08 Jan Schola Metaphisicae
Oxford old and new co-exist like parallel worlds. I feel how Lord Asriel and Lyra took shape in this city, where the ‘Schola Metaphisicae’ is only a short walk from the Modern Art Museum. It is a place where ideas are currency. Wren and I take a conversational journey of ideas from death to art and back again via welding. We enjoy animals and patterns in the tapestries of Kiki Smith. “How imperative it is at the moment to celebrate and honour the wondrous and precarious nature of being here on earth,” says Smith. Wren and I speak of the need to follow subtle impulses in order to manifest creative ideas in our unique ways. We met through a shared enquiry of metaphysics. (A philosophy which examines the nature of reality and the relationship between mind and matter.) Today Wren shares an invocation from the 7th Dalai Lama, which inspires me. “Help me to make myself into a jewel, able to satisfy all the needs of the world, able to manifest as best suits each and every occasion.” Later I head off to look at repositories of fossilized ideas and values. These lurk under the scent of formaldehyde, dust and mothballs at the Natural History Museum. With another friend, I see ‘Performing Tibetan Identities: Photographic Portraits’ by Nyema Droma at the Pitt Rivers Museum. The young modern Tibetans portrayed find identities constructed through work, sexuality, what they choose to do, alongside more traditional cultural identities. Finally, a conversation in the Eagle and Child introduces the study of architectural decay and the world of academia. As I return to London, my head is full of ideas.