Friday, March 18, 2011


The following images all have been added to my tumblr blog: seed capsules tonight... all except the final one ... as you'll see!

Michael Chase: area of interest tumblr

Cant help but think this event in Japan one week ago today that disrupted millions of lives (and has the potential to continue doing so in ways we can hardly bare thinking about) raises big questions and begs of us all we actually consider what is worth fighting for in terms of our collective future. The Uranium debate was running cold for years now... the climate change debate is still pooh-poohed in parts... Food security has been on the boil for some time now... but the event we are watching unfold somehow
asks us to think very carefully... and I think not wait for govts and big business but to be a bigger part of the change ourselves.
People in places like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have shown enormous courage and have taken centre-stage in the battle they believed was worth it. And we know the role social media played in that!!!

I've been painting since I was matter what Ive always keep faithful to art somehow, through thick and thin! Yet five years ago I felt that it was looking foolhardy to approach life as an artist with the same kind of values and priorities that one might have in the past.I observed an increased focus on 'the getting of wealth', constant talk of superannuation, aquisition of property, taking care of personal portfolios, travel, status objects, entertainment and general consumption. None of these things are negative in themselves ...but the dialogue was swamped with this chatter ... attention veering away from all that is part of our true inheritance on this planet ...being the habitat and all living things ( which we are so dependant on if we only remembered where it mattered!) ... and our connection with community...and the well-being of the collective.
I just got sidetracked at twitter 10 mins ago and found this article at the Guardian:Is rampant consumerism ruining our lives? 

Tim Jackson live Q&A   click here

The author of Prosperity without Growth answers your questions about his theory that our obsession with economic growth makes us prosperous but unhappy – Friday 18 March, 1-2 pm
How fitting to find this as I write here! That constant noise about "having", "getting" and "aquiring" against the panorama of loss and lack all around really challenged me to find new ways to move forward that made more sense. As an artist and as a human being. Blogging puts me in touch with many like minds... people who dont think of rampant consumerism as a particularly good idea... people for whom sharing and foraging and gleaning, repurposing and bartering is a part of life ... an important part of life. Thank the heavens for that.
You know what ... I think we could all turn up the message a notch or two. Leadership has to come from many places ... top down has not been terribly inspiring in a long while! Come on bloggers ... lets use our art and creative gumption a whole lot more ... there's so many ways to make it a better world! There's room for all our intiatives and to pull together on this!


The ‘treehotel’ is set to open this weekend. Located in Harads, Sweden about 60 km south of the arctic circle.
Treehotel, Sweden, 60 miles south of arctic circle:tumblr-polychroniadis


Curated by Norman Foster and Luis Fernández-Galiano ‘bucky fuller & spaceship earth’ is an exhibition , which brings the different strands of buckminster fueller’s influential career together with original drawings and models and will be the first chance to see the recently completed recreation of the dymaxion car.
 Buckminster Fuller- tumblr-polychroniadas
Curated by Norman Foster and Luis Fernández-Galiano ‘bucky fuller & spaceship earth’ is an exhibition , which brings the different strands of buckminster fueller’s influential career together with original drawings and models and will be the first chance to see the recently completed recreation of the dymaxion car. 

Thinking outside the square...

Dymaxion Car Assembly, 1933

DYnamic -- MAXimum - tensION

At the heart of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion concept is the idea that rational action in a rational world demands the most efficient overall performance per unit of input. His Dymaxion structures, then are those that yield the greatest possible efficiency in terms of available technology. Here are a few examples:
Dymaxion House
Conceived and designed in the late 1920's but not actually built until 1945, the Dymaxion House was Fuller's solution to the need for a mass-produced, affordable, easily transportable and environmentally efficient house.Read more
Dymaxion Map
The Dymaxion Map is the only flat map of the entire surface of the Earth which reveals our planet as one island in one ocean, without any visually obvious distortion of the relative shapes and sizes of the land areas, and without splitting any continents. Read more
Dymaxion Car Patent Drawing
The Dymaxion car was designed by Buckminster Fuller in early 1930s. The car could transport up to 11 passengers, reach speeds of up to 90 miles per hour, and ran 30 miles per gallon. Read more
Dymaxion Bathroom
Worried by the poor sanitation, inefficiency, and high cost of bathrooms, Bucky came up with a solution in 1936. Read more

Beyond the hive-Arup associates:tumblr Polychroniadas
London-based arup associates have won the top golden beetle prize for their design 
of ‘insect hotel’ in the competition hosted by british land and the city of london, ‘beyond the hive’. The brief called for a sustainable and creative insect habitat for the city of london parks.


mulleindown - hundertwasser - high-rise meadow house by manhardt…
mulleindown - hundertwasser - high-rise meadow house by manhardt…

well its only a model...but anyone who knows the work of Hundertwasser ... painter and 'architecture doctor' - knows that he actually had his plans for buildings realised. Its not for nothing he remains so well loved by so many... and interestingly ... children adore his work! 

     Stephane Couturier Tumblr: polychroniadis

'Usine Toyota n°1’, Series: Melting Point by Stéphane Couturier from the exhibition for the shortlist of photographers in the 2011 prix pictet photography and sustainability competition.

I had to stop and consider this work carefully - its from a series called Melting point - given the last week I wanted to make sure what I was viewing. Below are inks to the site where you can read more on this photographer... this series taken inside the Toyota assembling plant in France in 2005.

Stéphane Couturier: The Artist’s Path In 1994, Stéphane Couturier showed the first works in a series called Urban Archaeology. Viewing the city as... more
Artist statement
Stéphane Couturier – Melting Point - Toyota The series of twenty large photographs depicting the Toyota assembly plant in Valenciennes (France)...more

Tunisian kitchen; Tumblr:roam cold highway

I look at this and am reminded of so many kitchens the world over where pride is taken in prized cooking vessels and keeping the simplest of spaces tidy, practical and pleasing to the eye.
It makes me wonder about the western preoccupation, rampant in some parts more then others, of continually gutting kitchens for state of the art sets ups with all the trappings of success... and very often barely used and barely appreciated.

When I think of landfill I think of all that waste ... and it contrasts with the images of spaces above like this where hospitality and careful maintaining of cultural traditions and relationship to where the food comes from is a shared experience and a celebration of life.

Lest we forget!

from roam cold highway tumblr

Posters for Japan I found at tumblr 'rery likes' with this note below:


Help Japan with this link
poster by Steven Jodistiro

poster by Steven Jodistiro

Japan was devastated by an 8.9 earthquake and tsunami today, causing widespread damage. They need our help. Donate to the charitable organization of your choice to do your part with relief efforts
• Canadian Red Cross
• American Red Cross
• Doctors without Borders
• The Salvation Army
• Oxfam
• Global Living
• Care
• ShelterBox ()        
Haven’t decided yet through which organization my contribution should go and know that it might not be consequent. But as a dear friend said very well:        
"No contribution is insignificant, because all together makes a lot, maybe not enough, but one must do what is possible."

I wish to finish off with a note from a dear blogger friend in LA Mlle Paradis whose post today was one I wish to share.. she writes at her "Day of Speaking Out" post:

I don't mean to be awkward but watching the BBC News has made me feel that it is time to do exactly the opposite.  I know the bloggers who have organized the Day of Silence below have their hearts in the right place, but watching BBC TV tonight I feel that we have been silent for TOO LONG!
I've left this note on several blogs this evening and will leave it on many more.  I've called Japan Consulates in L.A. and Honolulu, the American Consulate in Tokyo and have left emails for President Obama and my Congresspeople.  Perhaps you would like to do the same.  

I was brought up in the Asian culture to behave nicely and stay quiet until called upon to put my two cents in but I feel, that a week into the crisis in Japan, more must be done and it's not enough for ordinary people watching this happen to sit home in silence.  If the Japanese government/people are anything like the Asian people I grew up with, they are very good at offering help, but have a very hard time asking for it themselves.  Here is what I'm saying:

i’m asking you to add your voice to those who are calling for an airlift/drop of food into northeast japan. by a non-japanese entity, if necessary. within 24 hours. it seems that the japanese government are overwhelmed and it is just heartbreaking to think that people are now starving there after all that they have been through. it has been six days since some of them have had a proper meal and those who are being fed are sharing one riceball between two people!
thanks if you can. it’s terrible to stand by and to feel we can do nothing to help.

well ... my post is in large part inspired by Mlle Paradis and her "Day of Speaking Out" She pondered Japan being a country willing to come to the aid of others but perhaps no wanting to be seen as overwhelmed, needing support, not managing well... stoicism has its downsides as any of you with that tendency knows! 
I'd meant to go to Green drinks tonight...but was out much of the day at a wonderful event that some time I will post on. Great conversations with some wonderful people. Came home most inspired!
So if I didn't get to Green Drinks then at least I can offer this post to start some conversations or prompt your thoughts on these various matters.
Have a good and safe weekend all as we offer our best thoughts and prayers to all in the land of the cherry blossoms!
PS two creatives using their artistic talent to raise funds for Japan... read here - catkin and teasal and hello sandwich!Hello Sandwich on twitter.
Mlle Paradis has updated with further info on:
Emergency! Japan Needs an Airlift: Here's Why Be sure to read this update from her if you wish to understand this most pressing situation for the people north of Tokyo who are cut off from supplies!
NB: if you try to comment and it falters... try second time...  it seems to work. S x


Mlle Paradis said...

Thank you Thank you Sophie!!!! You are a force to be reckoned with! Wonderful post as always too.

I'm buzzing around trying to get my message out! Back again soon.

Sophie Munns said...

well MP...
you were the one who mobilised me. When reading "we must rethink everything" I was off...
I happened on images of Hundertwasser and Buckminster Fuller etc and thought how they were so ahead of their time in some respects... and how the least we can do is speak when it is important RIGHT NOW !
its not being ahead of our time to draw attention to the need for airlifts of supplies in Japan. I feel better about being a citizen of this world after signing the petitions of late to the UN re Libya or here in OZ about various issues.
We have more opportunity than ever to collectively act for something... so lets.
Hundertwasser and Fuller were lighthouses of new thinking.... but time has passed for standing by observing new thinkers and staying inactive thinking one can safely look after one's own little pile and all will be well.
Those in Japan suffering at this time are doing so irreguardless of their bank accounts and politics.

Anonymous said...

Ladies! I agree that we must speak out! I have been researching Shelter box today and am trying to decide the best way to donate my money. Thank you for shouting as loud as you can!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Mary,
good for you! Thanks for your affirmation... its not a conventional forum for being quite this 'out there' with the message ... I know many would feel one is betraying art to discuss everything else... but I cant help feeling that before we 'make marks' we are thinkers and feelers and sometimes we keep 'making' what we are already making, doing what we are already doing out of habit when there could even be a more inspired way to do and to be... and still create to our heart's content.
Reflecting and reinventing could seem superfluous if one is very comfortable and feels their world is fine.

If we dont think all is fine.....then I do think to be part of public dialogue and particpate in change where we can is crucial at this time. Small actions by a great many are better than the other way around.

I just had a great email from the guy behind the title and note: 'we must rethink everything'. He said:

I read your article and it was very moving. It's so great to see how creative thinking is making a real difference. The day after the earthquake and tsunami I spent the entire day watching the news. It was by far the most devastating thing I'd ever seen. The nuclear reactor problem only made the situation more intense and emotional. I felt like I couldn't do anything to help and at the time and I really couldn't. I had to watch just like everyone else. My frustration caused those words to pop in my head so I wrote them out, took a picture, and posted it. I wasn't expecting any sort of reaction but many people have been spreading it around. It makes me so glad to know people who care about the state of the world and the future are using it to spread a positive message. Thank you!

and thank you Mary!
S x

Sophie Munns said...

Apologies to anyone having trouble leaving a message... the mechanism is being temperamental.

Lovely blogger LUCY: emailed and said
"Tried to post this comment, but for some reason couldn''ve got me thinking:

You're on, Sophie!!

I will go away and have a think. Top of mind thinking out loud here for a moment: Of late, I'm finding that I hardly know what to say about the state of things. In the city, we rent in a 'nice' suburb, and I see huge skips-worth of stuff being thrown out on every street. Renovations, that sort of thing mostly, and I find that it's beginning to make me feel sick...surely you don't need to throw out all of that stuff.

In the country, we are building a brick oven to feed friends and family when they come up. A visit to the local 'renovators goldmine' and we found everything we needed...and the stuff they had in there was amazing, but there was SO much of it...consumerism is beginning to do my head in.

I hardly know what to do, what to say. Being silent ain't gonna help though...

So much thinking going on, much worry for the gentle, stoic Japanese people (and the people of Pakistan, still learning what to do after their recent flooding, for Christchurch, for North Africa...oy...the list grows and grows in a globally-connected world). Thanks for the post, thanks for getting me thinking!!"

So glad you emailed Lucy... it can seem hard to know where to start... how to voice what... but knowing we are not alone with our thoughts is SO encouraging... great to hear from you!
S x

iNdi@na said...

so much reading. may be time to re-read Neville Shute's book "on the beach"
donations may indeed help, thanks for the links

Sophie Munns said...

Ridiculous ammount of reading for anyone trying to drop in and say hello India!
I figured people might pick and choose... catch a glimpse of something and simply check that out... maybe.
Anyone who reads the entire post deserves an award!

Shute's book ... think its the fav of a brother of mine. Have forgotten the story! Thanks for the mention.

read tonight that Japanese Red Cross has a account where funds go absolutely directly to the affected... not chanelled through the system so that cash falls away!

Elaine said...

Dear Sophie, Thank you so much for your post. The events in Japan have been so overwhelmingly sad and hard to know just what to do to help. It's so good to know that the Japanese Red Cross aid goes directly to those affected.

I just love the image of the prayer flags.

Sophie Munns said...

Dear Elaine,
I understand completely what you say about this... as the days pass and the results of this cataclysmic event (which lasted for a brief moment but set in motion such a chain of events) were are left more speechless than when it began!

It was good to find that out about the Japanese Red Cross!

Thank you for your warm response,

Maggie Neale said...

Sophie, you are indeed a force and it was informative to read your post. Some around me are so worried about the nuclear situation that they are not speaking of the northern Japan destruction. I wish I felt convinced that donated monies would truly be used to help....I need to sleep on the questions. I am so in agreement that we need to speak out and save our planet.

Sophie Munns said...

Dear Maggie,
thank you for commenting.
I added another post after finding that Red Cross Japan is said to direct funds into account set up for singular purpose of redistribution into affected areas.

It struck me that an esteemed organisation like Red Cross might realise how many people doubt where funds go and make a point of doing this...but checking is a damn good idea.... please let me know.

My intention for writing is not to say people must donate, but to argue for increasing the responsiveness to whatever is going on - whether locally or beyond.... to feel its worth playing a part in future decisions...
and certainly
.... NOT to feel a single voice means nothing....but rather the joining together of voices is what counts everytime progress is made! And how often it starts with one person ... a lone voice!

lovely to hear from you!

Robyn said...

thanks for caring Sophie x

Anonymous said...

and to you for visiting dearest Robyn...