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Sunday Studio Visit – a bit of photography!

Its been a while since I posted – I have been sick in varying degrees (coming good, then not) for a few months now. I started with insomnia a few months ago which left me run down. I then came down with a virus which I couldn’t shift and which developed from there to a severe chest infection and virus induced asthma! I have never had asthma, so it has been weird! Due to ll of this I have been doing the bare minimum of what I need to do, and now that I am starting to feel better (I think) I am in catch up mode.

I haven’t even posted a Christmas pressie reminder for my ETSY shop – so here is one now 🙂

As for today’s Sunday studio visit – I wasn’t in the studio today. Being a couple of weeks from Christmas we had a family Christmas lunch with a side from my partners family, which was lovely and relaxing. The weather was beautiful, which is only just starting to happen in Ballarat – so it was perfectly timed!

The hosts live a big warehouse which they are slowly converting in a gorgeous home, and there were some fantastic views from the outdoor deck of the surrounds, which included some great geometric architectural juxtapositions which I couldn’t resist capturing on my phone.

So, I thought these shots would be a great re-introduction to my – hopefully – more regular blogging life 🙂

Enjoy!

Cee’s Photography Challenge : Doors and Windows

Today I am participating in a photo challenge posted on Cee’s Photography, a blog I have been following for a while.

This weeks challenge is doors and windows – both components have to be in the shot, and the challenge drew me back to my artist residency in France in 2010 where I fell in love with doors and chimneys!!

These doors are all photographed in Vallauris, a small town in the south of France famous for pottery… in fact it was settled (colonised) by the Romans because of the vast amount of clay available in the area. And this Roman influence can be seen in the medieval doors scattered throughout the town. While not all doors had windows, many did, as medieval doors had little spy holes, and I was amazed at the height of these doors – five foot nothing = Romans of the time.

So, onto the pics – enjoy 🙂

Collidescope – Art Meets Fashion

Brainchild of Niki Lakerink, Collidescope Art Meets Fashion began as Niki noticed the use of well known traditional artists, such as Mondrian and Picasso,  on garments parading the European catwalks. An artist herself with a strong interest in fashion, Niki was also frustrated over the lack of sales and recognition within the regional art-scene. These two seeds cross pollinated and germinated into the Collidescope project. Coincidentally Melbourne Fashion Week was four months away, which gave Niki a target date to begin the process of bringing the concept together.

The project paired regional artists and designers together, inspiring them to work collaboratively to produce garments to be featured in a fashion parade event in Ballarat to coincide with Fashion Week. Thee were also designers drawn in to create accessories for some of the outfits – jewellery, millinery and bags.

After a hectic four months of setting up websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, sourcing funding via council, arts bodies and a crowdfunding campaign, and organising fabric and printers the collaborative teams successfully completed their design briefs and the catwalk fashion parade was launched on the 21st February at the Mechanics Institute in central Ballarat. Niki also secured a partnership with Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Week (VAMFF) enabling the project to leverage some promotional muscle.

There were three sessions of the fashion parade accompanied by the VAMFF short film series. The sessions were extremely well attended, including council dignitaries and senior representatives from Regional Arts Victoria and the Arts Council of Australia. The feedback was fantastic as seen in this After Party Video filmed by Augustus Firestone for his Visual Feasts YouTube Channel.

Footage of the catwalk can be seen on Niki’s YouTube channel also filmed by Augustus Firestone.

But the project didn’t stop there!

The success of the catwalk fashion parade has been followed up by an exhibition of a selection of the garments and some of the original artworks behind the garment inspiration. The exhibition is currently at Wolveschildren Art Space and continues through to the 8th March. The garments look great in the gallery setting providing an ideal opportunity to see the fabrics and designs close up. It is also fantastic to see some of the original artworks that inspired the collaborations. Images of the garments and artworks can be seen in the picture gallery below.

But wait there’s more!

This coming weekend is the annual Begonia Festival in Ballarat, and Niki has secured a place in the program of events – a catwalk fashion parade being held on Monday 9th March at 2pm. The parade is on the main stage and is a free event.

For more information bout the collaboration teams visit the Collidescope website.

Congratulations to Niki and the team for an initiative unlike anything seen in Ballarat before!

So, what’s next?

Based on the huge success of this event Niki is planning to continue this project annually in Ballarat to showcase regional local art and design talent. She is also organising a small group of the collaboration teams to design a full range to be launched at the September City of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

Oh, and did I mention that I designed the jewellery for one of the garments? The Ballarat Print designed by Niki’s son Thurston features a digital photography mash up of Ballarat heritage and modern buildings printed in a block design. The fabric is very architectural in inspiration so I designed a jewellery set capturing an industrial architectural feel. It was modelled by Deborah Klein and looked fantastic.

And below are images of the garments and original works currently on exhibition at Wolveschildren Art Space.

More Monochrome Madness

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a weekly challenge  called Monochrome Madness on fellow bloggers site Leanne Cole Photoraphy .  Leanne is a photographer and her site is obviously about photography. This weekly photo challenge is relatively new and is a great challenge and attracts some fantastic artjst contributions… so I thought I would give it another go this week…

My contribution is a photo I took in Seoul, Sth Korea in August 2011 while participating in a ceramics festival and exhibition in Gangjin, a coastal town famous for its celadon ceramics in Sth Korea. After the festival we traveled throughout Sth Korea ending in Seoul, where we saw lots of fantastic architecture – and my image for this challenge was of a great building I saw in Seoul which featured a wall garden – it was one of the first wall gardens I had seen in modern architecture in real life.

Images of my travels through South Korea can be seen on my Facebook page here and here

The complete Monochrome Madness post on Leanne’s blog can be viewed HERE Check it out for the other great entries 🙂

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

This weeks WordPress Photo Challenge got me thinking about my travel photos from Italy, as I have not posted for quite some time about these travels, I wondered if I had finished the Italy posts? I couldn’t really remember. So back I went through my posts, and found that I had not yet written a post about Florence. So this is a mini post about Florence combined with the photo challenge.

Since the theme is ‘horizon’ I will stay on topic, and only post images containing horizons… the rest of Florence will have to be featured in a future post.

The images are a combination of the skylines from the amazing Il Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore in the centre of Florence, Ponte Vecchio, views from the Piazzale Michelangelo and the Piazza della Signoria.

Other images from my Italy travels which included Venice, Pisa, Verona, Rome, Naples and Pompeii can be viewed here, or by clicking the Travel category to the right of the page.

Enjoy 🙂

You can check out other Weekly Photo Challenge entries here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/weekly-photo-challenge-horizon/

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

Usually when a creative prompt is given to me about ‘pattern’ I think of the the natural environment or the organic surfaces of my ceramics and how those two concepts blend together, but throw in the word ‘line’ and it adds a whole new dimension.

So, this weeks WordPress photo challenge immediately drew my mind to the urban environment which is quite often a combination of lines, patterns and textures – especially old and crumbling built landscapes.

I’d love to comb through my current and immediate environment for some inspiration, but am a bit flat chat at the moment, so after shuffling through some images I already have I decided to post some shots of gorgeous lines and patterns I collected while in Italy earlier this year.

I hope you think they are gorgeous too 🙂

Other entries in this weeks photo challenge can be seen here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/lines-patterns/

Antibes: Third Time Lucky – ummm NO!

I follow the WordPress daily prompts, and occasionally come across one that sparks a light in my mind. Yesterday’s prompt was ‘Never Again’, and the brief was: Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” And my mind went into ‘yikes’ mode : talk to any of my family and friends and they will probably know the ‘never again’ moment of my travels as Antibes (sorry, Antibes, I’m sure you are lovely to everyone else – except me, and my partner and my son…..)

So, what happened you ask curiously? Well, I was on an artist residency in Vallauris, France in 2010 for six weeks with my partner and son, and it was fantastic! As part of the research for the residency, but also ‘fun’, we did alot of travelling around to towns surrounding the Vallauris area., and one of these towns was Antibies.

Antibes is a town on the coast of Italy, about an hours (maybe less) bus ride from Vallauris. Picasso lived there (as well as in Vallauris) for quite some time in the Chateau Grimaldi, a castle owned by the Grimaldi family for many centuries, or at least I think it was owned  – you will have to Google that for yourself! (see my reluctance below). The building is now a Picasso museum, and was perhaps the one thing that went right while visiting Antibes.

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

The places and location details in this post are all from memory, because I am too scared to Google any information (again, you can do that) in case I download a black hole of the universe virus on my computer. AND, when looking back through all the brochures and maps and tourist paraphernalia I collected while in France I found NOTHING for Antibes – obviously I threw it all away in case it caused the plane to implode on the way home… or something…

So memory it is…

We went ‘there’ three times…

First Attempt.

The first time I wanted to see an 11th century church (I can’t remember , you google it) which housed a unique wooden cross which had been hidden by local priests during World War Two from the Nazis – and had survived (I guess thats a ‘good’ Antibes thing). I wanted to see this cross, not because I am religious, but because I love art and history and art history… but no. The church was closed for cleaning!

11th Century Church Antibes

11th Century Church Antibes: the signs on the door explain that it is closed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we went for a walk around the wall that boundaries the coast, because at the end of it was going to be an aquarium (I think, again, not game to Google it), but it was closed for renovations!

Sheez… we decided to wander back to the town centre, via the stone wall, to indulge in a wine. Now I live in a rural town where everything closes early- but this is France, right? Wrong! No sooner had we sat down and paid our money that we were being ‘encouraged’ to leave…. oh so frustrated, we skulled (an Aussie word for necking it…. hhmmm, another Aussie word for drinking it really fast all in one go) and caught the bus home.

My son sitting on the stone wall lining the beach front at Antibes - because everything had gone wrong whenever we visited the place I was petrified he would fall and be a mangled mess on the other side!!

My son sitting on the stone wall lining the beach front at Antibes – because everything had gone wrong whenever we visited the place I was petrified he would fall and be a mangled mess on the other side!!

Second Attempt.

We thought we would give a viewing of the church a second chance – it is on the tourist ‘to do’ list afterall with no time restrictions… Hmmmm…. NO, sorry, closed for choir rehearsals – Easter was looming. UUmmm…. since when are churches ‘closed’ during choir rehearsals, or anything for that matter? What if I was a devout catholic in need of God time? I was raised catholic, so know about this sort of stuff…..

But do not fear…. We had been clever and tied this trip into the Saturday morning produce market…  where – surprise, surprise – we got massively ripped off by an opportunistic pate vendor! We were, to him, an easy (ignorant, he thought) target. So after tempting us with tasting yummy dips, and us politely not asking how much, (because we had not yet been ‘ripped off’ in France) he charged us exorbitantly. So we ended up being polite targets (rather than ignorant targets), because we knew what he was charging us but didn’t say anything – though of course I wish we did!

Being persistent, however, we did have an afternoon plan: visiting the local castle – every town in France has one of those! Fort Carre is so called because it is shaped like a star and has five points – so ‘carre’, I think, is star (I can’t remember if that is the translation, so, again, you will have to look it up).

Fort Carre1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking to the castle was quite a journey, and upon arriving we discovered we had approached it from the wrong side, and couldn’t for the life of us find the entrance. So, we did what most desperate insane people would do, and jumped the fence – I had a skirt on and was not very happy! Once inside we found our way to the ‘office’ where were hoping to book into a tour. BUT, and by now we were used to ‘buts’, tours were only offered in Chinese and French!! This was not on the tourist brochure!!

Third Attempt (and perhaps the worse).

So, third time lucky, we thought… in actual fact it was third time the most unluckiest!!

Again, the church was closed – I can’t even remember why now, the trauma has pushed it from my mind!

Our plan for the afternoon (after visiting the church) had been to catch the bus to Eden Rock, a town on the outskirts of Antibes, where there was (apparently) a Napoleon museum… couldn’t find it for the life of us…. so we just soaked up the ambience.

eden roc

Eden Rock

Once ambienced out we decided to walk a little further into the town for a coffee or wine. It was a pleasant walk, the weather was nice, the scenery was lovely, but after a forty five minute walk we were a bit thirsty. What did we discover about Eden Rock – lots of hotels with fancy smanshy bars and restaurants – no average bars, coffee shops or pubs to just sit and relax.

eden roc4

The walk into Eden Rock’s town centre

And so the unsated trek back to the bus stop. Upon arrival we were in time to catch 6pm bus, luckily because that was the last bus. Guess what? 6pm came and went, and we waited and waited. After about forty five minutes a couple of locals walk past and asked why we were at the bus stop. Uumm, our answer, waiting for the bus. Their reply, but the last bus was over an hour ago. our reply, but the last bus was 6pm. Their reply, yes which was almost two hours ago. The conversation was becoming very confusing. Our reply, what time is it? Their reply, almost 8pm.

Anyway…. after much ‘he said’ ‘she said’ we figured out that it was day light savings the night before and the clocks had been put forward (or back, I can’t remember, and I am too angst ridden to figure out) so we had actually missed the bus. Arrgghhh!! there was no other solution than to walk back to Antibes. I am not sure of the kilometeres involved, but it took us about 1.5 hours of fast walking. Why fast walking? because we had to get back to Antibes in time to catch the last bus back to Vallauris. As well as power walking we also attempted hitch hiking – but apparently that is a bit frowned upon in France. So we had no chance of being picked up. Did we make it back in time to catch the bus? Of course not! After walking our hearts out we missed the bus by FIVE minutes! OK, don’t panic, catch a taxi. Where are the taxi ranks? Near the station, in the town centre…. uummm, no! Actually nowhere!

Finally, after much scrounging around in shops and telephone booths we find a taxi phone number, and successfully manage to order a taxi despite the language barriers.

The taxi does deliver us safely home, but we are a little suspicious that we have been overcharged – again ignorant tourists. But, we are too tired to care!

I would love to visit you again Antibes, but  fear I cannot!

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This post was written in response to the WordPress daily prompt  “Never Again”
More responses can be seen here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/daily-prompt-never-2/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpieces (1)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpieces Part 1 & Part 2

I was undecided about how to tackle this weeks photo challenge – so I decided to publish two posts. this is Part 1. Part 2 can be viewed herehttps://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/weekly-photo-challenge-masterpieces-2/

PART 1

I have come across so many masterpieces during my overseas travels, and while I would love to do a post on small incidental ‘masterpieces’, the big ones just so boggle your mind when you actually see them! Not to mention those you are not allowed to photograph (although with iphones everybody was clicking away!), such as David at Accademia Gallery in Florence and the inside of the amazing Basilica in Venice. Of course, then there there are the off-beat masterpieces, such as the ‘religious’ paintings I saw in a church in Rome on the via Nazionale. It was a church that had steps leading down to it from the street – something unusual in church psychology, as usually churches lead upwards towards the heavens. Within this church were quite unorthodox paintings featuring very natural depictions of the environment, nature and people – not at all the the typical depiction of saints and churchly activities normally decorating such sacred walls. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to research the church a bit more, as we were on our way to catching a train so we couldn’t stop and peruse, though I did get some photos; but it is definitely on my curiosity list for the next visit.

Having said all of that, I do remember visiting a gallery in Vietnam back in 2009 where there was no ‘gallery’ climate control, but merely fans to keep the visitors comfortable, regardless of how it caused the paintings to bang backwards and forwards on the walls. This was no fault of the gallery curator, who was educated on all aspects of preservation and curatorialship – it was to do with funding! The question that weighs down many arts projects world wide.

And of course then there were all the original Picasso’s I saw while in France, including the chapel he painted in Vallourus. And speaking of chapels, what about the Matisse chapel in Vence, France (couldn’t take photos in there, however)….

And so the big question of what to post as a masterpiece?

The challenge calls for one image – so I will post one main image, with a photo mosaic of some other images. Unfortunately all of these images are Italy shots, as my USB drive needs replacing on my computer, so I can’t access images from my other travels (France, Vietnam, Korea- I have been jiggling the connections for over an hour- maybe I will update this post in the future)…

The image I am posting as the main masterpiece I enjoy because it extends beyond the perimeters of the paintings boundaries – I like breaking rules….
Images on church ceilings are so hard to capture, but hopefully it captures the mood, and the gold gilding surrounding it!!

Verona 048_1_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the mosaic of images 🙂

Further contributions to this WordPress weekly photo challenge can be viewed here:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/out-of-this-world/

Tivoli Gardens, Rome, Italy

It has been quite a while since I posted a new article on my travels in Italy at the end of last year. I had been a bit overcome with my other blog – A Poem and Drawing a Day, and recently I came to the end of the 365 days, so I find I now have a bit more creative headspace for other projects – including posting a bit more regularly on this blog.

I am going to get the ball rolling again with a post about Tivoli Gardens at the Villa d’Este, Rome.

According to friends we were hanging out with while in Rome, the estate was built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este for his mistress and son – a bit of sixteenth century Italian scandal right there! I have not been able to confirm this ‘rumour’ via research (that is, that he built and renovated it for his mistress and son), but if he was anything like his grandfather, Pope Alexander VI – who had multiple misstresses and children, it is quite possible! Apparently during this time, and until recently it was an asset of the Catholic Church- according to our friends. It was purchased by the Italian State after World War I and restored, and refurnished with paintings from the storerooms of the Galleria Nazionale, Rome into the tourist attraction that it is today.

If you ever visit Rome, these gardens should definitely be on your ‘to do’ list. As well as the gardens and waterfalls being spectacular, the villa itself is furnished with period pieces and the walls are covered in masterpieces (like most other places in Italy). We visited during the afternoon, and looking out over the landscape from the villa walls we were treated to a sunset that was sublime.

So without any further ado, here are some images form our day visit… enjoy 🙂

PS: more information about Tivoli Gardens can be found here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

While pondering about this weeks photo challenge all I could think of was my recent trip to Italy and all the looking ‘up’ I did at tall towers and majestic castles and ancient architecture and ornate church ceilings. So it makes sense that this is what this post will be about!

Visit the Daily Post for more info and entrants in this challenge:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/weekly-photo-challenge-up-2/

Enjoy 🙂

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