Sunday, January 24, 2010

on the road...

....this is a very quick attempt to leave a message from a internet cafe in the wonderful coastal city of Nelson on the South Island of New Zealand...
In 5 days I have experienced every kind of weather except snow... that could still yet be possible though as I'm over here for another 8 days!
The ferry crossing between north and south islands  2 days ago in howling wind and rain robbed all my hopes for one of those idealic voyages when there is spectacular scenery all around to be engrossed in!
No...instead I was trying to keep my club chair in the bar from sliding across the room and then of course the inevitable dash for the white bag just in the nick of time and a new location in a quiet room where the waves could not be observed crashing over this huge vessell!
Have taken lots of photos and enjoyed some great art, sights and such. Time to get moving now. Wish I could have managed some images...this is a spectacular country...have never posted without images before...
bye for now! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

on conversation - agreeing to cook the world together

image by Theodore Zeldin

Sophie Munns

The text above is by eminent thinker Theodore Zeldin who has been an inspiration for some years now after reading his seminal 'Intimate history of humanity' and 'Conversations' which was published following his BBC4 lectures on conversation. I tracked him to a philanthropic foundation he launched - 'the Oxford Muse' - some time later and have at times worked directly with his ideas like  conversation dinners and text in art work.

In 2008 I had the time to rethink completely where I was going in my Art Practice and I wrote to the Oxford Muse foundation in the UK and exchanged emails for a time with one of the staff there. I was looking into how I might engage further with the conversation dinner idea I had experimented with partly pursuing my own interests and then discovering the Muse model for this form of innovative social collaboration. One day Kim at OM said "Theodore wants to phone you to speak personally - when will you be home?"

He rang me that week and talked for over half an hour - by far the most dense conversation of my life in its sweep and profundity and searching questions. I made notes - thankfully! And I sat on that exchange for a long time after pondering how I might activate some of the ideas he prompted me to consider. Maybe I find myself mentioning this tonight because there is perhaps an opportunity coming up that will allow space for such possibilities as he spoke of to come into play. I'm realising this as I write.  More soon on that... 

To read more click Muse Ideas. Some years ago i watched a webcast of a 2 hour talk he gave at the Tate Modern. Muse ideas will take you to similar links. There you will also see at this website Zeldin's own art work that frequently accompanies the text for the Oxford Muse.
The following images are employing text from his book Conversation that I wanted to consider more fully.

*click on the artworks to enlarge if you wish to be able to read the text

these 2 pages below actually join up

Today I have had some amazing conversations and communications through the blog, via email and over the phone... many more memorable and enriching ones than I usually have in one day. Plans being made, ideas being exchanged and thoughts being shared... when communications flow and understanding and cooperation is increased the world is indeed a brighter place!

And thats something to be extremely thankful for!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

seeing afresh

always love to see what Fanny is photographing... go to Lundi 18 Janvier 2010 post 'En brin' (18.1.10)
at les contours du silence

home and hospitality via the selby

see more great images here of Dan Martensen and Shannon Glick at home in the country via The Selby.
This was found through Kim at her wonderful ! : - noun - the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.

a sampling of fungi collected during summer 2008 in Northern Saskatchewan.

the diverse forest canopy on Barro Colorado Island, Panama yielded this display of different fruit.

some of the biodiversity of a coral reef (images all wikipedia)

Map of Biomes (wikipedia)

Kathleen from City Pollen blog posted this week on 2010 - Year of Biodiversity. Click here to read her post on the Year of Biodiversity to see the message from the United Nations. she includes other images which link to this post.

Monday, January 18, 2010

food + interiors + things i like

photos above: all by Marcus Nilsson at
photos below: all by Christine Ruddolph at Judith Miller

playing with living spaces...

...composing spaces to live in is something I used to love to do...and here are some images that reminded me of places I've lived in some small way - or things that appeal for one reason or another... below is a room where I'd like to have wonderful dinners and long conversations. This table suits letter-writing, sitting doing watercolours, a game of scrabble? ...thats a very inky blue in the wallpaper! Now what music I wonder? I can even imagine the food I would serve - nothing too labour intensive but delicious and slow-cooked... an unpretentious red wine for this honest room...yes it has drama...but its also relaxed. I lived for 5 years once-upon-a-time in a decaying grand old home with this kind of ambience...oh the dinners... the conversations...!

lots of shelves - above - definitely crucial and that chair's quite lovely...i'd get paint all over that white though! 
Below: walls and floors that look worn and aged...yes! wood - yes!

this room below with the table and chairs kind of randomly placed says lived in and worked in, breakfast, chats, multitasking, making a mess, cleaning up, relaxing ... its all fine! All these places and rooms below suggest its ok to play and create in these spaces...well there is a studio below...but why not have all rooms with the potential to become a temporary studio... I'm all for houses as doing and being spaces - rooms where all sorts of things are possible...rules bended and broken...

these images are all from James Merrrell, a London based photographer found through keen eyed Katherine at which I was browsing through earlier tonight. I have seen the work of this photographer in various magazines and there is a distinctive atmosphere and sense of drama which I find playful and reminds me of places I've lived and fun I've had creating spaces and arranging rooms like a giant visual composition. Hey i've even broken the format tonight for loading images onto a post...looks odd?...well they just kind of went that way - it wasn't planned..! Sometimes the thing just goes its own merry way and i have to follow along and hope for the best. Does this happen to you?

12 days in Aotearoa

2005 trip stayed with me a long time - as did these colours 

guess who's the lucky girl leaving on a jet plane this week!