Posted in Uncategorized, tagged ackroyd & harvey, art, art installation, big chill, cotswolds, dan harvey, eastnor castle, england, grass, heather ackroyd, jakob schiller, photographer, photography, portrait, wales on August 14, 2012 |
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When I saw the headline at Wired, it didn’t really compute.
“Artists Create Portraits on Live Grass.” What? I don’t get it. Did the artists set up easels and paint with oils? Did they paint directly on the grass?
Writer-photographer Jakob Schiller explains.
“It all started, as these things sometimes do, by accident. In 1990, before they worked in photography, [Heather] Ackroyd and [Dan] Harvey created an art installation that covered an entire room with grass. As part of the art piece they had left a ladder leaning against a wall and when they went to remove it they saw that the ubiquitous and fast-growing plant had been imprinted with the shadow. The grass had stayed yellow where the ladder had prevented it from receiving any light.
“ ‘We didn’t know straight away what we were looking at, but we knew that we had observed something important,’ Ackroyd says.
“They began playing with the idea of manipulating the light that hits grass and by the next year were projecting light through an old 35mm Kodak projector onto a swath of grass on the wall.”
What to think as the grass withers and dies? It’s kind of a Dorian Gray scenario.
Read more about the project at Wired‘s Raw File, here.
Photograph: Ackroyd & Harvey.
Myles, Basia, Nath and Alesha, The Big Chill Festival, Eastnor Castle, between the Cotswolds and the Welsh Marches. 2007
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged archeaology, britain, discovery news, druids, england, midsummer, rossella lorenzi, science, solstice, spinal tap, Stonehenge, this is spinal tap, uk, university of birmingham, vienna on December 11, 2011 |
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There is always something new to learn about Stonehenge, a site shrouded in mystery for centuries.
Rossella Lorenzi writes at Discovery News, “Using noninvasive technologies such as ground-penetrating radar and geophysical imaging, a team from the University of Birmingham’s IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre, known as VISTA, and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna, discovered evidence of two huge pits positioned on a celestial alignment at Stonehenge. …
” ‘This is the first time we have seen anything quite like this at Stonehenge,’ said project leader Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist from the University of Birmingham. ‘When viewed from the Heel Stone, a rather enigmatic stone which stands just outside the entrance to Stonehenge, the pits effectively mark the rising and setting of the sun at midsummer days.’ “
Read more here.
On YouTube you can find both boring videos about Stonehenge and funny ones. A comedy routine by Eddie Izzard made me laugh, but it’s a bit too naughty for Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog. You can check out a few of Spinal Tap singing “Stonehenge” in the movie This is Spinal Tap. And here is a great scene about Druids from that movie.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged artist, artistic, arts, arts therapy, bbc, britain, england, Genevieve Hassan, military, nhs, painting, ptsd, uk on December 7, 2011 |
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It’s amazing how much the arts can help people.
I have blogged about programs that use the arts to turn convicts toward something positive, to build up the self-worth of the homeless, to turn Brazilian slums into more hopeful places. The list goes on.
Recently ArtsJournal.com alerted me to a BBC story on an arts initiative that helps veterans reacclimate to civilian life.
“Many veterans are turning to charities for help. One is using the unlikely weapon of art to help fight the psychological wounds of war, while another organisation is actively encouraging artwork in the army. Outside of the [national health service] the charity Combat Stress is the biggest provider of support to armed forces veterans with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.
“Art therapy is one of the treatments it uses. Drawing, sculpting and painting are helping patients manage their symptoms with great success.
” ‘Traumatic memories take a different path from our normal memories and tend to be frozen in the body in the central nervous system,’ explains Janice Lobban, who has been a trauma therapist at Combat Stress for the past 10 years. …
“Group sessions typically begin with the therapist giving a one or two word brief to inspire creativity before veterans are given a selection of materials for painting, modelling or writing. After 45 minutes of quick work, the group then get together to talk about and describe what they’ve just created.
” ‘I try to keep a blank mind and just let images and feelings rise out from my unconscious to my hand and things start appearing,’ says Richard Kidgell … who served in the Royal Air Force from 1978 to 1985. ‘What surprises me is that while I’m drawing I don’t know what it is — they’re just images, but by the end of the session I’ve made a complete story. It’s quite enlightening as sometimes I’m not entirely sure what I’ve drawn until I speak to others about it.’ “
Read more of Genevieve Hassan’s story on arts therapy for veterans here.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged britain, england, library, origami, paper sculpture, siryu, tokyo bling, tokyobling, uk on November 19, 2011 |
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Remember this post on paper sculptures of dragons and other animals left surreptitiously at libraries in the UK?
Well, I thought you might like this post from WordPress blogger Tokyo Bling. It features paper dragons by Siryu. More pictures here, with explanations for readers who speak Japanese.
And here’s yet another origami artist at work on a dragon.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged commercial fishing, eigg, england, fish, fish farm, fishing, Highland Council, isle, nature, scotland, small isles national scenic area, uphilldowndale, wordpress on September 9, 2011 |
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In case you just tuned in, this blog was started at the invitation of my daughter, who is the founder of the birthstone-jewelry company Luna & Stella. Sometimes I blog about the jewelry, but Suzanne told me to write about whatever interests me. Already a customer who was previously wary of online purchasing found the blog and wrote Suzanne that it helped her decide that Luna & Stella was good people.
The blog is currently housed at WordPress, which makes life easy for a neophyte like me. One thing that is fun at WordPress is clicking on posts from the other bloggers, posts that are on the Freshly Pressed page or found by clicking on a key word at the Tags page.
Today I got quite interested in an entry from a WordPress blogger in northern England who calls herself Heather Uphillanddowndale. She shows her photographs of a lovely Scottish island and talks about its fight against a major commercial fish farm.
I used to think fish farms made a lot of sense, but lately I have read about possible environmental damage and overcrowding that can spread disease to wild fish.
Heather quotes from a statement by island residents: “Highland Council has recently received an initial application to site a fish farm off the east coast of Eigg, north of Kildonan. The site identified covers an area extending to 20ha (this equates to 28 football pitches) & would consist of 14 x 30m diameter cages which would be serviced by a 10m x 10m permanently sited barge (powered by diesel generator).
“The community has considered this proposal at length. The outcome of the resulting ballot which had an 86% turnout was 97% against the development.
“Eigg lies within the Small Isles National Scenic Area. A large fish farm would have a considerable negative impact on the approach to the island and could also impact negatively on the peace and quiet that visitors seek when they come to the island, as well as on the quality of life of nearby residents.” Read more at Uphilldowndale.
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Did you read in the NY Times about England’s chewing gum artist?
“Ben Wilson, 47, one of Britain’s best-known outsider artists, has for the last six years or so immersed himself in a peculiar passion all his own: he paints tiny pictures on flattened blobs of discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks of London.” The article is sweet, and it shows that an original concept can delight people in large and small ways.
After he “became friendly with the workers in the discount general store that replaced the Woolworth’s, [he] painted a message of love on behalf of Syed Miah, a cashier there who had had a fight with his girlfriend.
“ ‘She thought maybe I’d stuck a sticker on the ground,’ said Mr. Miah, 32. ‘Then I explained that I’d had an artist come and do it. It was brilliant.’ ”
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged asakiyume, birthstone, blanket, bluefaced leicester sheep, britain, british, cushion, dales, england, enterprise, entrepreneur, environment, environmental, gis, green, jewelry, laura's loom, leicester, looms, optics, rhode island, scarves, silk, small business, sustainability, throw, uk, weave, wool, woven scarf on May 29, 2011 |
Both because of my job and because of the jobs of many friends and family members, I keep hearing about small business. Suzanne’s birthstone jewelry business is one successful example, and you can read more about its history on the Luna & Stella site. Suzanne’s brother is an entrepreneur, too, in the optics field. And where I work, a number of my colleagues collect data on small businesses and work to improve conditions for them.
At lunch, I heard about an English woman who used to work on GIS mapping for environmental groups in Rhode Island, where I am staying this weekend. Today the woman lives with her husband and children in northern England, where she is into a whole new field (one that benefits the environment, but differently from GIS mapping) — she weaves local wool into scarves, blankets, cushions, and throws.
From a UK site called Keep Trade Local, I learn, “Green business ideas that might benefit the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being offered a cash grant to get started. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) – now in its seventh year of operation – aims to support new business ideas, community schemes and environmental projects that demonstrate ways of living and working in the Dales and that benefit the National Park and its communities.”
The site notes that support was ”given to local businesses producing locally-sourced produce, such as the Sedbergh-based Laura’s Looms. With two grants from SDF, Laura has been able to develop and expand her business creating high quality woven ‘Howgill Throws’ using Bluefaced Leicester sheep fleece obtained from farms in [nearby] Garsdale and Dentdale. She is now selling them both locally and on her website at www.laurasloom.co.uk.”
Laura writes, “I create exquisite handwoven silk and wool scarves and I design and produce The Howgill Range, an exclusive collection of luxurious wool throws and scarves woven from organically processed pure British wool. Beautiful woollen baby blankets and covetable wool cushions can also be found in my online shop, along with the occasional appearance of my one-off, highly textured handwoven throws. I love to weave!”
An aside: Laura’s husband teaches in the international business school where Suzanne met Erik.
Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. And I wouldn’t mind having a photo of bluefaced sheep I could post. It sounds like something out of a fairytale.
Asakiyume answers the call with a photo she found at theshadowsheep.
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