Showing posts from September, 2008


Wouldn't call this "a video" so much as how one might talk in a quiet conversation with a friend. Therefore, a vlog (video blog). Sparked by a discussion of 'change' in my dance class, reminiscences on my years of journaling leading me to feel that we only become more of who we are...

Comic Book Characters

Another side... this one makes us laugh. Hope you get a chuckle too.

(1:45sec) "White," Butoh-inspired dance-in-progress

This blog is a place where I keep my work, along with the progress of pieces. Here's a little Butoh-inspired dance piece in the process of...

Last night I stayed up till 3am composing piano notes in GarageBand to go with it, but had trouble synchronizing, also the notes were too busy in the middle. My first go with GarageBand, and I'm not a musician, so allowing my clumsiness to guide me.

Then I'd also like to overlay images since I found something that struck me on National Geographic this morning, but don't seem to be able to do it in iMovie. Should I go for broke and invest in FinalCut Express? Hopefully I can copy my old Photoshop Elements onto this computer and might be able to change transparencies to overlay that way.

In the Japanese aesthetic, art is always embodied in images of nature. This is true of Haiku as well as Butoh. I may or may not add the photo, but I'd like to have the technical capability to try it and see if it works.

Anyway, the uncut video. I h…

(4:16) On Butoh-based Dance: A Saturday morning amble...

Discussing Butoh-based dance having just completed a 4 day workshop with Denise Fujiwara in Toronto, Canada.

Ok, so. My first iMac video on Butoh-based dance with a poem in my white flannel nightgown this morning.

Even before coffee. I leave as is. Though I did add the poem later this evening and you might have to increase the volume since, though I re-recorded a number of times much closer to the computer's built-in microphone than the original clip, I wasn't able to arrive at the same volume levels.

In the emptiness of the dancer everything comes to be. I hope I imparted this in my little experimental video. Sharing a recent experience which I am in the process of understanding.

Strange and surreal as it appears, the intensity of the dancers, intimacy, exposure, vulnerability are the core of Butoh.

YouTube URL here

Butoh Dancers

do not express but expose embodied emotion

in the Noh tradition of restraint

line of red belts on the kimonos

the dancers move towards us

as slowly …

Four Hard Drives in as many weeks and counting...

Today my 3 month old Dell Inspiron laptop arrived back from a Dell Depot. Installed in it is a fourth hard drive, the fourth since the first one failed about mid-August, followed by the failure of the second one 3 days after it was installed, followed by the failure of the 3rd hard drive one hour into the four-hour Vista installation process. I see they have replaced the hard drive and the motherboard this time. I wonder if the laptop will actually work smoothly for the rest of its natural life?

I purchased my iMac nearly 6 years ago and it has run like a dream - never crashed, never had a virus. The most stable computer I have ever owned.

I had the laptop upgraded and configured for my daughter and it was always my intention to give it to her when I was able to afford the MacBook I really wanted.

My short foray into the PC world, however, is enough for me.

This woman is an Apple woman. An Apple woman this woman is.

I'm going for the 24" iMac with a tax credit from some years back…
the air that I breathe out carries me with it,
the air that I breathe in
brings me back

Red Balloon

Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon)
Albert Lamorisse, France, 1956 34 min

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris. Winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, despite almost no dialog spoken in the film.

Le Voyage Du Balloon Rouge (Flight of the Red Balloon)
Hou Hsiao-hsien, France, 2008 113 min
A little boy and his baby-sitter inhabit the same imaginary world: through their adventures they are followed by a strange red balloon. Directed by celebrated Taiwanese New Wave director Hou Hsiao-hsien who captures the magic of the mysterious balloon often through an elegant use of the reflection of mirrors and glass.

A more thorough synopsis of the film here.

May be spoilers, not sure. I sought to write something that would enhance your viewing if you saw these films. I explore the red balloon as poetic image. Not a film review; rather the way my thoughts of the movie hovered and swam in the air like the red balloon.

The Red Balloon, the 1956 near…

The Painting Nook

woke this morning with a sense of joy as I cannot express, something that hasn't happened in a long time, such relief so welcome

In the middle of August in the Summer of 2008

Perhaps there were different ways of understanding, parallel paths of interpretation and it was impossible to pick which was more real. Or you could let your feelings emerge in meditation, the sadness, sorrow, rage, lust, tenderness, love.First one, and then the other seemed likely.But, no, it was more like a kaleidoscope of turbulent thoughts and chaotic feelings.Perhaps they were lassos you were flinging from each hand, sometimes they swung wildly divergently, sometimes they entangled.The problem was there was no strategy, or even a map of where we were.Or probably you didn't swing anything and the parallel ways of understanding were the metaphor I was most comfortable with.

I couldn't decide, on the long walk grocery shopping that day which path more accurately represented your feelings, or mine, or what happened.Or when I lay at the beach on the hot day imagining Ferris wheels of kaleidoscopes where everything impinged on everything else.

It was an embarrassing situation from…
what is it in life that is reorienting slowly?
with all the fans off last night wake to the press of heat sun streaming through veils of leaves

Me as an Audience Extra

The last year has been one of the most difficult years of my life. While I cannot share much of what has happened, the good news is that I am still going. Sometimes I'm not sure how.

At the end of May my last contract position ended and since then I have been officially unemployed, a disempowering experience to say the least.

Anyhow, for a new experience last Friday I was an 'audience extra' at Market Call Tonight on BNN. Here's a clip of me asking a question, something I make myself do whenever I attend a seminar. Okay, I don't know a lot about the stock market, but I realized that I know more than I thought I did.

By all means watch the whole show, Ross Healy's viewpoints are interesting. If you want to see yours truly, a little nervous (could have done with some of those beta blockers, laughs) go to 7:25 on this clip (after the ads) for about 2 minutes to hear his full answer.

Bridging Transformations

In the time of transformation, what bridges the gap between what is disappearing and what is coming to be?

What do we leave behind to cross?

Who are we to meet?

As we transform, what are we bridging in ourselves?

I found these questions scrawled in my notebook. Surely that day in late August I had something specific in mind. Perhaps I had just seen the video clips for the movie, Man on Wire, of Philippe Petit's dream to walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center, and who did it in 1974. Twenty-seven years before their destruction, his delicate dance of balance across the strung edge of death bridged his dream to its realization.

Or perhaps I was considering the Oracle of the Hunab Ku, number 36: Bridge.

What bridges the crossing for you?

What are you crossing from,
and where are you going?

Discus Thrower

Discus Thrower, ©Brenda Clews 2008, oil pastel on paper, 13" x 17", 33cm x 43cm (click on image for larger size)

Began by playing with some new oil pastels while watching a movie, abstract at first rubbing and painting the soluble colours but I'm a figurative artist and so overlaid them with a guy inspired by the famous Ancient Greek Discus Thrower, in turn obviously inspired by the Olympics that I watched obsessively for two weeks. It is amazing how our experiences come through in our art. As I outlined him, first putting in and then removing an arm to give him a paradoxical angle whereby he can appear to be facing the viewer or with his back to us, depending on the light -squint & you'll see him from behind, look and you'll see the barest representation of a face to incline you to think he is facing us- I thought, to me he represents a 'force of nature.'
In my recent paintings I have chosen to work slowly with an eye to detail; this, by contrast, was …