27 September 2008
I gathered from the lectures (by professors Arthur Miller and Semir Zeki) that the world is merely a mathematical construct and a problem in physics has been finding ways to visualise these schema, and that ambiguity is the essence of art -- reality happens in the brain, not the world, and although perception is hard wired, colour is unambiguous: we know what colour we're seeing, never mind the lighting conditions. Yes that sounds garbled - I wasn't taking notes. Lots to think about.
I'm truly sorry to have to miss the talk on snails by geneticist Steve Jones - Snails in art, the joy of snails, and the art of camouflage.
26 September 2008
But it turns out the Visigoths weren't celts; in fact their kingdom (418-508) didn't include the celtic areas in northern Spain, Asturias and Galicia.
And celts fall into two linguistic groups, known as P and Q, what a coincidence for a P&Q challenge! Of the seven celtic nations, P celts comprise Welsh, Cornish,Breton; Q celts comprise Irish, Scottish, Manx, Galician. Before contact with the Latin world, Q celts didn't have a P sound, they used a sound that's usually written as C -- so in Welsh the word for head is "penn" and in Ireland it's "ceann".
But it's visual connections we're after -- language=writing, yes? Think runes ... think ogham script - and I'd better check out the celtic connection of those -- they could turn out to be anglo-saxon or norse...Some fascinating info about runes: 'The name "rune" is a fairly recent term, and was originally thought to have evolved from the German word raunen, which means "to cut or carve." Yet an examination of older German dictionaries long since retired from general use reveals that raunen once meant "to whisper secrets" and "Rune" (always capitalized then) was the noun for "secret" (also written "Run" or "Runa").'In thinking about this topic, I'm pulling relevant books off the shelf and leafing through, waiting for the random thoughts. Making little sketches on backs of envelopes. Most of all, it's amazing to have the wonderful resource of the internet to roam around in. This bit of background conjures up many visions:
To the ancients, the Heavens appeared to wheel overhead, turning on an axis which points to the north polar stars. At the crown of the axis, a circle of stars revolved about a fixed point, the Celestial Pole, which was believed to be the location of Heaven. At the base of the axis was the Omphalos, the circular altar of the Goddess' temple. The universe of stars turning on this axis formed a spiral path, or stairway, on which souls ascended to Heaven.
This Sun-wise, clockwise, or deiseal (Gaelic), motion of the spirals represented the Summer Sun. The continuous spirals with seemingly no beginning or end signified that as one cycle ended another began eternal life. The spiral's never-ending, always expanding, motion also symbolized the ever- increasing nature of information and knowledge. Many of these symbols often also appeared in triplicate, a sign of the divine.
25 September 2008
It was mindless fun to stitch, and the silkiness continues to be a delight to the fingers. The things you use every day should give you pleasure every time, don't you think?
24 September 2008
At the right of the desk, on its way towards being hung on the wall, is my newly-received purchase, "The Lake/The Moon" by Dorothy Caldwell.
23 September 2008
which brings to mind David Mach's coat-hanger constructions -
This one is called Hooker.
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning
Ah, poetry -- news that stays news (was it TS Eliot who said that?)
22 September 2008
19 September 2008
I spend a lot of time, at the computer, staring at my woodchip wallpaper, or resting the eyes on a picture of a frosty garden found in some magazine. The brain is elsewhere....
In the studio, there's now a "worktable" of sorts near the window - for the light. The view there is of the work in hand. The radio is on, engaging a different modality.
And this -is a different sort of view altogether. It's nowhere I've been, and I can't remember where the picture is from - but don't we all have a special place in our mind or memory where we store these kinds of views?
18 September 2008
Turns out he's an invalid, ready to be put to bed -Final adjustments -
"Puppy power" all right -
Quite simply a pirate -
Bride and bridesmaid -
My favourite - Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf that ate grandma -Later, the dog handlers showed what could be done by training rescue dogs (abandonned or mistreated dogs that have been given new homes). To please their owners, the dogs will jump through fireand walk along a pair of scaffolding polesFor other dogs, a quiet moment at the end of the day -
17 September 2008
And every item has a story...The "japanese" bowl on the right is my morning-porridge bowl. They came from the Musee Guimet in Paris, acquired on the way back from a meeting in Barcelona, while travelling by train; I arranged to have a day in Paris and spent it all at the Guimet, looking at oriental art and having a nice lunch in the restaurant. Love that museum!
And the blueberry-blue countertop continues to give pleasure. It looks particularly good when piled with the ingredients for ratatouille - the gold of onions, the dark green of courgettes/zucchini, the red of tomatoes, the dark purple gleam of aubergines/eggplant.
Prolific LQ member Sabi whipped up all this from fabrics in her stash - and LQ chairman Judy did a roaring trade with raffle tickets for the group's Dear Jane quilt. Proceeds go to North London Hospice and Hope for Grace Kodino, a charity dedicated to making birth safer in Chad, central Africa.
Cupcakes were a popular item on other stalls raising money for charity -
London Independent Photography - Queen's Park Group - got lots of visitors.
Quentin Ball is one of the photographers involved -
Coming next - the dressed up dogs, marvellous eagles, and intrepid dogs. It was a great day, miraculously sunny, with lots and lots of people having a good time. Community London at its best.
16 September 2008
Lisa Walton had to forgo projector and slides, but the good lighting in this ad hoc venue made up for that. An entertaining and informative talk, as was her workshop. Here's her beading sampler -
and she passed her quilts around for examination and photographing -
Show'n'tell brought this log cabin from Janice, recently shown at Hever -
Lucy's "Strawberry Jam" made from a jelly roll [technical term] hadthe perfect strawberry fabric on the back -
Tricia's beach hut cushion -Linda's "Thin Blue Line" entry -My "eyelash quilt" from Lisa's workshop had reached this stage in the quilting - border done (and binding on) but about 1/4 left to quilt. I'm revelling in the loopy pattern and might not be able to resist filling in the blank bits with more quilting in a different colour thread.
After the meeting, our host brought down plates of yummy samosas - what a great guy! (That address again is Indian Cottage, 9 Fairhazel Gardens - tube stations Swiss Cottage or Finchley Road.)
And when I got home, the beautiful moon was high in the sky -