Thursday, January 26, 2012

THE AFRICAN AESTHETIC




I am besotted with the African aesthetic,

whether in architecture,
contemporary art and craft,
interior design,
or fashion.

I am stirred by the colours,
the organic textures, shapes and patterns,
the earthiness
and the African Make-Do aesthetic.

This post doesn't even reach the tip of the iceberg but it's a "proe" (as they say in South Africa) ... a small taste.


"Africa is great at improvisation, at making
something astonishing from
whatever is at hand.
It does not need expensive materials.
Africa has a genius for recycling.
It has taught me to discard nothing
as I can find a use for it later.
"African Make-Do" is the name
I have given this aesthetic." - Andrew Verster, Artist



"It's the startling use of colour that
we get so right. You see fearless
combinations because there are no rules,
even though we do have cultural traditions.
Sometimes the beauty of African colour can make
you uncomfortable - and yet stimulated."
- Karen Roos, Editor, Elle Decoration South Africa


"It inspires with its colors.
The tones may be subtle,
as if bleached
by the intense heat, or the colours
supersaturated like an explosion
of wild flowers in twilight.
The real beauty is how these colours go together...."
- Quotations from the book Africanismo




Kuba Shoulder Bag. See more bags using African textiles here.



Kuba textiles add an exciting element to interior design. I particularly like the muted Kuba (Tcaka) upholstery and the shoowa cushion above.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

LIGHTLY CHILD, LIGHTLY

Decoy Duck by Nathan Lynch. See Nathan's website here.


"Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Even though you're feeling deeply, lightly let things happen, and lightly cope with them on tiptoes and with no luggage, completely unencumbered". - Aldous Huxley


Molly with Nathan Lynch's Decoy Ducks. See more here.

It's that time of year when I feel as if I'm wearing concrete boots. Last year my friend and Life Coach, Leslie suggested that it could be a seasonal thing for me....... a combination of hot humid summer and burn out. This makes perfect sense, since every January/February I feel this heaviness and in fact brace myself for it .... blaming Christmas and all the rushing about. I know that I push myself until Christmas trying to get through all my commissions in time. This year I seem to have gone over the deadline and am still trying to complete commissions. The humidity isn't helping either!

I found this image on Pinterest.

Knowing that it is a seasonal thing doesn't make it any easier but I am able to look at it from a lighter perspective, if that makes any sense.
Web Feet Duck Bum by Tom Moore. See more of Tom's wonderfully whimsical glass creatures here.

The Aldous Huxley quote sings in my ears ..... "Lightly child, lightly" ... while I search for images to lighten my mood. I'm drawn to those artists with a wonderful sense of humour, and let me tell you, it's well nigh impossible to feel heavy for long.



This member of the Omo Tribe made me smile. I found the image on Pinterest with no links.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE



No poetry today.... just thoughts .... ideas...
Trapping fleeting memories ...
of experiments with sgraffito on wood.
Enjoying images
of all the creative ways
artists scratch into or onto a variety of surfaces.
Paper, leather, wax,
clay, enamel, wood, stone, metal plates,
plaster, walls, sand.



Ellen Johnson at Anderson O'Brien Fine Art

Rebecca Crowell. Scratching into wax.

"Kiley states that her art is about communication; the need to share something important and personal. For years, she has searched for imagery that conveys the thoughts, emotions, and spiritual insights that fascinate her. This search has led her to explore the imagery of the hand. She is particularly intrigued with gestures and their meaning."

Friday, January 6, 2012

A PLACE YOU CAN GO

Photograph by Michel Poisson. Flickr photo stream here.

There is a place you can go
where you are quiet,
a place of water and the light

on the water. Trees are there,
leaves, and the light
on leaves moved by air.

Birds, singing, move
among leaves, in leaf shadow.
After many years you have come

to no thought of these,
but they are themselves
your thoughts. There seems to be

little to say, less and less.
Here they are. Here you are.
Here as though gone.

None of us stays, but in the hush
where each leaf in the speech
of leaves is sufficient syllable

the passing light finds out
surpassing freedom of its way.

- Wendell Berry
(I found this poem at this beautiful blog)






"Be secluded in your secret heart-house,
that bowl of silence... " - Rumi


I found this photo on Tumblr. Photographer unknown.


"There is a silent self within us whose presence is disturbing precisely because it is so silent: it can't be spoken. It has to remain silent. To articulate it, to verbalize it, is to tamper with it, and in some ways to destroy it ". - Thomas Merton