"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all. Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." - Keats.
“We live only to discover beauty, all else is a form of waiting” - Kahil Gibran.
Once upon a time, as a young girl I loved mystery, magic, magnets, day-dreaming, dancing, stories, dressing-up, drawing, painting, animals and nature...
When I grew up, I studied art & design at Winchester School of Art England, acquired in 1987 a BA-Honours degree in Fine Art & Aesthetics from Reading University. My first job was spent working for André Montgomery a London based global events organising company; my next venture was to assist in the opening / running of “Waterhouse & Dodds” a Bond Street London Art Gallery. After moving to the Netherlands in the mid ’90’s (for love), it was hard to find employment as a foreigner. So I re-trained as a lace-designer for ‘Dentex’, an Anglo/ Dutch company, and went on to spend many years working in the international fashion world.
Penny as lace designer.
Eventually I set up ‘PJP-Design’ in 2000. I continued to work as a lace-designer / stylist, working under contract & creating the brand “Lila Lace”. Parallel to this, I started to focus on ‘Trend-Forecasting & Fashion-Storytelling’ - the creating & giving of marketing presentations to International Textile & Retail Companies. This involved distilling into collages & text the zeitgeist (collective impulses / trends) fuelling the consumer / fashion worlds. I began to realise that what I actually enjoyed most, was the meaningful connections or underlying patterns behind outer manifestations. I liked bridging & correlating the inner & outer worlds.
Lila Lace mood board. PJP-Design.
Naturally, during my early career, I enjoyed the fruits of success: the money, the glamour of international travel, expanding my horizons, a sense of personal achievement, and proving who I was in the world. Yet, as the years progressed all these glittering pluses began to loose their shine. Leaving instead, only an increasingly pressurised lifestyle of high stress, continual deadlines, soulless airports and impersonal hotels, and limited time / connectivity with family & friends, or the freedom to be creative. I found myself feeling trapped in an exhausting repetitive life-wheel that was spinning out of control, and was negatively affecting the quality of my life & my health. Somehow, I felt displaced, and disconnected from a deeper sense of self, and removed from all that I valued. I needed to find my way back home.
"Night Mind" (The earth which filled her mouth is vanishing from her). PJP Design.
In 2007 I made the decision to opt-out. There followed some difficult years, years without income, or vocational identity. This was a time spent doing much soul-searching. I re-focussed on grounding, and “knowing self” better... My focus went inwards: mind, body & soul: Reading, writing, poetry, intuitive painting, esoteric tarot courses, depth-psychology (Jung), delving into myths & symbols, practicing dream-analysis, making soul-boards, designing Mandalas, studying the natural laws. Along with simply enjoying gardening / healthy cooking, and a daily practice of ‘Contrology” (pilates) / body-work. I re-connected back to myself, by honouring a life that truly resonated with me.
Tension of Opposites. Wax & Ink. PJP-Design.
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.” - TS Eliot, Four Quartets.
So, now, in the second phase of my life, I re-apply all that was innate and true to me as a child, all that was emerging within my career days. Today I playfully weave these more evolved personal threads of self, into a life of my own making. A life that better aligns & flows naturally with who I am, and now ripples gently outwards into the local community.
I believe the threads (or fates) of life continually weave their own patterns; pattern-mapping towards an authentic personal blue-print.
“The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms” - Muriel Rukeyser... stories are literally yarns; the warp & weft threads, that as archetypal myths, weave back into our collective and personal DNA. As individuals we each have a unique story, an authentic singular thread / a personal myth to sew back into the collective tapestry of life. Authenticity of self, literally means being the ‘authority’ or ‘owner’ and ‘author’ of one’s own life.
The Three Fates or Moirai : Clotho, Lachesis & Atropos.
Sybiling Synthesis - Today, with Mariska, I now create & facilitate meaningful calendar events; events that delve into the underlying essences of daily life; events that are in tune with the rhythms, cycles and elements of nature; tapping back into a rich collective ancestral heritage; events that are rooted in rites, rituals and celebration. The aim, with such events, is to enable participants to: pause & punctuate, to ground & centre, and to partake in a more reflective creative dialogue with themselves and their lives, finding a connection to their own personal inner thread; adding more meaning and magic into their daily lives.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” - Albert Einstein.
Lace & Mandalas - threads of Self.