A friend shows me her Grandmother’s ring on her finger. She is emotional and very moved telling me how much this ring means to her, how much her Grandmother meant to her.
Another friend shows me the ceramic bowls she created in her first few pottery classes. She describes preparing and centering the clay. She explains how this challenging process requires stillness, concentration, calm perseverance and becoming one with the clay.
Our three year old granddaughter brings me artwork she has created along with an elaborate description of the shapes and colours. Her unfiltered pride is evident in her smile when I display her painting on the refrigerator.
Are objects simply inanimate materials?
Is an heirloom handed down from past generations only symbolic of a special relationship?
Does artwork merely showcase the craftsman’s talent and skills?
Or is there an essence, an energy present that animates these physical materials?
I had not really thought about these concepts until I began to learn more about the Maori culture.
We were surrounded by many art forms visiting New Zealand this year. The Maori believe art is an expression of the life force, the energy within you.
They believe that a physical object, a Mauri, contains a vitality, an essence.
Maori art conveys spiritual information, ancestry and culturally important topics.
The Maori believe that the gods create and communicate through the master craftsmen.
We had the opportunity to visit Te Puia in Rotorua this year. Te Puia is home to the “New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.”
Today artists learn through classes and much practise. The styles vary from region to region.
Traditional Maori art was created using the materials available at the time, such as wood, bone, pounamu (jade or greenstone), paua (abalone) shell, flax, and feathers. Many artists continue to use these natural, organic materials today.
What do I think? Do I believe a person’s energy can be attached to an object?
Entire fields of science and pseudoscience are dedicated to the concept of objects and energy. I went down the “crystals” rabbit hole when reading about this subject. Possibly a future story.
I had not given this topic much thought until we were exploring New Zealand and learning about the Maori culture. I respect the Wisdom of the Ages. I try to keep my mind open to new ideas and possibilities.
I find I appreciate art more when I learn about the history and cultural significance of an item.
The Maori traditions have helped me recognize the spiritual connections we have with our environment and the emotional connections we have with our ancestors.
The effort and meticulous care taken during the creative process is an expression of our inner selves, our essence.
Are materials infused with love and energy during the creative process?
Is this life force passed on to the artifact?
I do believe it is. When I learn about the traditions, the history and the spiritual significance
The artwork takes on a life of its own.
What do you believe?