" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

January 3, 2017

Frieda Hughes and the Shamanic Spirit of Art?

Frieda Hughes working on an owl painting in her studio
Screenshots from The Who's movie, 'Tommy'
The Book of Mirrors
WHO are you?!
Frieda with her father and brother
I came across the art-world of Frieda Hughes when I was reading the Pete Townshend autobiography 'Who I Am' and Pete mentions the work of Frieda's  father Ted Hughes and his book the 'The Iron Man', which Pete helped to turn into a stage play and movie titled 'The Iron Giant'.
Directed by Brad Bird
Directed by Brad Bird also
Oddly enough, the director of 'The Iron Giant' was a guy named Brad Bird, who went on to make the movie 'Tomorrowland'  -
shop in
"Frieda Hughes is the daughter of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
First edition cover, published under
Sylvia Plath's pseudonym,
Victoria Lucas."
Her mother was one of the most influential poets of the century and her father was the British poet laureate from 1984 until his death. 
Her mother died by suicide when Frieda was almost three; her father died of myocardial infarction in 1998
Hughes's brother, Nicholas Hughes, died by suicide on 16 March 2009."
Frieda Hughes with Luna earrings
"Frieda Hughes is thumbing through her first book of poetry, trying to find the poem she wrote about the poems her father, Ted Hughes, wrote about her mother, Sylvia Plath
“It’s called Birds
It describes the poet as a penguin, nursing the egg his wife has left him, and the skuas that kill and feed on baby penguins. 
I wrote it about my father and Birthday Letters [the collection of poems Hughes wrote in response to Plath’s suicide]
But when my father read it, he said he thought it was a poem about me. 
I look at it now and think he’s right.”
Her voice, as she reads the poem aloud, is deep and low; eerily resonant of the voice of her mother, who was recorded reading her Ariel poems a few months before her death
She gassed herself in an oven in the middle of the night, leaving out bread and milk as breakfast for the sleeping Frieda and her one-year-old brother.
Frieda was almost three at the time. She is 56 now and we are sitting by the fire in the lounge of her old Welsh farmhouse, eating delicious homemade banana cake and drinking tea. 
Every inch of every wall is covered with her dramatic, large oil paintings of birds and abstract shapes.
Her father loved her paintings, she says. 
He also liked her poetry and encouraged her to write, although she didn’t allow him to read any of her poems until she was 34. 
By then, she had been secretly writing poetry for a decade, filing it away in a shoebox. 
“I came to him with a stack of my poetry that was several inches high and asked him to put them into three piles: good, bad and indifferent. 
And he did – he put several into each category. 
He was quite good at being impartial and, with poetry, he was supremely impartial."
Frieda shares her birthday with
 the late
Debbie Reynolds
True North (Star)?
'Bird 1' painted by Frieda Hughes
Finding True North
Raven - oil on canvas and wood.
Frieda Hughes
'Bird Beak Rock' by Frieda Hughes
I find Frieda's artwork very shamanic and coming from a place beyond her and through her, not that I'm saying Frieda is incapable of creating work like this herself, I'm saying that Frieda is tapping into something deep within her (and our souls) soul.
The Idea of Words - oil on canvas and wood
Frieda Hughes
I only came across Pete Townshend's book 'Who I Am' by a shear act of synchronicity when I was passing through the town of Cooma on my first of three road-trips down the east coast of Australia this year -
What is it with Pop Culture and Aliens?
The table in Cooma I found
Pete Townshend's book on
But the weird thing is that Frieda's paintings just about sum up my travels across Australia this year bizarrely. 
'White Rabbit' by Frieda Hughes
The weird thing about rabbits is that in my home state of Queensland, it is illegal to keep rabbits as pets, because they are considered pests and you can receive a $5000 fine if you are caught owning one.
It wasn't until my second and third road-trips last year that I would keep running into real live rabbits in some very bizarre places.
A Cascade of Rabbits?
Rabbits and rabbit-holes running along
 the rivulet parklands in
A white rabbit at a black swan event
Canberra on my 3rd road-trip
A Black Swan Event in Canberra
A pelican getting ready for a black swan attack in Canberra
'Black Swans at Lake Grace, WA 3' by Frieda Hughes
A young woman I met in the town of
Grafton who had a rabbit with her
I even ran into a young woman in the town of Grafton on my last day on the road of my last road-trip who was on a road-trip also with her father and they had just driven from Western Australia and were heading for my hometown of Brisbane (as was I).
'Black and White Rabbit 1' by Frieda Hughes
So, their road-trip made my road-trip look like a day trip by comparison.
The Grafton Bridge across the Clarence River in Grafton
The park above is where I met the young lady with the rabbit, as I was looking to get a photo of the old bridge I had just driven across, which is the photo you see above.
Grafton is the town 'Cold Chisel' wrote about in their song 'Flame Trees'.
'Australian Christmas Tree' by Frieda Hughes 
There are many more things I could write about Frieda's paintings, but the one that really hit home for me was the above painting called 'Australian Christmas Tree'.
An Australian Christmas Tree?
Because in my parents' backyard is a poinciana tree that my father planted from a seed pod he found outside my mother's auntie's house in Cleveland, Queensland.
My father's ashes were scattered under this tree in 2016
My father passed away in September 2016 and my mother and sister scattered his ashes under this tree.
The tree's red flowers where really showing on Christmas when I was over there on Christmas Day, but I didn't have a camera on me, not even a phone with a camera on me that day, but I went back and took the above photos a few days after Christmas Day and while some flowers are showing in the above photos, it was nothing compared to Christmas Day, for some reason.
'POTENTIAL' by Frieda Hughes
Oddly enough, Ted Hughes and my father were both born in 1930.
I'm Free-da do what I want?-)

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