LONELY PLANET: THE JOY OF WATER BOOK NEW website RATE: 5/5
I am holding a book called THE JOY OF WATER, Float Away Into A World Of Sublime Aquatic Experiences by Lonely Planet Publishing. As many global observations book by Lonely Planet the book covers all six continents: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The coffee table cute book with marvelous photography from all around the world has an introduction written by Luke Waterson. He says: "Wherever my wanderings take me around the globe, big city or remote backcountry, I have a few things I need to do to feel I fully experienced a destination. One of these is to swim in whatever body of water that place presents me with..." Be it living North London, working Budapest, hiking in Scotland, beaching on Scandinavian bays, Luke considers such encounters with natural waters to be the primordial experiences of the soul. Plus anyone can do that and you do not require any specific training to dip into water. It is experiencing nature's biggest unknowns with every inch of your skin. It creates the greatest joy in the body. I can vouch for myself as from any destinations I would choose to go to I would pick up the ones next to the beach, ocean, sea or any water around it. Being the good swimmer myself I can not imagine myself without water and what you feel when you are inside, doing laps or soaking in the spa after your exercises. Even when you are in the pool forget about the larger water examples there is a smile on your face that you can not get rid of: the pleasures show off. Your skin and soul love it! The water natural peace and healing properties are beyond any explanation. Our world is after all mostly about precious water which we can not live without. The book focuses on the best water spots around the world. Using the book you can discover and travel to the new locations or revisit those you have already been to.
The chapters of the book take you to the locations like La Digue Island, Southern Malawi, assorted national parks natural pools, bay beaches in Cape Town, hot springs in La Fortuna, Eleuthera ocean baths full of sea turtles, Portland Parish blue lagoon, Maine Highlands Moosehead Lake in USA, Arizona spectacular falls, Dead Sea in Israel, West Papua snorkeling, London Hampstead Heath bathing pools, Jellyfish Lake in Palau, Bell Gorge in Western Australia, To Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa, Aitutaki Lagoon in Cook Islands, Ningaloo Beach in Australia and even Bondi Icebergs Club in Sydney. Each experience will tell you a short history of the place, if the destination is family friendly or not, what else you can explore in the region, food experiences, if the waters are safe of not, how to get there, what is the best time to travel there, available accommodation around the place, is there any good drinks place around, where to find the best diving, the cost, local wildlife, the best ways to experience the destination, about the water colors, any rules that apply to swimming, how cold is the water and so much more.
The photos are simply sunning. You will drool. You will want to go... If only! If only all these idyllic lakes, wild swimming holes, mystic caves and wild beaches be close so we do not have to use planes and change countries... But this is the beauty of travel: you start with packing your bags, learning as much as possible about the designation, buying tickets, taking as less as possible with you, arranging accommodation and finally sitting at the skybus taking you to the airport...sounds like dream. Let's make all these dreams come true. The Joy Of Water, 60 destinations to visit, please do not forget your butterfly capture net.
COOK AND CO: MOONSCAPE website review by Sylvester Kroyherr
REVIEW OF MOONSCAPE ‘BLUE MOON’ (You Tube – May 21 2020) A Cook & Co. Chamber Music Concept.
This short 9 minute video produced by Janis Cook (piano), Rada Tochalna (soprano) and Jeffrey McGann (French horn) explores musical scenes related to the moon, space and life. Although the production lacked polish in sound and cinematography, the concept was generally sound which could be built on and refined. The four parts consisted of 1. Moon Interlude (Eric Gross) – this was too soft and hard to understand. 2. Blue Moon – interesting start by the French horn and captivating singing by Rada. 3. Moon River – a visual and musical exploration of this timeless standard. 4. Beau Soir by Debussy – sung in French, but an unexpected surprise however, which should have had subtitles. Hints to what the song was about did emerge like – ‘Savour the gift of Life...while we are young...for our life slips by’. So true!! As a suggestion, the contents and credits should have appeared at the beginning to be more comprehensible. I viewed intently, taking a page of notes to reflect on what I was experiencing. Nevertheless, I can always spot quality musicians and soak in the emotional flavours and dynamic energies. Well done everyone!!
Sylvester Kroyherr (Singer/Musician) – Bohemian Rhapsody Club
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, many galleries and arts outlets have placed their performances and exhibits online so that audiences are able to feel less cut off from the arts. Far from being the “real” atmospheric experience of standing in the gallery space and physically viewing the exhibits, the virtual experience can give some connection between us and the artworks. As a consolation to the isolation that we have endured so far, gallery “visitors” can temporarily lead themselves to believe that they are solely viewing an exhibition far from the milling crowds. Once the navigation tools are mastered, visitors can tune into their own experience. Throughout the gallery spaces, visitors have access to several videos about the exhibits.
My recent NGV “visit” took me firstly to the Top Arts 2020 exhibition, part of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) Season of Excellence festival.
This exhibition showcases works by forty-three artists who studied VCE Art in Victorian secondary schools (both regional and metropolitan) in 2019.
The works were varied representing painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. In various parts of the gallery, viewers were able to click onto videos featuring individual students describing their work, ie what inspired their works; what they used to create their art; what they were doing now; and advice to present and future students of VCE Art. The impression that I gained from the students’ stories was that they were thoughtful and sensitive to their environments and used whatever media to convey their view of the world. Emphases varied through structures in public space, racism, rage and political activism, cultural heritage, family and images from daily life.
Bonni McLaren’s piece Where did you go?
Using water colour and gouache Bonni used cotton paper for her work, which showed a small boat on vivid blue “mosaics” of sea over a silhouette of a whale She is inspired by Van Gogh’s work.
Dusty Diddle’s Index of childhood memories, anger and intervention was very unique where she created fine line drawings on cardboard pieces. She then scanned them onto postcards and left them around various spots in the City. On returning to these spots, she revealed that she was happy that they had been picked up. Hence her art had reached an audience. Dusty painted “straight from the brain” onto the cardboard, and drew her work from her own experiences and perceptions on issues such as racism at school, raw rage and political activism.
Lucy Randall’s work, The shuffler, was a very small sculpture constructed with wire, foil, polymer clay, and clothes. Her observation of an 87-year-old man going on his daily walk was the inspiration for her work. After taking photographs of the subject (with his permission), she began her creation. The end result is a man on his walk. What struck me was the attention to detail, and how Lucy captured the man’s body language and facial expression.
Matt McLean’s 3 faces of a head focussed on his grandfather with Alzheimer’s. After taking photos, he used paper and pencils to create three faces on a head. Matt’s aim with this work was to create his grandfather’s moods or phases from being alert and present to losing the thread of the conversation. A very sensitive work, it serves to promote awareness of this debilitating condition.
I was very impressed with the students’ work, their quiet confidence and ability to keep the final objective in mind without being overcome by self-doubt. Their advice to present students was thought-provoking:-
“Be more confident in what you do. People need to give themselves more praise and not be so critical of their art”
“Fall in love with it.”
“No art has the potential to be amazing unless it has the potential to be a disaster.”
I then visited Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou (1960-2018)
Olympia is a series of posthumous works by internationally acclaimed photographer Polixeni Papapetrou who sadly passed away two years ago. The exhibition was introduced by Papapetrou’s daughter, Olympia, the model/subject in Papapetrou’s works from the age of 4-5 onwards. The early works captured childhood through the lens of imagination and storytelling with Alice in Wonderland being a prime example. Another theme represented the lost children in the 19th and 20th centuries with images based on Picnic at hanging rock. The photos depict Olympia developing from the small child, through adolescence and into adulthood. The later photos revealed a more sombre mood on subjects such as melancholy and the artist facing her own mortality.
Olympia serves a wonderful result of the work of a great artist in her depiction of life and also the collaboration between mother and daughter.
A big thank you to the NGV for providing art lovers with this “virtual” experience. There is still plenty of time to view these exhibitions as the NGV is set to reopen In Real Life (IRL) on 27 June.
Confined11 is a virtual gallery exhibition (due to Covid-19) featuring 300 art works by 286 Indigenous artists who are serving custody sentences or who have been released. The site features artists’ bios: what led them to incarceration; their journey whilst in custody: how they became connected to art; how art has changed their lives. Their art highlights their perspectives on indigenous life, art and identity. All the works are on sale and contributing artists are able to keep 100% of sale proceeds.
On entering the “gallery” visitors are treated to a dazzling array of colourful exhibits which are arranged into three themes set out below. Each theme has a guided tour with comments by the artist. The majority of art works are acrylic on canvas.
The “floor” design of diamond shapes in blues, purples and yellows very aptly offsets the exhibits. 1. Animals and Kinship A notable painting was Mind Map - Luke S (Bindal People) Acrylic on canvas. A series of dots going in many directions arranged in paths on a blue background reflects a personal journey. ”There are multiple paths to life. It is not clear which direction. Change - Hayden W (Wiradjuri People) A white dragonfly on a purple background represents changes in seasons. “The dragonfly is also seen as a sign of good luck.” 2. Belongings and Waterways
Family Together Forever - Lachlan (Noongar/Yamatji People)
Three fish on a black background depicts family connections. “This is our family being together, always together, forever together.”
3. Birds, Bushfires and Country
Waru Pulka Bush Fire - Gary Reid Pitjantjatjara/Yankuntjatjara People)
Beautiful colours of orange, yellow and brown bear witness to the destruction of animals and habitat in the recent bush fires.
“This year in Australia there were over one hundred out of control fires that killed and hundreds of thousands of animals were killed as well. The koala mob was nearly wiped out, our Dreaming nearly burnt.”
Spirit Birds – Patty (Yorta Yorta People)
Two beautifully decorated black cockatoos in a bottlebrush tree with a light blue background represent the artist’s spirit.
The Torch Project Confined has run for eleven years now. Since its inception, it has transformed the lives of many people, previously in jail for offences such as robbery, drugs, and graffiti. The common thread of their contributors’ is that their lives were in turmoil and they were trapped in a cycle of offending and feelings of worthlessness. Realising their talents both first time and experienced artists have developed firm aspirations of becoming full time artists. Their lives are now “on track”.
“I have been released from prison, it’s time to move on, time to sort my life out and be brave and strong. I’ve got to move forward instead of going back. I really want to get my life back on track.” Thomas Marks
Confined 11 runs from 14 May to June 2020
Keith, Gunaikurnai / Monero peoples
The old moray eel, 2019
When I go diving at Cape Conran for abalone and crayfish, we all have to watch out for the big Moray eels trying to steal our catch.
This past week I've been following the debut of this art collaboration, which will span the next 52 weeks and showcased the works of James Tylor as its first feature artist. He specialises in the juxtaposition of Indigenous and European influences, particularly in the field of the culinary arts. Through 52 Artists, Tylor has shared nine recipes of his own creation, sourced from the Kaurna nation in South Australia and fused with modern culinary practices and ingredients (to form a cuisine he has named ‘Mai’). This has been enlightening and intriguing. I don't think anyone can argue that Australian Indigenous lives are not showcased enough, either in art spaces or to the general public. Many of Tylor's recipes use Australian variants of ingredients we are all familiar with. Scrolling through the list of meals he has created, I immediately want to try to replicate one or two. The fact that Tylor has been inspired by his own upbringing living in remote communities of New South Wales and the Kimberley adds another layer of uniqueness and personability. As well as recipes, Tylor has shared many of the common foods used by Indigenous communities through the 52 Artists Instagram. In one particular post, he shares the many different types of seaweed found throughout Australian beaches; apparently all Australian seaweed is edible, though some benefit from a little softening from a campfire first. Vegetables, herbs and spices, and berries are also some of Tylor’s contributions, and I appreciated all of it. My only education into the Aboriginal communities has been through high school, where I was lucky to study Australian History in Year 12. It gave me a newfound insight into their societal structure and history that I had been blind to before, and also deepened my appreciation for current social issues surrounding these communities. Through simple recipes, I’ve been encouraged to learn more about the Kaurna nation. As the first artist in this Australian collaboration, Tylor’s work reminds us of the first Australians, grounding us in the past as well as anticipating the future through his entwining of old and new practices. I very much enjoyed his week in this art project and will be following his work from now on.
image credits: 1. Abdul Abdullah, Breach, 2019, manual embroidery, 300 x 200 cm, courtesy the artist. 2. Abdul Abdullah, custodians, 2020, oil on linen 72 x 436 inches, installation view, courtesy the artist. 3. Abdul Abdullah, discombobulated, 2020, oil and aerosol on canvas, 30.5 x 25 cm, courtesy the artist. 4. Abdul Abdullah, Understudy, 2020, courtesy the artist