacle.
Before anyone could catch their breath, her Grandfather said – ‘’Let next time you want to rebuke the devil make sure you word it properly – chase him away don’t call him.’’
That week, between the loss of the cute woolly cat, Grandpa’s remarks and the salesman who forgot Grandpa’s name and the size of his own ego and the separation angst of all the beautiful winter curtains, covers and other familiar things, proved too much for Helena. All she had ever wanted was to understand people and help them like grandma Let.
When she took a bite out of a Hamman’s ear pastry and looked at the congregation dancing and celebrating she felt completely lost in a crazy world of if’s and dots and people who could hang each other depending on whose side, God was on.
Her Grandfather sent the servant to the city hall where the celebrations took place to fetch Helena.
He brought her into his room and gave her the deep burgundy colored box. Inside the box was a gift.
It belonged to his father and his father before him etc.
‘’You are right about the make belief’’.
‘’We are all fragmented people with the bad soul competing with our gentle, truthful spirit inside us every day’’.
‘’Master all of these sides of you and you will succeed and be one of God’s exceptional children.’’
‘’One who treasures the truth of openness and love, compassion and righteousness.’’
He gave Helena the much-treasured box of Babushkas that had been in his family for 7 centuries.
Helena knew she would forever be studying the lesson. That she herself as all other people would struggle all her life with the layers, the veils of her own humanity. Trying to be true to the inner most Babushka. Her zero point, the smallest space, but also the most important space that represented the core of human beings’ struggle with the definition of self in a screwed-up pyramid – like world. The complexity of the beehive of white energy – crystal like substance that people called the ‘’spirit’’.
Forget about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It felt more like trying to square a hexagon shaped circle around a triangulation of the most intricate kind. Throwing donuts, spiritual donuts that left the tire tracks burning on the little girl’s spirit, body, and soul.
For years to come she would land the small 4-seater plane on the small island inlet for century old uncle Tiberias, thrusting and flapping her way in and leaving uncalled for marks on the short, neat runway. She wanted the runway to bear and exhibit her pain. It was akin to smoking rubber on a tar road. It was her smoke signaling way of acknowledging and screaming that her spirit was bleeding. Luckily, she did not know what the future had in store for her.
Vanitas 5 – Postcards Received
Listen with me to the song by Anneli Van Rooyen – ”Neem my op vlerke”…..(Take me on wings)….Treffers Op Versoek ℗1983 EMI Music South Africa (Pty) Ltd Released on: 2009-01-01 Producer: Boet Pretorius Composer: Giesecke Composer: Hammerschmidt Composer: Anneli Van Rooyen
Licensed to YouTube by Universal Music Group