Sunday, November 29, 2009

DUNE: Arenaceous Anti-Desertification Architecture

model by Magnus Larsson

An adaptive proposal for Northern Nigeria

Images at Flickr
After viewing this TED video on Magnus Larsson's vision to turn dunes into architecture here  I then found that BLDG BLOG, which was mentioned on the previous post, had an extensive story in April this year here. The architect acknowledges the challenges of his vision but proposes the scale of the issue is such that it demands every effort be put into combatting the desertification given the possibility that a 3rd of the world's land mass may have become desert by the end of this century, whilst population continues to climb and resources continue to be squeezed. Its an impressive idea and one hopes to see something come of it, even if evolution of the idea is first called for.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

plants without borders

Plants without borders: An interview with Sara Redstone by Nicola Twilley.

Bay leaves showing symptoms of infection
When visiting the excellent BLDG BLOG this morning I came upon a most interesting and lengthy post that's worth reading if interested in plant quarantine and the complex issue of species being threatened by imported pests. In a global economy of trading, travel and transport across borders plants dont have passports saying for example they're from China when they are shipped from The Netherlands into the UK - problems can result. Trading is often put before quarantine!.
Sarah Redstone is Plant Health and Quarantine Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, UK - home of the world's largest collection of living plants. In addition to screening and isolating all incoming and outbound plant material, she is currently overseeing the design and construction of a new quarantine facility for the gardens.
She warns the public of the risks involved in moving plants around - bringing things back from holidays, especially smuggling things in from abroad. Wax candles, a jar of honey, a wooden sculpture also have the potential to become problematic. Campaigns to increase public awareness are timely and Redstone hopes once people understand they will heed the message "as we all share the same planet".
BLDG BLOG: architectural conjecture, urban speculation and landscape futures - written by Geoff Manaugh and the sister site: edible geography by Nicola Twilley
below: Electron micro images of seeds. Lamourousia viscosa (bottom) Franklin's sandwort (top) conserved at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.

Bio-diversity from Abstract City

visit this page to see more of the wonderful Christoph Neimann's illustrations for the NYTimes. View bio-diversity here. Scroll down the page and on the right you will see other posts to click on. The Berlin Wall post is excellent as is  the 'boys on the subway' which happens to be autobiographical...from the illustrator's experience with his young sons!

I'll leave you with this one...time for coffee for me... bye for now!
Christoph Niemann - Coffee


Clearing one's mail box can be a somewhat arduous task - things saved there to look at later. On the other hand what treasures await when in the midst of slowly waking up, enjoying a peaceful saturday morning, one discovers wonderful things quite forgotten about. 
Conversation  with self goes like this:
"Mmm - wonder what this is?"
"Ohhh wow...fantastic links...Oh yes...saved for the endless links to artists sites and art blogs, magazines..."
"'s a post on W.C.Richardson whom I posted on last night... and here's the artist with his work. Oh great!"

read the post on tackad here and be sure to trawl through Dean Aldrich's extensive links if you are interested in the  categories he refers to in the description of his blog.
tackad - showcasing abstract paintings with writing or dots. Abstract calligraphy, postmodern pointillism, marks, gestures and scribbles, text and language based works.

pattern via dear ada

Picture 35

Dear Ada is a delight to visit...bring your own cup of tea and click here to see what she has posted under pattern. These 2 images above are from the pattern collection are  by w.c.richardson at Geoform.

Richardson's works above happened to trigger thoughts of work by Australian Artist Peter Atkins - The work is essentially very different in nature and approach but certainly pattern, form and perhaps colour helps register some link . Atkin's work is shown below from quite recent to work dated 1994. I saw a large show of his work in a regional gallery 5 years ago and they struck me as very compelling. I always like to see what he is working on next and I must say I could easily be drawn to purchase a work from 2002-2003 if cash was lying around asking to be spent.

Peter Atkins  Paperform No 4 2003

Peter Atkins Buckle 2002

Peter Atkins  Toe seperator 1997

Peter Atkins  Asterix 1995

Leaf pattern

Peter Atkins Leaf Pattern 1994

Thursday, November 26, 2009

holiday with Matisse

open window 1921

the bank 1907

interior with a girl 1905- 06

seville still life 1911

interior with aubergine 1911-12

tulips and oysters

interior with aubergines 1911

This morning I was trawling holiday possibilities on islands off the coast of Qld, daydreaming really...
Later on I found myself drawn to this image above 'Interior with Aubergines' on The Blue Lantern Blog for its sheer joyfulness. Wanting to see more of this actual work I googled it and found a series of images here at Olga's Gallery that really appealed so I posted them above. What a wonderful reverie...the open window looking onto the Bay...I would love to visit here this summer and spend time reading books on that lounge, eating oysters, aubergines, walking along that bank, drinking tea in those interiors and looking in on Matisse painting every so often.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

friday afternoon in the studio

Last week I bought 10 small pots of herbs to plant in my tiny herb garden that need replenishing. On friday the boys arrived after school for class and they worked on drawings of several herb pots. They are keen 7 year olds...and I got too distracted to photograph their wonderful drawings...maybe next week! 
However, we got talking about portraits and I remembered I had photo-booth on my Mac which i hardly ever use we had a bit of fun with them posing for some images and then setting up shots as if i had turned my studio into a greenhouse.
Tom and Elliot are the most amusing, curious and enthusiastic individuals who ask fascinating questions and amaze me with their capacity to engage. Elliot is already asking all kinds of questions about how he can be an artist when he finishes school - how long I spent a Uni studying, what it was like and so on. Tom was very excited the day we looked at Hundertwasser as he liked the idea of art combined with architecture. "I'd like to do that when i grow up" he declared! Life's an adventure with these two young art students. It certainly brings out the playful side in my approach. No matter what I organise before hand they always help push the envelope in some new inventive way. A lot of singing and laughing escapes from my studio on friday afternoons ... 2 boys with big personalities and loads of charm!

Another thought... having taught mostly teens and adults for many years I am freshly reminded each week about how strong an interest this age group has in the natural world. We have returned again and again to drawing what we find in the garden outside as their connection is SO strong to this world. We are lucky around here to have plenty of green space and verdant vegetation. The girls I teach who are 5 years older enjoy the garden, but they have a more detached approach. For these 2 boys nothing beats a run around the garden finding things to draw, and every week, without fail, picking a nasturtium flower to eat!

underwater sculpture

Underwater Sculpture

 The artist Jason de Caires Taylor's website is the place to go for fascinating details on this mysterious work. His sculptures "highlight ecological processes whilst creating artificial reefs and underlining our need to protect our natural world". View 2 brief videos of the underwater work - quite atmospheric and worth a look!

images above and below remind me of those National Geographic stories of archeological ventures all around the Mediterranean  as does the work above of Jason de Caires Taylor. Ancient amphoras were used in transportation all around this region...a 2006 thyme infused Olive Oil, and what was thought to be a salad dressing, was discovered in the cargo of amphoras...some still intact around 2000 years later.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Master teachers from the early 20th century

Currently showing at MOMA in NY is a major exhibition Bauhaus: workshops for modernity 1919 -1933. This morning whilst visiting the excellent blog Little Paper Planes I was prompted to look into the weblinks which I found most worthwhile.The page below is a timeline in images and notes which allows for a comprehensive yet brief overview. From there I went on to look at various sites, one or 2 detailing the period the Bauhaus was located in Dessau where various Master teachers were given houses designed by Walter Gropius to live in and work in. Klee resided next door to Kandinsky with their respective families and was known to conduct free painting classes in his home-based atelier, as well as carrying out more formal duties at the Bauhaus. 
Paul Klee. Introducing the Miracle. 1916
'Introducing the Miracle' - Paul Klee 1916

The following workshop below is from an extensive program running for the duration of the exhibition. As you can see it is on this weekend...Oh to be in NY! There are repeats of this and other workshops over the next few months.To read about the Master's houses click here

New in October - Paul Klee 1930

Lyn Meyer-Bergen - student in Paul Klee at Bauhaus

Visit the excellent website of important Bauhaus Master Gunta Stolzl teacher here. Stolzl was an influential weaver and also a painter. Her textile work is shown below.