Monday, 17 September 2012

Simply A Moment at the YSP

If you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I joined in with Alexa's Simply A Moment challenge. The idea was to pick a moment in time on the 15th September and focus in on as much detail as possible. Not something I have an innate talent for. My mind is normally on fast forward or rewind and rarely in the moment. When I've practised meditation, it's being in the present and mindful that I struggle most with.

There was no particular time chosen and I stayed open to possibility. I kept a pad of paper and pen with me along with Alexa's pdf which I'd printed out for guidelines. I knew we were going to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and I envisaged that I'd take time out to try this exercise whilst sat taking refreshments. But as it happened, I found myself having a pause before then and grabbed the opportunity to make detailed notes on those few moments instead.

The resulting text I wrote up after I returned home and used in the above digital layout is as follows...

Saturday 15th September 2012

12.34 a.m.

I’m sat on a cool white, minimalist bench in the centre of the exhibition hall of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The Spanish artist, Joan Miro’s work is on display. I’m fascinated by his paintings and use of bold brush strokes combined with the limited palette of bright accents he uses. I’m also inspired by how the same themes are explored and repeated in his works, how an idea is worked over, and consistently delved into. 

Nick & I look at art individually and then come together to discuss afterwards. We rarely walk round together. He’s in the second room, with his ipad, looking up on google, more information on the artist. My feet are tingling from all the walking we’ve been doing and I’m grabbing the opportunity to sit and enjoy this moment in time. 

I hear shuffling of feet, all the other patrons in the hall. There’s a general low murmur of noise, people talking, but I don’t hear any particular words, just the white noise of it. It’s soothing, fitting, expected. There’s a child shuffling it’s feet, then someone sneezes. A mother decides to sit down next to me, with her two children. There’s a whiff of soiled pants and my tranquil state is interrupted by the noise and fuss this woman brings with her. She’s constantly chatting to the two boys, who are animated and instructing them to draw on their pieces of paper. She’s whittering non-stop whilst I concentrate on my task of writing, knowing that she unfortunately is a part of my moment. I mustn’t blank her out. The father is hovering with a rucsac, hoping I’ll move. I don’t.

We’ve picked a perfect day to visit this park. There’s a beautiful blue sky and the sun is out in full force. The bench I’m on is right in front of a large wall of glass. The heat from the sun, is warming on my back. I went out dressed for colder conditions, but have stripped off my jumper and am sat in an all grey ensemble of jeans and polo shirt. 

My camera is sat by my side. It’s away from my normal comfort zone. I usually have it strapped to me, so no chancer can walk by and steal it. I feel it should be safe here but that level of discomfort is there subconsciously. Nick has come out of the room in front of me, so I rise, taking my satchel and camera with me and walk with him to the next room. I look briefly behind me and there is the father sat in the space I left.

It was definitely an interesting experience to sit and reflect on a singular moment and one which I shall hope to repeat if Alexa prompts us next month. It may even help me to focus and be more in the present.

And before I go, here's a couple more photos from my day at the park...

The Gormley is back but situated on a different tree stump this time. There's also a new footpath around the lake opened up where this now stands, which was begging to be explored.

One of the Miro sculptures on display.

And a new sculpture to us, found on the lakeside trail.

I hope everyone else has had a creative and fun weekend. Pxx


Sarah said...

I was all tranquil there right with you, until the "whiff of soiled pants" :)

you certainly did a great job of describing your moment!

I've always wanted to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but unfortunately it's at the wrong end of the country for me

JoZart said...

I enjoyed reading about your "moment", which, as it is now spreading in ever increasing circles is no longer just a moment yet will always be a moment.
Don't be too self critical.... you have excellent writing skills.
I love the Miro sculpture especially as I've only previously seen his paintings.
Thanks for sharing the moment!!!!!
Lv Jo x

Introverted Art said...

The Miro sculpture is superb. Truly beautiful.

alexa said...

I just love the vividness of your writing, Paul :). I felt as if I were right there, and you've woven so many threads which also communicate so much about you (in the nicest way!), your relationships, your responses to things around you ... I've reread it several times and will be back! Thank-you so much for your response and contribution. xx
PS Your layout design and the weathered look is perfect.

Jennie Hart said...

I've popped in from Alexa's post and really enjoyed it. As a mother of two boys I am always anxious about taking them to places, precisely for your response. I really appreciate that you let them be and didn't indicate your displeasure while they try to encourage them in something other than visiting 'children friendly' play areas.

Justie said...

You seem to have a way with words Paul. Keep up the good work. Enjoy your photos. I didn't do too much artwork this past weekend. I have a lot of ideas that always pop in my head. Hope the week going good for you so far?


Jimjams said...

Beautifully written.
The YSP has been on my list of places to visit for ages - your photos have nudged it nearer the top.

Amy said...

Hi Paul, I'm a regular reader over on Alexa's blog and I'm thrilled she linked your Simple Moment this month. I have been able to relate to so many aspects of your moment; from being the parent with the child who has soiled their pants, to carefully guarding my camera.

Honoré said...

Hi Paul, I was led here by Alexa. Must say, I was sitting right there on that bench with you. Thoroughly enjoyed sharing your moment. I'm in Washington DC and wish I could really see the exhibit. Sounds wonderful.

- Jodie Lee - said...

Just gorgeous photos there Paul!

Cath Wilson said...

Ooh, love, love, LOVE this idea - creative writing at its best because it gets you to explore what's going on in the depths of your mind, which permits you to explore what goes on in others' minds and what a dangerous exploration that could turn out to be - and how much happens in one minute? I'm not sure I could ever pin my mind down, either, and especially at the moment but it really is an interesting exercise and one I'd love to try, especially in current frame of mind. Looks like a lovely place to visit, too. Thanks for sharing, Paul and opening up my mind yet again x

Neet said...

Love Miro's sculptures and this is another place on my 'to do' list of places to go. In fact the list is constantly growing from reading your blog.
Paul, you should write a book. Your description of your "moment" is fascinating. Lovely descriptive piece of writing.
Thanks for sharing - am passing this on to Chas to read.
Hugs, Neet xx