Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Looking directly at the sun


Monday, September 28, 2009

FUNDRAISLINN - An auction for Aislinn

A week from now:

A silent art auction to raise funds for
Aislinn Andrews’ cancer treatment.

Tuesday 6 October 2009
Helen Gory Galerie
25 St Edmonds Rd, Prahran, VIC
6 – 8.30pm, bidding closes at 8pm

Art Auction, BBQ & cupcakes, drinks & raffles

Renowned artists of all genres
helping raise funds for Aislinn and
helping your walls look good!
A great chance to purchase a
bargain and have a great time.

Bring your mates!

View and bid on auction pieces here

You can find out more about Aislinn and her history with cancer at her blog: theyoungandthebreastless.com.au

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

On hoards, hiding and history – a personal memory

Still on the discovery of the golden hoard: Reading the discoverer's (Terry Herbert, metal detectorist (thank you, Karen : ) thoughts reminded me of something quite amazing that happened in my childhood.

Mr Herbert tells in a BBC article that there is "… this phrase that I say sometimes; 'spirits of yesteryear take me where the coins appear' … 'I don't know why I said it that day but I think somebody was listening and directed me to it.' "

When I was about eight years old, in the late seventies, our family lived in Lappeenranta, a small, old military based town close to the Russian border in South-Eastern Finland. Lappeenranta was founded in 1649, and being a strategic spot between East and West bears a stormy and colourful history under both Swedish and Russian rules. Many of the town's old military structures are still intact, alongside the current base (which was still famous for its garrison with horse stables and the handsome cavalry when we were kids).

Part of the Lappeenranta fortress is built around an old church on a hill, on the edge of town. Our guide group used to get together at the basement there, and often also spent time on the surrounding grounds. One evening in the spring (I remember that leaves were just appearing in the trees then), there was still light and we were playing hide and seek in the dusk. I climbed down to one of the old trenches with cobblestone walls, 6 ft deep or so, labyrinthing around the park, and ran along the soft grassy bottom as far as I could. I must have done a good job hiding, as I waited there for a long while but no-one came.

Sitting there alone and quite happy, I thought about the soldiers and townspeople who had been huddling in the same shelters, and wondered if anyone had ever stopped on the same spot as I was now. All of a sudden – it really was a flash-like thought out of nowhere – something made me look at the stone wall I was leaning into; my hand lifted itself up and went directly into a little opening between two smallish, mossy rocks. There, at the back of the tiny cave, half-filled by sand and pebbles, I felt a rusty pile of metal. I pulled it out and saw six or seven very old keys bundled together!

I don't have a photo of the keys (they are not with me anymore), but they were the simplest type of old key, with one or two straight teeth at the end of an iron rod, and an oval with perhaps a little lip to hold them by. All of them had obviously been lying there for a long time as they were covered by a deep patina of brownish rust, some of them slightly etched, stuck, together.

So it still moves me to think that I happened to be at the exact place where someone, perhaps a hundred or more years ago, had stood and thought to hide their keys for a while. They had quickly scanned the stones and decided on a place, pushing the keys as far into the crack as they could. But they never came back … or maybe they forgot the exact location. I wondered for some time what to do with the bundle; we even spoke to my friend's mum who worked at a local museum, but eventually I just kept them, and played with them from time to time. However, I sometimes ponder, did I too somehow connect with a "spirit of a yesteryear" – was there something particular someone wanted me to do with the keys …?

Maybe I should attempt to forge one and see what happens. After all, while we're making, many of the tools and the processes still very much, strongly and vividly, proudly, connect us with the past, thus bringing it to our presence. Maybe that is the whole point, something to think about, that daily connection and what it means for us, and for those in the future who stumble upon our pieces.
Somehow, somewhere …

Some bits and pieces on the history of Lappeenranta fortress

PS. If anyone knows about the history of keys and how to date particular makes and materials, please let me know.

PS 2. I was wondering why I found the news about Terry and the recent gold hoard slightly comical (in a good way). And then I remembered: The Mildenhall Treasure by Roald Dahl, fantastic illustrations by Ralph Steadman (yes we're sure he only ever drank water : ) It's a true story about an English farmer who discoveres a treasure in his field.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Unemployed amateur metal detector finds the biggest gold treasure in UK

My friend Ev just sent this link (thanks Ev!) for NY Times: "LONDON (AP) -- It's an unprecedented find that could revolutionize ideas about medieval England's Germanic rulers: An amateur treasure-hunter searching a farmer's field with a metal detector unearthed a huge collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver artifacts."

See here for detailed information and good photographs:
The Staffordshire Hoard official website

The whole NYTims story here 24/09/09 but requires signing in (free)
Sorry re. a complicated link, it worked automatically on the first, second and third try.

Terry Herbert showing off pieces of the hoard he found in Western England two months ago.

Photo © David Jones / Press Association via Associated Press

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Against war, in corduroy

Don't be like CJ – click on the links to actually hear the song : )

So here: Les Poppys 1971, Non, Non, Rien N'a Change (outdoors)

More here: Unicef, Het Zilver 1971

And last but not least, rocking out in
Dusseldorf, 1973
, with a new lead singer
(the previous one probably started growing stubble and had to be replaced!)

Non, non, rien n'a changé
Tout, tout, a continué
Hé ! Hé ! Hé ! Hé !

Still true.

All the images are from the videoclips (the links are below them) and copyrighted accordingly.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

rain came 3

Around Brunswick West 19/09/09

rain came 2

reflection, like a memory

rain came 1

Water flowing down Foden Street, just after sunset
Brunswick West 19/09/09

Friday, September 18, 2009

Running on Friday

Yesterday I had to turn back and return home twice, once all the way from RMIT, as I kept forgetting things. Sunshine can be distracting.
Above: perception in frantic motion.

Looking forward to a weekend with a slower pace – or at least a more functional memory, or if all else fails, cloudy weather and hopefully some rain, too, to work by. And, most of all, for the land: sunny days used to be a carefree celebration, back in Finland, back in WA. Here, the clear days always carry in the background an alarming sense of missing water; of draught and all the tragedy; long term change, unknown futures that come with it.


On Saturday, the duration of day will be 11 hours and 59 minutes (2 minutes, 24 seconds longer than yesterday). This, as well as civil twilight, nautical twilight and astronomical twilight, plus many other interesting things, are revealed here.

making models

Thinking about working with water, reflection and different materials for our silversmithing project with the theme of 'connection/s' at uni. I was imagining strange, abstract and dark shapes, like enormous deep sea fish floating over a body of water, glowing inside with clouds or other brighter images … Not too sure about the actual models, but thought that the photos worked out in an interesting way.

I've used black cardboard cuts, folded and painted inside, lit, on a mirror covered with water. Maybe these could be made of metal with printed or etched photos inside, or from polypropylene, just folded with little tabs, or maybe they will be wood with paint … or even found objects slightly modified … And how will they connect to the vessel underneath …? The fun of planning and designing : )