Sunday, 25 October 2015

mind over matter, or perhaps the other way 'round

yesterday a couple of friends and I attended the BRAINWASH festival in Amsterdam; an entire day (from 1 pm to 1 am) dedicated to philosophy,
OMG and whew and wow!
We heard Michael Sandel - from Harvard University no less, and partook in a Socratic discussion on what is just, on what is the right thing to do, some more than others as there were 1600 of us in the audience! Anthrophologist/journalist Joris Luyendijk, whose most recent book Dit kan niet waar zijn about the London bankers world is a bestseller, which I too happened to have read making me feel worthy at being present; Laura van Dolron, theatre maker/performer, philosopher Marli Huijer, who spoke to us about Hannah Arendt's 'inter esse' and how there is always an in-between-space which defines what we think, see, hear, feel, are......Brooklyn based Guardian journalist Oliver Burkeman, who pleaded passionately in favour of inefficiency, I wholeheartedly concur; Farid Tabarki, who was introduced as one of the most
 influential persons on our planet*, although to be honest I had never heard of him, which probably says more about me; he is a trend watcher who has been travelling the globe observing and predicting where we're heading! His main claim is that in our so-called modern, fluid society what we need to do is LISTEN to each other, amen to that. Joep Schrijvers, author of international ever seller Hoe word ik een rat? or How do I become a rat? joined a discussion on the future of capitalism and a couple more whose names I can't recall.   
fortunately the talks were situated in various locations, so we were not just sitting and absorbing, we got to walk and talk a bit as well; en route from one theatre to the next we stumbled upon this cute book stall, I have never seen these in Amsterdam before, they always remind me of romantic

and here in the Theatre 'De Brakke grond', yet another bookshop: with an incredible selection of second-hand books and exclusive limited editions; I simply couldn't resist and bought three slim volumes to rinse my grey matter after such an enervating day

I am attracted by book covers, so the choice was made with my eyes rather than my mind:
the first I feel speaks for itself, or rather Herself: 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write' the one and only Virginia Woolf 

the second is an interview with the German author Rainald Goetz an unknown to me, the bookseller told me Goetz, during a televised literary tournament in 1983 said 'Ich schneide ein Loch in meinem Kopf' and adding action to words, he slit his own forehead with a razor blade and as the blood ran down his face he continued reading until finished, I became intrigued; the title suggests a passionate nature as it translates into "Anger = Energy' 

Book number three by 
Jean Cocteau, visual and word-artist, took me back to a framed poster of this exact same image we had in our family home, so this was my madeleine for the day and as the title refers to children, albeit terrible ones, quite fitting I think. 

* I exaggerate a petit peu

meanwhile back at the studio, tiny stitches connect dike to water

Thursday, 22 October 2015

hand made

upon entering the studio this morning we were greeted with a 'hullo there, did you miss me darlin'?'
our guardian-toad was actually standing guard on the doorstep.

'ah well, I guess I have, that's to say, I was wondering if you were still in the studio and if so, where and now here you are; so good morning to you too.'

mixing media with the cut-off
held the cloth in front of self, and it became a chastity belt of sorts, or a very short skirt-thingy, possibly to be worn over a legging; although I will have to add bits of fabric both lengthwise and 'round the back-bottom covering area 

bird dish made by my dad

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


 whenever we walk here, I feel excited: what will happen today? this morning we were surrounded by bird song: it was as if all the birds were answering each others' calls, no other sounds, bliss.

 today was a hat day, I'm wearing my reading glasses or else I can't see what the H... I'm doing whilst making a selfie; some days I need my aides more than others.......
 reworking this small cloth, called 'A Walk with the Dog' the Dog is still unsewn. Funny I always considered that it should be with the green bit on top, however whilst photographing I realised the green should be grounded

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Cuarteto Quiroga & Nostos String quartet

 fuzzy impressions of the Cuarteto Quiroga above and the Nostos String quartet below in the Blue Note auditorium at the Amsterdam Conservatory this afternoon; 
which is where we (i.e. Husband, brother-in-law, sister, friends J & N and self) were for the Quiroga quartet's latest COBRA-CD release, titled 'Frei aber einsam'.
This was followed by a masterclass the Quiroga four gave to the Nostos quartet. I have never witnessed such a masterclass live before, and it is pretty brutal, in a good way! They don't waste time apologizing for their criticism and the four young men took it all in their stride, eager as they were to learn from the four masters. 
After each remark they were politely asked to play again and you could hear and sense the improvement, wonderful.
The reason we were present was because my sister invited us, she co-owns a classic record label COBRA. I have to admit being quite proud of her.

I believe I have mentioned this before, however I want to share once more: experiencing live music is good for the soul

Saturday, 17 October 2015

number 9

found the number 9 by the roadside the other day, the day before that I had collected the small glass shards; I imagine making a tiny door for the Project with these bits, although I don't yet see how; the house number will have to be 9 now, ha!

I find these two Rembrandts such moving images, there are stories and lives captured here, the light and textures are amazing

How calm the water's surface is on a misty morning such as today. How it reminds me of some of the almost 400 year old landscape paintings we saw yesterday.
 Amazing really how easy it is these days to travel back and forth between city, i.c Amsterdam, and countryside. 
Visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with my dad yesterday (he was staying with my sister who lives there). Such a treat to be able to do this together. All the more worthwhile, as he is not well, I will not expand here.
From the hustle and bustle and permanent excitement of our capital (I do believe I would only be able to stare at and listen to other people's stories in a larger town/city - or perhaps I might grow immune and develop a cocoon) back to our garden, where today a young man called Joep came to our tree-rescue! There are several trees that have quite outgrown their space and our tree-climbing Joep cut off the surplus branches and suffocating ivy from a huge maple, and tweaked the two sweet chestnuts back into shape. In two weeks' time he'll be back to tackle the enormous ash and lime trees. Light and air return once more to our green haven, where I might then manage to grow a couple of plants from this guide book: 
an oldie from 1999! Arrived in the post yesterday

this tree-cloth meanwhile has been growing roots and small nodes

Sunday, 11 October 2015

quiet sunday

rainbow morning

a seriously meaningful cloth, of leaning onto each other, of seasonal change, of how one branch starts off as one thing and then becomes something else 

I have removed all the blocks of stitches and am replacing those with fluid more organic lines

what's keeping you?
walk's not over yet!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

lovely autumn

I love Autumn, I really do; the colours, the light, the soft glide from Summer to Winter. How you're surprised by the sun's unexpected warmth, the morning mist, the promise of nuts and apples and pears. How I cannot be indoors.
Funny how Django is continually on the look out, I had never truly noticed this; whilst I was watching him he kept on checking out our surroundings, a bird call, a twig snapping, footsteps, a scent perhaps...he was always aware of what was going on