Today we have an excellent essay from the ever popular Heather Pedley. Heather is a much loved and respected member of our community. Creativity is evident in all of her work, which varies from esoteric symbolism to (as you are about to read) childhood memories. Thank You, Heather, for this insight into your newest creations.
When I was a child I had an imaginary friend. He was a grasshopper and he lived in my garden. I never saw him or spoke to him, but I knew he was there. As I grew older I started to paint him, he was tall and thin with big eyes, and he lived in a toadstool house. I wrote stories about him, he got up to adventures with his friend Boris, a bumblebee, and he became the focus of my childhood imaginings. Even as a kid, I never believed in him, I knew exactly where he was in my mind’s eye, but I liked all the things he stood for as I played with my fantasies, the difference between right and wrong, how to save the world, believe in yourself, be nice to others and always lend a helping hand if you can. His name was Cornelius and as I played with his adventures I unconsciously processed my own way forward.
Nearly 40 years later I started to paint more seriously. As some of you know, I worked personally to develop my skills more productively and artistically and grew to understand how it is possible to anchor energy within art and colour. My channelling abilities evolved too, and I embarked on a new journey of discovery by developing sets of picture cards to create energy formula if used in the correct way. Often people would say to me that they felt energy around me when they watched me paint. Some people more in tune with themselves even said they could see somebody behind me, as if I was wearing this person, like a cloak. I was aware of all of this, I felt it too. I had information coming to me from many angles, but I chose to just let it flow. Beliefs are manmade, truth is the key but it’s not always easy to find. Therefore it’s best to just let information flow without pigeonholing it into a belief system. Sooner or later the truth will stand out… like a blind person, we will suddenly see. I started to paint a set of Major Arcana Tarot Cards and I let the information flow. I didn’t know a thing about the Tarot, not a clue. Yet I felt compelled to paint them and see what came. I reached one card, “The Emperor”, faced with a blank piece of paper I wondered what I would paint? The face of the Emperor developed, made of many angles and light, I could see him in my forehead, all golden, full of vitality and life, strength and purity. As I paint, I am always engrossed, totally focussed on the one important thing, getting the information out as it comes to me. So much so, The Emperor took on real meaning for me, I felt he was real, that I knew him, that he was with me and that I had been given the privilege of being able to put him onto paper. Often when I am painting I will ask questions in my mind. Sometimes I get answers, sometimes not, it’s not something of great importance to me… it’s more like having a chat in my own head. I asked The Emperor his name, just out of curiosity. “Cornelius”, he said. And he laughed. At that point, I knew my truth.
I like to change what I do, I like to evolve with my work, and I like to present it to the public in specialised arenas, because I always feel as I am creating that each piece is being specifically made for a certain person and they will know who they are! This year I have been compelled, and I use that work deliberately, compelled to go back to my childlike dreams and fantasies, to recreate my garden full of toadstools and mushrooms, little houses and paths, full of wonderful creatures, fairies and pixies. So I have modelled my little “shroom” houses out of clay and carefully painted them. I am not sure how many I will make, they are limited. I shall continue until I stop, but I can’t say when that will be. My little imagining is a street, or a cul-de-sac! It’s called “Perfect Place”, not everybody can find it, but some can if they look in their mind and go back a few years. My houses and their invisible occupants live in this place, very happily I might add. Each shroom home has a number, so far I have got to number 7. If you want to own one of these properties then you can, in exchange for not very much. Because they are limited edition, each home has a certificate of authentication, it’s a deed from me to show that you are the proud owner.
I have dedicated this collection to my imaginary friend Cornelius. When I think of him I tap into my inner child again. We probably have many aspects to our inner child, but this is the playful one, the hopeful one, the one full of carefree fantasies and outlandish expectations. This part of my inner self makes me smile and feel happy. It’s still dreaming on, still playing in my mind, full of wonder and awe before the time when adult life interfered. I hope that you will be inspired by my collection of little homes, whether you are child or adult, they are intended for the child-like. I am curious to know who you are!