19 May 2015

'this is me and this is my love'

“When the stories about you are not in your own words, and when those stories that you wish to tell about yourself are silenced, you cannot begin to put your own language to love. In order to see love in ourselves and in our lives we need to be able to speak it into reality. We need to be able to tell the truth about ourselves, to say ‘this is me and this is my love’ without censorship”

-- Tatenda Muranda. (Interrupt editor & HOLAAfrica member

Noa Eshkol

18 May 2015

Eduardo Chilliada

“Boundaries are actually the main factor in space, just as the present, another boundary, is the main factor in time.”

--  Eduardo Chilliada

16 May 2015

Saturday Poem

Grandfather’s Hands

Your grandfather’s hands were brown.
Your grandmother kissed each knuckle,
Circled an island into his palm
and told him which parts they would share
and which parts they would leave alone.
She wet a finger to draw where the ocean would be
on his wrist, kissed him there,
named oceans after herself.

… Your grandparents often found themselves
in dark rooms, mapping out
each other’s bodies,
claiming whole countries
with their mouths.

-- Warsan Shire

14 May 2015

Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
--  Muhammad Ali

Street View

Portraits taken from Google Maps Street View by Michael Wolf

13 May 2015

Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come? 

- C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

The Bright Side

NASA Earth Observatory just published a map that uses data collected between July 2002 and April 2015 to give an unparalleled view of the world’s cloudy (and sunny) spots.

Cloud cover by month for 2014. Credit: NASA Earth Observations
Source: Climate Central

12 May 2015

Stephen Walter

Stephen Walter's highly detailed, hand-drawn plans of London record long forgotten histories and recent redevelopments with a native Londoner's critical eye. I first came across them a couple of years ago at The British library and got completely lost in them. Truely brilliant.

"My subject matter is all about human residues and traces that have taken a long time to settle in the geography." -- Stephen Walter.

Read more about the maps here and see more on Stephen's website here.

11 May 2015

Annette Messager

(images found here)

Maps (and soles)

I draw in the lines of your foot. I paint in the lines of your mouth. I make watercolors in your hand. I sew images in your ear. I draw a map in your navel…

I was very impressed by the Carte du Tendre [Map of Tenderness] invented by a woman writer of 17th century France, Mlle de Scudery. For some time, I conceived of gardens of “tendre” which mix writing and photography with real spaces: the path of reconciliation, the tree of shame, the herbs of confidences, the turtle of longevity, the spider of scandal, the route of chance, the maple of dispute, the copse of indiscretion, the timber trees of hope, the oak of kisses, the poppies of confession, the rabbit of fortune, the branches of forgetfulness, the junction of uncertainties, the forest of hesitations, the lake of temptation, the plains of fatigue, the lime tree of rest, the mountain of assiduousness, the passageway of pain, the intersection of ambition, the ramble of emotion, the slope of forgetfulness, the mound of despair…

Annette Messager, quoted in an interview with Bernard Marcade in BOMB, Issue 26, Winter 1989.

In the interview, she calls herself 'a trainer of paper spiders'. I like that.

8 May 2015

Move Me

Dear Good Looker,

Gosh. So much to tell, so little time. Let's cut to the chase....

I need your help, dearest reader, with a project I have been busy putting together. I cordially invite you, and your loved ones, to celebrate the space of otherness, difference and delight that your body occupies through THIS SURVEY all about movement.



Move Me is an ever evolving survey designed to prompt people to think more deeply about their bodies in terms of movement choices, habits and patterns. The project is about commonality: The one thing we all have in common is that we have to move to live.

Researching the whys and ways of movement is a part of my job as a yoga teacher. I know there is a vast amount of information and advice about the way we 'should' move out there,  but often lacking from this are the personal stories, from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences,  that shape each of us in discrete and individual ways. Through eight years of teaching it is these stories that have come to help finesse what I do beyond the more 'evidence based' scientific discourse. This thread is a vital part of the map to understanding what it is we need to feel well.

Human beings are not built to float you see. They need an earthly anchor of meaning and care so they don't get left in confusion. This survey, with your help, is my contribution that anchor of meaning. The information gathered is being used on an ongoing blog and as research for an art project, both aim to express a riot of opinion and give a snapshot of the complexity of modern movement decisions with cultural influences; a portrait of the human body today revealing impulses that influence our daily ritual of being.

Anyone who has a body is invited to take part and I am also open to submissions about movement, like this wonderful story, from everyone and anyone.

Join me for this major shift in cultural thinking and be the laxative which lubricates the constipation of the way we contemplate movement (I'm so sorry about that sentence).
(please note, you can answer anonymously and you DO NOT have to answer everything, just whatever takes your fancy.)

The revolution is now. Yay! However, I know finding people willing to give up precious time to fill out a long winded survey is hard (I have no idea why). So, I urge you to forward this blog post to ALL PEOPLE WITH BODIES that might be interested in taking part. Come to me with evidence of your benevolence, and I will send you something magic in the post.
You can be social and share in numerous ways, for example via twitter HERE, through facehooked HERE and via telepathy HERE.
And now I shall set you free.

Be there or, as they say, be somewhere else.

Yours in everything fidgety,

Rachel x


23 April 2015


Roots and leaves themselves alone are these;
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods, and from the pond-side,
Breast-sorrel and pinks of love—fingers that wind around tighter than vines,
Gushes from the throats of birds, hid in the foliage of trees, as the sun is risen;
Breezes of land and love—breezes set from living shores out to you on the living sea—to you, O sailors!
Frost-mellow’d berries, and Third-month twigs, offer’d fresh to young persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up,
Love-buds, put before you and within you, whoever you are,
Buds to be unfolded on the old terms;
If you bring the warmth of the sun to them, they will open, and bring form, color, perfume, to you;
If you become the aliment and the wet, they will become flowers, fruits, tall blanches and trees.

--Walt Whitman


Touch is a series of hyperreal paintings by Korean artist Kwangho Lee.

22 April 2015

natural colours

"Flowers, and thoughts of flowers, were Miss Foxe's main occupation. She didn't especially care for motion pictures; she found them too noisy. She would have liked to have had friends to lend books to and borrow pie dishes from. But it was difficult for Miss Foxe to reach that stage with anyone. She spoke so quietly that people couldn't understand what she was saying and quickly lost patience. When she paid for things in shops, the change was invariably placed on the counter instead of in her hand. Miss. Foxe occasionally wondered if she had spent her life approaching invisibility and had finally arrived at it. She encouraged herself to see her very small presence in the world as a good thing, a power, something that a hero might possess."

--Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox.

Gerhard Richter
"Hang your roses upside down and keep the last love in
The great thing about winter flowers is they look alive when they're long gone
So hang your roses upside down and keep the last love in them"

-- Martha Tilston, Winter Flowers

18 April 2015

Saturday Poem

a piece of quartz

"My brother once showed me a piece of quartz that contained, he said, some trapped water older than all the seas in our world. He held it up to my ear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘life and no escape.’
Anne Carson, Plainwater.

15 April 2015

Beatrice Wood

A Mother of Earth!

It’s non-threatening stuff

BB My ex-boyfriend used to tease me, he’d come in when I was working and say, “Working on your dowry?” At certain times I’ll put myself on an art diet, I’ll say: no more dishes, no more 19th century, no more household objects. The use of them becomes a habit and then a style, which is not ever what I intended, it’s embarrassing. But then I think, why am I so drawn to these things? It’s not that they’re from the feminine domain, although I’m certainly aware of it, but it has more to do with scale. I’m attracted to the enormous, important matters of life that take place on a small, everyday scale. Nabokov, a favorite writer of mine, pays incredible attention to details, like a glass breaking. In our culture everything which is large and grandiose is assumed important, and everything which is small is considered of less importance. I don’t think that way. I’m interested in a gesture or an expression on someone’s face. And that gets paralleled in the object-making world as well.

KS It’s non-threatening stuff.

BB I guess. It’s quite presumptuous but I want the experience of looking at my art work to change someone’s life. And I feel that if you give someone a big experience then they have to translate it back into the normal world. But if you give them a small experience which is somehow confusing or profound, but in the realm of their own world, then it doesn’t have to be translated, it’s already there. Because it’s not that far away from theirs. Does that make sense?

KS Yeah, it has an accessibility to the here and now, except that it’s an altered accessibility.

BB What I present is not the real world, it is fantasy, but the fantasy world spins off the real world. It’s not about War and Death; it is about loss or absence. Recently, I’ve been thinking that I’m attracted to these objects because they are breakable. I’ve always been attracted to objects which because of their fragility have an implicit absence, like glass and porcelain. I’m slowly working on this piece that has to do with things that have been broken and repaired. They’re based on the traditional Asian art form of repairing broken objects with gold. It’s almost like dental work.

KS It’s making the repair evident and obvious, a part of the experience.

BB Rather than hiding something that’s broken, it aggrandizes it, saying that something that has a history, that is not perfect anymore, is more beautiful and more valuable than something which has no history. It’s the opposite of our culture. When I was in Japan and saw these for the first time, they were so beautiful that they made me cry. And then with this accident that I had recently where I—got so broken. This is the perfect metaphor: to think about objects that are repaired with gold. These objects are stand-ins.

KS We take heart in ourselves for being a conglomerate of things that don’t necessarily work out. We are temporal and fragile, but we get a strength from being mended and repaired. That in-between of existence . . . Glass and ceramics are the two materials that are the most telling. Pot shards are found all over at archeological sites, glass ceramics all over the Roman colonized world.

BB I love that a culture could be told by its pots . . .

KS Both of those materials in terms of art are marginalized, and regarded in low esteem as craftsy-waftsy.

BB Not anymore.

KS I think ceramics is pretty marginalized in the art world.

BB I don’t think that I’m making ceramics.

KS Yeah, I know. Porcelain. (laughter)

Brilliant conversation between Kiki Smith and Barbara Bloom over at Bomb Magazine
Read it in full here.

Lucie Rie (again)

Lucie Rie

14 April 2015

Barbara Bloom

"Recently, I’ve been thinking that I’m attracted to these objects because they are breakable. I’ve always been attracted to objects which because of their fragility have an implicit absence, like glass and porcelain. I’m slowly working on this piece that has to do with things that have been broken and repaired. They’re based on the traditional Asian art form of repairing broken objects with gold. It’s almost like dental work."
-- Barabara Bloom in conversation with Kiki Smith.

Mexican hope chest