like dinosaurs

artwork: Donk (@donklondon)

artwork: Donk (@donklondon)

Paste-up by artist Donk (@donklondon) - “So then we made like dinosaurs and disappeared....”

This kind of sums up how I feel about the Australian federal election, with the Liberal/Coalition winning. I didn’t want to comment on it - too depressing. However, I saw this and - yep - Australia just had its Trump/Brexit election: anti-refugees, climate change deniers, fossil fuel lovers, fearful… ugh.

Standing atop the rubble - the girl’s even wearing an Extinction Rebellion symbol. Perfect.

So then we made like dinosaurs and disappeared....






making your mark

eL Seed painting at the British Library for the exhibition, ‘Writing: Making Your Mark’ 2019

eL Seed painting at the British Library for the exhibition, ‘Writing: Making Your Mark’ 2019

For the current British Library exhibition (showing until August 2019): ‘Writing: Making Your Mark’ – a project spanning 5,000 years, across the globe, and that explores the act of writing, of leaving one’s mark – artist eL Seed created a painting for the exhibition with his distinctive calligraffiti script. 

Language for eL Seed is about identity. Growing up as French-Tunisian, he felt conflicted about who he was and found that Arabic script enabled him to make a connection between his two cultural identities. It’s fascinating that the Arabic alphabet has symbols not present in other languages, which to eL Seed, creates infinite possibilities for expression and connection, especially in relation to his audience. 

Speaking about the project, eL Seed said: “Once a bedouin in South of Tunisia told me, 'The one who doesn't leave a mark, didn't have a life'. I guess this is why I write.” 

The painting for the exhibition features a quote from the Lebanese-American writer, Khalil Gibran, that featured on his grave: “I am alive like you, standing beside you. Close your eyes and you will see me in front of you.’

fragile future

‘Fragile Future III’ (2019) by Studio Drift, C'a d'Oro Museum, Venice

‘Fragile Future III’ (2019) by Studio Drift, C'a d'Oro Museum, Venice

Studio Drift’s ‘Fragile Future III’ (2019) is a poetic light installation merging nature with technology, where light is pivotal in connecting the work to its audience and environment. 

As stated by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, founders of Studio Drift: "'Fragile Future III' is about conveying emotion and at the same time refers to the fact that light lies at the basis of all life.”

Currently showing at the Venice Biennale in the exhibition, ‘DYSFUNCTIONAL” at C'a d'Oro Museum in Venice, the installation is situated around Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna’s painting ‘San Sebastian’ (1506), one of the outstanding artworks of the museum’s collection. 

Integral to the piece is the dandelion. The sculpture consists of three-dimensional bronze electrical circuits connected to light emitting dandelions – actual dandelion seeds, that were handpicked, and glued seed by seed to LED lights. The artwork’s handmade, labour intensive creation stands in contrast to contemporary mass production and consumption. By fusing nature with technology, Studio Drift explores the evolution of both, questioning whether technological developments are any more advanced than what is found in nature, and can the two co-exist?

 

life on earth

image: @oliverjeffers

image: @oliverjeffers

The results of the UN biodiversity report has been made public.

As artist/writer Oliver Jeffers pointed out on IG today - it’s devastating.

Here’s what he wrote:

“The UN undertook the largest survey of life on the planet and the results are devastating. 
Since the end of WW2 humanity has thrived and prospered like never before, but- as has been becoming increasingly obvious - our good times have come at the expense of everything else alive on the planet. 
Almost a million species of plants and animals are close to extinction. In the space of one human lifetime we have managed to already eradicate 60% of life on earth.
Enough is enough. 
There is a ten year window to make a difference if we start immediately. 
Personal lifestyle changes help, but real solutions will only come from the top down and politicians only act in order to be re-elected. So speak with your votes and your wallets. Make it very obvious you want life -not just humanity, but life all life on earth- to continue to thrive.”

small fires

image: ‘Luminous Craters’ by Luzinterruptus (@luzinterruptus), Madrid, 2009

image: ‘Luminous Craters’ by Luzinterruptus (@luzinterruptus), Madrid, 2009

small fires

candles lit

stars on the ground

from above

the earth has tilted

and the sky

now beneath

beckons

this sea of lights

© Angela Jooste

extinction rebellion

image: @streetart_official, banksy??? Marble Arch, London

image: @streetart_official, banksy??? Marble Arch, London

Whether this is a Banksy or not (and it’s kind of hilarious that people are trying to ‘authenticate’ it), this is a thumbs-up for the climate protests of Extinction Rebellion in the UK.

From despair to tactics to - hope?



global deal for nature

image: @polarbearstencils

image: @polarbearstencils

Earth Day is every day. 

To support our planet and its future, I recommend checking out the ‘Global Deal for Nature’ petition [https://www.globaldealfornature.org/, link], an initiative developed by conservation groups and scientists urging world leaders to protect 30% of lands and oceans by 2030.  

The ‘Global Deal for Nature’ proposal has been devised as a ‘companion to the Paris Climate Agreement — to promote increased habitat protection and restoration, national and regional conservation strategies, and the empowerment of indigenous peoples to protect their sovereign lands.’

Check it out and see if you think it’s worth supporting. All actions – small and big – count.  


the red hand files

Paste-up of Nick Cave - smiling!

Paste-up of Nick Cave - smiling!

Recently I discovered Nick Cave’s site, ‘The Red Hand Files’. 

 For those who know his work, the title comes from one of the Bad Seeds’ iconic songs, ‘Red Right Hand’ (album, ‘Let Love In’).  On this site, fans or whoever feels inclined, ask Nick Cave questions and he answers them in the form of a letter. 

 Nick Cave is a wordsmith, a great writer. Reading his letters, I was moved by his eloquence, directness, and honesty in answering questions broaching issues of what is love, the nature of grief, personal demons, self-loathing, inspiration, and influences. I have to admit, it’s also a relief reading Cave’s letters at a time when engaging with celebrities and stars across the creative arts through social media is either mediated by PR teams or PAs, where artists walk the line of trying to appear genuine, their content organic to appeal directly to followers, but are still in the game of self-promotion and branding. His distinctive voice reaches out, plumbing the depths of being human, or admitting to not having a clue, but signalling a resonance with his audience that we’re all in this life-journey together. 

 Here’s a letter answering questions: ‘Do you have a harsh inner critic?’ and ‘Did you ever want to simply give up and quit, because of your inner voice? Have you ever suffered a crisis of confidence?’

Dear Ursula, Joe, Rod and Sophia and many more,

I don’t know how many times I have been asked this question, or a version of it, in The Red Hand Files. Let me say this – the ‘harsh inner critic’ that you speak of is in no way unique to you. The truth is that virtually anybody who is trying to do anything worthwhile at all, especially creatively, has seated in his or her brain, a horrible homunculus that blows a dreadful little trumpet, and only knows one song – a song that goes, “You are not good enough. Why bother?” This evil little gnome is full of bad jazz, and is, in the words of author Sam Harris, “an asshole.” The enemy of aspiration, this atrocious inner voice demands you turn away from whatever your higher calling may be and become a second-rate, cut-price version of yourself. As your very own personal detractor it is deeply persuasive in its dark business. Many of us listen, many of us accept its message, and many of us throw up our hands and give in. The problem is, of course, that this inner voice, this monstrous homunculus, is you.

The creative act is an act of war – but as much as this inner critic is your adversary, it is also fundamental to the creative process. It is what anyone worth their salt is doing battle with all the time – we are in a perpetual dogfight with the lesser version of ourselves. To lose the battle is to become the embodiment of the homunculus itself. Defeated, we do nothing but sit in perpetual judgment of the world, idly watching, as it goes down in flames. As vicious as this fight with our own selves may be, it is this very conflict that puts the blood in the art, the tears too, and carves the battle scars deep into the work itself.

The world, for all its failings, is an extraordinary experiment in rampant human imagination. At its best, it exists because there were people who had the courage to follow through on an idea – who resisted the inner voice that said, “You are worthless. Why bother?”

I’ve said it before. Beautiful ideas abound. These ideas swim around us, ideas that can be of immense utility to world. Some ideas have our singular names inscribed upon them and it is our responsibility to reach beyond our lesser selves to the brightest version of what we can be and breathe life into these ideas. This act of reaching is almost always accompanied by the wretched homunculus and its dreary anthem of personal incompetence, but it is our sacred duty, to turn around and kick this little fucker in the balls. The fight with the dark force inside us is the forge in which true art is formed.

Love, Nick

P.S.  A homunculus is a very small human or humanoid creature.

[source: https://www.theredhandfiles.com/]

 

 

 

I'm not chic

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 11.21.22 am.png

Japanese band, noodles, just released a new album ‘I’m not chic’ with this awesome album cover artwork by Yoshitomo Nara.

Yep, I’m so not chic.

Notre Dame

Image: @shakespeareandcoparis

Image: @shakespeareandcoparis

Notre Dame, the morning after the fire.

Still can’t believe it.

stars down

6e751bd273b6986a6d019c5a3fad2285561caded.jpeg

Mood - chill.

Love this - So Inagawa’a remix of mouse on the keys’ track, ‘Stars Down’, featuring Dominique Fils-Aime.

Check it out.

more poetry

Jeremy Deller’s billboard in Swansea, 2014

Jeremy Deller’s billboard in Swansea, 2014

Yes - whether it’s actual poetry, a way of seeing the world, or a way to reach out to others on the street - we could do with some more poetry in the world.

British artist Jeremy Deller’s billboard pasting was created in 2014 on a large wall of Swansea’s Quadrant Shopping Centre, UK. It was commissioned as part of a celebration of the centenary of poet Dylan Thomas’ birth.

the secret garden of the pyramid

Image: @jr ‘The Secret Garden of the Pyramid’ 2019

Image: @jr ‘The Secret Garden of the Pyramid’ 2019

The beauty of street art – its life is shaped by the street.

 It might get pasted or painted over, tagged, torn down, hosed off, collapsed with a building, get worn by the elements, or it might last for a very long time. 

Artist JR knows this. To celebrate 30 years of the Louvre pyramid designed by architect I.M. Pei, he created alongside 400 volunteers, an optical illusion paste-up on a massive scale called, ‘The Secret Garden of the Pyramid’. Made from 2000 sheets of recycled printed paper, the paste-up/collage provides a fantastical glimpse of what lies beneath the pyramid, as if the structure is emerging from an archaeological dig. 

But as JR wrote on IG the day the artwork was open to the public:  “Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.”

Over the 3 days it has been visible the artwork has gradually been abraded by foot traffic and visitors tearing pieces away to take home as souvenirs. 

It was never meant to last. JR believes as a living artist, his artwork needs to be alive – to have a life of its own – which stands in stark contrast to the surrounding Louvre museum where artworks are collected and looked after in perpetuity. 

It was never meant to last, and that’s the beauty of this artwork. 

imagine

Artwork by Icy and Sot, ‘imagine a world without borders’

Artwork by Icy and Sot, ‘imagine a world without borders’

It’s #worldpoetryday, and while I’m not big on what feels like an arbitrary custom to highlight something for a day – like #worldenvironmentday should be every day, and pretty much any other cause that’s significant – here’s some poetry that goes beyond words: Icy and Sot’s installation, ‘imagine a world without borders’.

Originally from Tabriz, Iran, the sibling artists started out stencilling on the streets of their home city and now live in New York, making work in a variety of mediums internationally. Engaging with issues such as gun violence, the refugee crisis, human rights, and climate justice, the duo’s public art has an underlying purpose to advocate freedom and hope for people worldwide, and raise awareness in issues relevant to our times.  

Check out their work at https://icyandsot.com

eternal

artwork: Christian Guemy (C215, @christianguemy)

artwork: Christian Guemy (C215, @christianguemy)

Just a reminder this morning from one of my fave street artists, Christian Guemy (C215, @christianguemy), of what’s eternal and necessary:

‘Paris, eternal city of love. Love is what we need, more than ever...’

from yin to yang

art by Pejac (@pejac_art) ‘From Yin to Yang’, 2019

art by Pejac (@pejac_art) ‘From Yin to Yang’, 2019

What’s at stake…

Eloquent art work by Pejac (@pejac_art), ‘From Yin to Yang’.

climate strike

Paste-up by JR, Paris 2019

Paste-up by JR, Paris 2019

JR’s (@jr)) fantastic tribute to an epic person - Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg).

Strike for Climate - internationally today!


Deep Seads

Underwater mural by Sean Yoro from his ‘Deep Seads’ project, 2019

Underwater mural by Sean Yoro from his ‘Deep Seads’ project, 2019

Sean Yoro’s (@the_hula) next art project goes deep underwater. 

Wanting to make a difference to the degradation of coral reefs due to climate change and pollution, Yoro’s “Deep Seads” project involves freediving to create underwater mural reefs. These artificial reefs are intended to help jump start marine growth, potentially becoming thriving reef sites for a multitude of different organisms. Importantly, all materials Yoro employs, including the pigment sticks, are eco-friendly and safe for marine ecosystems. 

For more images and the video accompanying the project, check out Yoro’s website: https://www.kapucollective.com/works/deepseads

pipsqueak was here!!!

image: @pipsqueakwashere

image: @pipsqueakwashere

Just a girl and her bear and…friends!

Love the duo behind @pipsqueakwashere. If you’ve ever read Philip Pullman’s amazing ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy beginning with ‘Northern Lights’, the concept of having a deamon, an animal companion that represents your inner-self or soul, is beautiful. This girl and her bear that features throughout their work, reminds me exactly of that.

I wouldn’t mind the bear, but I bet mine would be a cat, maybe even a panther! 

the breath of life

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 8.56.02 am.png

Having been to New Zealand a couple of times, this resonates: @_millo_ has just completed a gorgeous new mural in Whangarei, NZ, titled ‘Hongi – the breath of life’. 

 Millo explains:

’HONGI is the traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one's nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter.

During the hongi, the “ha”, or breath of life is exchanged and intermingled. 
The breath of life is also considered the sharing of both parties' souls.

Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered "manuhiri" visitor, but rather "tangata whenua”, one of the people of the land.’