Emily Schuhmann : February 25th, 2015

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Emily Schuhmann’s piece ‘L4 Pattern’.

Multimedia artist Alejandro Jodorowsky once said ‘ A symbol permits an infinite variety of meanings, one for every individual who perceives it.’

Emily Schuhmann is a creative who shares such sentiments. You’ll soon learn to what extent as she is my guest today.

Emily teaches art courses at Bellarmine University, as well as teaches dance as a Swing dance instructor. When she isn’t leading a class, she’s creating works primarily in the medium of metals. Aside from sculpting, her creative output includes illustration and performance.

Thematically, she is interested in symbols with layered meanings, as well as our tendency to use old information as a reference for new experiences and ideas. And as I already mentioned, Emily is really intrigued by audience interpretation and perspective; sort of in the way of the old saying ‘ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. She delights in how the language of symbols is interpreted by each viewer, and welcomes ‘misinterpretation’.

Her most recent exhibition, Strains Familiar, refers to both a recent ‘mysterious’ injury and her love of modern biology. This series touches on the concepts of repetition, patterns, and surprising parallels. The show ran earlier in the month at the McGrath gallery on Bellarmine’s campus.

To get a better sense, check out our discussion below, and get it right from the source.

You can also learn more about Emily at her website emilyschuhmann.com.

Enjoy.

 

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Age of Aquarius..

If you’ve been listening to NPR, you’ve probably heard quite a few stories lately about aging. Speaking of which, a question for you Blind Date bloggers…is 28 still a young age? Relatively young?

I only ask this as a transition to something I’ve pondered often, which is how to stay motivated and creative as you age…I wonder often if I’ll keep creating as I ripen and my responsibilities increase. There are many artists I admire who seem (or seemed) to stay quite prolific in this sense; such as Moondog (aka The Viking of 6th Avenue), the blind musician and instrument creator. Or the ambient music loving multimedia artist Brian Eno. He has been turning up more than ever lately, even at the age of 65. And Mrs Laurie Anderson who is right up there with him at 66!

If you grant some of your time, I’d like to talk about two more artists creating well into their lives. The first I’d like to talk about is an artist who is definitely at the top of my list. Still spry at the age of 85, is Alejandro Jodorowsky. Jodorowsky is an avant-garde filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and admirer of the Tarot. He is probably best known for his psychedelic masterpiece The Holy Mountain (fun fact: this was funded by John Lennon) and acid western, El Topo (The Mole). He was also slated to director the Dune movie adaptation, which sadly didn’t happen (there’s a documentary about Jodorowsky’s concept for Dune. Check out the trailer here.)

Though he refers to himself as an ‘atheist mystic’ much of his work focuses on religion and spirituality as well as violence, sexuality, psychedelia, and his childhood. And just last year his newest film The Dance of Reality (La danza de la realidad) was shown at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival with a standing ovation. The film is based on the autobiography of the same title. The film blends Jodorowsky’s personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, reflecting his view that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our imaginations. Besides all this, he also finds time for lectures and writing about his personally created spiritual system known as ‘psychomagic’ or ‘psychoshamanism’. He is a machine…a creative bullet train.

The next artist I want to talk about you may already known of if you follow music news at all. Her name is Linda Perhacs. I just recently discovered her through her ever growing media coverage. Her’s is an interesting story. Speaking of age, the more elder of my readers may remember her album release in 1970, Parallelogram. Unfortunately, it was a commercial flop.

As the story goes, Perhacs was a dental hygienist in California. And many of the teeth she cleaned happened to belong to some rather famous people, including film composer Leonard Rosenman who helped her get the record deal to record her debut.

Slowly but surely, despite the lack of commercial success, Parallelogram turned into a cult following and in turn influenced many of today’s musicians in the more experimental side of the folk scene.  Now, forty four years later at the age of 70, she has released her sophomore album, The Soul of All Natural Things, to much praise. Above is a music video for one of the tracks off her new release.

I hope that I can someday reach this point of achievement…leaving a life spanning body of work. I’d love to know your opinions and thoughts on this…readers of any age! How do you remain creatively focused and inspired with each passing year? What techniques do you use to keep fresh? How do you keep your adult responsibilities from clashing with your creative ones? I’d love to see some dialogue in regards to this on either the blog, Tumblr, or Facebook.

Oh yeah, PS. If you’re privy to what’s happening in Louisville’s music scene, then you’re probably already acquainted with my guests for March..the band Black Birds Of Paradise. Since I talked to them, they’ve had many bits of press, showed up on a local news channel, and celebrated their debut album release at the New Vintage. Be sure to listen in at the end of the month for our discussion.