Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ox and O's...the movie

_Drawing from inside cover _ evertson©09

_My hand stamps found their way into my Artifact and Art Box; which contains the "game", Ox and O's. Loosely based on the tic tac toe game or in some countries, Noughts and Crosses; my piece is an assemblage of reflections. This assemblage although an art piece is also a game to be played.

Ox and O's...the movie

_As I carve my stamp hands; as much as I am trying to work out symbolic themes, I often find myself carving pairs of simple opposites. That dualistic thinking led me to "package" the idea as an art game of opposites. Noughts and Crosses appealed to me because of its simplicity as well as its role as an early childhood learning game. Much of the creativity we learn as children is from the result of play. I liked the fact that it becomes easy to develop strategy. With such a rapid learning curve every game soon ends in a draw. Of course, at that point the child learns all the game has to teach and moves on.

_The Ox reference comes not only from both simple word association of ox with x, but also its historical reference to Zen ox herding pictures as metaphors of the spiritual journey.

Ink painting by Gyokusei Jikihara _ 1982
Poem by master Kuoan _ 12th century

_The particular stamps I use in this version of the "game" are the Brush Holding Hand and (the word) Artifact. The creation and the created. An oblique reference to the unique struggle that can arise in artists and other "creatives" between immersion in process and a product. Process/ Result.

Collage_ Samsara V1a_evertson©09

_The interior collage is based on the original art of Ria Vanden Eynde, who inspired me to include a samsara reference to my box. Her original drawing of the grasping hand is shown in the post from November 14th.

_The Ox is a favorite subject of mine. About 10 years ago after a trip to Thailand I did some sketches based on oxen being worked in fields. It was probably during that time I came to realize the aptness of the ox in the herding metaphors.
Ox in Candlelight - evertson©05

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