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Sprung from necessity

rilke-and-rodinYesterday I walked to the funeral of Carolyn White, a fellow artist here in Stroud, through the Slad Valley that she loved so much. It was an incredible gathering, crafted by Carolyn in advance, with a stillness and warmth that captured me. An artist before being a painter, one of her requests was for this extract from Rilke’s (here pictured, left, with the sculptor Rodin) Letters to a Young Poet to be read out: “A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. In this nature of its origin lies the judgement of it: there is no other. Therefore, I know no other advice for you save this: to go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside. For the creator must be a world for himself and find everything in himself and in Nature to whom he has attached himself”. Thanks Carolyn, inspiring once again, this time sending me off to read the letters.

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