Jereldine Redcorn: „The Feeling Hand”
Left Photo: „The Feeling Hand” by Jereldine Redcorn – painted on a wood-block (see to this: “Block-Pictures as a Place of Meeting” under „Art Touches Art – 16“) Right Photo: Jereldine Redcorn feeling the clay in her feeling hand.
The Feeling Hand
For this contribution I have arranged two photos. At first I would like to write about the left photo which is a part of the block-picture I had already described under “Art Touches Art – 16” (the contribution which is about the teamwork created on wood-blocks, the so called „block-pictures“). The part chosen by me shows “The Feeling Hand” painted by Jereldine Redcorn (JR).
This hand is situated above on the left, on one of the broad wood-block-areas how to be seen on the general view (see: “Art Touches Art – 16”).
There, JR first had worked a white underground on which the hand then stands out well from the wood-colored surroundings in its reddish brown coloration. On this area of the hand there are graphic set tongues in blue-black. The blue-black brush line was put spontaneously and precisely, does not want to go into the detail, though. And but, the observer feels something being soft and sensitive! – I had described this analogously in my short interpretation under “Art Touches Art – 16”, so.
Striking also is the way how JR had chosen the position of her hand: Two lines going parallel having been drawn with pencil (in a former time when this piece of wood still had been intended for another function), those lines JR had chosen as a baseline for her hand-representation. “They seem to give support to the feeling hand: feeling sensitive forms a connection with a systematic behavior of the intellect…” I had written in „Art Touches Art – 16”.
Both, feeling and intellect are important to JR at her work. This is an aspect about which I will write in the following.
At first I have made thoughts to me on the hand at itself:
If we talk about “sensitivity*” (*in German language we call it “feeling of the fingertips”), we would like to express that we act attentively and sensitively particularly (also in the transmitted meaning). Actually, an extreme high number of receptors conducting the felt to the brain are situated on the skin of the fingertips. This enormously high density of the receptors first makes it possible for our fingertips to feel so coordinated and sensitively fine.
Jereldine Redcorn has meant the hand of a person who tries around concentration and attentiveness. The conscious attitude of strain of the fingers is showing me this. Therefore, JR had intended to paint the hand of a person who wants to include something consciously by the touch…
Which meaning does have feeling of the hand together with her fingertips – this gets only clear when we imagine which process this “haptic perception” starts at the beginning of the human life: The small child starts with its “getting-consciously” by “touching” its surroundings. All things of the immediate surroundings have to be grasped and, so to speak, to be scanned by the skin. The receptors pass the won information on to the brain. Through this, the brain can set the outer reality orientation brands and therefore is able to establish a copy of this reality in the brain. Forms, extents like also extensions into the room, all this first has to be “touched” in order to get known and understood. This learning process will get refined by the time further and further. For example up to the qualities of material: As cold or hot, as tight or soft something is, we only know this because we had really felt it for some time…
So the hand has a close connection with the process of “getting-consciously” from nature! I recognize exactly this statement in JR’s hand representation, together with the position chosen by her of the hand on the parallel lines.
I turn now to the photo which can be seen above on the right side. It shows Jereldine Redcorn in the year 2000 sitting in the gallery “pro art” in Bremen (Germany). JR has completed the work on the ceramic vessels and leaves them to the drying process now. This phase she had included in her plans and now she would like to try out something new (see to this: “Art Touches Art – 10”). In her hands, she holds a piece of clay which she would like to form to something. Her attention goes to her inside: Her feeling and willing, both are aimed at becoming one and at finding its corresponding expression in the clay.
Clay, the one like here, when has been watered and made supple, such a clay follows any pressure which is put on it – also the smallest one. The sensitive procedure of JR described by me leaves other traces in the clay as a powerful blow! An observer is able to read the manner of the approaches from the traces in the clay if he, the observer, once had made similar experiences of his own.
Being aware of even finest traces in the clay in connection with finest feeling-experiences of the observer, this opens integral insights into the process of emergence: Basic positions and -moods can be read even then when the left imprints had been put very fine and emotionally. This seems natural because feeling with the skin also is connected with emotions!
So the hand conserves with which mood (emotion), but also with which intention (will, intellect) an object has been manufactured once.
It is this fact which had led Jereldine Redcorn to the trace of her ancestors, the ancestors of her complete Caddo tribe, once:
In 1991 JR, mathematics teacher, had visited “the ‘Museum of the Red River’ in Idabel, Oklahoma. There hundreds of archeological finds could be seen, clay – vessels of the Caddo – Native Americans, what means, of her ancestors” (quotation from “Art Touches Art – 8”, interpretation II). When looking at the ceramic work of her ancestors, she all of sudden had been attacked of a deep sadness. The centuries old work-traces had “spoken” to her…
With this strange wording I mean exactly what I had worked out under my interpretation of the “Feeling Hand”! In the clay one day traces had been left which are understood because the sense of touch is able to comprehend information (emotional, like also intellectual) „due to feeling experiences of one’s own! And such, it came to this strong emotional touch which became a booster detonation for JR…
Exactly at this moment JR had decided to rework the ceramics of her ancestors to “revive” them. Her main intention had been to dip into the former awareness of life of her ancestors by reworking the historical Caddo ceramics most devotedly. The experiences of the hand – at that time like also today – are the link which makes such an approach and touch possible over centuries!
So this work of JR is primary an inner meeting with the feeling, wanting and with the life of her ancestors.
I would like to go into it more exactly now:
Whoever wants to form a ball-vessel, with that takes on a difficult plan: Body and mind have to coordinate their will and their inner idea. Only in such a way it turns out well to give the intended shape to the material: Ball-shaped design while being hollow as well as making an evenly side. Whoever has tried to achieve this once, can confirm: We succeed only at the greatest attentiveness for each of our movements by arm, hand and, or fingers (depends e. g. on the size of the vessel). And this one, our attentiveness, is demanded to register where the strength of our muscles has to be reduced or strengthened in order to bring the material with the idea of one’s own into congruence. This permanent inner presence demands our complete strength of mind like also our inner being aware of that what we are doing – and with that the person as a whole. Only this “dedication” does make it possible for us to maintain our attentiveness over hours in every second. For this, “man” needs for sure an inner reason to take those efforts on oneself.
For this I have “acted some causes once in my mind”:
– The American Natives (here the Caddo people) had had the firm will and decision to make vessels for the daily use and / or for rituals.
– People today e. g. could have decided to get down to smooth actions in order to come to the quiet inwardly.
– A contemporary artist could have the intention to offer a certain feeling or a certain point of view and, with this an own philosophy, to the observer in order to lead him (the observer) to his thoughts and / or to touch him (the observer) with his “philosophy”.
– A philosophy of her own I see absolutely realized by the engagement of Jereldine Redcorn: She lets “rise from the past” example faithful ceramic vessels. Those revived vessels, carrying the work traces of JR, now are telling about how JR has dedicated them her own life-time to let get present the past life of her ancestors…
Jereldine Redcorn: Ball Shaped Vessel with Carvings, ceramic, 2000
In the course of time, JR has worked many ceramic vessels obliged to the historical example (see: www.redcornpottery.com). I would like to describe the putting into reality of her philosophy referring to the photo above:
The ball-shaped vessel on the photo above, this one Jereldine Redcorn has manufactured in the year 2000 at our symposium. The perfect form of the ball can be recognized well on the photo. I guess, the observer will assume as sure that the inner side evenly has been worked out – due to the perfection of the visible. Part of the rationally ascertainable details is the drawing, made by carving in. We do not know the meaning any more, they nevertheless are witness of an idea.
The manner of the surface design furthermore is part of the perfection mentioned above. To achieve such a perfect smoothing on the surface of a ceramic work demands a high concentration and inner dedication to one’s acting. I imagine that JR has totally identified herself with her ancestors while working. It was surely necessary for her to create a temporal freedom for her to make possible her working so very intensively. How succeeded the Caddo-people in saving free time for their devoted ceramic work in the past?
Whoever can invest so much time and dedication has organized well providing the daily life – personally as also in the group. But also the atmosphere under the people must have been a peaceful. Only in such a way, an inner clearance arises, to express oneself in the completion of one’s work…
The Caddo-people are indeed regarded as peaceful in a civilized community already characterized by a division of labor. A peaceful prevailing mood in an intact community prepares the way to a personality stamped by creativity and by an artistically world view.
Jereldine Redcorn has got an inner connection with the help of her hands what has led her into the past by feeling the life- and mood-situation of her ancestors while working. The sense of touch of her hands has led her in the past and to her ancestors. With that, she gives them presence in the life of her own, as also in the life of all Caddo-people today… Renate Hugel
To complete my representation, I would like to add the following in this place:
Something which could not be comprehended on this way (by the feeling hand) was the final design of the smoothed surfaces by the fire. (A short insight into the burning process I could give on “Art Touches Art – 2”). Actual it had been Jereldine Redcorn‘s husband who had attended to this problem. During long series of experiments it had turned out well to achieve – also with the help of by trial and error – a corresponding surface of the burnt surfaces with the historical originals. Renate Hugel
Remark 1: Current stand: To Jereldine Redcorn I have written under “Art Touches Art” the contributions “Art Touches Art – 2”, “Art Touches Art – 10” and “Art Touches Art – 18”. In addition, there is a mention under “Art Touches Art – 16” (the contribution to the teamwork “block-pictures”).
Remark 2: The contributions under „Art Touches Art“ refer to the symposium „Attempt of an Encounter – Five Native American Artists meet five European Artists“. This had taken place in Bremen (Germany), in the year 2000. Whoever would like to ask about the genesis of the symposium can scroll back till „Art Touches Art – 1“, then continue scrolling back till Information about ‚Art Touches Art‘; after that you find then the „Chronology of the Past History“. Renate Hugel