Saturday, February 28, 2009
When i look at certain work of American sculptor Dale Chihuly it reminds me of the sea, of sea anemones and jellyfish; beautiful explosions of colour amongst the inky depths. Chihuly works mainly with glass to produce luminous pieces of art.
A student of interior design, fine art, sculpture and architecture in the early 1960s; by 1965 he had become captivated by the process of glassblowing. In 1968 he studied glass in Venice, a historical hotbed for the development of glass art.
In 1976 whilst in England he was involved in a near fatal automobile accident. He flew through the windshield, sustained serious facial injuries and lost vision in his left eye. He recovered, wore an eye patch and continued to blow glass.
Three years later misfortune struck again. 1979 was the year that he dislocated his shoulder in a body surfing accident. This halted his ability to hold the glass blowing pipe and instead of turning his back on it, he decided to hire others to do the physical work for him. (This is something that divides opinion but is not unheard of in the art world- a vast majority of Damien Hirst's physical art work is done by his studio staff). He described it as being able to view the work from more angles and able to anticipate problems faster. "Once I stepped back, I liked the view"
He has exhibited all over the world and was a co founder of The Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. His life has been filled with events that would have destroyed another person (loss of sight, an accident that rendered him unable to blow glass, 2 lawsuits and a bi-polar diagnosis) but he has risen about it. His work doesn't reflect the darkness that has tinged his life, instead it vibrates with color and life.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Another day trickles by. I stare at a blinking cursor waiting for words, images... something, anything to flow. The past few weeks have been a period of introspection where the usual stimulants (art, music. film) are almost too much for my brain to process, posts sit unwritten, a line here and there, thoughts scattered.
Plucking myself from my comfort zone in Dublin, where surrounded by friends, life ticked along but never felt truly challenging. Moving to Vancouver has stirred all sorts of emotions and forced me to examine 'who' i am and what my place in this world is.
I'm usually of the opinion quality over quantity, i usually write when i have something to say rather than posting for the sake of posting. In this instance it's more like trying to kick start an engine that's ground to a halt...
Image: Yale Classes
Friday, February 13, 2009
Apologies in advance for the childish humour, regular posts will resume as soon as i remove this 'writers' block from my brain. In the meantime, just for shits and giggles: 'I'm On A boat'. Just released from The Lonely Island
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
A friend of mine sent me a link to a website recently that sent me on a bit of an Internet ramble. The page was written in french and as I'm not fluent it took a minute to figure out what exactly i was looking at. She had just introduced me to the work of Olivier Messiaen.
Olivier Messiaen was a French composer and ornithologist. He is regarded as the one of the most important French composers of the twentieth century. His music redefined the avant-garde but is also accessible and beautiful.
Two things interested me about his work: his fascination with birdsong and also that Messiaen had mild synaesthesia. Synaesthesia is a neurological condition which results in the joining together of sensations that are normally experienced separately. Some synaesthetes experience colours when they hear or read words, whilst others may experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination. In Messiaen's case he saw colours when he listened to music.
Messiaen viewed birds to be wonderful musicians and he notated birdsong worldwide. He would walk, listen to the noise and then notate it. He then incorporated this into a majority of his music.
The site below has samples of various birds such as the robin, blackbird, nightingale, lark and black headed warbler. Shown below is an example of the warblers birdsong in sound waves, which is then translated and notated into sheet music.
Details/sound clips can be found on: http://pagesperso-orange.fr
for more info on Messiaen:
Image via Allposters