The story of the City of Gold ...
I was in a reclamation yard in the UK, and here was a corner with old industrial items.
How old was demonstrated by the piece of Xylonite I found, which was probably produced in the late 1950s.
Amongst the items there, I came across a curious wooden box, and in that box I found brass offcuts from an old machine shop, where something once must have been manufactured, using these large brass rods and ingots.
I was drawn to the box magically, and as soon as I saw and then touched these brass pieces, it just flashed through me, mind, body and spirit all at once - this is what I have been waiting for, this is what I've been searching for, here is that connection between art, and the "world of men" in total perfection - and I saw the City of Gold, and knew in an instance how you use this, what it is, what is for, all of it in less than a thousands of a second.
Relief - such relief!
I've been looking for a way to bridge into the hard for such a long time, and TGS and the stone magic was a step in the right direction, but what was missing was "the hand of man."
I had become aware of this during a visit to New York some time ago, that there is a system at work in the world of man which I have ... shall we say, turned my back upon, and for a very long time, at that.
I've noted it in passing time and time again, but time and time again I shook my head, quite literally turned my back on it and walked in the opposite direction yet again - the other worlds, my homelands, to be sure.
I didn't want to have anything to do with the world of men.
But here, in that flash vision, I knew I had a chance to bridge that abyss and step into owning that too.
It might not look much - but I saw it ... :-)
The box contained 11 small pieces, a long tall piece and a big round platform piece that weighs 2.5 kilo all by itself.
The pieces were black and showed tool marks, where they had been cut in the workshop, and that is also a part of it. Manufacturing, creating ingots, shaping them into rods and those then get cut and shaped further, until they become a part of a machine.
Labourers and workers put their sweat and tears into this, from the miners to the foundry workers, to the metal fabricators, and all of that was in those pieces, profound and present.
But then, there was "the city."
When I got it home, and for the first time put the pieces together in a slow meditation of arranging the hard and my relationship with the hard, Martin walked in, glanced at the arrangement and said, "That looks like New York ..."
Of course it does.
The essence of a great modern city with tall towers, but they are square and heavy, and in each one of those buildings, yet more people are working, tirelessly, trying to earn a living, making money, for their bosses, and those bosses have bosses, and those bosses have bosses, and who does it end with ...?
The magic machine was literally vibrating off the table already, grimed and blackened as it was ...
But I had seen the city of gold ...
Now Martin went into action, polishing each piece by hand, one at a time, with exquisite care and strict instructions not to polish out the old manufacturing tool marks, for they are important, very important, a part of that bridge from then to now, a timeline of human endeavour ...
With each piece polished, my excitement grew in a way that I can't describe, the energy built up and up.
Each piece was just so beautiful in its own right, told such a story, and the sheer weight of the material, surprising each time and a reminder of the conventions of the hard ...
I was having energy kick after energy kick and hopping with impatience, taking photographs of Martin's blackened hands as he kept polishing the pieces that would get hot as hell under the spinning wheels and ever finer polishing compounds ...
And then, finally, the last piece was done and for the first time, I could play with my magic machine - and it was EXACTLY like I'd seen it in the vision, a perfect match between Sanctuary and The Hard, and all it took was to keep the vision and do the hard work to make it "manifest" ...
Here it is.
My Magic Machine - The City of Gold
My Magic Machine - The City Of Gold.
A totally breakthrough work of art and magic.
I don't know who will end up owning this, but they will arrange it to their own liking and have their own experiences with it, through it, and they will absolutely love it.
It is a million different sculptures just by the way the changing light from dawn till dusk and then when the lights come on and reflect in it, as you walk around it.
Sometimes, it is as white and pure as crystal or flowing water, other times pure gold which makes your neurology sing.
It is so heavy, and so beautiful, and to arrange it to your liking is an experience like no other.
I could go on and on about this, so many levels, so many layers, but the world has changed for this object, this artefact, now having come into existence.
My world has changed in ways I can't even conceive of as yet.
But when I'm long dead, and if people remember me, The City of Gold is going to be known as one of those core pieces that marked an evolutionary shift, a paradigm shift, in the development of the artist.
October 18th, 2014
Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK
"It is a million different sculptures just by the way the changing light from dawn till dusk and then when the lights come on and reflect in it, as you walk around it."
But then, you get to arrange it, interact with it, PLAY WITH IT ...
City of Gold, Silvia Hartmann 2014
Technical details: This sculpture contains 13 pieces of reclaimed manufacturing brass, is 19cm high, 15.5 cms across and weighs 5.5kg