[-empyre-] summ(er)ing up

i've been trying to shape some intelligent summing-up comments but the fact is that summer is what's up in wellington & i just want to go outside & lie in the sun ...

& it's difficult to sum up a 'discussion' which has been a series of divergent views & opinions, peering into some corners of aotearoa/nz, shying away from others, some false starts & stops & back-ups & moments of brilliance & moments of irritation & random musings & interesting links ... maybe the whole is not so different from the reality of being an artist in/from nz/aotearoa.

when thinking about place & home & distance, i keep coming back to the simple fact of how geographically isolated new zealand is. the internet allows us to bridge that distance - but close the connection & the distance is back again. i've met many people in the northern hemisphere who were astonished to learn that it's at least a 3 hour flight to get *anywhere* from nz. think london to istanbul, or paris to moscow - that's how close we are to australia; it's the tasman sea not the english channel. if you're in europe & someone at home gets sick or dies, you feel like you're on mars. anyone who's endured the whole journey in one go (involving 2-3 flights & up to 40 hours in travel-limbo) then spent 3 days falling asleep at inconvenient times & unable to concentrate while you wait for your soul to arrive, knows that distance.

whether it's the whiff of the moss or the sight of the harbour cone, the first (em)bracing gust of wind or the fine white sand between your toes, we all recognise the emotional/sensory umbilical cord that ties us to the land of our birth - and to other significant places (i also feel it when the old JAT bus rolls me into the dusty streets of belgrade). we're all from *somewhere* & that fact can be irrelevant even as it permeates everything.

what does all this have to do with art? everything & nothing, imho ... it's been a pleasure to have contributed, albeit sporadically, to aotearoa month on empyre & i hope you've found some small insight(s) into this corner of the globe amongst it all.

ka kite ano,
h : )

helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst

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