New Civilization News - Category: Visual Arts, Graphics    
 A Sharing...
26 Apr 2003 @ 01:57, by waalstraat. Visual Arts, Graphics
I just felt like sharing my latest art work with my new friends at NCN...hope you enjoy it, I finished it in the early morning hours on Saturday...with love and blessings to all--Bernard  More >

 HGTV Featured My Gourd Rattles2 comments
picture 16 Apr 2003 @ 23:13, by raypows. Visual Arts, Graphics
You may know that I have a fascination with gourdcraft and their history. I have been gourdcrafting for a few years now. Check it out.

Recently I was honored to be featured on HGTV (Home Garden Network) as part of the Carol Duvall Show. Here is a synopsis and...

Last year the American Gourd Society did a print feature in their national newsletter. I am grateful for that communities enthusiasm and support.
Here is a reprint of the article they did on my work..


Inspired by research of ancient cultures throughout Europe and the Americas, these ceremonial gourd rattles are hand drawn, carved and woodburned with pottery images dating from 5000 - 1500 BC. It is my hope that I have captured the beauty and detail of the original.

The rattles are custom crafted from organically grown canteen gourds, approximately 5-6 inches in diameter. The handles are fitted from branches of poplar, oak, rose, redwood or yucca. The feathers, some of which are color dyed, are pheasant and peacock. The leather is dyed cowhide. Inside, a combination of elements: rice, corn, beans, river stone, even crystal is used to give each rattle its' unique voice. I also include sage, sweetgrass and other elements to enhance the gourd. The average height of each rattle is 15 inches.

Each Ceremonial Gourd Rattle is made to personal specifications. In this way you can choose the patterns, image and color combination that you desire. Using the information from your birth date, we also fill the gourd with a precise number of ingredients to enhance your experience.

There are many styles and explorations in my approach to art, writing, music and sound, yet the core is always my experience of what I call Spirit or Source in my life. Nature has always been an inspiration to me and a great teacher. Thus, all of my artistic endeavors express the relationship I have with Her.

I am located in Ojai, California. It is just south of Santa Barbara and inland from Ventura. I live 5 miles back in a secluded canyon with the Los Padres National Forest as my backyard. I live with my beautiful partner Letecia, who is the person that initially taught me to make gourd rattles and who has been filling in my knowledge base about Old European culture; the thematic designs on the rattles. We have a life dedicated to self-sustaining practices, which encompasses permaculture (we grow our own food, use well water, will soon have solar energy), and activism.

I knew right away that I wanted to focus some attention on making gourd rattles and because I have a distaste for co-opting others traditions, I looked towards my own lineage (Polish and Ukrainian) and discovered a wealth of information on the culture, as expressed in their artwork, and Spiritual traditions. The patterns I use, come from all parts of Old Europe dating from 5000 -1500 B.C. and some older. These are pre-patriarchal cultures whose beliefs centered around the Goddess, meaning a focus on seasonal cycles, moon cycles, birth/death/regeneration cycles, life passages etc. (See my website for the sources of my information, particularly Marija Gimbutas.) Women were much more empowered to participate in leadership roles and as the author Riane Eisler states, they were cultures that were based on partnership rather than dominance models. So the ancient pottery designs I use on my rattles represent the symbolic language that reflects the values of the Neolithic cultures of Europe. Because this is my personal lineage, I feel particularly drawn to these images. Therefore, these rattles serve several functions, personal tools for ceremony, fine art and an educational resource about Old Europe.

I was first attracted to canteen gourds because of the simplicity of their form, which lent themselves perfectly to the mandala type pottery patterns that I am working with. As I have begun to sprout and grow my own gourd patch, I am gaining a deeper appreciation of the Spirit of the plant as well. The rattles I am making cannot only be perceived as three dimensional art, but personal ceremonial or ritual tools as well. The patterns themselves are teachers and through delving deeper into their lineage, those of us with European genealogy, can come to know a more complete picture of our Old European his/herstory.

I give special thanks to Letecia Layson for sharing her knowledge of gourd crafting and wisdom of the Goddess culture. Her support is and has been invaluable. I also owe a great debt to Marija Gimbutas for her breakthrough research and generosity in sharing her discoveries and conclusions." Other than the fact that Letecia introduced me to gourd craft, there are many factors that keep me exploring this medium; the variant textures and colors of each gourd, the longevity of gourds themselves (there have been Egyptian gourd vases found upwards to 10,000 years old, in perfect condition), the wonderful smell during the wood burning process and now the relationship I have with the plants themselves as the new seedlings begin to grow.

The challenge now is to share the work as much as possible and have that aspect be a creative outlet as well. It's been exciting to see the international interest in this subject and my craft. My gourds have found homes in Canada, Germany and West Africa thus far. Letecia and I would like to have gallery showings and have them be classes about Old European Goddess culture. She is a scholar, researcher and facilitator for events and conferences on this subject matter.

Raymond's love of music and lyric writing began in his early teens. At age, fifteen he had begun his recording endeavors leading to the culmination of several releases on his own independent label, Paradise Boutique Records. He completed his studies in voice and composition at California State University at Northridge. His love of world culture and music inspired him to create two global compilations for K-Tel Records and to include a myriad of ethnic instruments in his own compositions. He has developed a unique musical style with Native American Flute, voice, world percussion and technology. Raymond has produced many artists and composed for film, video, and television.

Throughout the years, his endeavors have included a staff journalist position for Better World and Meditation magazine, business/life coach and consultant for entertainment companies such as A&M and Sonic Images, self-improvement workshop facilitator, and multimedia producer. He is also a gifted healer, studying and practicing modalities from the East, indigenous American culture, sound healing, bio-energetics, and spiritual counseling. His breakthrough approach in this field has led to interviews with GQ and Maxim magazines, as well as television, radio and Internet based media.  More >

 Knot of Eternity3 comments
picture4 Mar 2003 @ 21:56, by koravya. Visual Arts, Graphics
Having found the geometric underpinning
At the heart of the design of the Aztec calendar,
Where Do I go from here?
Here is a geometric symbol from Tibet,
One of the Eight Auspicious religious symbols,
The endless Knot, the Knot of Eternity,
Described on one site as symbolizing
“the unity of all things and the
illusory character of time.”
See also,
I’ve expanded it a little.
Don’t know where I’m going with this.
Here is a path.  More >

 The Great Inland Sea1 comment
picture4 Feb 2003 @ 00:08, by koravya. Visual Arts, Graphics
The Great Inland Sea of North Ollin.
Below are the faces in profile
Of the Lord of Light and the Lord of Darkness,
Face to Face,
Obsidian knife tongue to obsidian knife tongue.
Interpret that as you please.
Speak words of Wisdom,
For my Life and Ours
Depends upon the Truth of our speech.
Each twin emerges from the mouth of a serpent,
The serpent of time as reflected in the movements of our planets,
Meeting tail to tail, at the keystone date, thirteen reed.
*_*_*_ _*_*_*
From my days in Madison, Wisconsin,
I recall visiting the pyramid earth mounds
At a place the western settlers called Aztalan,
For the people who had occupied the place had long gone,
And the mounds were reminiscent of the Mexican pyramids.
_*_*_* *_*_*_  More >

 On the Backs of Turtles3 comments
picture28 Jan 2003 @ 22:26, by koravya. Visual Arts, Graphics
What we know as the American continents
are known as the twin turtles to the Native culture.
Globalizing the concept into the four turtles
of Eurasia including the Australian extension,
Africa, North Ollin and South Ollin,
the four quadrants of the Aztec calendar
each contain four circles.
In three of the quadrants, the arrangement is symmetrical,
while in the fourth, that of South Ollin,
the arrangement is asymmetrical.
All of this is just a meditation on
the nature of developing a consciousness
of the essential characteristics of the
design of the Aztec calendar stone.  More >

 Naked States - not lewd but indeed lurid!21 comments
picture19 Dec 2002 @ 14:26, by jewel. Visual Arts, Graphics
Ming said yesterday

"I was watching a documentary on HBO about this artist Spencer Tunick who has been traveling America and the world, photographing nude people in unusual settings and arrangements. Now, what was very refreshing and inspiring about that is that there is nothing lewd or even tintilating about how he does it. It is very normal people, not picked based on any standard of physical beauty, but mainly based on that they're real people that one meets on the street. And there is something very powerful and beautiful that comes from that. Besides being art, and performance art, it is activism. It is activism asking us to look at things a bit differently, and breaking through stupid bourgeois norms for what is proper and expected."

I remember watching a documentary about Tunick's work on the ITV last year in the U.K. I would agree that it is very refreshing and radical. That this might indeed be the kind of answer we need to get out and DO: Yes! All size and shapes of nudes for peace, nudes for exposure, nudes for some sort of message and Truth with a capital T.

But I wouldn't say this is NOT lewd and tintilating, only in that we denounce being lewd and tintilating for it's own sake. What is lewd? What is tintilating? When it is cut off from the rest of us, then it is crass and lewd. But do you think this art is NOT erotic? I think it includes being erotic by it's Nature. By not seeming to be about the flesh, but by using the flesh, it becomes even MORE about the flesh... about the flesh we hide and deny. But then the perversions is that there is a lewd and lurid obsession with flesh that 'acts out' the parts of us that have been hidden. Tunick is lurid in that he is vivid. He is NOT obscene in that he IS obscene beyond obscenity. To say he is NOT what he IS, is the transcendence of when things are healing on many levels, dealing with where we are split apart whilst we become whole again just to split ourselves up for the sake of it.

The settings in which his nudes appear in to me are very exciting and arousing because they embody where we are so split from Nature, and thus, bringing the Nude Nature into the setting, is like some pledge from purgatory that is pleading us back into some purpose and inclusive reality. Therefore it's existential and idealistic at once. I am always for radical expressions that include the beauty and bizarre of our human pain and pleasure.  More >

picture16 Dec 2002 @ 12:29, by swan. Visual Arts, Graphics
Quilt by Martha Borders mmborders  More >

 Quartering the Calendar1 comment
picture4 Dec 2002 @ 22:56, by koravya. Visual Arts, Graphics
A closer look at each of four quarters
of the outer ring of the Aztec Calendar.
Here at the bottom are the faces in profile of the
Lord of Darkness and the Lord of Light
each emerging from the mouth of a Serpent.
The semi-circle of each serpent's body
extends around the perimeter of the Calendar
and they meet tail to tail at the top.  More >

 The Fish and the Tree2 comments
picture21 Nov 2002 @ 22:06, by koravya. Visual Arts, Graphics
Another Image from ancient Gotland.
A cross section of the sphere of Life.
Beneath the surface of water,
All Aquatic Life.
Above the surface, the Global Forest,
And all that Lives within the sea of Air.
The roots of the Tree reach into the water,
With an echo on the far right
Tying the Land to the Water.  More >

 Thoughts on a New Civilization
picture18 Nov 2002 @ 10:51, by swan. Visual Arts, Graphics

Photocollage and writing by John Ashbaugh koravya  More >

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