Monday, December 15, 2008


Photograph of one of Peter Beard's many African journals

It was a hot weekend and all we felt like doing was lazing inside, sipping glasses of iced ginger tea. I however, cannot sit ...or laze... for long so I hauled out a pile of my favourite books to get my mind off the heat.

When re-reading my books there are certain pages that I return to over and over again. Pages that either inspire or stir my curiosity enough to send me off on a google frenzy. Actually it doesn't take much to stir me into a google frenzy!

I thought I would share some of my favourite pages with you. The pages that stop me in my tracks even though I've seen them many times before.

The first one, from Africa Interior Design is a beautiful room in a farm house in Cape Town. The carved door from Mali caught my attention but the rest of the room is just as gorgeous. This house is featured in many books and magazines here in South Africa.

The Basket Room, Hotel Le Saxon, in Johannesburg --from At Home With Art by Tiddy Rowan.

The home and studio of sculptor Axel Cassel in Normandy. I love the mingling of books, african artefacts and ethnographic objects with his own pieces. From Contemporary Natural by Phyllis Richardson and Solvi Dos Santos.

An old favourite which I picked up on a sale for next to nothing, many years ago. Henry Moore: My Ideas, Inspiration and Life as an Artist by Henry Moore and John Hedgecoe. Seeing artists working in their studios is a big thrill for me.

This page from Art Making, Collections and Obsessions by Lynne Perrella is so my cup of tea!

In Amulets by Sheila Paine there are hundreds (431 to be exact) of intriguing illustrations. This cabinet is an 18th-century apothecary's cabinet filled with amulets dating from antiquity to 19th-century, France.

South African artist, Norman Catherine sitting amongst his giant fibreglass sculptures. They all have humerous names and are far more impressive in life than they are here in the book, Norman Catherine by Hazel Friedman.

There are so many pages that I gravitate to in The Artful Dodger by Nick Bantock but I'll share just the one of a collage which is included in Bantock's book The Venetian's Wife.

Last but not least are a few pages from Peter Beard's African journals. Many of the pages in Taschen's double volume, PETER BEARD, leave me feeling quite gobsmacked.

Can you believe the size of this mighty croc?

...And the young Peter Beard himself.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Delicate Wait III (detail) by Giselle Hicks

Who wouldn't be amazed at the beauty of a tiny Hummingbird's nest covered in moss and lichen.....or watching a Thrush feed a nest full of chirping, gaping mouths.........or at finding a clutch of speckled eggs in a hollow nest, still warm from the mother bird.

Passage by Giselle Hicks  (photograph from the book 500 Figures in Clay).

Giselle Hicks writes in her artist statement...

"I am fascinated with the idea that skillful construction with delicate materials can yield a structure strong enough to house and protect the fledgling inhabitant of the nest. This process demands diligence, patience, careful craftsmanship, commitment and resilience. These same qualities are required to build and maintain relationships to a person, family, and community. "

Bird in Nest, Etching by Scott Fitzgerald

Bird Nest by Antonia Munroe. See more of her delicate bird nest paintings here.

Joe Pogan's Bird and Nest made from found objects.

Fiona Hall has made a series of nests from shredded dollar bills. Lifelike aren't they?

Nils-Udo Clemson Clay Nest 2008 Installation.

Man sized nest created by Benjamin Verdonck. (There is an egg in the well as a man)