Posts tagged ‘art’

1 September, 2013

The Type by Sarah Kay

Wise, beautiful words from poet Sarah Kay.

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8 December, 2012

Bukowski and Waits

(Charles Bukowski read by Tom Waits)

As an Australian who has lived in London but not in North America, I am only now getting to know the work of Charles Bukowski, David Foster Wallace and a host of other great American writers, poets and essayists.

Tom Waits, on the other hand, needs no introduction.

This is a lovely little film of some of Charles Bukowski’s wisdom, read by the inimitable Mr Waits.

21 July, 2012


Perhaps I would have been more likely to eat my veggies if they looked like this when I was young.

Or not.

If the vegetables had looked this beautiful, they would probably have ended up undigested and hanging on my wall.

(images from Taschen’s new release Album Vilmorin. The Vegetable Garden)

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15 July, 2012

Happy Birthday, Gustav!

Picture 2

Gustav Klimt, The Bride, 1917-1918.

(image from here)

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2 January, 2012

It’s the New Year

Admittedly been leaving the camera at home and just enjoying the holiday moments which seem to be whizzing past. I don’t have an appropriate photo for the occasion, but here’s a lovely one, courtesy of Animalarium.

20 November, 2011


A new film from Studio Ghibli – preferably one in which director Hayao Miyazaki has a hand in (he did not direct Arietty but wrote the screenplay) – is always an event of significance for me.

Thanks to the Embassy of Japan and the Arc Cinema, the inhabitants of the Bush Capital were able to catch Arietty  at the 2011 Japanese Film Festival, ahead of it 2012 commercial Australian release.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, I popped along to the sold out screening, gleeful at the prospect of losing myself in another of Miyazaki’s lovely, whimsical tales.

Based loosely on Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, Arietty is the story of a family of ‘little people’ who get by in this world by keeping out of the sight of ‘human beans’ and ‘borrowing’ things misplaced or lost by humans.

The eponymous heroine is a fourteen year old ‘borrower’ who lives with her parents in the foundations of a large, rambling Edwardian house.  Things come unstuck when Sho, a sickly boy who comes to stay in the house, sees her and, in a great movie tradition, an unlikely friendship begins.

I adore Miyazaki’s films for his plucky, pacifist heroines (and heroes).  I love his subtle portrayal of the grander emotions such as duty, honour, guilt, sadness, love and the more pedestrian ones such as boredom and frustration. Miyazaki favours characters which are grey, rather black or white, and is particularly adept in showing their spiritual and emotional development .  Though his characters may negotiate war, natural disasters and people out to do them (and their friends and families) harm, they are not merely people of action. Miyazaki seems to delight in showing moments where the characters take time out to simply enjoy a quiet moment, or to reflect on things.

Arietty ticks all these boxes. If I do have a complaint, it is that this movie touches on grander themes such as environmental destruction and extinction of species, but doesn’t explore these issues any further. The film also feels like the first of a series, rather than a complete, self-contained story. As such, Arietty doesn’t have the grand sweeping scale of Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind or Princess Mononoke but it’s always a pleasure to disappear for an afternoon into one of Miyazaki’s worlds.

Oh, and the hand-drawn backgrounds are always beautiful.

(French movie poster taken from here)

(Stills taken from the official UK trailer from here)

8 November, 2011

Love in a very cold climate

Stunning work from this year’s winner of the Observer/ Jonathan Cape/Comica graphic short story prize, Isabel Greenberg,

(With thanks to the Guardian)

4 October, 2011

A Map of the Open Country of a Woman’s Heart

Love of admiration. Love of dress. Love of display. Coquetry. Sentiment. Caprice. Fickleness. Enthusiasm. Good sense. Vanity. Selfishness.

Nary a smidgeon of intellect. Logic. Rational thought. Leadership. Honour. Honesty. Ability to run a household, manage children/significant other/parents/in-laws and hold down a job (not that the fine print is all that clear).

Obviously sexist by today’s standards.

But we’ll cut D.W. Kellog some slack given he (of course, it is a he!) drew this in the nineteenth century.

And because it’s so pretty.

(with thanks to BrainPickings)

25 August, 2011

More Julie Morstad

Yet more lovely, whimsical, slightly disturbing images from the talented Julie Morstad

14 December, 2010


Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952 hangs in the National Gallery of Australia, courtesy of one of Australia’s most controversial Prime Ministers, Gough Whitlam.

It is breathtaking in real life.

And being able to wander down at any time into the NGA, and contemplate it, with none of the usual hustle and bustle that accompanies renowned paintings in the galleries of Europe or North America is a real privilege.

In a small town given over to the business of nation running (and the political sideshow which goes along with that) and which, architecturally, wants to preserve its status as a city/monument, life can be a little austere and cynical. It has been a slow, not altogether successful, process finding touchstones of culture, warmth and authenticity in this city. But the NGA, and Pollock’s gorgeous Blue Pols, is one.

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