Inside-Outside Conflict

Yesterday was demanding and today will demand more of me.
(show up, show up anyway?)

I wrote this morning a stream of consciousness, and I find that although it was inspired by an everyday encounter and not this project specifically, I notice the themes I am exploring have weft and wove throughout my perception and provided metaphors with which to express the experience.


There is a conflict between Inside and Outside,
Rapunzle’s tower feels so tempting today:
Hunker down
Anger burns up the walls
from the furnace of my heart
Come close and the flames will lick you
yes, Dancing in the fire
That’s my idea of a good day today.
Alchemy transforming the elements at my borders
New crystalline mementos…
not gargoyle heads
not medusa heads
not lion heads
not papyrus or paint pots
flowers! yes, flowers
Blooming like the night lily
on the border between sky and pond.

There is a conflict between inside – outside.
Do I keep up my walls
and perform, stoic as a buttress?
Do I dress myself in crocodile’s
in a moat bordering my childish upswell
with a warning snap to give me time?
Time to feel
Time to think
Time to respond.

Aha, see, there is the conflict
Truly I don’t fare well alone with my thoughts
Alone with my words
Alone with my ideas,
Running round and round like stale bread in tin.

There is the conflict:
How easy it would be to withdraw from the not me,
the not wanted, the not cool,
Paying the price in rigid conclusions
and stony constructions encrusting my mind with
a labyrinthine resolve to protect my ideas of self and other
Suspended like a moth in a specimen glass
Against my instinct
My training
My advice.

I need the outside, the other, the
input battering my keep
with the energy and colour of a summer rain
creating rainbows in the autumnal chill
To grow
To learn
To revitalise:
The phenomena of intra-action
The entanglement of multiple beings
Be-ing in this life
This ecosystem.

The place between this Inside mood
and Outside pull tugging at my skirts
like twenty cubs, or a vigorous wind.
How many mothers, parents, sisters, brothers
feel harassed by the pull of other world desires?
Two worlds meet in the space between.

I don’t really desire solitude,
just a place to stand where I can be;
Be one of many on the lily pads
Drinking from the top and bottom
of an ecosystem that supports me

My week 3 in Photos; Visible Process and Sharing Space


My visit to the gallery this week was on Thursday. I missed the turning to Winchester three times, because I was thinking so deeply about the possibilities that awaited me there. When I finally turned into the carpark I encountered three artists with boxes and bags and tumbling words. It has been a joy to have a space to come to and this Thursday was special because there were many of us in the gallery together – all at different stages of install and exhibition – working it all out through dialogue. The spoken ones; the internal ones; and the embodied ones, as we physically moved ourselves and our objects through the space, discovering light and shadows, layers and connections.


Sharing space
with Sounds and Seaweed

Tina Sanchez’ sculpture is a delight to be with – do come!

Trying to connect with you – a textural feast – tactile wiredness
Hear my noise
Beautiful Echoes

Shadows on the wall an #unplannedresponse

Three heads
Shadow Play
Don’t laugh!
Three Heads
Sharon Harvey Art – Observing
invitation: Lie on the Lilo and watch a film by Susan Merrick
James Aldridge, @unplannedresponse
Girl Talk

What I enjoyed most about my time in the gallery this day was my conversations with our visitors, mainly students and staff who stopped and sat with us – clustered round on the floor.

I’m not sure that sitting and crouching on the floor is normal gallery behaviour, but something about the layout and the happenings had us land and plant roots into the floor: gathering at and amidst the installations and workspaces to talk about our own ideas and objections, and to exchange creative ideas.

Drawing by Sharon Harvey Art, Maija and three curation students in The Square

Mysterious Secret Door

The crystal gate 

vibrates in welcome

Deep toned rich toned

music it makes

Refracting white and glowing deep 

colours of the heart.

A wisdom sleeps

beyond this door

A prison keeps you

from knowing more

Shake off your

shoulders the encrusted

silt and free your

Limbs from the vigorous vine

you must will it

Truly fully ask it

knowing it will meet you

Beyond the secret door 

Willpower 2017

Post Rebellion: New Terrain

View this post on Instagram

Disturbing the status quo #labofdissent2019

A post shared by Clarisse Halverson (@artin_thegarden) on

The lower rotunda this morning, my square under the stair is gone
A new square of papers awaits my response
Unknown event
Unknown event
List of Artifacts

Top-left: bloom of yellow and a paper lily (group 3)
Top-right: close-up photograph of an ear on Andover College paper
Bottom: Artifacts from a visit from James (left, a boat) and Andy (middle, words in ash)

Dialogue (Andy and Maija)
Julia and Kimvi, arrangement by M.L.

(Re: Yellow) “I am” and I am glad, hello!

Responding to one of Karen’s newer paintings:

Karen Wood installing her work at Spitlefields Studios (London)
for the Urban Rural Exchange exhibition this month

A depth to dive into
A shadow, a black.
Spaces to skid in with glee
Hidden from view
A secret me.
Behind my eyelids
An inner me.

A shock of gold
A beam of splendour
A heart-lifting brightness
An etheral sun-smile
Beaming from the heart of me
“I am”.

Aloft in the ceiling
this painting beams down on me
Dripping tendrils of gold on the floor
Painting the lines to dance with
Borders to investigate
Blocks of view with which to

I see myself in it;
There is an order and a wildness
in this one Karen
I said to you as soon as I saw it
This is my favourite yet
Not just because yellow has that effect on me
But because it is balanced on
the edge of vision.

Dear Karen,

I wrote this word flow for you, in response to your painting. As you know I have mentioned that yellow is usually my favourite colour in any situation that a favourite may be stated. Not to use in my palette per say, but to feel. Yellow feels good.

I have been exploring tri-colour symbolism for a while now, (red-black-white) and was rather delighted when I discovered yellow is often the fourth colour to emerge in any language according to linguists Brent Berlin and Paul Kay. Da Silva writes:

Specifically, they found that if a given language contains only two color terms, these refer to white and black. But if a language contains three terms, then it contains (in addition to the previous ones) a word for red. And so on and so forth concerning—in the following order—green or yellow, then blue, then brown, and finally purple, pink, orange, and gray.

Francisco Vas Da Silva (2017) ‘Red as Blood, White as Snow, Black as Crow: Chromatic Symbolism of Womanhood in Fairy Tales

I shared this discovery with Andy Jones last spring when he shared his maps with us at a CAS Artists CRIT and I noticed he is using the same primary colours to represent his own symbolic language.

I am really tickled by the idea that in language, these colours emerge first. Perhaps that makes them good tools for finding our own languages. In your case, with a colour palette taken from the roads of London, it occurs to me as if for the first time that you are picking up the symbolic visual language of the road system (a recognised cultural language of instruction) and dissenting (deviating) from the traditional interpretation. Your dissent is saying there is so many more ways that you can move in these spaces, not only that, you have created a visual language to express it and which others might learn to read.

In my case, I am not quite sure I have the words yet for the terrain of my cultural deviation, so I instead leave you with this:

The use of yellow here is in part inspired by your painting. In this digital drawing my impression of your painting merges with an encounter with Rapunzle (who I saw had dissented by chopping off her golden hair — an act of defiance). See my recent blog post ‘the first telling’ (of ‘The Woman with No Hair’) to decode what the red box and the gold lines represent (or devise your own meaning).

Since Susan Merrick took photos of me on Tuesday, my digital sketchbook has exploded with images. Like your fast manipulation of electrical tape, digital tools have a useful ability to keep up with my thoughts as I test out ideas.

A conversation with Kimvi about live-art, honest work…


Whilst Julia browsed the university library, I took a call from Kimvi and we discussed many things. The context was having ‘a bad day’. In that case, I’m grateful that Kimvi took the opportunity to call me, and in the process lift my spirits as well. Connection. Honesty. Reflection. Kimvi tucked into a plate of cold chicken as we spoke and I’m not entirely sure if this was multi-tasking or rather a modern equivalent of a sit down dinner over which to talk and refresh ourselves. The conversation quickly turned to our hopes and ambitions for our time in The Laboratory of Dissent.

Note to self: assess the context

It’s easy to forget the context in which we make, act on our personal vision, and create.

Our environment and situation, and also the culture in which we are placed all play a part in creating resistance, challenges and (also) opportunity.

These questions are an antidote to the inner critic:

  1. What aspects of your cultural environment are at odds with what you are trying to do?
  2. And have you given yourself credit for what you have achieved in that context?

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Maija’s manifesto ideas

Ideas in 10min

1. Become guardians of the land

By learning about the ecosystems within and with which you co-exist.

2. Rewrite the culture of property ownership.

Replace with a culture of guardians of the land and its ecosystems.

3. Re-write common law.

Become commoners without lords (landowners)
Know your history and tell your story

5. Take your freedom not from others in perpetuity but from within and for everyone

6. Co-create through dialogue not consumption


I have uploaded the paper I drafted in 2015 ‘Art: The Common’ when we first started plotting Dissent. Plotting the map. The landmarks. The passions.

Welcome to the ‘common space’.

I feel the pull to revisit the themes as they are more relevant than ever.

Day 3; Water Lily Adaptions


“Maija, you are the day, and I am the night!”

(Kimvi commenting on our work routines)

Following my last post about Day 1 in the Rotunda, I received some WhatsApp messages from my fellow collaborator Kimvi Nguyen. I am unlikely to see much of her in person during the project, as ‘life’ dictates a kind of tag team routine while I go in the morning and she after work, after dark. Her messages showed she had arrived, and after some difficulty accessing the building left me a surprise for me to find the next morning.

My second day on ‘lily-pad island’ was spent preparing my thoughts. I wrote a stream of consciousness on paper, in which I asked myself…

“Where am I in all of this?”

I began giving voice to the water all around me, “I am not the sky or the trees you see reflected here…” that sort of thing. And I remembered the membrane or ‘skin’ of the water. I noted it was the border between “above and below”.

Frankly, day 2 was miserable.

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