Only this actual moment is life

Kimberly Boulon, the owner of Kimberly Boulon Fine Arts Gallery here on St John, recently held a multi-media art show called "Perspectives: Reflections" to raise funds for the St John School of the Arts and celebrate the St John Historical Society. It was a fabulous event, her events always are. Here is the piece I was very happy to contribute:



Only this actual moment is life; copper, silver, bronze, vitreous enamel, antique clock case; 2015

About a decade ago I attended an event at the ballfield across from Mongoose Junction. I will never forget this:  an older lady had a selection of beautiful and functional items that she had woven from vine material. I used all of the cash that I had in my pocket to buy a wallet, a bracelet, a set of coasters and a post card from the treasures that she offered. This was my first encounter with sustainable craft, a longtime tradition on St John, and the "perspective" that I am celebrating in my work Only this actual moment is life.

When you turn the crank on the pendant, an enameled tyre palm blows in the wind, bringing to mind the handmade tyre palm brooms that every household once kept in their homes.  It also references the winds of change, which have affected the making of sustainable craft in many communities in this last half century of rapid technological advancement.

Sustainable craft is the focused work of making functional objects using materials collected locally. It is very much a way of living in the present, and that is why I have entitled this piece Only this actual moment is life, which is a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist.  This idea carries over to the back with a quote from Rumi:  Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them.  Feel the artistry move through and be silent.

The mechanical tyre palm pendant hangs in an antique clock case, keeping the memory of a vanishing tradition alive while ackowledging its place in the past as it becomes replaced by other ways of doing things--just as the donkey has been replaced as a form of transportation by motor vehicles here. This is depicted in the sepia image underneath the tyre palm on the clock case.

Kim Nogueira