A China Experience

paper cutting

Carrie Varjavandi from Dundee shared her experiences of three and a half years in the city of Xi'an in China where she worked as a teacher in an international school as well as working with various Bahá'í educational groups of all ages.

An artist as well as a teacher, Carrie is particularly fascinated by the surviving traditional crafts and artisanship she dicovered there, and shared some of what she learned of the popular art of paper-cutting with those gathered in Inchvannie in a short hands-on workshop.

Inchvannie Arts: The Valley of Search


Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

(from The Song of Wandering Aengus, by William Butler Yeats)


Yeat's powerful poem draws on an ancient theme, the theme of how a yearning search for the desire of one's heart can take us through a state of madness towards ultimate fulfilment. Our session last Sunday explored how such deep spiritual promptings have served as an inspiration for poets and artists for centuries. It follows how the theme flows through stories and poems related by ancient sufi poets to modern classic rock songs, painting and animation. The following story of The Nightwatchman, told through stop-motion animation by Sam Goodwin, a contemporary film-maker, rooted a 12th century Persian poem, is a powerful contemporary rendering of a motif linking love, yearning, despair and fulfilment.