Posts Tagged ‘rainbow bridge’

Song of the Chumash

Monday, April 19th, 2010
Animate Duplicity

Animate Duplicity

We just finished the Ventura Artwalk 2010, in my little town. The entire Downtown of Ventura California was turned into a living canvas for forty eight hours.

The event was a benchmark of sorts.

benchmark |ˈben ch ˌmärk|
noun
1 a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed : [as adj. ] a benchmark case.

2 a surveyor’s mark cut in a wall, pillar, or building and used as a reference point in measuring altitudes.

How did this happen? Not overnight. It was the result of seed sowing by a huge number of artists, city officials, merchants, and the many creatives who preceded us all: the various artists who showed. It was indeed the spirit of our forefathers, come back to life, borne by the flow of those involved.

Two of those, Kathleen Fitzgerald, and Rob Edwards, are no longer at their city jobs. Yet the work that they did for years here, bore much fruit the past week end. I saw and respect what they did to institute positive change for my town. I am blessed to have them as my friends. Everywhere I looked this past weekend I saw their, and many others, contributions.

I was continually, and repeatedly humbled by the generosity of my community this last week end. It is no secret that this country groans with the weight of drastic change and economic duress. But for a couple days, those that are poor in riches but rich with creativity and enthusiasm, made my little town forget about it’s ills. They did what artists do: create and share.

This  is a show that I did for the Artwalk. It is entitled “This is Ventura”. The piece is 16 minutes long and features local land and seascapes and many of my long term subjects. It is a series of four vignettes and was composed as a gesture of gratitude to the place that has been a constant muse for me.

In quiet fashion Sunday morning, a Chumash ceremony was performed by David Dominguez to dedicate and consecrate the new location of Zoey’s. It was in the middle of all of the Artwalk goings on. The event had deep significance. East, West, South and North. Those that were supposed to be there, were. My friend West Cooke, had invited me to attend. My girlfriend, Donna Von Hoesslin of Betty B, went with me. I love that Donna “gets” this sort of thing. (Most of my loved ones do.) She had taken a break from her busy schedule to experience this.

Reconnect

Reconnect

The vein that runs from the Sespe to the sea, is the Ventura River. It is a deep source of historic life and power. The Chumash settled here, and all along it’s path, used to hunt and fish. Eventually the Spanish came in, the Mission was established, and as modern civilization blossomed, the natives seemed to disappear. The issue though, is that the Spirit of the land, well, it still speaks to those that can hear. This image says a lot. Not everyone can hear it though. Can you?

Vital Venturi

Vital Venturi

Though I am a Christian by conversion, I am a native by birth. What that means, is that the land, air and water speak to me, even when I am not conscious of having listened. So what comes out via my art, whether it is in text, prose, paint, photography or motion work, tends to come straight from the heart. I am only a filter which colors that communique. Sometimes that is a good thing, other times, maybe not so much. Watch that movie with this in mind. Listen carefully to William Orbit, Justin  Young, Zuri Star, the Shoemaker Brothers, and Elliot Minor, both to their melodies, and lyrics.

The rainbow bridge is a deep part of Chumash lore. When this occurred early one morning, it was pre dawn. I was stunned. My life is like that: hearing hidden songs. Yes, that is Santa Cruz Island.  Some think that I spend a lot of time in Photoshop and After Effects, making all of this imagery up. I don’t need to. It is a whisper, often just below the threshold of physical perception. It is always there. I just key into it when I am ready. Not unlike the manner in which a baseball player homes in on a pitch to hit a home run. Easy peasey. I always have been a pretty good hitter.

Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge

Music is the highest form of art. In Bible college I learned that Christian theology teaches that mankind’s destiny is to fill Heaven with the music lost when Lucifer became Satan and fell to earth. Jesus said that he saw Satan fall as lightening from heaven. Pretty vivid imagery. The word Satanas is a Greek word, meaning adversary. So if we are taking that dark underlord’s place, it should be no small wonder that he isn’t fond of us. {If you believe in that sort of thing :0) }

Music connects all human kind. It is a language of the soul. All true art, really is that. But music, like dance, is high art. Play some. Stop. Where did it go? My photo is still there. So is the sculpture, the painting, the drawing.

Sunday evening at Artwalk, at Jonathan’s in Ventura, Bobby Hart performed. Jonathan’s is a stone’s throw from the Mission and from where David Dominguez had done the Chumash blessing a scant 5 hours earlier. All of this lies on the vein of the Ventura River, under the Rainbow Bridge.  For 5 hours Bobby, and a plethora of musicians performed high art, trading out positions at instruments and on the mikes. I am still reeling from the feel of it, the smooth harmony exhibited in the transitions from person to person. Like when my friend and colleague Chris Jensen, handed off his sticks and drum kit to our friend Richie. The harmony was infectious. But again, art is flow. People like flow. We get that.

Bobby Hart

Bobby Hart

Perfection rarely rears its head for long in this imperfect world.

Joy

Joy

This weekend it did for awhile. I heard it.

Homage

Homage

Thank yous all around to everyone who participated, engaged, looked, laughed, enjoyed, and Watermark, Jonathan’s, Betty B for hosting the gallery shows, and Pi printing for their excellent print work and support

Pulse

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
Rainbow Bridge one recent morning in Ventura

Rainbow Bridge one recent morning in Ventura

Brian Nevins name first came up almost ten years ago, as I was at Calumet in Santa Barbara and my pal Craig, had told me that a Brooks student was looking for me and wanted to assist. My answer had been somewhat sarcastic as I recall, something to the affect of : “What is he gonna hold my hand while I swim or something?”

The short of it is that Brian pursued the heck out of me and over a period of months, I relented. (I think Craig still laughs about it to this day.) We became best friends and eventually colleagues as his air status due to his Dad flying commercial jets allowed for Brian to pretty much go anywhere that I did.

It was with satisfaction that I attended Brian’s commencement ceremony at Brooks and watched he and Jon Steele (who later became one of my editors) graduate. In the ensuing years Brian and I traveled doing jobs together and I have watched with an immense pleasure as he hit stride and has become one of the better Photojournalists and human beings that I know with publications and commercial clients too numerous to list here.  Elite shooter and Brooks Instructor Ralph Clevenger calls this experience, where we watch people that we mentor grow, “The grand reward”.

The link to Brian’s website is here.

The copy and images below with the exception of the rainbow, were sent to me today by Brian:

A friend of mine just forwarded me a few images from my last trip to Nicaragua of the young girl Wendy and I at the beach. Besides a reminder of needing to start a weight loss program… I had a good reminder of those few moments in life that you strive to be a part of.
Wendy was the focus in my Surfers Journal article and has always been the face that drives my work and heart down in Nicaragua. If only you had the opportunity to spend one day with her… you would understand a lot more about what this life is really about.
Regardless… these are photos of us at the beach. The first time she has been outside of the dump, Managua and a life un-explainable. The first time seeing a surfboard and feeling the movement of the waves, the first time smelling salt water and having the sand burn her feet instead of the burning trash. Everything I’ve done in this life has given no greater perspective on whats real and whats important than to watch Wendy play in the waves for one day.
If only every day could be like this.

Click on any image in this blog for a full view.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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