When you’re not feeling like the best version of yourself it helps to take in some words of wisdom and wit. It can be really difficult to take advice or accept encouraging assertions from peers, sometimes it’s easier to take on the affirmations of strangers.
Last weekend I saw an exhibition with a collection of drawings by Salvador Dali, mostly from the later part of his career. On the walls of the museum there were several quotes by Dali which gave a glimpse into his humour, confidence and approach and appreciation of creating art. He addressed the universal demons that paralyse us from following through with ideas and passions such as failure and the fear of reaching perfection with a playful perspective. Thus, attempting to make light of those issues and showing the lunacy in self-made fears and doubts and instead to be conscious of the greatness that resides in us all, and to celebrate that. So, the next time you feel a bit blue or weighed down with self-criticism maybe write down one or two of the following Dali-isms and read it aloud to yourself.
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
“Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dali.”
“The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.”
“Intelligence without ambition is like a bird without wings.”
“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalise them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.”
“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.”
And finally, my personal favourite quote by Dali,
“There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.”
Lisa Hannigan – ‘Undertow’
After releasing her third studio album At Swim last August, Lisa Hannigan brings us even more joy and amazement with the video to her latest single ‘Undertow’. For a full three minutes and twenty five seconds, Hannigan sings against an ethereal, effervescent backdrop, while glitter cascades around and beneath her. The most remarkable thing about this video is that Hannigan learned to sing ‘Undertow’ backwards. Yes, backwards. The video then played in reverse, shows Hannigan singing along with the words while glitter appears to defy gravity, floating upwards from the ground. Not totally unlike the video to 2011 hit ‘Knots’ – which shows the singers being doused in multi-coloured paint while singing and playing the ukulele – Hannigan clearly doesn’t let getting covered in art materials, or having to learn a whole song backwards, get in the way of her creative expression. The video to ‘Undertow’ is undeniably a provocative piece of art.
Fionn Regan – ‘The Meeting of the Waters’
Fionn Regan’s latest visual feast lets you pry into the world of Cillian Murphy’s twitchily suspicious rural racer. You don’t know where he’s going or why but there’s a sense of running away whether it’s from danger or responsibility, something’s catching up on him. You’re briefly allowed view the situation from outside the escaping car, heightening the sense of isolation. The steady throb of ‘Meeting of the Waters’ pulses along underneath with all the subtlety you’ve come to expect from Regan’s arrangements. There’s a brittleness to the vocal bringing an even more haunting quality to the whole ensemble. Fionn Regan’s beautifully delicate voice, Cillian Murphy’s beautifully androgynous face. What’s not to like?
Kate Tempest – ‘Europe Is Lost’
No one word accurately describes Kate Tempest, yet, she has a lot to say. This week she came back with fire in her breath and venom in her sting with the release of ‘Europe is Lost.’ The song stabs relentlessly at hot topics from around the world; political movements, the refugee crisis and contemporary pop culture. Accompanied by a video that bombards you with imagery which also makes strong references to the past. A Fascist book burning, a suffragette being killed in a horse race in the name of Feminism, Saddam Hussein’s statue toppling. Tempest links the issues of today with tragedies of the past, asking “when will we learn?”. Combining razor sharp lyrics and blindingly truthful images, Tempest knits a quilt of despair to wrap around the planet in a way that very few others can do.
Tennis – ‘Modern Woman’
‘Modern Woman’ is a brightly coloured, overly saturated piece straight out of the ‘70s. With pink and red hues present throughout, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was going to be presented as homage to romance. Which it is, in a way – the narrative is about singer Alaina Moore’s slightly unsettling romance with herself. Initially, the video could be mistaken as promotion for acts of self-love and working on your relationship with yourself. However, this thesis is quickly eradicated as Moore moves away from peacefully having dinner with herself to creating plumes of threatening smoke as she stares into space while ironing. This might be one to avoid if you’re feeling unsure about your decisions to focus on career rather than romance, as it might reinforce your secret fear of dying alone while ironing your laundry.
-Grace de Blaca