I love the idea of this thread and want to encourage folks to share posts that particularly catch the energy and dream of AND here.
(I'm thinking that it might be good to highlight the central idea so people can skim if they'd like...so...)WHEN HORSES AND PEOPLE BECOME ART TOGETHER: WINDHORSESUE
This one is from Sue -- originally posted on another forum all together, and then posted in her diary. For me, it captures the creative essence of AND exquisitely.
> So when does art become art? What is essential in the rider in the
> progression from student to artist? They will not all become artists,
>I believe everyone is an artist and capable of Art. This is I seem to >differ
>from so many others, which I must say mystifies me.
I agree with you Jas; Everyone is an artist and everyone is theoretically
capable of art.
When does art become art?
I would like to suggest this criteria.
Art is any creative action (or product of action), which is carried out with
love and mindfulness.
This is why there is never an argument that children's art is truly art, despite
it's obvious crudity. Anyone who has ever watched a four year old passionately
engrossed in smearing paint on paper or wall has seen the love and mindfulness
and recognized the art of their endevours, regardless of the technical skill
Likewise, a humble family meal is artwork, when the cook prepares and presents
it with love and care, just as much as a cordon bleu offering from a five star
restaurant is, IF the chef created it with similar pasion .
By this criteria, in those magic moments when I'm smiling from the inside out,
and that smile descends down into my seat, out into my hands, up into my
attentive awareness and throughout my whole body, and my horse smiles with me,
up into her back, down her legs into her feet, out through her neck and croup,
right through her whole body, and we ride together in this mutual love and
attentiveness, we create art, regardless of whether we're cantering along the
cycle track and snatching leafy treats, or doing one tempi changes on a looped
rein in the arena. (This is theoretical because we haven't quite mastered the
latter yet, although the former is pretty good!<ggg>)
By this criteria, I'm proud to say that I am an equestrian artist. And sometimes
what I create is art.
By this criteria, I can honestly say that my horse is an artist too, because she
has been given the freedom and encouragement to participate actively, as an
initiator and suggester of ideas, rather than just as a tool I use to express my
creativity. She also can be creative and joyous, and sometimes she offers her
participation in our strange activities with love and mindfulness, and then what
she creates is art too.
I have just returned from a trip to the Altay Mountains in very remote China,
where I participated in an 80 km endurance race. We had four days prior to the
race to get to know our borrowed horses. By the great fortune of fate, I chose a
horse that was barely "broken", so wild but so wonderful that we had the chance
to make a huge impact on each other and fall deeply in love.
I came home with the trophy for best female rider. My horse and I didn't win
the race - we were more than an hour off the winning pace. But I like to think
that what the judges saw was ART. During the short time we had spent together,
we had learnt to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses and support
each other through them, to understand when the other needed help and be there
to fill the gap, to ask each others opinion and advice in difficult situations
and trust each other implicitly with the answers, to conserve and make maximum
use of our energy by working with synergy, to move together with complete
attentiveness and relaxation, so that what specators eventually saw was the
beauty of twobecomeone, -despite a rocky - literally!<g> - beginning.
If it can be accepted that this is indeed art, it is being presented in a very
dffferent form to classical dressage. Perhaps I could compare my "endurance" art
to a toddlers painting formed of crude lines and colourful splotches, whereas
the Art of Classical Dressage presents the fine detail and subtle techniques of
But, I believe, some basic characteristics, evolving from love and mindfulness,
are the same.
At the opposite end of this same criteria is dressage, classical or otherwise,
or any form of horseriding, which doesn't have love and mindfulness at it's
If I look at photos of classically exquisite horses in classically perfect
poses, and I see pain, subjugation, resignation, bondage, fear in the horses
face, I do not experience it as art, because I cannot believe that this
creation is a product of love.
When I ride, and there are people hanging over the fence watching, and I begin
to think about those spectators, and how I might possibly impress them, and I
ride to their imagined acclaim or otherwise, I lose the mindfulness, temporarily
forget the love, and there is no art. At best I can present a show, a facsimile
of art. A flawed reproduction. At worst, a parody, or a mess of overturned paint
pottles on the floor.
So for me, Art is not defined by the "style" of horsemanship - whether it be
western, classical, modern, or backyard playmate. It's defined completely by the
love and mindfulness of it's creator(s). I don't believe that there is
neccessarily a bridge to cross between being a student and being an artist. As
artists and students we are all working somewhere along a continuum between
crudity and refinement. Some will become bored or frustrated and give up.
Others will sour and place attainment goals above the process and perhaps
achieve fame and fortune, but lose the inner beauty. Some of us will attain
great refinement in our art, and some will be forever satisfied with daubing
bright colours with a thick brush.
You can find it in context here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=237&p=62682#p62682
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi www.imaginalinstitute.com