Lady not listening.
Unlike the chinese whisperlike game that I now play...
A new project, with the lovely Antonia... I photo she writes, we swap, we post, we play.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
the metabolism of travel.
It means, one has to digest a lot of calories
to support a body's movement
displacement is, of itself,
The metabolism of travel - text / concept / practice (Antonia Pont)
This ticket will get you in for free - just present it as you board : www.antoniapont.org.
Finally this website is getting close to being finished, in the construction sense anyway. I am excited to watch it grow and become a living body of work as Antonia adds content and gets it to fit her daily life. It was great to create a space for such interesting work, and fun to work with someone who appreciates a good yellow scribble as much as i do.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Borage - the best thing in the garden at the moment. Borage for courage, borage for the sound of bees, stuffing their pockets full of pollen. Borage for freezing into ice cubes to cool glasses of bison vodka. Borage for salads - a sweet taste of cucumber and the joy of blue. Borage to chime against the red of the salvia - pineapple sweet sage. Pineapple sage to float on pear juice and manuka honey vodka. Pineapple sage to garnish rhubarb and make fancy the plain white deliciousness of coconut cream and rice for breakfast.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Collingwood football stadium. Very close to my house.
I am fascinated by the composition I found with this image. So flat, geometric, but layered and painterly. It is something of an abstract image, and yet it is just a straight photograph, sky, wall, powerlines. (click photo for larger view)
I collect these kinds of moments, when art presents itself for the taking.
Friday, 10 October 2008
Monday, 6 October 2008
St Francis of Assisi, preaching to the birds.
Giotto. 1295 - 1300
This is where I was a year ago today, sneaking photographs of my favourite paintings at the Louvre. I'm not quite sure which path will take me to this date next year.
For now I'll rest with patience. The wild spring weather is stirring everything up, but I'll try to follow the optimism of the warm calm moments in between the storms.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Friday, 3 October 2008
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Today is the 30th of September.
Tomorrow then, is the 1st of October. Lately I have found it difficult to find the time to post anything on this blog.... but surely there is time, and surely I will find it if only I look.
October will be a month of moments, a photograph a day, maybe more, i hope not less.
Friday, 22 August 2008
When ever I go to the farmers market, I'm always looking for nettles. I'm so appreciative when someone has taken the time to gather these, bundle them up and bring them to market. I mean really, the amount of work in gathering nettles with their treacherous stings should fetch far more than the 3 dollars that I happily hand over for each bunch.
Last time, my sister and i arrived just as everyone was packing up, but I was still lucky enough to grab the last bunch. We took the river path home (looking for the donkey), and found ourselves behind the old Abbotsford convent. We found no donkey, just a few sheep, who were all snug in their thick matted winter coats of wool, happily munching on ... stinging nettles.
I wouldn't dream of taking the sheep's nettles (I'm sure they are super good for them, and don't sting when you eat them right, just ask the sheep how to do it...) but the overlooked garden path had plenty, so I gathered a huge bag full, careful to get the youngish looking ones, which are sweet and tender. Now before my mother starts to panic that maybe these wild nettles had been sprayed with insecticides, I'm fairly sure that that whole area hasn't seen a spot of poison for many many months, judging by the health of said nettles. However, if you're going to gather weeds, make sure you're sure too.*
Now, to cook.
I use two pairs of kitchen tongs to make this easier, you could just use gloves if you have some that are really thick and waterproof. Use a sink or a large basin of cold water to wash the nettles. Leave the nettles on the stems to make them easier to handle. Grab the base of the nettle stem and swish it around in the water, to remove any grit or dirt. Pull off any damaged leaves and large flower clusters. Heat a large pot of water to boiling then reduce to a quiet simmer. Take a few stems at a time and plunge into the water. This instantly removes the sting. After blanching for a minute or so, remove the nettles and place in a colander to drain. Repeat till you've done them all, saving the water for cooking.
The blanched nettles still have their delicate hairlike spines still hold their form, which is quite beautiful. They are a gutsy green, very sweet and tender with an amazing nutritional profile, and are useful for many common complaints and lacks.
* It is best to gather nettles that look pretty clean and young. The older plants can be a bit tough and not so sweet. Straight after heavy rain, the leaves can get splattered with mud, which is harder to clean, you'll need to soak them for a little while first.
Nettle is delicate, and I prefer not to mix it up too much, keeping it whole while blanching, then roughly chopping into large (5cm) clumps. A simple pasta dish with slow cooked leeks, olive oil, fresh cheese (goats cheese or fresh, salted ricotta), garlic, a few olives and clumps of nettle.... delicious.
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Friday morning gift from the market; a daisy mandarin.
There is something kind of childish about mandarins, playful and small.
These new (old maybe?) daisy mandarins are bigger than your normal mandarin, and with a magenta vibrancy in their skins, and the flavour is bold and aromatic like a good blood orange. Delicious. No, they are not seedless, and no, they are not easy peel, which means they'll not be a hit with those shoppers who prefer bland sweetness and consumability above all else. But I like them.
I loved mandarins when I was a kid, leaving little piles of meticulously peeled mandarin skins in the kitchen, when I ate them after school, which would infuriate my Dad. I think of those little piles now, when I save mandarin skins to put into glasses of green tea, to warm them up in winter. If only I'd known then that dried citrus skins make the best fire starters, we could have saved them then too. Mandarins are also great for baking with, since their skins have those incredible pockets of aromatic oil that burst when you peel them. Chocolate brownies made with olive oil and mandarin zest are perfectly delicious, but you have to grate the zest before you peel.
My beautiful 1 year old niece loves mandarins, especially the slightly sour ones. I'm taking this to be a sign of sophisticated taste buds. I can't wait to start Auntie cooking lessons with her. Until then I'll rabbit on about food to myself and anyone else that cares to listen, and settle for nibbling on her ears.
2/3 cup plain flour
125g dark 70% chocolate
1/3 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup raw castor sugar
1/3 a vanilla pod or 1 tsp essence
1 tablespoon mandarin zest
Preheat the oven to 175 C. With a tiny drop of olive oil lightly grease a square baking tin, and line with paper. (A brown paper bag works fine.) Scrape the black seeds from the vanilla pod, chop the chocolate and melt together over a low heat, then whisk in the oil. Add the mandarin zest, then cool. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Add the essence now, if using. Fold in the chocolate mixture, fold in the flour and stir until combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 22 - 25 minutes. The top should be cracked, but a skewer inserted should come out wet.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
I am very lucky to have siblings that are also my friends. Matthew- my older brother and Claire, my younger sister came to visit for a week mid winter. We found ourselves in a cloud, while on a road trip near the Otways National Park. The air was so soft and wet.
Claire writes music, coding the sounds of knuckles rapping wooden piano bodies; she allows the cello to slowly sing, then glissando dive into flurries of rhythm. She writes these notes on her laptop, while still in her sleeping bag, wearing her striped pyjamas, and her unmatching also striped socks. Claire makes me a scarf, and sews onto it a small dotted donkey. We name him Richard.
Matthew visits on his way to Poland, where his artwork will settle and flourish for a few months. To celebrate, we drink scotch whiskey and spend an afternoon making pierogi (polish dumplings), stuffing folded moons of white dough with potato and dill, blueberries, sauerkraut or mushroom. Matthew plans to build a horse, while in poland, and follows on from his previous work; a performance with a large bear who played a melodian while matthew danced a gig. He is very polite to animals, and the way he says "come along now, I'd like you to get out of that cupboard please" to the ratbag kitten... makes me laugh.
They go out shopping together, and come home, each with elfish turquoise shoes, and striped lolly bags full of blueberry bombshells and sherbet fizzes. Matthew buys a large, shaggy orange mop head and carries it in the pocket of his duffle coat. He gets a haircut from a tattooed lady, and then they both start on again about me cutting mine, as I never have.
On her last morning here, Claire follows me to the farmers market, then the farm behind the convent, and photographs me as I pick stinging nettles to cook with anchovies for dinner. We pat the fat sheep, who also eats the nettles, and her oily wool makes my hand feel soft and grubby.
But now they have both gone again, and the winter is suddenly colder and i miss them.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Self Portrait. Photographing beans soaking in a bowl this morning, this shot before I pulled the focus. There are small moments in every day like this, if I notice them. Lately I've been too busy working into every moment, trying to keep up with deadlines and commitments, and the moments slip by.
Photographs I didn't take this week;
First day of winter - riding to work through the soft heavy mist. The fog so white and still that the city disappeared, the black lines of the tree lungs hanging on to their last yellow leaves, the white drops of fog clinging to my yellow knitted gloves.
New friends visiting, sitting in the sun of our backyard - tiny baby Amaryn, her delicate sleeping fingers holding the edge of the fabric sling as she sleeps heavy and soft. .. The abundant energy of little Peter, his absolute joy in following the cat around the garden, the spreading of dandelions and just hanging out.
The green-ness of the garden- the overflowing water tank and the lush knee-high grass. The abundance of winter so refreshing and beautiful. Warragul greens and nasturtium taking over the lawn, violets in the shade of the house, a few hopeful signs of nettle and borage.
Saturday, 3 May 2008
My lover is not in the habit of bringing me bunches of flowers, but there are beautiful gestures all the same. The other morning he arrived home with a bunch of sweet, earthy smelling roots, primitive, ugly and with the beauty of a Leonardo da Vinci diagram.
Vegetables in their beautiful wholeness are a favourite muse of mine; I love to photograph them, smell them, and find ways to cook and eat them. This bunch sat on the kitchen table all day, the soft winter light illuminating the intricate forms of their root, and brought me joy. Each time I walk past them, I find that green smell reminding me of moss and dirt and Autumn. This is abundance and luxury.
Celeriac is the name of this root vegetable, which is a close relative of celery. Instead of growing the green stalks above the ground, celeriac puts its energy into forming this bulbous root. After slicing away the tough exterior, the flesh is pale and delicate, and when fresh is crisp and sweet. Fancy pants mashed potato sometimes has celeriac added, for its delicious aroma and flavour, but there are many other ways that it can be used. It can be roasted in olive oil, slightly caramelising and becoming creamy like a jerusalem artichoke. Sliced fine, celeriac adds an earthy warm taste when added to the onion / garlic part of any dish, and has a celery taste, with a very different texture. Excellent in risotto, especially with lemon. There are classic french salads made with grated raw celeriac and creamy mayonnaise.
Flowers in a vase don't last very long, but neither does a bunch of celeriac... We've eaten all but one of them already, in mash, fried with mushrooms, and a in a stew. With such love in my belly, winter is looking good.
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
I'm a sucker for packaging. There, I've admitted it. As much as I try to minimise the amount of packaging I buy; reusing containers, buying in bulk and generally avoiding processed foods, I really do love well designed packaging. This brand of sweet paprika really has it going on. I'm sure that this is the same tin that they've been using since the 1970s, which really says something about style.
There are multiple layers of reading here... some subconscious, some fueled by desires and cultural fashions, others subtle and hard to untangle. I'll try.
The multiple stack of foreign product = delicatessen.
The clear label DULCE- no need for a translation here, the customer is no fool. Dulce kind of sounds like Dolce, Italian for sweet, so lets ask not questions, just presume that it means something lovely. The couple-los novios; just having them so happy in the kitchen cupboard will surely enrich your life with similar joyful moments of kitsch pleasure. Think Astrid Gilberto nonchalance as you gather your food for paella, the smoky flesh coloured dress will surely spice up your dinner, and deliver up a song from the man, that man leading you forward, out and away into happiness. Surely even the presence of such a tin could shine a fashionable, retro kind of light from the corner of your kitchen, I mean, you just don't see that kind of spice at the supermarket.
And then I walk around the corner, and find these little packs, and I reel with a sense of confusion. Did I really even need some paprika? Is this the same stuff? without the promises and the complicated meanings? surely it can't be as good.
Monday, 21 April 2008
Paperbound journals were the primary document for the Anotherweather collection, at first. Then collecting with cameras and computers made these paper pages somewhat obsolete, but thus endeared them to me more.
Obsolescence, when bound with certain beauty is something I collect. A use for everything. I am interested in art that has no finished form; I wish not for a finite work to frame, but rather a method to my days. A conversation that keeps life alive and engages traditions and old knowledge with our everyday thinking. A method by which to refocus upon that which may otherwise be overlooked, in the haste of modern life. A fertile collection that offers a place from which ideas can grow.
To glean is to gather information bit by bit until a sense of something is understood. The gleaners of the fields come forward to gather the leftover grain after the reapers have collected the harvest. It takes time, as the left over grain is scattered and must be collected labouriously by hand, but to waste it would be futile.
Journals gather together the ephemera of everyday; holding scraps of paper, images, words and handwriting, so that they may not be lost. Pages hold random thoughts alongside scraps from the tactile world, in an immediate, casual form, and are often evidence of things at their begining.
Recently, my hard drive died. having neglected the sensible task of backing up for quite a while, I've no one to blame but myself for loosing so much stuff. Three years writing, images, notes, collections. It makes me once again turn back to my paper bound journals for a sense of perspective, both in the practise of writing and for the record they carry through time. This section of my website shares some journal pages, updated randomly.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
This drawing was scratched into the back of the bus seat. I'm not sure what it is all about. Probably something to do with the interconnectedness of things, and the energetics of weather, I suspect.
I walked through a suburb on the other side of the river today, and had my camera with me. I found these images along the way.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
A self indulgent saturday. I tidy up my studio desk, only to immediately jumble it down again, pulling random bits into my reach, without any clear intention. I knew, after sitting for a while in a patch of sun in the grass, that I'd make a dandelion salad for lunch. I was wanting to make something, and thought I'd draw some plants, a dandelion drawing maybe. I broke my elna (sewing machine) trying to draw with stitches, so a few hours i spent with tiny screwdrivers and pulling her apart. (fixed)
Not having intention is difficult. A dandelion thing, was what I wanted. After the salad, I wanted something to last, some sort of drawing to remind me of this autumn day, but my cutting up of scraps of paper wasn't getting me anywhere. Letting go of intention is difficult, more so when hazy reasoning clouds the page.
In the end, my tired eyes refocused through my camera lens, in long exposures as the light faded, and words floated in to string these colours together. Pre-occupations and new things I've been thinking of. For me, it is strange to put myself so plainly in my work, but self is the everyday, and I'm trying to remember that.
Dandelion Hours is here.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Today the sky is overcast and grey, the big picture kind of messy. It is a good day for focusing on details, taking time to see things slowly.
First there was the book jam, a project with Antonia, in which a Borges text was made into a book, from scratch, within an hour. We made list of 10 rules, then set the clock and made the book, photographs, text, printing, binding. Although the first rule was to complete within an hour, we took 2 hours and 6 minutes. Still, if there was no time limit, we'd probably still not have finished it.
So today, instead of many other jobs that could have been done, I took my camera into the garden for an hour, to try and see things differently.
The Hour Garden Project
After a long hot summer with fairly extreme water restrictions, the garden was just surviving. We have a water tank, and the herbs get all the kitchen water, but the endless days of high 30s meant that many plants just fried in the heat. This last week, we've plunged into Autumn, with wild storms and welcome rains. Most often, I find myself letting the plants grow wild, when they can. The rambling green is beautiful, and I love seeing vegetables and herbs growing their full cycle. The blue flowers of a cos lettuce, or the frilly seed heads of parsley and dill. Last night I cut a creeping tendril from the pumpkin vine to place on our dinner table.
A favourite Gardener/Artist is Derek Jarman wrote in his beautiful journal, Modern Nature -"Death to the thread bare lawn. If the garden's not shaggy, forget it. "
Friday, 14 March 2008
I am writing here as a way of communicating all the rest of the stuff. The updates about what is happening with my project; www.anotherweather.org, and all the in-between things that need a casual mention.
I have come to realise that images alone are not enough. Writing is the tool to distill and refine ideas, and in taking care to say what I mean, I figure out what I mean.
Sometimes with an art education, one tends to cultivate a separation between the everyday happenings of a life being lived and the art that is being created. I find this to be a problem, in that I want art to be part of everyday life, without this removal, but to still retain the autonomy and the integrity of the art as it stands alone.
This image is from a journal from many years ago. It recycles itself over and over, its significance changing a little from time to time. I place it here in this context:
- It is a found image, probably from a national geographic magazine.., I tore it out and glued it into journal well before i thought of collecting sources.
- The paper sheets hung in the tree are wishes, ideas, prayers or thoughts that have been left there for the elements to work on. I am interested in this act of placing them there to be taken care of.
So, first post anxiety aside, here goes.