the menagerie grows


The paper for the mice was snitched from my granddaughter’s growing pile of discarded artwork. She makes heaps every day. It is all about process for her. She has very little regard for it after she has finished. That’s the way we all should be. Art should be free, and artists should be free. Artists should be paid a stipend. Or not. Anything to stop art being a commodity, and galleries from their nonsense of valuing one more than another because someone says it’s better or because more people like it on their walls or because it suits their marketing aims. All that leads to, is hungry artists who are desperate enough to sell their souls, and they do, on a regular basis, and then have to spend years at a therapists, or under the influence of some drug or other, until they find out that it’s all bullshit and they can go back to the process of process, like they did as a child. And that is if they are lucky.

IMG_5562Origami is process, at least for me at this stage. I like that it can go in the fire when it collects dust, or when there are too many rabbits or mice. I like that it is made of something flimsy, available, cheap, disposable, and recyclable, and that it has no real value. I know the masters’ work has real value, but mine won’t, because I will lose interest before I do enough to turn it from a craft into an art.

By the way, we keep some of my granddaughter’s stuff if we like it, and pin it on our walls. Sometimes we even make the mistake of telling her we like a particular piece.


Credits: The rabbit on the left was designed by Jun Maekawa. The blue one (obviously a very curious rabbit) I learnt at Tavin’s Origami Instructions. The Duckling was designed by Hoang Tien Quyet. I don’t know who designed the elephant. My daughter has been making it since she was a child. She taught me. The Mouse was designed by Tetsuya Gotani.



13 thoughts on “the menagerie grows

  1. I don’t know which I like better, your origami animals or your essay on artists in society. Both are well-folded. Thanks. They both helped remind me why I do the art and writing I do (because I must).

    Sometimes I forget feel lost about it all. I mean, I’m a grown woman and I get up at four in the morning so I can have quiet space to write haiku. Couldn’t I be doing something “useful”?

    But no. I get up, say hello to the moon and then write little poems, alone by candle light.


    1. morning moon
      the presence of loved ones

      yes, not doing makes one miserable. being miserable is definitely not useful. creativity is like love, there’s plenty to go round, if one doesn’t limit it.

      1. I couldn’t resist. I’ve made one already but I went wrong somewhere; I couldn’t open it out properly. I’m blaming it on the cats who were conducting major warfare over the furniture while I was trying to fold. 🙂

    1. definitely! there are such consummate artists out there. and that’s what I meant about doing enough for it to become an art rather than a craft, is when you understand it well enough (bodily) to create, rather than copy. like most arts, if you love it enough to really apply yourself for an extended period (a lifetime for most of the masters) a style emerges from you or your soul.

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