Morning Star Poles photos inspired by Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells".

I have been working on a series of Aboriginal-type Morning Star Poles for a few weeks, and have just completed the first series of 18 that will be included in my forthcoming "Masques" (Masks) Exhibition.

Last night I listened to Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" album (vinyl, of course!). If you know the album you will remember how he multi-layers a series of instruments before finally arriving at the 'Tubular Bells'.

(Mike plays: Grand Piano, Glockenspiel, Farfisa Organ, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Speed Guitar, Taped motor drive amplifier organ chord, Mandolin-like Guitar, Fuzz Guitars, Assorted Percussion, Accoustic Guitar, Flageolet, Honky Tonk, Lowrey Organ...and then he Tubular Bells)

Mike's multi-layering approach inspired me to make a series of Tubular Bell-style photos of my Morning Star Poles, starting with one Pole, adding another, and another...until I had reached all 18 of them.

So, ding-a-ling, and here they are.

(And you might want to look at the 3 photos of me and my Morning Star Poles in the 'Photos' section).

One Morning Star Pole:

Two Morning Star Poles:

Three Morning Star Poles:

Four Morning Star Poles:

Five Morning Star Poles:

Six Morning Star Poles:

Seven Morning Star Poles:

Eight Morning Star Poles:

Nine Morning Star Poles:

Ten Morning Star Poles:

Eleven Morning Star Poles:

Twelve Morning Star Poles:

Thirteen Morning Star Poles:

Fourteen Morning Star Poles:

Fifteen Morning Star Poles:

Sixteen Morning Star Poles:

Seventeen Morning Star Poles:

Eighteen Tubular Morning Star Bells Poles:

I asked Mr Oldfield if he wanted to have his photo taken with the Poles, but he said "Sorry, Val, I can't make it, but as you've done all the work, why not get your photo taken with them?".

So I did:

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lovely work val and you have just reminded me to check out mike oldfield again….good music !!! 

Thanks D, Thanks Jude.

D....I've done quite a lot of Aboriginal Art recently. You can see it on my web-site,  then go to the 3 bits, Description, Works and Morning Star Poles.

Then, if you're still interested, look at the Exhibitions 2014 page. About half way down are lots of photos from my Abortiginal Art exhinition that was helf earlier this year.

I've spent a week or so trying to make some Rain Sticks, but I can't get the roght size cactus or bamboo for the sticks. I can sort of get the rain noise, which is something of an achievement (for me!). Anyway, it's going to raine here for most of the next 4 days, so if I want to hear the sound of rain I can just 'stick' my head out of the window.


Sorry about that!

Bon weekend, Val

These are wonderful!

(but no partridge in a pear tree?)

Hi Val,

Your Morning Star Poles are stunning.  I had a cab driver the other day that strings 18 pipes out in the forest  between two trees. He tunes them and invites all his friends out to make music. He uses them as chimes. Obviously different but also objects of beauty that make sound. Music. So interesting.

Thank you, Rachel.

Here is a little bit about Morning Star Poles in their aborignal context:

"Morning star poles celebrate the importance of the morning star and are used in ceremonies in north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. It is often told that banumbirr rose in the east, lighting the way for the creator ancestors on their journey to the mainland from Burralku, the island where the souls of the deceased reside. Every day at sunset, the spirits on Burralku hold a morning star ceremony. As the dancing intensifies, disturbing the dust, it creates the twilight which gradually merges into darkness. During the day and into night, the star is hidden by an old woman who holds it in a special bag. Each day, just before dawn, the old woman releases the star on a long string. First, it ascends to the top of a tall pandanus tree to survey the places it has to visit, then it flies over Arnhem Land heralding the dawn. As the sun appears, the old woman reels banumbirr in by its feathered string to be hidden again until the next evening; the elusive star disappears as the morning light intensifies."

The star, which represents the spirit of the deceased, is kept in a ginny ssack at the bottom of the pole. My poles don't have ginny sacks (alas), nor spirits.

I had never thought of adding sound to them -- I did try to make a rain-stick, but,the bamboo that I can find locally here is not thick enough to get the desired aural effect. And I can't find the necessary cactus needles either. (A rice grain substitute didn't work)

You have given me an idea though, and for that I thank you. I have a series of what i call 'Wishing Sticks' that are similiar to the Morning Star Poles. I will be exhibiting them in the summer in  big circles surrounded by empty oyster shells (of which the cleaning nearly runined my fingers). I will try and string some of them in a local forest and take photos of them that I can use as backdrops for the exhibition.

Some of the wishing sticks are below.

You can see lots more photos of the Poles and the Sticks on my web-site; Go to the Aboriginal Art and then the Poles and Sticks sub-sections.

Thanks again, val




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