Browsing through Instagram today I found a random comment about a large green ‘plastic wrapped’ building in Philadelphia with a lens you can look into to see some art. Unfortunately the description of the location was rather nebulous (‘near Monk’s Cafe’) but I still managed to find it during my lunchtime walk today (it was on the corner of Chancellor St and S 16th Street after all).
The art installation is called ‘Field with Dandelions’ and it consists of the building wrapped in a plastic dandelion field print and a small lens which looks into a diorama of a field with dandelions. Quite amazing really. I’m glad I found it!
The Atlas of Tomorrow is an interactive tool that promotes mental wellness as a critical component of thriving communities. Inspired by the I Ching, individuals are invited to consider a situation in their lives where they seek clarity, and then spin the dial to select one of 64 fable-like stories along the wall for poetic guidance. The stories and artwork provoke a surreal inner world, a “town in your head,” full of characters that can help us examine our struggles, behaviours and opportunities for growth. Designed with the idea of art as a form of meditation, the artwork was finger painted by Candy Chang and over one hundred members of the Philadelphia community.
There’s a great introduction on the wall also:
We tell ourselves strange stories. Stories like I am not good enough or I will never be understood. We hear these words in the private chatter, the hum in our heads that tells us who we are. But sometimes we catch a glimpse of who we might become. Perhaps it’s a rogue thought in the shower. A shiver of déjà vu on the sidewalk. But for a moment our mental weather clears and the world makes some kind of sense. They call this synchronicity, when our insides meet the outside in a meaningful way. You might call it gut sense of intuition, but you know when it happens. It’s encoded in the hairs on your neck, the flutter in your nerves, and it’s been with you all along, a deep prehistoric knowledge that occasionally breaks to the surface before disappearing beneath the next wave of chatter.
The machine on this wall was built to make these moments happen more often for you. Here you’ll find sixty-four stories inspired by the ancient I Ching that reach back to cold nights of campfires and stars, long before the written word. The I Ching examines the inevitably of change. For thousands of years it has provided counsel and reassurance to those of us who struggle with challenging relationships, difficulties with work, unhappy emotions, and forks in the road. These stories remind us that our problems are not unique and that wisdom endures, if we are willing to listen.
I considered a problem I’m currently facing, and I spun number thirty three: ‘The Nap’.
I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few hours on Friday at Cockatoo Island where the Biennale of Sydney is currently running. The last time I went to this was 6 years ago with Kitty before kids. The art was amazing, the weather was amazing and the island was amazing. I am so lucky.
We love the Cat & Fish books by Neil Curtis & Joan Grant: they have the most amazing illustrations and words. We bought two ex-library copies from BetterWorldBooks and Kitty cut out some of our favourite illustrations and framed them for the new sleeping room that Junior Pixels and Little Bear are now sharing. They look fantastic.
I recently put some new photos on one if the walls in our bedroom. They’re 11″ x 14″ prints (on sale at Big W for $1 each: save $13 each!) in black IKEA frames ($3.98 each). I think they came out well at less than $5 each.
Yesterday on a walk we discovered by chance a show at the Arts Factory Gallery at South Bank titled “Nature of the Duchess” by Monique and Faye Dobson. It contains lots of bonsais and antiques mixed with art and categorized by world region (Australia, the US, the UK, Japan and Africa), and all the plants and art are for sale.
I really enjoyed the combination of art, furniture, collectibles and bonsai. The bonsai that Faye has grown and displayed are amazing, some of the best I have ever seen. She has an amazing old fig for sale that I would love to buy but I think it’s out of our price range.
The show is on for the next couple of weeks (until October 5th) and Monique and Faye are planning on conducting some art and bonsai classes, which can be arranged via firstname.lastname@example.org. Check it out before it disappears!
The empty block next to us is about to be developed, which is a shame as it has quite an eclectic collection of street art. The old brick walls on the site make the perfect texture for all sorts of art, so I thought I’d ignore the ‘do not enter’ sign and capture these before they’re gone forever.
Whlist wandering supermarkets in Austin, Texas, last year, I spotted a whole shelf of cheap yet aesthetically pleasing candles in tall glass jars for sale at $2 a piece. Naturally I picked up one to bring home to Kitty and to see what it was like.
The candle ended up being one of the best candles we’ve had. Not only did it last for weeks, it also had one of the nicest rose scents I have smelt from a candle. Not bad for $2!
I later found out they’re known as prayer candles, or veladoras in Spanish, and each candle has a picture of a saint and a prayer printed on it (in both Spanish and English). They’ve been made in Texas since 1947 and there are over 350 saint varieties alone! They’re often left at vigils as they burn for about seven days straight.
I will be making sure I stock up on these if I am ever in Austin again.
We took Junior for a walk in the pram to GOMA this afternoon to check out the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6). He only gave us enough time asleep to view one floor, but from what we saw it was an excellent collection. Luckily it’s on until 5 April next year, so we have plenty of time to go back and check it out again. Here are some of the cool things we saw today.
“You must walk that tightrope between accident and discipline. Accident by itself…so what? Discipline by itself is boring. By walking that tightrope and putting down something on a canvas…coming from your guts, you have a chance of making marks that … will live longer than you.”
“I give thanks every day that I’ve been able to take my craziness and make it work for me.”
The island was amazing. Neither of us had been there before so it was a real treat for us both. The art installations were great and so were the buildings; some looked like they had just been abadoned.
It was our last full day in KL today, so we took the super quick light rail to Chinatown. When we got off the train at Pasar Seni station I was surprised to see lots of great street art, mostly stencil based.
We are flying to BKK tomorrow morning. I can’t wait.
I was walking down Burnett Lane in Brisbane city this afternoon when I saw a massive head floating in the sky. I stopped to read the nearby sign and find out it’s an art installation by Christopher Langton for the Inhabit Program which is part of the Brisbane Festival.
I quickly googled the Inhabit program when I got home and realised that there is heaps of stuff going on in Brisbane city over the next three weeks, disappointingly a lot of it is on when I’m overseas.
Here’s a summary:
Christopher Langton: Facade 2008: Burnett Lane (George Street end): 11 July – 22 August
Nicole Voevodin-Cash: Escapespace 2008: Eagle lane (junction with Queen Street): 11 July – 22 August
Alexander Lotersztain: Twig street furniture system 2007: Market Street (Charlotte Street end): From 16 Jul
Inkahoots: Admissions 2008: General Post Office walkway (access off Elizabeth Street): 11 July – 22 July
Rodney Glick: Compostism 2008: 11am – 5pm Wednesdays and Fridays: 11 July – 22 August
Turbot Street Party: Turbot Street Underpass (between George and Roma Streets):
5pm Saturday 19 July
Farm to Fridge: Market Street (Charlotte Street end): 11am – 2pm Wednesday 16, 23, 30 July & 6 August
Compostism Demonstrations: Rodney Glick: Post Office Square: 12.30pm Thursday 31 July & Friday 1 August