Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flag Set 6

Flag set 6 is finally complete. Some very hot days and a few technical issues delayed this batch. Anyhow, for this group I have decided to let them exist as individuals. This is a bit different from the previous sets as they are intended to function as a group.

This set has a Buddha head from the 40 foot one at Todajai Temple in Nara, a few jizo, a Buddha from the Ryoanj Temple in Kyoto and a couple of returning characters. I am sticking with this theme as I have been very consumed with zen philosophy and the portrait of peacefulness in these days in which we exist. Art serves all sorts of purposes in the world and I have chose to keep on this path for the time to come.

I have been deliberating, mostly with myself, as to if these are too decorative to be fine art. As "fine art" is such a huge tradition and much too defined at some points, I have come to the conclusion that decorative is fine. In years past fine arts applications have been applied to other arts. This is a means to an end. Can "fine art" be utilitarian? Most certainly it can. The first to come to mind is Alexander Rodchenko and Vladmir Tatlin. The early Soviet artists applied their skills to address the general public. I don't think Velvet Pelican will tread down that particular path of the Soviets. It is a little to strong armed for me. None the less, the concept is relative.

There are 8 finished flags in this set. Each are similar. I will put them out in public for consumption on Friday, August 5. There are a simple set of instructions attached to each one. Should anyone desire to attain one please be sure to read the included paper. Even better pass it along as a gift to someone you might know. Perhaps someone who has helped you out along the way.  It is hoped to pass along a sense of good will and a sense of down time from the hecticness we live in.

Until next time.....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Flag Set 4 and 5 Pics and Some Randomness

Greetings yet again. In this set I have posted Flag sets number 4 and 5. There are actually a total of 6. One was lost in a weather experiment... oops; much learning did occur though. So I am now down to two in my possession. I will finish up 6 completed sets before letting these out in the world. I am shooting for mid August.

This set depicts the Buddhas from Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto. This is perhaps my favorite temple in Kyoto with the best rock garden. Anyhow, there are also jizo depicted with the Buddha. Jizo are the protectors of children and travellers. While not a full blown Bhuddist myself, I see these images as very peaceful and serene. This is keeping within the idea of giving people a few moments of reprieve in the days.

These new sets have switched material from being printed on kitikata to a good fine weve cloth. It is a bit more difficult to print the layers but much more durable for the outdoors. Recently I have been in conversation with some folks as to what these are. Installations, temporary, prints? To tell the truth I am not sure I really have an answer. The idea of the temporary does strike me. Moments of solitude and serenity are meant to be evoked though these for whoever recieves them. I suppose that I would most likely deem them as gifts. Yes, they are pieces of art but art is also the tool or vehicle to move the whole idea/ message across.

The art of the gift and giving is a very important part of putting these out in the world. It is like visiting a temple in reverse. The sense of being in a temple or place of solitude brought to the audience. Of course I will not be the one installing them in the final homes once they have been given out, but I do hope they keep with the spirit of the project. So many people are struggling to get by, working too many hours or not able to pay the bills. It is my idea with this project and future ones that people will get a few moments of relaxation from these days we exist in.

I suppose I have gone on enough. I will still be working a collaborative project in the near future based on omikuji. At the moment I am very much enjoying these and have chosen to stay with them for a bit longer. If you have any ideas or whatever please feel free to post or send an email to

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flag Set 4 Complete and Other Thoughts....The Art Of Giving

Greetings on this hot summer day. Flag set #4 is complete. Pictures will soon follow. I have decided to stockpile the flags and have a hunt/ give out in the near future once I hit 4 or 5 complete sets. The idea I have in my mind at the moment is the gift. This is inspired by my trips to Japan and exchanging gifts with folks I have not seen in a bit. It need not be large or of huge importance. Pen sets, jackets and etc. have happened in my experience. The act of the giving is of the importance. Giving without expectation of return. This is where the current Velvet Pelican Project is headings and the next one as well.

A gift reminds and brings back memories, ideals and moments we have experienced. This is the goal of the flag project. My big question has inquired as to how art can serve people in genreal. This is my answer. Give out the gift of a silent moment or memory. We live in a world of corruption on both sides, manipulation, and more corruption. What is important? Family, education and the bond we develop with others as we grow older; I believe.

Soon this stockpile of flags will be posted for public consumption. Take them when you find them. Let me know where they end up. And perhaps... if you feel bold... let me know if they brought back and idea/ ideal or whatever that helped you get back to a better place and time and resume it.