Good Morning

Monocle’s Chiara Rimella is the source of my 2022 commitments. On Christmas Eve she shared that “Ultimately, it’s the things that meant the most to us that will stick. And if there’s one lesson that we should have learnt in 2021, it’s to embrace the things that really matter to us – and not to fret about the rest.”

My first 2022 embrace is of the teachings of artist Jill Trappler. The weekend of the 4th of February will bring Jill Trappler’s art workshop, EXPLORING TOUCH, to Wildekrans Country House. We have four spaces available. Jill chose this work (pictured below), as the signature for this workshop, because “Bill Ainslie allows for the materials to participate in the process of finding an image.”

To be said of such weekend, is that both beginners and experienced participants will extend their skills. This is the fourth Trappler workshop at Wildekrans Country House. You will explore how your hands and fingers respond to various materials. You will explore how these materials, plus light and music touch you, increasing your skills and ideas as you build images in new waysPerhaps I’ll get to play my all time fave Rolling Stones’ you can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need (the second part to my 2022 commitment).

The next thing to be said is that the weekend begins after lunch on Friday the 4th of February, and ends after breakfast on Monday morning (or late Sunday). The context of the teaching includes both the gardens and art collection of Wildekrans Country House, interspersed with our country style home cooking.

The third thing to be said is that you will take away a multitude of tools and perhaps have confirmed what not to fret about through the year ahead.

In Josie Grindrod’s words, “Jill Trappler is a highly respected South African artist, teacher and facilitator. I first experienced her in that role at her esteemed uncle Bill Ainslie’s Johannesburg Art Foundation. I’ve attended a number of her workshops; Jill’s intuitive yet informed approach to material and creative practise means she is able to meet any student where they are at, with gentle yet incisive suggestions regarding areas to explore or develop further.” Book here.

Jill Trappler’s thoughts on where we find ourselves today are reflected in the Ira Byock post below:

“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clays or grinding stones.

But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts.  No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.

We are at our best when we serve others.”

With love,