A visitor from the Philippines - third blog

11 Dec, 2019

Marrz Capanang is co-founder of Alima Community, Artivism Iloilo, and Himbon Contemporary Ilonggo Artists Group. He took part in a week long-residency with Haarlem Artspace in July 2019.

Seeing people gathered in the market trading smiles and good vibes define the essence of a true community, it was an enjoyable sight. Not long after Livvy arrived then we went straight to Mercia, according to her they have the best coffee in town so we sat there and talked about my concept for the mural while waiting for our order. I told Livvy I have not prepared a sketch or any concept at all, literally I crushed her excitement for a mere moment. To lessen her disappointment, I shared to her my intuitive art process/approach and she immediately understood what I meant. But of course she had to explain this to the teachers in the Primary School.

As soon as the coffee and cake melted in our healthy conversation, we went straight to the Primary School. We talked to the head teacher and showed us the wall where we will paint the mural; it was not big and not even small perhaps the right size for the school. Although, we didn’t stay long there and we then headed towards Stoney Hill. The sign looked like from a Harry Potter movie, as we went further in we stopped by a clearing and Livvy asked me to try the labyrinth. She did not explain much about it, but she gave me important instructions as this has been the usual practice. Without delay I went in, the labyrinth was composed of a circular pathway, low grasses and a mound of stones at the middle. When I reached the center I put three pieces of pine cones that I picked up before. Then I prayed. I followed Livvy’s instructions and gaited outwardly while thinking of good things for myself. Finally, I reached the other end and subsequently shared to Livvy my realization – that the pine cone has been embedded with that grand design (The golden measure), that circular patterns reflects the whole process of moving in and out of the labyrinth (breathing). I added “The three pine cones symbolize the mother, the father and the child – they are the pillars in the continuum of life, like the seed itself.”

I learned a lot from Livvy, she shared bits of history of Wirksworth and also the small villages from afar where named after the trees because it’s more common in relation to the land. She also shared about their dream for Haarlem and expressed how happy she was that the things were aligning with the support of everybody. We hiked and hiked a little more until we arrived at the top of the hill where I can see the Star Disc designed and manually created by a local artist. I stood in the middle and I saw all major constellations reflecting the Milky Way and its exact position. This is where most of the people gather: Camping, yoga sessions, weddings, parties, theater plays, performances and other significant moments that hold space for people of all ages. Before we parted, I looked for my star sign Aries – I smiled as I notice that I got a sap from the pine cones on my left hand, the mark of life.