John Redhead

 

my home is somewhere other than where I live...

I dwell in the joyful ecstasy of an epic stage...

I enter my real home everytime I work...

I am at home when I work...

my home is my work...

a mythical space...

THE Big Soul...?


Colonists Out - available now -



latest project - perillos, here be dragons


I ended Colonists Out, the search for the meaning of ‘home’, by emptying all that nonsense of material dwellings and allowed the Big Soul to enter. I called it my ‘lie’, as good as it gets for now. The door opened and visitors arrived. ‘Make them welcome, they may have come a long way’, my bones seemed to say. Pretty much the format for all creativity that is free of a system and one that acknowledges the unknown and unlocks the heart. For me, this process is like a chunk of land uncharted, off the map, full of doubt, but packed solid with mysteries, enchantment, teachings and danger. It also reinforces the true meaning of dwelling, not in the material but in a poetic sense…experienced in the heart. Colonists Out, as a rough guide to belonging and rant, reconciles the forsaken man in his world to a revealing of the divine. This is to sing and to write and to paint and to promote a haunting feeling of what is concealed, forgotten, vanished, remote…destroyed. I assert that our true home is the language of creativity, designing, making, not regarding work or production, but as in a state of thought and being that dwells not only with the earth, not only with nature, but with a third party - visitors! It seems the rest of the living is like packaging, is like forgetting, is like ‘stopping’, like making do with the business of alienation, of belief systems, religions, and…another cup of tea?


And so to Perillos, and the ‘work’ with unknown visitors, which has become my home. Perillos is a cunundrum regarding uncharted land. Ancient medieval maps often used the term, ‘here be dragons’ or ‘Terra Pericolosa’ to illustrate land off the grid and unexplored. Land not documented and likely to put the traveller in jeopardy was symbolized by monsters and sea-serpents, expressing the human horror of venturing into the terrain without knowledge and security. In the 17th century a map of Perillos was undertaken by Cassini, a member of the Cassini dynasty and in charge of the French Zero Meridian at the Observatory in Paris. He documented the area of Perillos as ‘white space’, normally associated with uncharted land. This absence of detail has never been explained. Today however, even though obscure, we can navigate there without compass or a starry night. The roads, villages and towns nearby clearly marked, numbered and colour-coded. The snaky contours of the terrain inform the traveller with a ‘vision’ of her body. The cartographers have now done their job. They have in their own language, named the land. This language describes and informs. The artist names and informs in his/her own way, and it seems a powerful argument that the nature, that being we call landscape, calls to us to experience a different naming, a different essence altogether. This naming is a belonging and it sings with the land and is revealing and experiential. For some reason Perillos decided to leave the map, return to ‘white space’ and try and be forgotten. Almost as if to give it another go in some future, because at some time in ancient history, and between the mappers and the dwellers, the naming got personal and serious. The myths, the legends, the folklore and the gossip surrounding Perillos are strange indeed. Mythology has an uncanny knack of entering the soul, perhaps because it contains such intense, compact material, like a stick of seaside rock, its codes deeply enriched within our bodies and bones? This is surely different from blind-faith, and of searching, where speculation, hope and fantasy are not separate from the possibility of lies and delusions…do we know what we see? So for my tools in this forensic interaction with the land, I suspend any belief in the cosmetics of words and reason, and allow the mythical, the mystical and the supernatural to awaken that knowledge already deeply embedded…like a hidden text of memory, a ‘lieu de mėmoire’ to be deciphered. I search for nothing! The lies and delusions of faith are surely irrational ‘mind maps’, playfully fitting in with a ‘searching’ sensibility...


Perillos Plateau and the Castle have been suggested as a Grail Plateau, known locally as Terresalvaesche. Salveterra is the name of the chapel translating as Land of Salvation. Mount of Salvation has echoes of the Grail romance, Parsifal and Chapel Perilous echoes of Le Morte d’Arthur. The tomb of God, the Seat of Death, sacred caves of initiation and re-birth from the vulva of Mother earth, legends of doorways to the underworld, a pagan sacralised landscape, shared dreams, ancient apocalyptic processes, omphallic stones, sacred geometry - no wonder Perillos was said to be a place impossible for human beings to inhabit...


The land and the people tell their story. It goes on and on…In the 16th century, Ramon de Perillos returns from St Patricks purgatory in Ireland and understands that his land has an opening to another world. Nostradamus, Cassini, Vincent Ferrer (angel of the apocalypse and founder of the Sanch brotherhood), Sauniere, Salvador Dali – the Nazis, Israeli secret service…all over the land like a rash rampant with need! I overdose and it is time to interact…start to play and follow my heart. I am not at all sure what I see and I cannot trust my feelings so I start to listen. I wish to interact in some way, at least to reveal an odd voice! If I concentrate with intent, maybe, maybe I will hear a whispering...?