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One Word Photo Challenge : Wet

My mid week post this week is in response to Jennifer Nichole Wells‘ photo challenge. Participants are asked to post a photo or photos responding to a one word theme – currently the topic is weather, and this week the word is ‘wet’. Interpretation of this one word can be as varied as your imagination desires.

As for me I am being pretty literal (again) – for me wet is how I feel after being doused in sea spray!!

This pic was taken back in March 2010 at Eden Rock in France.

Eden Rock, France

Eden Rock, France

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Sunday Studio Visit – Photography and the Katherine Gorge

Photography and the Katherine Gorge and the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge

I am not doing much in the ceramics studio today…. it has been a busy weekend of friends birthday parties and engagement parties – so I am hoping to get into the studio tomorrow.

In the meantime I thought it would be  good opportunity to work on some photography catch-up and go through the pics from my recent travels to the Northern Territory. As regular readers may know I traveled through the Northern Territory recently with my mum and sisters on The Ghan with stopovers along the way – you can see a previous post HERE.

So for today’s studio visit I thought I’d share pics of the Katherine Gorge and relate them to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge : Intricate – which is about line and pattern.

For me line and pattern is not just about Golden Mean type geometry, but also Natural Geometry, or what call Sacred Geometry,  which  mirrors the organic nature of our universe, which I have expressed previously in posts such as this ONE.

So, it seems obvious that I would share an image from my experience of the Katherine Gorge for this challenge.

The gorges and the surrounding landscape are owned by the local Jawoyn people, who are custodians of Nitmiluk National Park, and manage it in conjunction with the Northern Territory National Parks body. In Jawoyn, Nitmiluk means “place of the cicada dreaming” and if you visit at the right time of the year you’d know what this meant via your ears! All of the boat tour services are owned by the local indigenous people who share their knowledge of the gorge and history (where appropriate) and some funny stories too!

Katherine Gorge is a deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River and is made up of thirteen gorges. During the dry season the Katherine Gorge waters are calm and ideal for swimming and canoeing. There may be freshwater crocodiles in the river, as they nest along the banks, but they are harmless to humans. As my partner said, during a previous visit he made the the gorge – they just nibble your toes! However, Saltwater crocodiles regularly enter the river during the wet season, so swimming at this time is not a good idea! We visited the gorge only weeks after the waters had lowered, so were lucky enough to be able to do the river cruise.

We were able to visit the gorge as The Ghan did a stopover between Alice Springs and Darwin with a variety of activities “trainees” could do – we picked the gorge.

It was an amazing experience…. the views were breathtaking and the commentary on the boat tour was delivered by a local indigenous person who knew lots of local history tainted with a bit of funny colour!

So my pic for the challenge is this one…. and following that is a gallery of images taken at the gorge showing more images of Nature’s amazing line and pattern – if you haven’t ever visited the gorge, it is well worth the trip 🙂

katherine gorge 032_21_1

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Intricate.”

Sunday Studio Visit – a few weeks late!

OK… I have not been on this blog for a couple of weeks including the Sunday Studio Visit, but that’s because I have been on holidays!! Yes, artists get to have holidays too – I know bizarre!

It was actually a bit of a pilgrimage – my mum was born in Darwin, Australia but left at a young age as her father was in the Air Force. So, she was really keen to visit again and took her three daughters with her, of which I was one!

It was not as simple as that, however, we went to Darwin on The Ghan

Now I had grand intentions of posting stuff while I was away… but …. ‘grand intentions’ – say no more! The fun and frivolity got in the way – oops!

I arrived home a week ago today, and then a couple of days later promptly got sick – sore throat, nose, head, etc (hotel air conditioning & planes) – so not alot got accomplished!

So…. my Sunday studio visit today will be about two poems and drawings I have published on my POETRY blog since being back, and I’d like to share an array of sunset pics from my trip.

My first poem and drawing was about the AUSTRALIAN DESERT and the second was about ULURU (pics of the drawings below)

My sunset photographs cover the journey, and include pics from my phone and camera depending on what and where I was at the time.

I do plan to post some photos of my trip in the near future so stay tuned 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Wall.”

It’s been a while since I participated in the weekly photo challenge, but this weeks challenge caught my eye… I love the colours and textures that are often found in old walls. I find the surfaces inspiring for my sculptural and ceramic artwork. As a result, especially when travelling, I often take photos of walls, including macro details shots.

As well as the inspiring textures and colours I also love how a wall can tell a story about the history of the place and its people.

So for this challenge I will share a few of my travel ‘wall’ photos from France, Italy and Sth Korea.

Enjoy!

 

 

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 🙂

 

2 Picture 001 (28)-3

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Hhmmmm… What do I visualise when I think “sea”?

Aahhh…the Mediterranean!!

The following images were taken while on a residency in France in 2010 and while exhibiting in Italy in 2012.

During the France residency I made artworks based on the natural environment – it was the first time I had been to Europe! The final image in the photo mosaic is a series of pieces I made based on some sea pebbles I found whilst walking along the shoreline.

Enjoy 🙂

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge : Sea – more entries can be viewed here
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/weekly-photo-challenge-sea/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpieces (2)

So this is Part 2 of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ‘Masterpiece’. Part 1 can be viewed herehttps://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/weekly-photo-challenge-masterpieces/

Responding to the prompt was not an easy task…. for starters what is “judged” as a “masterpiece” – AND as a consequence of that: what is with the gendered language!! Masterpiece is one of the few remaining words that has remained de-gendered.

HHmmm… what is ‘gendered language’ you ask?? Well, here are some examples (I’ll start with the big one):

mankind- humankind
craftsman – craftsperson
mailman – mail delivery person

the list continues- I’m sure you get the drift…

Why don’t we notice these words in everyday life you ask? And what is the big deal anyway?

Hmmm, I am glad you asked…

Lets look at the history of language – no this is not going to be a ranting history lesson, just a brief overview. I will include some links at the end of this post for anyone that wants to research this topic further 🙂

So…. ‘history of language’:invented by the guys with fire (coz the girls were busy feeding the kids)

Evolved to some storytelling via rock painting and sand painting, also by the guys coz the girls were busy feeding the kids

Fast forward a few hundred centuries, and the guys decided they could plant seeds, and therefore own/steal land – the girls were STILL busy feeding babies…

And then came the Renaissance – science and logic over religion, understanding and humanity, equality for all – ummm, if you were a male, or white, or upper middle class ; gee, funny thing that renaissance!!

So fast forward to now!! Given that we have had a crash course in ‘his’tory I guess you , the reader, may be wary of what I am going to post….do not be afeared!!

I am going to post an artist that I have admired since I first learnt of her decades ago: Artemisia Gentileschi. A painter strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible – victims, suicides, warriors – Artemisia’s works were until recently attributed to her father. It was not acceptable for women to paint during the 17th century, let alone be better at it than her peers! More info on Artemisia can be found here.

The work I have always loved of her’s is her interpretation of Judith Slaying Holofernes. I remember writing about this painting in an undergrad essay for art history about feminism in art.

And then I saw this work at the Uffizzi in Florence in real life, and I must say my heart skipped a beat, after loving this artist for so long – and the real life viewing did not let me down!!

So…. this is my masterpiece!!

GENTILESCHI Judith

GENTILESCHI Judith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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: The Sign Says

I am going to share a few signs with you from my trip to Korea in 2011 : basically they illustrate the importance and esteem that ceramics and ceramic artists, or potters, are held within this society.

Why are they held in such esteem? To answer this we need to explore a little history (in a nutshell) …

Korea was invaded by the Mongols in the 13th century, and the Japanese in the 16th century, causing the production of ceramics and specilised glazes, such as celadon, to be severely hampered. During the Japanese invasion many potters were abducted and forcefully relocated to Japan to produce porcelains and Celadons. Eventually, this resulted in the development of both the porcelain and tea industries of Japan. Since these earlier invasions Korea was then invaded by Japan in 1910: political freedom was restricted and cultural assimilation was attempted. Since independence in 1948, there has been an emphasis in Korea on revitalising cultural identity: this has been achieved through a variety of different cultural festivals AND the  passing on of specific ceramic techniques and traditions within families. Usually, due to patriarchal tradition, this is passed on to the male members of the family, however, during my trip to Korea I did come across two families who were passing the knowledge onto female members – how times have changed! This break in tradition was either due to no sons being born within the family, or the sons not being interested in working in the ceramics industry (mind you, in times past the boys would have had no choice).

cultural treasure number 105

cultural treasure number 105

 

 

Kim Jong Ok: cultural treasure number 105 – This is the cultural treasure marker outside his home. I was lucky enough to visit his home and studio. Images of this visit can be seen in my Facebook album here.

Why is this sign, and what it says, so fascinating to me? Well as an artist and ceramic artist, it is so intriguing when the arts are viewed as reverent by other cultures, rather than threatening or challenging, or hippy artists sitting around doing nothing… Mind you, one could assert that this concept is being used to enforce national pride and patriotism – which is also not a good thing (look at how artists were used during the Russian revolution and other movements, and/or excluded from it : Nazi Germany), however, from what I observed the South Korean government initiative seems to be a passive (not aggressive) attempt to rediscover cultural identity, and I think this is what makes the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another sign I found intriguing in South Korea was a framed pamphlet I couldn’t help but see mounted on the inside of a toilet door. Now in Australia – well alot of Australia – what you will see inside toilet doors is adverts/ campaigns educating people about drug use, safe sex, environmental issues, etc. However, in South Korea it’s all about ceramics exhibitions or festivals!! Another sign of the value that is placed on ceramics and the arts in general. Yay!!

Toilet Sign

Toilet Sign

 

Now, this image is a bit blurry…. BUT cut me some slack: I was sitting on the toilet!!

The final image I would like to share with you is an image of the banner my partner and kids made for me when I got home from Korea after a two week tour – it was the longest I had been away from them all, so it was very cute!!

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

More entries to this WordPress Photo Challenge can be viewed here:
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/weekly-photo-challenge-the-sign-says/

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