three images – John Maillard

 Posted by on October 7, 2013  Add comments
Oct 072013
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Ritualistic boundaries, fences, ditch and causeways.

The transition from hunting to farming was most likely managed and executed by women, who discovered that fences protected the crops.

This is a true social and cultural change of a magnitude that hasn’t occurred since. Hunting and gathering, to land ownership and crop production for survival, the intervention of spirituality and religion to help, encourage, grow food and build society.

The role of magical/spiritual ceremonial landmarks, fences, causeways that would mark the growth of food and the cycle of the seasons.

The birth of astrology and astronomy to catalogue and understand the turn of time.

The use of lines, ditches and causeways to change the fundamental understanding of the world, the ownership and delegation of land and the symbolic use of a boundary.

All of these things were inhabited by spirits and gods. Our understanding of the world was profoundly different, we cannot imaging that world, as we have almost no historical context.

These notions of boundary and causeway are a part of all peoples psych and race memory.

Why did we place offerings in ditches?

In the past burial would be in many forms,
graves were never permanent, people would move on to new hunting areas.
Now with the revolution of farming, the dead would live with you on your land, you had invested your life and death and your spiritual believes in the land.

Despite our move to science and rationalised belief, We are still ruled by these ideas, but are unable or cannot relate to them other then as a remote emotional response.

Research suggests the ideal home still has a high point with a look out for danger, despite being an urbanised society we are connected to the past.

These lines, forms, ditches and causeways are still part of our culture and are reflected in our cities as well as the landscape. Next time you walk through our city reflect on the temporary fences and walkways to nowhere, that have opened up for the people of Christchurch. A form of subliminal healing for the loss of so much.

So these fences lines and ditches and ceremonial walkways mean more than mere boundaries.

We still move along causeways and follow ceremonial walks, these can be as simple as a promenade by the sea, or national park walkway, the reason has changed for the use, but we have ritualised our behaviour.

We are connected to these ancient rites at some base emotional level; this is part of my personal attempt to reframe the land through my photography,

It is an attempt to connect my spiritual self with a way of seeing, using simple techniques and minimal digital intervention. I follow my eye as it seeks a ritualistic line, that was once a symbol of profound change in the way we interacted in the landscape and moved into the modern age.

In New Zealand we are the ancestors of all of the humanity that experienced the changes in the use of land, in turn changing us forever.

The core of our being is common, I believe, to all races, genes and geographic locations.

We have race memory and spiritual belief that is our common denominator.

Form beauty order and ritual, saved us from chaos starvation and insecurity.

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  5 Responses to “three images – John Maillard”

  1. Welcome John and thank you for jotting down some of the thoughts that you connect with through your images. There is a huge amount of content here that would lead to such a lot of great discussion. I’m interested in not only recognising the ritualistic boundaries of the past but how to see these boundaries now and where that recognition will lead me in the future. I love the way an image can start a thinking process inside you and I’m delighted that you have shared your process with us.

  2. Hi John.
    This is a brilliant example of art being an expression of a totally selfish vision.
    You thought a great deal about what is behind the iconic parts of our landscape and this image is a pictorial representation of your thoughts.
    However to me it is a representation of the vista from my back yard and I have enjoyed it because of that.
    I’m sure that some viewers have and in depth response to images that artists intended as simple representation.

    So Art is totally about the self for the creator and the viewer.

  3. Very interesting thoughts John. I imagine you have many images in this body of work.

  4. Many thanks for the comments, yes totally right, I think most work, is for the artist and then means something else for the viewer, but both can apreaciate each other.

  5. thanks for the comments, absolutely right with the first.

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