Friday, December 31, 2010


2010 has been an odd year. Similar to walking into a warm house and being surrounded by an acrid smell. It wraps itself around you, gets up your nostrils and clings to your clothing. Eventually you become so used to it, it seems normal. It's only when you emerge into fresh air and breathe deeply, you realise how stagnant it was.

2011 is that blast of fresh air, wiping away the haze of 2010; allowing for new ideas, growth and progress. I want to wish each and every one of you all the best for the coming year. May it bring hope, good health, happiness, love, peace and good things.

Image: Alexander Boden

Thursday, December 30, 2010


In addition to being a fan of established surrealist directors such as Alejandro Jodorowsky or David Lynch, i'm always interested to watch what less well known directors are creating. Despite spending quite some time trying to find information about filmmaker Gonzalo Zona, i've been unsuccessful apart from establishing he was born in 1976.

Having watched 2 short films of his: 2001's El Espantapájaros' and 2009's- 'Vigilancia', my curiosity was piqued. His films are steeped in symbolism and features dark undertones. If anyone can point me in the direction of any interviews or additional information on his work, feel free to get in touch. In the meantime both of his shorts are embedded below.

'Vigilancia' (2009) - 'Monitoring'

'El Espantapájaros' (2001)- 'The Scarecrow'

Gonzalo Zona on IMDB

Friday, December 24, 2010


Spotted these via acerbic and witty blogger Big Mental Disease.
LIFE magazine has released some photos from a Nazi Christmas party in Munich in 1941. They were taken by Hugo Jaeger and the one thing that struck me was the sense of despondency, not one person appears to be smiling.

In the words of LIFE:

"The image is chilling, bordering on surreal: On December 18, 1941, as World War II rages and countless innocents endure the horrors of the Third Reich's "final solution" -- killing operations at the Chełmno death camp, for instance, began less than two weeks before -- Adolf Hitler presides over a Christmas party in Munich. Stark, jarring swastika armbands offset the glint of ornaments and tinsel dangling from a giant Tannenbaum; festive candles illuminate the scene. Confronted with the image, the question naturally arises: How could Nazi leaders reconcile an ideology of hatred and conquest with the peaceful, joyous spirit of the Christian holiday -- much less its celebration of the Jewish-born Christ? Here, presents astonishing photos from this unsettling affair, and the equally remarkable story behind them."

"As for the religious views of Hitler himself, the evidence is conflicting: In public statements he sometimes praised Christianity (once calling it "the foundation of our national morality"), but in private conversations -- including one recalled by the Third Reich's official architect, Albert Speer -- the Führer is said to have abhorred the faith for what he deemed its "meekness and flabbiness." Hitler did, however, fervently worship one thing above all else: the Aryan race. And by the time Hugo Jaeger took the photos seen here, Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, commanding general of the SS, had articulated and launched their plan for creating a "master" race -- via, in large part, the extermination of Europe's Jews."

For the full set go to LIFE


"We could have had it all (you're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside (you're gonna wish you) of your hand (never had met me)
and you played it..."

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Harmony, Original Twelve, 2007
Acrylic on canvas

Harmony, Original Twelve in Progress, 2007
Acrylic on canvas

Mantra No. 9, Keening, 2009
Acrylic on canvas

Based in Calgary, James Wyper creates works of art that are vibrant, visceral and luminous. His paintings have an organic feel that stems from his preferred method of mixing paint directly on the canvas. He then uses a spray bottle of water in order to encourage the paint to drip and flow. Instead of taking the traditional route of applying paint in a fixed fashion, he allows the paint to create its own composition to a degree.

Mantra No. 8, Oscillation, 2009
Acrylic on canvas

Phoenix, 2008
Acrylic on canvas

Blue, Blue Windows, 2008
Acrylic on canvas

All of this Beauty is in You, 2010
Acrylic on canvas

Monday, December 13, 2010


Paradise Circus is one of my favourite songs from 2010 and the remix by Canadian duo Zeds Dead turns it up a notch with a dubstep twist. Zeds Dead have begun their North American and Canadian tour and will be playing Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver on February 10th 2011.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


"Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone."
Gertrude Stein

It's been exactly two years since i took a leap of faith. Doing so entailed packing up my life in Ireland, saying goodbye to friends and family and taking my first transatlantic flight in order to move to Canada. It was not an easy decision nor was it one made lightly.

Those 24 months resulted in mourning the death of a close friend, the demise of a relationship, having my heart broken, some health issues, job hunting, numerous house moves, meeting new friends and purging the negative influences around me. Vancouver didn't seem quite so great to begin with: a new city, new continent, culture shock, homesickness and wondering why, despite the people here being polite and friendly, i was finding it so difficult to meet new people. The city won my heart and i gradually built a life for myself.

Friends joked that Canada seemed intent on kicking ass and testing me. Although there have been times where i've wanted to crawl into a corner and give up; with the love and support of my family and friends i weathered the experiences. Although i may look the same as i did on Dec 12th 2008, albeit with more grey hair, i have been forever changed by my time here.

It is with immeasurable love and gratitude that i raise a glass to my family and friends in Ireland who are holding out amid the economic shit storm that the Irish government and bankers have brought upon the country. Not a day goes by that i don't think about you lot!

Brad, Jen, Weldon, Shahriar and my friends in Canada who have been there over the past 2 years, you've become my second family and i love you dearly.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blog Love

Although i have a selection of some sites i frequent on the right hand side, there are loads more that i read regularly and thought i'd give a heads up on a few of them.

Fighting Monsters... captures daily observations of life with Schuyler and is an insightful read.

"When Robert Rummel-Hudson's (Author of Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter) daughter Schuyler was eighteen months old, a simple question by her pediatrician set in motion a slow transformation; from a sarcastic, befuddled dad to the very last thing any new father or mother ever expects or desires to become: a special needs parent. Armed with nothing more than his love for his tenacious little girl and his determination to defeat her rare and invisible disorder, he fought his own depression, his past family dysfunction and the nagging suspicion that he was not the right person for the job."

Ill Doctrine is a video blog hosted by Jay Smooth, founder of New York's longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI's Underground Railroad. Intelligent, funny and covering everything from politics (see above) to music and culture; his critical thinking with a dose of humour is well worth watching.

Friday, December 10, 2010

To Lee, With Love

When Lee Alexander McQueen took his own life in February 2010, those in the fashion world were not the only ones shocked by the news. McQueen was not only a designer and couturier but a true visionary. Known as L'enfant Terrible and wielding a no bullshit approach to fashion, his influence transcended fashion and seeped into art, culture and music. His shows were provocative and notorious for their unorthodox style; as he veered from the standard catwalk format by using robots to spray a model with paint, orchestrating a human chess match, making it snow on the catwalk and using holograms.

Many of his creations were more akin to works of art rather than a piece of fabric. Having worked in Savile Row he had developed an intrinsic understanding of how clothing hung and moved off the body. The clothing he created fused sensuality, drama and strength with a rawness that no other designer has managed to capture. An element that was integral to his work was the juxtaposition between elements such as fragility and strength or fluidity and severity

The photographer Nick Knight was a close friend and recently collaborated with Bjork and Edward Enninful on a short tribute film called 'To Lee, With Love.' It debuted at the British Fashion Awards on December 7th as McQueen was honored with a posthumous award for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design. Featuring clothing by McQueen and a new song specifically composed for the short by Bjork, it is a visual love letter from one artist to another.
Watch it above in full screen for best effect.

To see more of Nick Knights work:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Architectural Anomaly Part 4: Winchester Mystery House

Sarah Winchester in horse drawn carriage

My grandfather was a endless source of old tales, traditions and sayings. One particular favourite of his that has stuck with me: "If you are rich, you're eccentric and if you're poor, you're crazy." This was the first thing that popped into my head when i read about Sarah Winchester, the woman behind the Winchester Mystery House.

Sarah was married to William Wirt Winchester, treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company . The Winchester Company was a prominent firearms company in the late 19th century and manufactured rifles that were sturdier and less likely to jam. These became known as the "Gun That Won the West."

Sarah Winchester circa 1865

In 1866, Sarah gave birth to their only child Annie but the infant died six weeks later. William died of tuberculosis in 1881. Losing the two most important people in her life plunged Sarah into a deep depression and driven by grief, she consulted a medium. The "Boston Medium" told Sarah that she believed the Winchester family were cursed because the rifles they manufactured has claimed so many lives and that the spirits of thousands of American Indians, Civil War soldiers and others were seeking vengeance.
Related Posts with Thumbnails