Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam

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.

For more information on his work:
Images: Chihuly

Sunday, February 22, 2009


"Quotes are nothing but inspiration for the uninspired"
Richard Kemph

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

Air Between My Ears

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

Sun In My Mouth

"I will wade out
Till my thighs are steeped
In burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
And leap into the ripe air
Alive with closed eyes
To dash against darkness..."


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wilder, Wilder, Faster, Faster

Erick Lee Purkhiser was better known as Lux Interior of The Cramps. Yet another favourite musician of mine met his rock 'n' roll maker on February 4th. RIP


Original editing: Piratio
Music: Colleen

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."
Anaïs Nin

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:

for more info on Messiaen:

Image via Allposters
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