Friday, January 28, 2011

New Irish Lace: Brigitta Seck

I want it..

Made of wire and porcelain:

Irish Lace Series, Floweret

Floweret (detail)

Irish Lace Series, Rosette

Rosette (detail)
All photographs (c) Brigitta Seck

Via Another Shade of Grey
Read more about Brigitta here or see more of her work there.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hypnotizing: William Forsythe Solo Performance

He looks like he has 3 joints for every square inch of his body:

I'm sure he hasn't been eating half a bag of Pirate Booties during the last half hour..

 See an even better video of this solo performance  here  but for some reason I couldn't extract it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Richard Lippold Wire Sculptures at Moma

I went to MOMA a couple of weeks ago and loved - among other things... - these little wire sculptures by Richard Lippold (American, 1915-2002):

A total delight - as some Brit I know would say...  Loved their lightness, apparent simplicity, shadows - all of it!

There were quite a few more inspiring pieces which I'll post shortly - stay tuned..

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hero of the Month: Swoon or a Force of Nature...

I only recently discovered Brooklyn artist Swoon (see a lot of her street/wheat paste painting work here) in the documentary Our City Dreams and was blown away by her raft projects where she, with some fellow artists, built several rafts/floating devices with junk and set out to travel on the Mississippi, the
Hudson river and lastly the Adriatic Sea from Slovenia all the way to Venice for the 2009 Biennale:

Photos and info via Inhabitat

I loved the strong nothing-is-impossible  feeling that emanated from her (even it if kind of made me wonder what on earth I am wasting my time on when I could try to do some of  what she does..).

 Today I found this video of her speaking at Ted Talks (via Paper Monster) and was once again inspired by her energy. She stirred some of my long standing urge to do some humanitarian work when she talked about her most recent experience in Haiti building houses for the victims of the earthquake (yes, I warn you, you too will start feeling like you are accomplishing nothing..), and what it means to her:  

"If you break a rule over here and move a boundary overthere, have a moment of creative play, create a thing of beauty, through all these actions and combined with a lot of dedication, you start to create little cracks in the facade of impossibility and inevitability that overlay our lives. And through those cracks, possibilities start to come up and ask to be born, and start linking with eachother, and that's a very powerful force.. and that's the force I live my life by..."

I myself keep wondering how to make my art and my life one;  Swoon obviously found her way which makes me want to start thinking less and start doing more... 

Listen to her speak here:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

50 Great Voices to Listen to While Working

I always like listening to the radio when I work and I've really been enjoying the archives of  50 Great Voices  on NPR these last couple of days; They include some of my heroes such as

and quite a few others.. I must have latin blood. Maybe it's because they evoke warmth... sun.. in other words, the opposite of this, which is what we've been getting in Boston...

It quickly turns in piles of  yellow and black snow in the city but we don't care  because it also gives us is.. which is much nicer to look at...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marian Bijlenga: Horsehair, Fishscales and Threads

Dutch artist Marian Bijlenga is one of my favorite Flickr finds... she makes these stunning installation drawings with thread, horsehair, and machine embroidery:

She also has a whole body of work made with fishscales:

All photographs (c) Marian Biljenga

Her Flickr page shows much more of her work as well as beautiful photographs of her inspiration.
Some of her work is also included in the current exhibition  Traces: Mapping a Journey in Textiles at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design in NC.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Inspiration: Raw Threads in Morocco

In this cold and snowy weather, I tend to long for heat and colors so I relooked at my pictures from Morrocco and -at last, uploaded them on Flickr..  Here are some of the things that make me hyperventilate:

Plenty of more picturesque photos here. Bon voyage!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On Civility and Personal Responsibility - Obama's Tucson Speech

In the wake of the tragic and absurd Arizona rampage, I'm grateful for Obama's inspiring speech:

In particular:
"Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together. (...)

So sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we've shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others. That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. (...)

We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."

Read the full speech here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thousands of Dead Birds and Chris Jordan's photography

Since I've heard about the terrible news of the thousands of black birds found dead in Arkansas on New Year's day, I can't help thinking of Chris Jordan's Midway Atoll photographic project

All photographs (c) Chris Jordan.

Per Jordan's website:

"These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.".

I keep being appalled by what our consumer society has  been doing to this planet.. That doesn't come without contradictions (the occasional "need" to get more "stuff" for example..) but I have become so much more aware and responsible thanks to projects like Jordan's (found via Alabama Chanin's blog by the way,  one of my favorite and most inspiring blogs but that will be the subject of a whole other post..), or films like the haunting 2006 Our Daily Bread which I cannot recommend enough (available here).

I hope this year will bring awareness to more people and that we all take an active role in preserving the planet.

Happy Friday all (sorry, that was a bit gloomy..)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Work in Progress: swaddling with yarn

I've gone back to some old felted sweaters I had and started swaddling them with yarn. It both answers my compulsive need to stitch, knot, bundle, and my  urge to transform materials into new textures and surfaces:

Right now it looks a bit like an animal hide when hung (which I do NOT want) so I think I need to keep "growing" it....

Of course, I couldn't help wrapping the cutout pieces into little bundles:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How to Wrap Five Eggs

I was lucky enough to be gifted that beautiful  book last year for Christmas and it somehow feeds two of my recurring concerns/interests.

First, that our society has, by focusing on mass production and cost efficiency, sacrificed beauty in almost every area of life. Designer George Nelson wrote this introduction when the book was first released in 1967:

"We have come a long, long way from the kind of thing so beautifully presented in this book. To suit the needs of super mass production, the traditional natural materials are too obstreperous . . . and one by one we have replaced them with the docile, predicable synthetics. . . . What we have gained from these [new] materials and wonderfully complicated processes to make up for the general pollution, rush, crowding, noise, sickness, and slickness is a subject for other forums. But what we have lost for sure is what this book is all about: a once-common sense of fitness in the relationships between hand, material, use, and shape, and above all, a sense of delight in the look and feel of very ordinary, humble things. This book is thus . . . a totally unexpected monument to a culture, a way of life, a universal sensibility carried through all objects down to the smallest, most inconsequential, and ephemeral things.”

I hear that packaging in Japan is still an art so I don't know why we haven't been able to preserve it here...

Mochi (rice cakes) wrapped in bamboo leaves

Candy bags with brightly dyed silk drawstring

The second thing the book addresses is my ever-growing attraction to bundles which I already displayed here and there... I still can't explain why I'm so drawn to them  but I can't get enough..

Fish set out to be preserved by drying them and stringing them with straw

Paper packages that accompany engagement gifts; they are designed to contain lists of the gifts presented, and their decorations, as well as their shapes

Containers for Yokan (jam made of sweet beans); made of banmboo leaves.
So what about if this year you remember those when you set out to pack your lunch... yes, even you, PB&J lovers (you know who you are..), there's no reason why you couldn't wrap that sandwich beautifully.. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...