Friday, July 31, 2009

Una Rey : The Wonder paintings and From the Valley floor.

Catching up with friends was a total delight last weekend when I went south for 5 days. One artist friend Una Rey has been incredibly busy nearing completion of her PhD in Fine Art at Newcastle University. I met Una after commencing a MFA there in 2007. She has juggled family commitments with writing an exegesis and Studio Practice, exhibiting in Melbourne during May at Place Gallery and a final show at the University Gallery coming up soon. Recently Una moved into a wonderful new Studio which I wandered around taking photos on Monday and savouring her paintings again. In the July 09 Art Monthly Australia Una had an article  'Paint: the Language' included which is connected to her current focus for her PhD. Read about the Wonder exhibition by clicking on Una's name above. Best wishes for the final months of hard work Una!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mapping the Marvellous ... and Odder

I love reading Mapping the Marvellous because you generally travel somewhere quite curiously engrossing. The image above is from a place called Odder, a fabulously interesting looking wunderkammer bar in Manchester. Loved the clocks. Todays post titled Facts - July 29th, 09 - is a must if you wish to discover some quirky facts about animals...did you know ants always fall over on their right side when intoxicated! And Elephants are the only animals that cant jump! The links on this blog are also outstanding. Take a peek!

Tully's seeds and the Manifesto on the Future of Seeds

Tully lives in Newcastle, where I just visited this past weekend. I had a wonderful time staying with his family, parents Maureen and Will, and experiencing the ever-expanding permaculture garden, the building of a chook pen, and lots of great shared meals and conversation. One afternoon Tully asked if I'd like to see his magic seed box. What a question... who could refuse! The box actually did have a secret compartment. The top layer opened to reveal seedpods that he's actually crafted into some great a tiny catamaran. The surprise came when the under layer opened and it contained 100's of very, very light seeds with wings. We had to be careful not to let them float off in the breeze. I loved it...there was something a bit magical about this. Thanks Tully!

Tully's magic seed box

The page above I just put together this evening so I can hand it out with Seed Project work. If you click on the image above you can enlarge and view it properly. It contains information and a weblink to the 2006 document The MANIFESTO ON THE FUTURE OF SEEDS produced through a global consultation held at Terre Madre In Turin, Italy in 2006- a Slow Food International Conference. This response evolved out of  previous document The Manifesto of the Future of Food from the 2003 International Commission on the Future of Food. If you go to the actual Manifesto as directed above you can read the 36 page document. This statement is sobering to say the least:  'Of 80,000 edible plants used for food, only about 150 are being cultivated,and just 8 are traded globally. This implies the irreversable disappearance of seed and crop diversity'. from -  Part I: Diversity of life and Cultures under threat.

Sustainability Day- for local Brisbane residents...

Find out more here about this excellent event being organised, in no small part, by Marilena Stanton (in conjunction with Hillbrook Anglican School) whom I've  had the pleasure to get to know recently. She visited my studio a couple of months ago with pumpkin scones and goodies from her garden (doesn't this announce a life force to be noticed!). Soon we had a plan that centred on Seeds, Seed-saving and Art. Soon after, through Marilena's connections, I met with Jason Halford at the 'Seeds for Life' project being conducted at Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens where I was able to learn more of this important work whilst volunteering with Jason and several others. Funding issues have temporarily gotten in the way unfortunately with this project- part of the Millenium Seed Bank Program. Stay tuned though! The  Sustainability day coming up in a few weeks will draw together some great speakers, projects and stall holders.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Children's pool at the Newcastle Ocean Baths beside the Pacific Ocean

These images of the Children's po0l in winter were taken 2 days ago on my trip to Newcastle. I have drawn and painted here and worked in my studio on this theme so made a point to visit here. The day was so bright and yet few people were around so I had a chance to sit quietly and enjoy the space.

I love the way the moss and algae forms on the side of the pool and pathway...adding this intense green to the view. I find the movement of light on the water completely mesmerising, especially with  the area so quiet on this visit and nothing to distract me from my reverie

revisiting a place of inspiration...

steps at the Newcastle Ocean Baths

Last night I arrived home from Newcastle  (Aust) where I spent the best part of 5 days catching up with friends and what's been happening there. 1 hour by plane and quite a bit cooler than was a wonderful time full of great reconnnections. More on those soon. In this post I have given a view of the coast and ocean baths where I spent much time in years past swimming, walking, reading and relaxing as well as drinking in the inspiration for my studio and musing over ideas that started here. The sharp, crisp winter light lent itself to these photos uncharacteristically empty of people, being both a weekday and winter. These ocean baths were constructed, I think ,in the 1930's...someone might actually know better than I...and are in the midst of restoration. Its a massive series of 3 pools. One very large pool is divided in to 2 areas really. One smaller section for laps with numbered lanes and one massive pool next to it. Just a little to the right near the rocks with sea crashing over it is is a huge round shallow pool designed for children that once had a large world-map painted on the bottom of it. I will post those images separately.

dividing walkway between 2 large pools facing the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

getting away for few days...


Its been 16 months since I left my previous home of 8 years by the sea on the Central NSW coastline of  OZ at Newcastle. Time to go visit old friends and walk along the coast and see my favourite spots again. I'll have to take my camera as i just realised how few photos I have of this place which is actually very photogenic! Its sure to be a busy time... better get packing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

nourish me lives up to its promise!

Spices by Lucy - Nourish Me.
This is the image that headed the previous blog of Lucinda's at Nourish Me. Sincethe beginning I sense that there has been a consistency to the lovely,  earthy tone of her blog. When I emailed to seek permission to post some of her wonderful images she explained that her training and interest in drawing has been diverted to working with film cameras in recent years. Given my own interest in cooking and food that comes from the earth largely unadulterated I was immediately drawn to the honesty of her photographs of simple foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and so on. The care and soulfulness is all there...a quiet beauty that is easily lost in overly contrived food styling.
This is not contrived...this is a visual and written celebration of everyday bounty that really is quite precious!

23rd of May 065
beetroot and lemon broth a lovely copper pot. Love the sublime colour in this image!

28th of December by Lucy - Nourish Me.
'right beneath my childhood bedroom window' was the caption with this one from Lucinda's flickr site.

18th of November  by Lucy - Nourish Me.
mushroom close up

Jo's kitchen by Lucy - Nourish Me.
old window pane...a kind of bubble glass captures the light astonishingly well!

Solstice Cake by Lucy - Nourish Me.
an egg cracked open...exquisite!  Reading this blog left me wanting to head straight to the kitchen. Great recipes too I must add. Thanks  for the inspiration Lucinda!

and the corn is as high as an elephant's eye...

image from Bliss post: july 21

Yolanda Heuzen describes herself as  "Garden writer, garden and interior designer and translator, gardening in heavy clay in Zone 8 and digging it!"
If you go look at her blog Bliss you will discover you are in for a treat and probably a spot of fun. She's a bit of a fan of "our" Hugh (Jackman that is !) I guess if your'e not that into gardens, good food, Hugh, photos of her gorgeous dogs and eclectic posts then this is not the blog for you. Me...well i'm a fan!

image from 7th of July post: Heatwave

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

quite curious and certainly enchanting!


For me is almost beyond words looking at this amazing blog...this lettuce leaf sums it up for me. take an quite ordinary thing, place it somewhere neither predictable or unprecdictable, in some way we dont anticipate taken! I feel my mind shifting as I trawl this curious...bravo Sophie Cuvelier!

Monday, July 20, 2009

out for a walk...

a walk in my neighbourhood takes me past old and new places...but I am most partial to the older Brisbane homes which feel so right for the climate. The top house is probably less characteristic in that it does not have open verandahs or much garden surrounding the house...but it is across the road from an extremely popular park and picnic spot. Below it is this second white house in a suburb of many white houses. Not so many have such an imposing staircase leading to the front door though! This verandah was meant for afternoon teas with china tea cups. Sadly there were no signs of life when I have walked past!