Perhaps I could not do better here this evening than to speak to you through this artists own words that she found herself in the poem RiMo, which Ashling can explain herself, came to her from a dream, it's a word that means artist or creative. In this poem Aishling conveys the experience of finding free expression.... That ability to wander through different mediums of photography, video, performance, paint and poetry.... (By the way it is no coincidence that we call these things “mediums”. There is a psychic and spiritual connection between the artist and The Source of ideas). In this poem RiMo she expresses free expression fearlessly and with enthusiasm to embrace change and new experiences not just as a way of making art but as a way of turning one's own life into a work of art. Sean O Dwyer - From Ashes opening speech
Discover RiMo, you will see, Defeated now, she sat so still, In the bag, again a look. the locks will open, set you free. letting source decide her will. Not after long a key she took, The gentle monk he softly spoke, A stranger came, to ease her state, freed her from the dark back wall, then with sudden jolt, she woke. who gave her key and sat to wait. toward the parcel she did crawl.
Lying chained up, on the ground, Tried with key to open wide, A chain around it, tight did sit, a maiden stirred, was tightly bound. with stranger there right at her side. From round her neck a key did fit. Chained to herself, the site, the walls, Not after long, the key they took, Inside an artist canvas gleamed, and on her own with pleading calls. turned to her back, released the hook. on which to paint, or so it seemed.
She struggled hard her chains to flee, Her past, she now put down to rest. Returning to her opening space, but from herself she could not free. Time to launch a bigger quest. inside her bag, a painting case. Picked the stones, from off the ground, Take only what you need, not more, Tipped them out, upon the ground, and on the locks, she went to pound. continue through that open door. a brush must also now be found.
Rock firm in hand she tried in vain, Amongst the things, her heart appeared, Her hand still bound by lock, no key, another rock she went to claim. and of its hurt it was now cleared. and there they lay so visibly, A glint of metal caught her eye, Around the heart, with certain ease, Released a chain with all her might. she raised the key towards the sky. a necklace holding many keys. She felt as if she’d taken flight.
Releasing arm and leg from chain, But on her form, no lock did fit. Hand moved fast, the paint was thick. and with that now as well some pain. Reflective now, she went to sit. Swishing strokes so lighting quick. Rising up, to stand once more, Seen from the corner of her eye, Colours screamed, loud and proud, stretching out those muscles sore. a little parcel perched on high. as canvas turned to abstract cloud.
No more keys near to be found, She moved towards it lightning quick. Then for a while, her mind it cleared, combed and raked the gentle ground. But the chains were strong and thick, of thoughts of chains, things so weird. Fingers through the soil did creep, stopped her there from further stride, Soon restraints where felt again. searching the earth, dark and deep. the parcel made her eyes grow wide. and she no longer feeling zen.
Kicked the soil upon the ground, A key, to find its lock the task, To the cloak a key it hung. and hearing now a metal sound, to help her in the sun to bask. The lock it fit from wall was strung. uncovered chain, to be followed when, Chest expanding with the light, Releasing now to open floor, a key emerged, strapped to a pen. no more struggles, need to fight. with suitcase waiting by the door.
Pulled it to her, link by link, She sat in meditation long. Back to the bag her things to take, but in her deep, her heart did sink. Listening to natures song. saving that which helped her wake. No book she had, to write upon, A package at her feet appeared, Packed to the suitcase, snug and tight, her hopes now waned and vanished…gone. from the Gods which she revered. to help her when the time was right.
Chained to these walls, her focus fixed, She fumbled with the lock to see, With all in tow, no fear did spawn. and at the locks with key she picked. from round her neck the final key? She headed out into the dawn. One by one…at last she cried, Inside it fit and twisted right, All the locks gave now release, released the wall, to onward glide. revealing contents to her sight. and any strife had seemed to cease.
To spaces never been before, Inside, a strange performance mask, She headed now direction west. She spied a book lain on the floor, set to complete a final task. Her job to help unlock the rest. around it too a chain did sit, The long white cloak sat firm beneath, To those all chained & captured, bound, and from her neck the key it fit. long enough to meet her feet. to spread the words of what she’d found.
Open, across the page did write, The priestess now, into this world, The magic of expression free, streaming words from left to right. by donning cloak was firmly hurled. something which we all should see, From her head a magic place, To live, to breathe, to sigh, to sing. to help us through our darkest night, traversing in both time and space. To rise above and do her thing. return us to our place of light.
Fading now a rest she took, Removed the cloak, & pondered hard, A word of love straight from her when, but in that time forgot to look, her new stance as poetic bard. you suffer pain or sadness then, and for a while she did not see, To share her story far and wide, pick your tool, paintbrush or a pen what came to lie right by her knee. of her past which had now died. and soon you too will feel the zen.
Image Courtesy of Didier Riva
Its thought that the word RiMo comes from a Tibetan legend about a shepherd who sees a beautiful woman in a dream while grazing sheep in the mountains. He reaches out to touch her, but she dissolves into rainbows. He awakens and immediately sketches her face on a rock so he can remember her. The Shepherd returns to the village with his flock and rock. . He proudly shows the rock, telling the story of the beautiful woman (Mo), that he dreamt of while in the mountains (Ri). People begin talking about the Shepherd’s RiMo. They marveled at how a dream about a beautiful woman could drive a man to carve her likeness on a rock and carry it around with him. They sighed and started seeing other possibilities of RiMo.... in rocks, wood, fibers, precious stones, metals, bones, wax… RiMo then became known as the catchall word for art. This work was further developed into a performance.