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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

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Photos: Charles Jencks
Landscape artist Charles Jencks has turned a Scottish coal mine into a work of art reminiscent of Stonehenge.

It’s not news that to save the plant we need to move away from using coal. Every few days, it seems, someone else is getting on board. Yesterday, for example, I saw that a big Italian insurance company decided to stop insuring coal plants. (Story at Reuters, here.) And remember this post about a German coal town turning an old mine into a giant, water-powered battery?

Well, human ingenuity continues to work at the problem of coal mines present and past. In this story, a Scottish mine was turned into artwork.

Writes Contemporist, “Landscape artist Charles Jencks has completed the transformation of Crawick Multiverse, a former coal mine that has now become a 55-acre artland, visitor attraction and public amenity. …

“Crawick Multiverse is a major land restoration and art project in Dumfries & Galloway, utilising landscape art to transform a former open cast coal mine into an outdoor space that can be enjoyed by future generations.

“Privately funded by the Duke of Buccleuch and designed by globally-renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks, Crawick Multiverse … links the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology, creating a truly inspiring landmark that will appeal to everyone from art enthusiasts and scientists to the wider community. …

“The site is managed by the Crawick Artland Trust which includes trustees from the local communities surrounding the site.”

The BBC adds that the project “follows on from other works by Mr Jencks including the likes of Northumberlandia in north east England, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation north of Dumfries and the Beijing Olympic Park’s Black Hole Terrace.

“He said: ‘This former open cast coal site, nestled in a bowl of large rolling hills, never did produce enough black gold to keep digging. But it did, accidentally, create the bones of a marvellous ecology.

” ‘The landscape had to be healed, it had to welcome the nearby communities of Sanquhar, Kelloholm and Kirkconnel, and help restore the locality both economically and ecologically.’ ” More.

More great pictures at Contemporist, here.

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Stella McLennan Roca (1879–1954), a painter known for her landscapes and her influence on the arts community in Arizona.

At Christmas, friends in Minnesota sent a letter that included this update: “Out of the blue in the spring, Mariana was contacted by Lonnie Dunbier, an art historian who was searching for information about Mariana’s grandmother, Stella Roca.

“Lonnie was preparing a series of lectures, to be given in Lincoln, Nebraska, about early Nebraska women artists. Stella [had] grown up in Nebraska City before attending the Chicago Art Institute and moving to Mexico, where she met and married Mariana’s grandfather, subsequently settling in Tucson, where she became a widely acclaimed landscape artist. Over a couple months in the spring, all of Stella’s landscapes that we have were photographed and quite a lot of historical information was exchanged, updated and edited, resulting in a comprehensive biography for use in her lectures.”

What a lovely experience! As a person who saves every letter ever written to her, I thought about what fun it would be if someone contacted me for information like that.

And I’m always interested in women artists, so I went to Wikipedia to learn more. I got a little sidetracked fixing typos in the entry, but I figured out that an offer Roca received through the Art Institute of Chicago to teach in Mexico was what led to her meeting her future husband.

I also read that her “work was known for light colored desert landscapes and glowing mountains” and that she served as president of the Tucson Fine Arts Association in 1932 and “was featured in the ‘Who’s Who in American Art.’ ” I search the internet for some of her work and was impressed. Delightful.

As for being sidetracked, do you know that anyone can edit Wikipedia? People will check up on you, of course, but it is ridiculously easy, and as a former editor, I simply had to fix a couple misspellings and a run-on sentence. If I was wrong to do that, Wikipedia experts will let me know.

Art: Stella McLennan Roca

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I had an awfully nice lunch yesterday, and I’d like to tell you about it. It involved two nonprofits — the mostly Caucasian conservation group Trustees of Reservations and the mostly African American community-outreach enterprise called Haley House.

The trustees had a really great idea recently to do meaningful art installations on a couple of their properties and chose one next to the Old Manse in Concord. The Old Manse is most often associated with 19th Century novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, but the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson was also a resident and saw the historic events unfold at the North Bridge on April 19, 1775.

Artist Sam Durant wanted to draw attention to the presence of slaves in the early days of Concord and launch a discussion, so he constructed a kind of big-tent meeting house, with a floor made of the kinds of materials that might have been in slave buildings.

The Trustees conferred with him on a series of “lyceums” that might bring races together at the site. They decided that at the first one, they would encourage races to break bread together and talk about food traditions.

From Haley House in Roxbury, they brought in a chef, a beautiful meal, and singer/educator/retired-nurse Fulani Haynes.

I ate a vegan burger, sweet-potato mash, very spicey collard greens and wonderful corn muffins. Also available were salad and chicken.

Haynes sang a bit and talked about the origins of Haley House, how it helps low-income people and ex-offenders and local children, teaching cooking and nutrition and gardening, among other things. She invited attendees to tell food stories from their early years, and several brave spirits stood up.

That participatory aspect of the activities helped to reduce the impression that African Americans were making entertainments for a mostly white audience (art, food, music entertainments).

I loved the whole thing and learned a lot. (For example, Grandpa Emerson had slaves living upstairs, and “the embattled farmers” who “fired the shot heard ’round the world” were able to go marching off because slaves were working the farms. I really didn’t know.)

African American artifacts are on display next door at the Old Manse. The art installation will be up until the end of October 2016.

More here.

Photos: Artist Sam Durant offers the crowd a new lens on history. The chef from Haley House keeps an eye on the African American cuisine. Fulani Haynes demonstrates how a food can become an instrument.

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I’ve been wanting to say something about the inspired landscaper at a building in Boston. His vision is so different from that of most people responsible for office or apartment building plantings. You know what I mean: “It’s fall. Time to line up a row of yellow chrysanthemums. No, let’s do something creative this year and alternate them with maroon chrysanthemums. Just a foot apart.”

Plunk.

In contrast, landscaper Paul tells a story, writes a poem with his design, thinking about the changing seasons far ahead. Birds love him.

color
texture
light
shade
movement
dappling
swaying
open
huddled
reaching
clinging
weight
breeze
peace
song

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An organization that I follow on twitter called SmallerCitiesUnite! (@smallercitiesu) tweeted today about a design for an educational marine center in Malmö, Sweden. It caught my eye because I like marine centers and because two novels I read recently took place in Malmö: Murder at the Savoy, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlööand Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Book 2, based on his life. (And of course, we have a Swedish connection in the family.)

Dezeen magazine reports, “Danish studio NORD Architects has released designs for a new Marine Educational Centre in Malmö, Sweden, comprising a 700-square-metre visitor centre with a large overhanging roof structure that covers an external aquatic learning environment. …

“The education centre will be set in 3,000 square metres of landscaping, including small ponds and planting that are intended to mimic an assortment of marine ecologies and create ‘an engaging learning landscape’ that allows visitors to have a hands-on experience of nature.

” ‘In the learning landscape, users will find floating laboratories on small removable pontoons, teaching signs on the seabed and underwater sea binoculars to name a few,’ said the studio.” More at Dezeen magazine, here.

Photo: NORD Architects

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A building gets wrapped with a bow, friends volunteer to hammer in some color along Greenway walks, South Station digs out its toy trains (display by these folks).

We don’t have snow, but we’re pretty festive anyway.

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I have not been blogging that long for Luna & Stella, but already interesting things have happened. For example, one customer who found the blog decided Suzanne’s Mom was OK and probably Suzanne’s business was, too. She became a Luna & Stella customer.

Another interesting thing occurred after I blogged about an artist I once knew, Lucille Corcos. I had written her up with the goal of creating an entry for her on Wikipedia. (The entry is still to come. I need a good block of time to make the changes Wikipedia asked for.)

Soon I began to notice in my WordPress site statistics that someone was doing Internet searches on “Lucille Corcos.” I wondered if it might be one of her sons. Sure enough, I eventually received an e-mail from artist Joel Corcos Levy, saying, “Who are you and when were you in our house?” So I e-mailed him, and we had a nice back-and-forth. He generously sent me a piece of his mother’s art, an illustration for a children’s book.

Joel himself appears in an art book called The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism, by Alan Gussow. The book features Joel’s painting of the Davies farmhouse and pine trees. Nice, huh? The other selections are great, too.

Not sure if Joel is OK with having this on the web. I’ll take it down if asked.

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