The verb resonate, from the Latin resonatum, first referred to sound, but has now taken on an emotional connotation. When something 'resonates' it moves us and evokes a feeling of familiarity within us. It works on an emotional level because we relate to it. To resonate is to make, hear, or understand a deep, full sound. To expand, amplify; sound can resonate when broadcast through speakers, and so can an idea or feeling when expressed articulately or with passion. In spiritual resonance the links which unite all things in the Universe (physical objects, mental processes, psychic phenomena, spiritual levels, in other words everything manifested) have as a basis the process of resonance.
Scientifically, making art can be a process of initiating and amplifying a vibratory response (link) in a receiving system that is attuned to an emitting system, in which the frequency of the two systems are close or identical. During resonance, a transfer of subtle energy takes place, from the emitting source to the receiver.
In the light of resonance, metaphysical energy in the form of metaphors and symbols can start to make sense, can become a door toward invisible realities.
I wanted to explore the meaning of a word which is used so often in the artworld, to understand how or why recently, for some time, I have been so strongly drawn to a particular place where a hawthorn tree sits with its roots bared above a huge granite rock, with a well, dark and deep below it, on the site of an ancient chapel at Carn Euny.
What is it about this place that feels familiar I wonder, what metaphors does it offer? It feels cumbersome, inadequate, to explore possible links in words, whereas a drawing, or more precisely the act of drawing seems to come closer to a kind of understanding of and through portraying the process, rather than analysing with the use of words.
The 'process of resonance' at times has a spell-binding, mystical, pure quality I feel I may break by transferring to words, diluting and naming. To make marks, the act of drawing, reflects the 'resonance process'. The drawing acts as a record, is a direct response to the 'feeling of resonance' and a device for sharing the delight in the pure, physical and psychological feelings of elation from a connection or understanding arising deep within.
I have been tagging along with the artists group Walking the Land on their First Friday Walks preceded by virtual working lunch, in which we have been investigating ‘sense of place’ through individual and collaborative practice A form of resonance, certainly a feeling of familiarity and connection on some level. Though it has more of a feeling of 'coming home' perhaps than resonance. More recently we discussed how sense of place happens and this is one of the things got me to pondering on the resonance process. Distinguishing the two is pondering material for another rainy day, and another blog.
A Stream is Just a Stream
Making a film to investigate knowing, recognising and responding to sense of place.
My March First Friday Walk with Walking the Land took me to Rinsey, the opposite direction to the one I had intended. A second impulse, on arriving was to walk a different route to the one I had always done. This ‘walking differently in the same place’ presented me a different perspective of Praa Sands beach I knew well from the other side.
It was on the way back that I had been stopped, intrigued by the babbling sound of water. A long, dancing rivulet coursed towards and beneath my feet from a long way ahead on the path, and petered out beside me as it fell over the cliff edge.
My instinct was to film along the length of the water, from its appearance in the undergrowth ahead to its disappearance beside me, so I had one image of the whole of it and also a record of the sound. I assumed that was what had caught my attention. It was certainly a wonderfully lively sound. Seemingly otherwise aesthetically, historically or geographically indistinct. I also took some stills. all done without much thought.
Later, I toyed with the stills to make them less figurative, the forms softer, losing their original contemporary colour to the black and white of time gone by, and documentary.
I then played with editing the short pieces of film, in a rudimentary way. Again instinctive, not much thought.
Of the three simple editing commands available on my mobile editing app I chose speed. Slowed down, the place in the film has a more liminal, less concrete view. Immediately, the first film resonated and I felt a connection, to the film and also why I had originally paused, yet still unable to put into words exactly what this was.
Following my intuition, walking a different path in a familiar place. Filming and photographing, without much thought. Later, the realisation, when playing with editing, was that making these images was the journey towards understanding the essence of why I had paused at such an unremarkable stream.
I was vaguely aware I stopped with the sense of an anomaly between the energetic sound and the almost indiscernible movement of the stream. I was reeled in to one unremarkable, small feature of this wide, open coastline landscape.
I made a film about the intuitive process of being drawn to a place in order to find an analogy for an internal state. A film about time, passing imperceptibly, were it not for the ripple of light here, or there to show that we are slowly moving through life or loss. About navigating life’s challenges, taking the well trodden path of least resistance around the ditches and stones.
The #walkingtheland challenge was to look at how we know, recognise and respond to place. And there it is. In a stumbled upon stream.