Sunday, July 25, 2010

with gratitude and recognition...

gratitude |ˈgratəˌt(y)oōd|nounthe quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness 
ORIGIN late Middle English from Old French, or from medieval Latin gratitudofrom Latin gratus pleasingthankful.’

recognition |ˌrekigˈni sh ən|
recognitory |riˈkägnəˌtôrē| |rəˈkɑgnəˈtɔri| |riˈkɑgnəˈtɔri| |rɪˈkɒgnɪt(ə)ri| 
adjective ( rare).ORIGIN late 15th cent. (denoting the acknowledgment of a service): from Latin recognitio(n-), from the verb recognoscere ‘know again, recall to mind’ (see recognize ).

Its been a very busy week since packing up the Randall Studio at the Botanic Gardens where OPEN STUDIO WEEK was held from July 12 to 18. New projects and details were demanding attention all the while the completion of tasks from the previous week begged focus and mindfullness.

So, in a genuine attempt to do justice to the great many thank yous and acknowledgements I wish to offer I will start with two people in particular my deepest thanks must go to... without doubt.

First is the remarkable and relentlessly energetic Marilena Stanton. (pictured below)

Marilena is the first person to hide from recognition but in this case she simply cant get away with anonymity.... it  would not be right of me to allow that at this time.  I met Marilena earlier last year and became involved with a major event she convened - A Sustainability Day at the Hillbrook Anglican School in Enoggera. Despite this being a school initiative she made deep inroads into the sustainability communities across the Brisbane region and brought together a great many proejcts, people and ideas for an outstandingly successful event. 
Around that time Marilena made the link between the Seed lab and my project through a Seeds for Life volunteer she chanced to meet. And so my connection with Mt Coot-tha commenced...born out of this fortuitous link.
Since then I have become aware of the significant range of interests Marilena pursues - particularly in relation to the passion that comes through from her Italian background for good food, growing things and community. This is no small passion and anyone in Marilena's range is likely to be inundated with good will and home produced bounty...and on the ideas level... links to a great many rich veins of public debate, organisations, events and information.
Marilena cant be talked into blogging ....but her knowledge and enthusiasm for what is out there knows no bounds... and willingly she shares all. (Hence my belief on why this focus would be well served through blogging - all that input simply going to a wider audience!) The flyer below is from last years event.

Read a recent post from my other blog about a local food growers group that Marilena is part of ... this will inspire you... titled 'sharing'.  Why in particular i am wishing to thank Marilena here now is that a couple of months ago she signed on to help me with OPEN STUDIO WEEK.
And help she provided in great abundance and ways and means!
This being the fourth event I was undertaking for the Homage to the Seed project in 5 months I was not going to be found knocking back an offer like this. Some of you may have read recent posts at both blogs laying out the multi-dimensional nature of the week long program. Now... one might come up with those ideas on one's own...but certainly the delivery is absolutely impossible without the right kind of support.
Many contributed - Marilena helped realise it!
So my gratitude runs deep for the vital and multi-faceted way in which Marilena gave tireless energy to make this Homage to the Seed a truly singular experience. No doubt her Italian ancestors looking down would be shocked that in 2010 civilisation required people to explain what has happened to seeds and why it is so important we take notice of where our food comes from....or what the state of out habitats is and why. They would be shocked to think a population of people could be so careless about saving good seeds and giving attention to the future security. All of us have ancestors who well knew the turns of the wheel of fortune - so I believe Marilena's ancestors would be very proud of her for enriching this event with the best of her spirit and the weeks leading up and all throughout the 7 days.
We offered tea and coffee at the mini-caf we set up for the week... Marilena added indigenous Lemon Myrtle leaves from her own tree to the pot and brewed a delightful tea - adding that to the menu each day. Hours and hours of time Marilena spent at the computer working on promotion and publicity... this was mutlilateral support at its best!
No task (there were many) was too small or challenge (yes...those too!) too large... all the while I could see the spirit of her forebears bringing joy and purpose to each day. This is not talked about too often in this realm... Homage to the Seed is a Science meets Art project being carried out in the field of Botany and a significant interaction with the public can be rather unusual feature of a residency - not a given.

In Marilena I effectively found a co-convenor  who understands that life as we have known it is being contested daily ... and seeds are implicated in an acutely pivotal way with our continuing capacity to sustain life on this planet. My hearfelt thanks Marilena!

The other person I will make special mention of in this post is my long-supportive and very dear mother Olivia... shown here (on left) with a lovely friend of hers Marlene who incidently celebrated her birthday in our Studio 'cafe'.
Since the early days when Olivia provided me with her home made paints and colour pencils, rescued her kitchen floors after my adolescent 70's candle making /batik obsession episodes went a little chaotic she has been somewhere in the background providing support and encouragement. No longer living interstate this support is as significant as ever. Business decisions, literary feedback, cooking... She may be turning 80 next week but her active, shrewd, enthusiastic demeanor make for quite a perceptive sounding board and her her natural plain-speaking skepticism adds another level of feedback. Praise is earned not handed out on a platter... gravity and grit balanced with a strong belief in the arts and the value inherent!
Homage to the Seed owes a great deal to my extraordinary mother!

There are so many others yet to mention... However these two wonderful and generous people were fundamental to the success of the week past. I will return very soon with posts on important acknowledgements I wish to make.

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