Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pottery #15 - Caffeine Overdose - Oversized Coffee Cups and Teabowls


These drinking vessels should be large enough to satisfy everybody's hot drink needs:

Kyle Houser
Mr Wrestling Number 2 Garden Cup and Saucer
4 3/4 tall in the saucer and 5 3/4 across (12 x 15 cm)

Landry Deese
Tea Bowl
appx inches 3.75h x 4.75w (9.5x12 cm)


Donna Uhlig and Gretchen O’Donnell:
The plate measures at 13" (33cm) across while the cup measures at 9" (23cm) across by 5" (13cm) tall. 

Jerzy Panek
Niewidomi erotomani (Blind Sex Maniacs), 1993
Etching, 36 x 51 cm, edition AP
Jan Feijkiel Gallery, Krakow, Poland
Esa Jaske Collection

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nephew's Hidden Talent

Here's something different. My sister in Finland e-mailed me a scan of her teenage son's drawing, and unbeknownst to me (and to her too, until recently, it appears), her son, my nephew, Antti, seems to be a quite talented drawer. I asked her for more scans, and here're some of them. They're all drawings of rappers, based on photos on the net, I assume. Their subject matter is a bit odd, if you think about it; a very nice intelligent young teenager in Finland making portraits of American gangsta rappers. Well, we're all young once, and furthermore, I don't actually know the story of how the images came to life, so for the benefit of doubt, I take them as a series of portraits of interesting characters. And anyway, if their music was the instigator (as I suspect), it shows that he recognises the genuineness of sort in it, it's about the world as they see it, as opposed to the chart topping calculated pop/rock merchandise. Well, then again, it is exciting music as itself, I admit.

However, after researching these persons, I decided to include some negative Wiki quotes about them all, especially because of the performer Elephant Man, who has apparently been promoting violence towards gays.

Having said all that, I do think these drawings are very good, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

Jayceon Taylor
Stage Name: Game
Game, Snoop Dogg, and Tha Dogg Pound, were sued for assaulting a fan on stage at a May 2005 concert at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington. The accuser, Richard Monroe, Jr., claimed he was beaten by the artists' entourage while mounting the stage. He alleged that he reacted to an "open invite" to come on stage. Before he could, Snoop’s bodyguards grabbed him and he was beaten unconscious by crewmembers, including the rapper and producer Soopafly; Snoop and Game were included in the suit for not intervening. The lawsuit focuses on a pecuniary claim of $22 million in punitive and compensatory damages, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The concerned parties appeared in court in April 2009.
On October 28, 2005, Game was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Greensboro. At one point, police said his companions were pepper sprayed when they surrounded officers in a threatening manner. Mall security officers said the rapper was wearing a full-face Halloween mask, filming shoppers, cursing loudly, and refused to leave when asked. Game continued to act up and was arrested, a police statement said. Game claimed that officers overreacted and that he did nothing wrong when he was pepper sprayed by the mall security. The five officers involved in the incident ended up suing Game for defamation, which has yet to be taken to court.
On May 11, 2007, Game was arrested at his home reportedly in connection with an incident at a basketball game in South Los Angeles in February 2007. He is alleged to have threatened a person with a gun. The arrest took place after his home was searched for three hours. Game was released early the next day after posting $50,000 bail. On January 9, 2008, a Los Angeles judge scheduled February 4 as the beginning date for Game's trial on assault and weapons charges. After pleading no contest to a felony weapons charge on February 11, Game was sentenced to sixty days in jail, 150 hours of community service, and three years probation.

Christopher Wallace (1972-1997)
Stage Name: Notorious B.I.G.
According to his mother, Wallace was still a good student, but developed a "smart-ass" attitude at the new school. At seventeen, Wallace dropped out of high school and became further involved in crime. In 1989, he was arrested on weapons charges in Brooklyn and sentenced to five years' probation. In 1990, he was arrested on a violation of his probation. A year later, Wallace was arrested in North Carolina for dealing crack cocaine. He spent nine months behind bars until he made bail.

O'Neil Bryan
Stage Name: Elephant Man
Bryan has been criticised for his lyrics calling for violence against gay people. In 2003 British LBGT group OutRage! called for the arrest and prosecution of several dancehall stars including Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man for violation of hate crimes statutes. In 2004 he was dropped from the MOBO awards. Since then pressure from his record company and agreement with gay rights groups to avoid songs with lyrics deemed to incite homophobic violence have allowed him to perform in the UK. In 2009, his scheduled appearance at Toronto's Caribana festival was canceled for similar reasons.

Clifford Harris Jr.
Stage name: T.I.
On October 13, 2007, federal authorities arrested T.I. four hours before the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. He was charged with two felonies — possession of three unregistered machine guns and two silencers, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. The arrest was made in the parking lot of a downtown shopping center, which a witness identified as the Walgreens drug store at the corner of North and Piedmont Avenues. Harris was arrested after allegedly trying to purchase the guns from a "cooperating witness" with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. According to federal officials, the witness had been cooperating with authorities since Wednesday, when he was arrested on charges of trying to purchase guns from a federal agent. The witness had been working as Harris' bodyguard since July, authorities said. T.I. walked out of the Atlanta United States District Court after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman on October 26, 2007. Judge Alan J. Baverman required T.I. post a $3 million bond, $2 million in cash and $1 million in equity on property he owns. The rapper was required to remain at home except for medical appointments and court appearances. The only people allowed to live with him were his girlfriend and children. Visitors were required to be approved by the court.


Luke Crouch
Pascal and DJ Hype - Hackney, 2004
Oil on linen, 30 x 30 cm
Esa Jaske Collection


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pottery #14 - Oil-spot ceramics, Midori Burns


This is one of my favourite pots (why do I have a problem with a word, 'pot', I 
wonder - I guess I'd rather use a word 'vessel', but it doesn't necessarily mean 
clay, of course...). It's by an Australian based Japanese - well, potter? - Midori 
Burns. She doesn't have a website, and there're only a few images of her work 
on the net (see here for example), so I thought featuring her work in a single 
post would be good for spreading the word of this talented individual.

This is how she describes her work herself (courtesy of Planet Furniture):

I have been exploring the application of oil-spot glazes on functional and 
aesthetic vessels. My studies of a wide range of oil-spot pieces suggest that the 
technique may have its origins in the Sung Dynasty (960 to 1279AD). Pots from 
the area from which oil-spot pieces originated were referred to as "peasant pots". 
Although the finest pieces derived from the same kilns, the same clay, the same 
glaze mix and the same artisans that supplied the peasants were reserved for 
export and the very finest pieces were reserved for the Emperor. This might 
amount to only one pot in a million.

However, I have tried to reflect strong, contemporary influences and to give the 
pieces a refined spatial structure and a clear functional direction derived from 
modern aesthetic and design principles.

The intriguing prospect of working with such a variable and delicate glaze as oil-
spot and the exploration of the impact that differing, controlling temperatures 
might have upon the glaze were two of the more fascinating aspects of working 
in this ancient, yet surprisingly contemporary-looking medium.

David Hawkes, Untitled, 1997, Oil on board
Esa Jaske Collection

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NO ...hmm... DANCING!!



In the courtyard garden of Cargo. Rivington Street. London EC2.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Narrabeen Bridge Pelicans


I meant to do a post on our local birds, with photos of: - a found cute tiny bird's 
nest built with mostly synthetic material (it had fallen from a tree), - a magpie 
stealing fibres from the hanging basket in our garden to build his nest, - 
kookaburras doing their thing, - cockatoos entertaining themselves demolishing a 
wooden house at Copacapana on the New South Wales Central Coast (well, I 
didn't have my camera with me, so no photos; we were spending a weekend at a 
friends' house, and every morning a flock of cockatoos would land on the 
neighbour's house, who wasn't in, since it was a holiday house of a Japanese 
person staying there only occasionally. They'd be there all day, chipping in on the 
cedar, for no reason at all, but for their need for activity, however trivial).

I was thinking of adding to the post some photos of local (well, close enough) 
pelicans that greet the drivers crossing the Narrabeen bridge; we see them every 
time we drive south along the road following the ocean coast line, as opposed to 
taking the Wakehurst Parkway that is the fastest to get to the city. By the way, 
Wakehurst Parkway was a setting for some memorable images in the acclaimed 
Australian film Lantana.

I drove to Narrabeen this morning to take some photos of the pelicans at the 
bridge. I was quite confident I would see them, since they are there most of the 
time. There're four pylons, and usually they're all taken by the group of local 
pelicans for their preening/resting. They would have great views over to the 
ocean, which is not far, but we can't see it from the bridge for the small rise 
before the beach.

There was an unfortunate episode a few moths ago concerning spikes, that was 
widely reported in our local papers about the bridge, pelicans, poo, road safety, 
etc., but I won't go there, it was quite a sordid affair...


April Grunspan
Birding Mug: C is for Cormorant
Clay, stoneware, glaze, slip



I've just returned from my little drive to photograph pelicans (see the next post coming up), and noticed this sign at Narrabeen advising fishermen on legal catch sizes for various saltwater species (click images for close-ups):


Wang Yuping
Fish Series, 2000
Oil on canvas, 100 x 220 cm
Courtesy of Red Gate Gallery, Beijing

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fringe Lily

This is a stop-gap measure to post something before a bigger post tomorrow that will require me to drive to take certain photos.

The plant featured here is the 'Fringe Lily', that belongs to Thysanotus genus.  I took the photos during our southern hemisphere spring last year.


Jari Silomäki
From My Weather Diary: The hippies downstairs are weaving neon fabric. I fall asleep with my eyes wide open, Anu gave birth to a seven-year-old girl, 2004
Chromogenic colour print mounted on aluminium, edition 1/10, 28 x 28 cm
Esa Jaske Collection


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Does Anyone Still Use Mechanical Timepieces?


I happened to look for something in a drawer containing all sorts of odds and 
ends, and noticed these three watches that have been forgotten there over the 

This one is a 'Maurice Lecroix' watch that I quite liked at the time; simple and 
stylish, quite understated that I like (the face is broken now):

Here's the only Swatch Watch that I've ever owned. A bit clumsy, but it served 
its purpose. It reminds me of my Swiss Army Watch that I liked a lot (don't 
know where it is now...):

And here's my favourite, a watch designed by the Michael Graves.  Hmm. I 
think I could get this working again (although I don't like wearing watches in the 
Sydney heat):

Helga Groves
Diamond Painting, White, 1995
Mesh, enamel, wood, 25.5 x 25.5 cm
Esa Jaske Collection

Sea Anemones at Avalon Beach Tidal Pools


All of the local ocean beaches I've featured on this blog have rock/tidal pools at 
both ends, where the sand gives way to the rocky headland. I took the following 
photos at Avalon beach, which was Beach #3 (see here) in series "Ten Beaches, 
Ten Images".  They are of Australian Waratah Sea Anemone (Actinia tenebrosa), 
which gets its name from the waratah flower:


The following is from Victorian Government's Bayside City Council's website:

Rockpools, Platforms and Reefs

Rockpools, platforms and reefs provide habitat to an amazing diversity of plants and animals. Rock platforms are covered 
twice a day by high tide, thus creating two worlds for many plants and animals living on them.

When the tide is out, large predatory fish are excluded from the rock platform, allowing animals to move around freely and 
exposing plants to open air and sun. The two living worlds created by roockpools provide opportunities not available in the 
open ocean and the sandy shore.

The rocks give many species of barnacles a solid base on which to fix themselves, and the incoming tides wash nutrient-
rich waters over their appendages. Similarly tube worms emerge from their impenetrable limy fortresses as the waves cover 
them and retreat as the waves subside.

Living in rockpools requires specialised adaptations and the Waratah Sea Anemone is an example of a hardy rockpool 
creature.  Looking like a red jelly mass out of water it is able to withstand the heat of the sun for several hours per day, 
survive the beatings of the surf as the tide comes in and take its food and oxygen from water without being able about from 
place to place.

For a long time small marine animals were collected from rockpools for making soups and stews, for use as bait and even 
school field work. The result has been the decimation of populations in the most popular collecting areas. Conserving 
rockpool flora and fauna is now part of all school marine biology programs, reinforced by severe penalties in most states for 
unauthorised collection of animals.

David Hawkes
Untitled, 1997
Oil on board, 15 x 15 cm
Esa Jaske Collection

Books by Ridou Ridou