Healing Arts Report

Practices for an Evolving Life

They Don't Tell You How

“You need to love yourself more.” “You shouldn’t feel that way.” “Always put other people first. Don’t be selfish.” The one thing that is missing from all this good advice is telling you HOW to do it. We introduce you to practical tools using your own character traits to support you in creating practical answers to those questions. Read more here.

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Books

Two memoirs tell about times of extreme personal growth in the author’s life. Sunny Side Up is a window into the early 70s when certain young adults were searching for a way to head off society’s path bent on materialism. The Transparent Feather tells of a dying author passing the torch of writing to her new friend cum student.

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Mission

You can love yourself and other people as well. At Healing Arts Report we explore fulfilling personal development that at the same time serves to create the shift to a peaceful new world paradigm.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―C.G. Jung

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Blog

Mary Watts, Visionary

As an artist who’s in love with words, I am delighted when I find arising in myself an immediate sense of the spiritual coming from purely visual impact whether I understand the symbolism or not. That’s how I felt the moment I saw the exquisite chapel pictured in this article, built by designer Mary Watts. Although much of Mary’s symbolism is based on Christian Celtic art, her personal artistry also fused Romanesque, Egyptian, and Art Nouveau styles with forms of nature.

Watts Cemetery Chapel

Watts Cemetery Chapel

Her husband George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) was a greatly admired Victorian painter of allegorical works until the approach fell out of favor. Even then, his craftsmanship continued to be valued.

Mary (1849-1938), 32 years younger, married him in 1886. They were both followers of the Home Arts and Industries Association, a vital part of the Arts and Crafts Movement. One of the Movement’s goals was to improve society through creative enlightenment.

There is an innate, wholesome healing process to being creative that is often missed by our over-industrialized and over-institutionalized life style. I often meet clients in my work as a social worker who have never experienced the self-esteem and harmony with life that comes from learning how to make something from scratch.

The Watts built their home, Limnerlease, when they moved to Compton, Surrey. It served as a gallery for his art, and Mary opened a pottery there, as well.

Interior flower decorations made by school children

Interior flower decorations made by school children

When she began designing the cemetery chapel, she gave instruction in clay modeling to over seventy villagers regardless of their social status. In addition to clay tiles, she and the other artists used a variety of materials to create the interior decoration. The video below is a great introduction to the richness of the process, imagery, and materials used.
http://youtu.be/75Y7vLS–tI

As founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, explained: Symbols arise spontaneously from deep within. They are not of singular meaning nor is the meaning intentionally assigned the way a company logo is.

Symbols often have a familiar connotation, common to the general society. However, there is also a vague and unknown unconscious one, specific to the person beholding it. When a person contemplates a symbol that has presented itself in a dream or through synchronicity, it will often be revelatory, imparting information previously unknown.

Screen shot 2013-11-22 at 10.28.08 AM

Interior of the dome

Mary’s process was playful, and it nourished the entire community, bringing people together. The Watts Memorial Chapel is one of those buildings that begs to be called a gem. Are there any gems of similarly layered richness in your neighborhood?

PRACTICE: Use your gifts to rally a group activity. It can be as small as getting the family together for a meal or as complex as a project to upgrade the local park.

Contact: Let me assist you in getting that creative project you’ve been thinking about to manifest.

Discussion

3 Responses to “Mary Watts, Visionary”

  1. I am in awe of this amazing place. It’s beauty uplifts ones spirit. I only wish one day I can visit it and feel its atmosphere more directly. Thanks for the article!!

    Posted by karenstefano | December 18, 2013, 2:59 pm
  2. Amen! This building reminds me of Rodia/Watts Towers, though that was notably built just by Simon Rodia, in the Watts area of LA, CA:
    http://www.wattstowers.us/history.htm

    and of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, totally a labor of communal love by many many skilled & new craftspeople, which I think is still (still) in construction in parts:
    http://www.stjohndivine.org/

    and of Yogaville’s LOTUS which demanded new ways of moving light and is a kind of sculpture as big as a building and is totally amazing-looking and great to be in:
    http://www.lotus.org/

    And I think of how much support these kinds of buildings need, the community of support that must grow up around them to keep them up, restore them, nourish them, use them.

    And it is interesting that they all have spiritual immanence, even Rodia Towers, which is not formally a place of worship.
    Thank you for introducing me to such a beautiful beautiful place! I kept stopping the video to gaze at the Tree of Life, maybe that’s my favorite part of what I saw there.

    Posted by Beth Raps, RAISING CLARITY | December 19, 2013, 10:07 am

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