Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thursday Thoughts...

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.” 

Junot Díaz

Ahh so true. Life begets activities begets pace and busy-ness and commitments and shoulds and oh my goodness.

I worry a lot not so much about the speed of things, but the volume of them - the filling up of time with busy-ness and things, and the multitasking that we all do in an effort to get more done in the time available; to work efficiently, and yet in the end, not.

And when I think about it - when has art ever said me to go faster, go quicker?

For me, most times, art sets its own pace and things happen in their own time.  Some things take longer than you can imagine or anticipate and something take forever to emerge; at other times things flow and you produce more than you thought possible and look around going wow.

I think this notion of art is particularly true if you are working and making for yourself. It is harder if you have deadlines like commissions you have said you'll do by X; work you need to enter into a show; or an exhibition that needs to be filled with your work.  At those times, you can sometimes hear the art saying, bustle along a bit would you?

But in its purest form, art reminds us to take the time it takes. Oftentimes our best work appears when it is ready, at its own pace and in its own way. Of course sometimes pressure and deadlines help you create amazing things; but I prefer to to take the slow art path when I can...


The Unbearable Whiteness - one of my slooooooooow books.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maleny Celebration of books begins

I am on the up and up, still trying to be sensible and taking things moderately, and was able to help set up the display of fine First Editions of Early Australian Literature at the Maleny Library yesterday.

This is a feature event of the Celebration of Books, and runs for a whole month, giving lots of people the opportunity to see rare books and learn a bit about them.

The two cabinets look good.


We have some early CJ Dennis books, Bernard O'Reilly's stories and first editions of My Brilliant Career, along with the odd prop or two from our place. We also have a number of letters and other ephemera associated with the books which adds so much to the stories they tell.


I love the typography and fonts on early books - they are so original and evocative. Steel Rudd's On Our Selection detail.


Over in the other cabinet, we have Ethel Turner, May Gibbs and Norman Lindsay.



Again I love the tile lettering here. And what a fabulous book this is - I still remember weeping when the gum tree fell...


A really special piece. The sequel to Seven Little Australians is The Family at Misrule. Inside this first edition we have the inscription from the author to Henry Lawson! So this was Henry Lawson's own book - oh my.


Norman Lindsay's illustrated covers are dynamic and just fabulous.


There is some wood type on the bottom shelf with the May Gibbs books.


How precious - a first edition of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.


Me, Sue and Claire - the set up sisters, photo taken by Barry.


With huge thanks to Neil Glover for sharing his collection with the Celebration.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Succumbing

I have spent the past few days succumbing. Succumbing to the common cold. Which has made me think a lot about this beautiful poem/prayer by one of my favourite cartoonist-philosophers Michael Leunig. 

 God bless those who suffer from the common cold.
 Nature has entered into them;
 Has led them aside and gently lain them low
 To contemplate life from the wayside;
 To consider human frailty;
 To receive the deep and dreamy messages of fever.
 We give thanks for the insights of this humble perspective. 
 We give thanks for blessing in disguise.
 Amen

 'When I Talk to You' Michael Leunig, HarperCollins.

I surprised myself by behaving myself. By stopping. By taking all the good remedies there are to take; and to simply stop. To potter a bit. To prepare a few things I really had to prepare, but then to lie on the couch and read this.


And look at this.


Taken through the window with the iPhone - I didn't grab a camera or open a door...

Feeling brighter and better for it, but there was no art this weekend. Every now and again one has to retreat, withdraw and heal. The weekend was one of those times and the common cold gave me the time I needed to consider life as Leunig suggests...

For tomorrow we set up the display of First Editions, Early Australian Literature as part of the Maleny Celebration of Books which we celebrate next weekend! It will be joyous and a gorgeous weekend of books and writers and lovers of books gathering to talk and enjoy books.

I am so looking forward to the Big Book Club discussion of Ian McEwan's book "The Children Act" - the large group discussions will be facilitated by Graeme Page  QC so should be a fascinating exploration of law and ethics and other things.

The Forum on Sunday will be brilliant - 4 award winning authors talking about creativity. Matt Condon, Francis Whiting, Kristina Olsson and Ashley Hay. Can't wait for that as well!

Alongside films based on books (Paddington for children and The Testament of Youth for adults) and workshops for writers and the Book Tree Swap (from whence I nabbed that book to read today - shall place it back for swapping next weekend!) and the launch of children's author Greig Dreise's latest book it will be a fun-filled time.

If you are interested in any of the events - we'd love to se you there - tickets available on-line at the CoB website or at Rosetta Books in Maleny-town.

Early dinner and early to bed tonight, ready to face the week feeling well.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Thoughts...

“All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. …But with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not.” 

Nick Hornby

The Thursday Thoughts wheel has turned to books again and I continue to be surprised with how many different ways I can think about books!

I smiled at this one - how often have I run my eyes over book shelves when I visit people's houses and thought - oh I didn't know that about them?  The same goes I am sure when folk stumble across our messy office with bookshelves crammed with all sorts of things - and they mightn't expect to see so many murder mysteries.

I love how Hornby refers to how books we purchase, whether we read them or not, tell part of our story.  Every now again (more often than I'd like to think really) I purchase a book on a whim - it sounded like something I'd be interested in, or want to explore in more depth; it sounded good when I heard a snippet on the radio or I felt that maybe I 'should' read it because I would be enlightened by doing so.

Its these last ones that take up space on the shelves, often unread. Perhaps their presence simply indicates something that I wish for in my life; an element I'd like to pursue; or something I am interested in (but not quite enough to read cover to cover). They certainly don't reflect that I am erudite and learned about the subject!

It's a bit like reading tea-leaves isn't it, reading a person's bookshelf?




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

52 books finished

Wintry inside type days mean have meant that I brought my wee books over to the house so I could sit and stitch them and finish the insides whenever I had a spare moment. It also meant I didn't have to head to the shed-studio and sit with them there in the cold.

They are finished.  I had to attach the inside covers and then they were done.

1 to 52.




All bundled up together - I do love a bundle.


I laid them out on the floor - 52 individual books make quite a long line.




Very very faintly - the inside front cover shows an embossed cross.


The inside pages - reminders that the women who are killed by partners or former partners are women we know - they are mothers, daughter, sisters and friends... just like so many of us.

And the hand-burned individual pattern with a watch part, reminding us it is time to change what we do and how we respond to family voice.


And the inside back cover shows a faintly embossed female symbol. Look closely!


A little grouping...


 I have designed the housing and now have to get it made. Not too far from the finish line for these wee ones now.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Words of peace

We have had quite a few days of wall to wall mist over the past week or so, with rain and mizzle and every other form of moisture possible on a mountain I think. The past three days have been sunny tho and it is so good for the spirit - even if they feel a bit chilly.

When it gets moist for days on end, I feel sad for my paper.  It gets moist and I can't go near it with ink - it just bleeds and runs and doesn't hold a line at all. So, I have to do something else.

We run dehumidifiers which are in fact a real life saver and keep things dry and any mould at bay; but nonetheless, I didn't want to be doing inky things during the week just in case, so I played with the pencils - much less chance they'll run!

I have been working on a series of seven hanging, each of three long thin rusted pages.  The pages are dark, but the words are light - hoping for peace to emerge from darkness.

Here are a couple of completed ones (the first 6 photos) then the others are fragments of other pages.




Another completed set...



And then some close up sod other pages...





It has also been a time of tidying.  I had honestly reached the stage of no surface anywhere to put anything onto or to work on, so it was a good chance to get myself sorted. As a result I was much more productive today!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Thoughts...

“It was the in-between time, before day leaves and night comes, a time I’ve never been partial to because of the sadness that lingers in the space between going and coming.” 

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

I read this book for Book Group and it became a keeper. One of those books you are happy to always have on your shelves.  It is achingly beautifully written and has so many poignant moments in it. I also learnt a lot about bees and now, whenever I walk past hives where they are buzz buzz buzzing, I send them thoughts of love - just like in the book. (I am allergic to bee stings and have had a frightened and scared relationship with bees forever...even tho I love them and value them immensely).

It is a special time that in-between time of dusk, as you imperceptibly watch a day disappear...gradually, gently and then sometimes swiftly it's gone!  I don't often feel sad or regretful at the going down of the sun; more grateful that I've lived another day; had another day to enjoy.

However, I think I can understand a bit of the melancholy that could go with that moment; it is a fading, a loss of light, a marking of the end of another day...all of which could carrywith them regrets or sadness for sure.

I like it tho - it always seems gentle to me.


This Thursday sees us continuing the monthly search for the rainbow and other colours...no prizes for guessing its indigo time! Pop on over to Jennifer or Julie's blogs to see what others from around the world have found for this gorgeous colour...

A dusk-time iPhone shot: the tide goes in, the tide goes out...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hearts and Hands

Sometimes, something catches my eye as I wander through my photo albums on the computer.  Sometimes I am looking for something; at other times, just scrolling through...

I noticed this past week, that I saw quite a few hearts and hands, all in different places and wondered how many I had collected over the years.

After quite an extended scroll through, here's a selection of hearts and hands.

A heart sculpture at the Noguchi Museum in Queens, NY.


Hand print in Kyoto, Japan


Heart glyph left by larvae in bark near Landsbouroough (just down the hill from us here)


A handprint from Umbakumba on Groote Island.


A heart shaped leaf at Alyangula on Groote Island


A hand print at the State Library of Victoia in Melbourne


A heart-shaped wearing away of Uluru.


Hand carved into rock at Reconciliation Place, Canberra.


A heart-shaped screening wall in Singapore.


A handprint at Pirlangimpi on Melville Island.


As I began titling the photos I realised how (unintentionally) they tell a story of travel, of other places, of different people - yet in each and every place I have found hearts and hands. Joining us I hope.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Friends' art in the mail

We got the loveliest surprise in the mail on Friday. Well, we picked it up on Friday but only got to open it today and it was the perfect warming gift for a dull and misty day.

Back in April, Jennifer had some pieces in a show in Connecticut, and lucky for us, it was shown online as well so we could pore over the works from way over here and make a purchase.  

So here is The Layers of Time 3 by Jennifer Coyne Qudeen

It looks pale and gentle here (probably the soft mist light we have all around us today), but it has warmth as well.


It was so nice to place it in one of our art corners - it looks as if it has been there forever, it fits so well with the little porcelain cloud bowls below and Barry's silver bowls in front of it.




And I love the details - sigh....






What a wonderful addition to our home - it has had me smiling all day!