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We Are All Flying Birds - An Homage to the Art of Alexander Calder

24/05/2013 14:59 BST | Updated 24/07/2013 10:12 BST
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As I entered the splendid room in the Pace Gallery on the side of the Royal Academy of Arts building in London's Mayfair, something stopped in my hectic life, overexcited as I was by the freshly arrived sparkling spring sunshine.

There was a beautiful stillness in this space that struck me. All these mobiles, the work of Alexander Calder (1898-1976), were hanging in their surprising balance: insolent, swinging softly as the breath of life caressed them now and then.

I was arrested by a sudden revelation about his art. Calder was a visionary, he understood the depth of human nature, of human life. There it was, Calder's vision of life: isn't it all about balance? The balance of so many elements in our existence, the balance of all the many aspects of ourselves - or, so many times misbalance!

In the majority of his mobiles you can see one side is made of a major piece and the other side is made up of a multitude of little pieces hanging one next to the other...

I could see my body on one side and suspended on the other one all my desires to do this or that, to dance, to eat well, to eat junk, to take care of myself, and all their opposites... I could see how so many parts of me were trying to weigh more in my life than I could handle! Motherhood, wifehood...

They evoke so much, these mobiles: fragile constructs we all made as children... trying to find a balance with simple things. They evoke a powerful feeling of reminiscence of this creative period we all went through and always remember.

These pendulums were dancing in the air and in the light, creating forms and shades and colours and making strange noises. That is why when you stay in this room you feel joyous and airy. My friend, the art expert, Tamara Corm could not stop sharing about it! What a poetic view of life - what a gift to yourself to be in this room!

I felt transported to the imaginary world of the energies that govern our lives and our beings in this seen and unseen existence. And I felt light, as I could see we are all defying the weight of our duties.

Calder sees us and represents us struggling with gravity - the gravity of the body, of the world around us. We are all trying to fit into our days all the components that define us or often that we want to be defined by. And I must say women have certainly won on this one - for having sophisticated pendulums and trying to squeeze so much into their waking hours!

The graciousness of what I saw gave me admiration for us humans who are trying hard, juggling, making sure nothing falls or threatens the whole balance. One tiny piece hung, balancing with the others until equilibrium is reached: one more piece and the whole puzzle of your life would collapse...

I was seeing all my emotions tied together to create my mood, swinging with the wind, my happiness was pulled by all my feelings of guilt, of shame... I could see those mobiles like beautiful birds flying in the room, being gently pushed by the wind...

Alexander Calder is telling us we are all birds, with so many feathers. We all aim and dream to fly high, and to be free from the gravity of our human destiny. He is telling us nothing is immobile. We are always in transformation. The wind is shaping our structure, our orientations, our movements. We have to adapt to the ever changing flow of life.

He has thrown light on the art of living free of the weight, and of the strong gravity, of life itself.

Merci Calder!

Calder After the War is at the Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET until June 7.

Karen Ruimy is co-founder of the GREAT initiative (Gender Rights & Equality Action Trust) www.thegreatinitiative.com. Her new album Come With Me is out on May 28 available for download from iTunes http://bit.ly/145noRw. Karen will be appearing at Mind Body Spirit at Earls Court 24-27 May. www.karenruimy.com