Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"When are you going to have kids/get married?"

Christmas and Boxing Days: Food was good; Questions about 'When are you gonna have kids/get married?' not good. Especially since they came from people I barely know. One I don't even know her name and it was the first time I met her. My simple, polite answer is that I don't want kids. For the first person this sufficed. For the others I got a talking to that one day I might feel differently. I doubt it. Why this assumption that I want kids? I've known what I want for as long as I've been old enough to make that decision. I don't feel an innate desire to have them, neither does my partner and why is the activity or otherwise of my womb anyone else's f***ing business anyway?

It's like asking a person who owns a dog why they don't want to own a parrot instead. 'Your biology will change and you will want a parrot. When you're older you won't be so lonely with a parrot.' What if I just don't want a parrot? Why are you so hell bent on me joining your parrot owning club? I'm very happy with my dog thanks. Grrr.

I wasn't ready to be barraged as I was this afternoon. Usually simply saying I don't want kids is enough. Now that I've been turning the subject over in my head for a few hours now and ranting with my partner at least now I'm prepared for the next time it comes up. It will. I don't understand why some of my aquaintances have felt the need to bring it up more than once.

Next time I'm asked that I'll politely answer back
'Why do you assume that I want kids? I don't. It's my choice as an adult to make. I'd thank you to respect that and drop this subject'.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fruit Platter

My first fruit platter ever. I made it for my Lovely One as he slept in this weekend because he's worth it. Best, tastiest pineapple I've ever had. I called it The Temple of the Sun. The watermelon shards and wedges are the walls with the golden pineapple in the centre representing the radiant sun. The berries are the worshippers. I'm not trying to create profoundity into my fruit platter, but it's the thought process behind its construction. My Lovely One did note that the watermelon looked a bit 'like Stone Henge or something' where upon I divulged the secret title, so the thought was not lost on my subject :)

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We couldn't finish it though, and had to save some for later. It's not fancy fruit carving but I would have researched it a bit before attempting that. I did my produce justice, it was fun to do and a pleasure for us to eat. I got a couple of interesting detail shots as well.

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I call this one the March of the Cherries.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Hopper on a grape vine.

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This wingless little chap was about 15mm long and so cute! The thing I like about critters like this one is not only are they exquisitely fine but because of his eye structure you can clearly see that he was looking at me.

This particular insect appears to have basic compound eyes made up of many ommatidium which allow a wide and accuate field of vision. Being flightless but a hopper he wouldn't have more than 1000 ommatidium. A housefly has about 4000. Flying insects which rely on strong eyesight include the butterfly, praying mantis and dragonfly. In the case of the butterfly - up to 17000 ommatidium - they need to probe precisely into flowers while keeping an eye out for predators. For the praying mantis and dragonfly - both 30000 - they have ultra compound eyes to enable their formidable hunting skills.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deviant 'Lego' street art

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Each 'Lego' figure holds a different weapon of deviance. The biggest one appears to have been holding a molatov cocktail. There's also a meat cleaver, axe, knife, chair, chain, ice pick, cane ala Clockwork Orange film version, broken bottle, two sticks of lit dynamite.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fellowship of the True Blue, Southern Cross Son, Manly Man, Ring

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Imagine this being read out by an ocker, beer swilling, football following, 'true blue' Aussie bloke. Better still, if you can do the accent, read it out aloud. If it was an 'Authentic reproduction of the original 1854 flag' then it wouldn't be a tiny little man ring and it wouldn't be 'echoing' it either. It would be a flag. It's cheap and nasty rubbish - plated sterling silver not solid. How is wearing an ugly, cheap ring positively patriotic?

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What happened to old fashioned quality that's made to last?
Why is it only men can rely on this symbol?

The only thing the ring identifies the wearer as is an idiot. If he was really such a great bloke he wouldn't be wasting his hard earned money on a piece of crap like this. Awful. I was going to say this entry writes itself but I got a bit ranty there ...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kiwi fruit vine wallpaper and iGoogle theme

Following my previous post featuring photographs of the kiwi fruit vine in our backyard here is an early Christmas present for you, readers.

For those of you with an iGoogle account - it works with your blogger account, I use it for Google Reader - you can now have these photos as your iGoogle theme. Over the course of the day it will change photographs. Simply click 'change theme' then put 'kiwi fruit vine' into the search box, hit search, then click the theme to use it.

If you have a longer format screen as I do then here's a link for a wallpaper of my favourite image from the series (yes it's my current wallpaper). You need to do is download it to your computer then set it as your wallpaper.

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click image

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

[cue Bowiesque riffs] Ziggy had some mail...

... but he'd already moved from here,
and the spiders in the yard.
So we forwarded on his mail,
and this wasn't the only item.

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A previous tenant at my new house. What an awesome name!


I prefer the Bauhaus cover version. It's edgier.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kiwi Fruit Vine

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These photographs are of the female kiwi fruit vine in our backyard. Her male counterpart isn't ready to fertilise her flowers yet. Hopefully he will have some mature flowers on him soon thus enabling our mature lady to have kids/fruit. Otherwise she is flowering in vain, unless there's another male in the neighbourhood.

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It's a bit like the quintessential modern woman who is ready to have kids but her partner isn't mature enough yet for that to happen ... In the vine's defence he took a knocking during the drought and almost died, so he is growing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. She's all luscious and leafy and he's all thin and barely grown decent foliage. Perhaps she is encroaching on his area of the garden bed? [shrug]

We will help him along with food and water.

Then we will eat their kids!

[semi-evil chuckle]

[EDIT] I have made an iGoogle theme using these images and a desktop wall paper. Links to follow soon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pizza. Just eat it!

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It has never occurred to me to do anything else with it! How about you?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Kneadable eraser gone wild! Ooer...

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This is not typical of what happens when the three of us at our house have a drink together. One housemate has a kneadable eraser she uses when doing sudoku puzzles. At the time we were drinking she had a cold. I marked our glasses with blobs so we wouldn't get it. My other wanted something else and it all went downhill from there! My eraser owning housemate made the ample pair for my glass but I made the man and woman nether bits.
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Polly wants baked beans on toast!

'Best description of owning a parrot: "... it's like having a toddler running around with a canopener on its face..."'
a friend of a friend on Facebook.

Concept Radical

Finally won something for my art as an adult*: third prize in the Concept Radical art competition. In my characteristic and ironically artless way on receiving my prize
"Oh wow, I never win anything!"
Professor Carl Schiesser, Director of ARC while shaking my hand
"Well, you've won something now"
"Thank you! [big grin]"

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Flow
digital image of collected beach flotsam

Concept Radical Art Exhibition
Free, and open to the general public
Wednesday 2 November 2011 – Wednesday 9 November 2011.
The gallery is open 11am – 5pm Monday to Friday.
George Paton Gallery, Second Floor, Union Building, University of Melbourne, Victoria.

Official site here.
Summary and details here.

*Have won things as a child. It has been a while...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Stop by the bakery.

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Near a bakery and some (Victoria Market's deli section has a few baked good purveyers) Melbourne CBD. I was waiting to cross the street to catch my tram, and noticed what I first thought was simply a little cake sticker brightening up the sign, then on closer inspection:
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Someone has gone to the trouble of creating a whole sticker with wording to match and blend into the sign. Nifty! I love spotting quirky little things like this when I'm out and about. It's one of the things I love about Melbourne, which is well regarded internationally for street art. I am wondering how long it's been there without me noticing and also many more are out there.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Brain juice needed

At work in the city my colleague's first customer of the day:
"I'm after a juicer."
"What sort/type?"
[pause] "Zzzt! Zzzt!"
"Electrical?"
"Yes."

Smurfing power point

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Being short sighted and not having poked around in the cupboard near this I didn't notice a quirky little feature in our new house's bathroom - one of my housemates did. It's a tiny little faux powerpoint. Totally cracked me up when she showed me. The painters seems to have masked it off and painted around it just like a real one! I've included my Smurf keyring and keys to give you an idea of scale.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You don't wanna touch this

Mike Rowe on TV show Dirty Jobs is instructed to clean up the living area for the birds in a Las Vegas magician's show. On being told to get the kinks out of the long, pink water hose
"This is a very kinky hose ... The kind you don't take home to Mama."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Take a closer look

The first time I noticed this eucalyptus was a few months ago, while jogging by. I thought it was just a bit of branch some kid had shoved into a crack in the weathered mooring post. It seemed to stay fresh for a rather long time. Over a week later I took a closer look and realised it was a tiny tree. It's been there about 6 months now.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Taxman/highway man same diff: both like to bowl!

Generously proportioned, red wine glass/trophy with shiney silver rim and graphic was bought from Savers in Brunswick. Depicts Australian highway man/hero (WTF? I've never understood that, he was no Robin Hood) Ned Kelly.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random thought on God.

Not sure if one person wrote both of these or not since it would be odd to write it in two different media yet the script is similar. I happen to like hommus though I haven't always.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lost silhouette

An oulined shadow of a person next to a sign in Footscray. It has since been removed.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Buntissue

A used tissue of mine that when the light hit it from a certain angle looked like a bunny.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

'Flow' in Concept Radical


click image to view

I have an entry in the Concept Radical art competition. Art submitted to Concept Radical explores free radicals and their impact. You can help me win a prize just by viewing my art which if you click on it will take you to a larger than life view of it. If you create a log in identity you can also rate it and comment on it there on the site.




Cookie Monster and Tom Waits mashed up.

This is very clever. He/she must have watched a LOT of footage to get the perfect clips. I love the way they've used Cookie's characteristic finger in the air and face palm to convey the importance of his words, and feeling of helplessness in the context of the song. Cookie Monster never seemed more profound. I hadn't fully appreciated his ability to emote until now.

Kudos to Henson and Oz for creating a character that connects so well with people of all ages. He is my favourite SS character.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make a Beer Baited Slug Trap, Mark I

Slugs like beer to death and so do snails apparently but only slugs seem to come to my refurbished, Ye Happy Slug Inn (MI). It's very simple. You set up an 'inn' amongst whatever plants they are munching. Slugs go in, guzzle beer, get legless and drown - dying a happier death than they do by pellets I'm sure.

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1. Save and wash clean a small cuttable plastic container, in this case a 1L milk bottle which has a nice wide neck.
2. Using a box cutter/stanley knife, cut container into two halves to make a shorter container. Use scissors to tidy up the edges if you wish. Make sure the lower half is tall enough to contain about 1/2 cup liquid. If using a lidded tub, cut a hole about 4cm in diameter/square in the lid to let the slugs in. A lid of some sort helps to keep rain from diluting the mixture and other larger animals from getting at the beer. If using a bottle choose one with a wide neck to waft the beer scent and invite slugs in. A soft drink bottle is too narrow, but some water and energy drink bottles have suitable wide necks.
3. Put about 2 to 3cm of beer in base of container and put on lid. I previously tried Carlton Draught which works but not as well as a Corona and Pure Blonde blend do.
4. Place amongst whatever slugs are eating. If in a garden bed you may wish to partially bury the base to 2-3cm above ground level, for stability and to ensure only slugs climb up into it and no other invertebrates fall in.
5. Check every few days to fish out dead slugs, or more frequently if it has been raining. The beer is fine to keep reusing. You will find that with warmer weather a layer of yeast will form. Although icky, yeast is what attract the slugs so you should leave it. I use an old sieve to strain out the slug carcasses and bury them in shallow graves in garden beds and pots. You could also use an old spoon to fish them out of the beer.

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The sign is made of an offcut from the bottle, a toothpick and decorated with a mostly permanent pen (HDPE plastic is hard to write on).


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Hosiery at the beach?

I guess it will keep the sand from getting between your toes if you're weird and don't enjoy that.

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Lustre hosiery, image from the 1929 annual of The Draper of Australasia.
I found the disembodied pair of legs and solitary hand disconcerting and oddly accessorised. That appears to be a child's beach pail and spade next to her.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rebekah Bogard

Doing random google searches without anything in particular in mind usually leads me to something cool. This time it was 'ceramic artist'* which led to Rebekah Bogard's curvaceous, sensual and colourful works. I particularly liked the detail and texture of her Scientific Series which seems to have been inspired by nudibranchs. Those are awesome critters to start with. The execution is spot on.

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Intrigue
2001
9" x 7" x 6"
earthernware, underglaze, glaze
image credit: Rebekah Bogard

Later works are cute and colourful animals with a toy aesthetic about them. This is teamed with a subtle sensuality, pain or other human experience which can be a fraction unsettling at first, yet pleasing because the cuteness is a hook that reels you in.

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Happiness
2006
27" x 21" x 16"
earthenware, underglaze
image credit: Rebekah Bogard

*Technically a ceramic is a cast item, while pottery is clay that is hand formed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lusty fabric

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Lustre crepe fabric, image from the 1929 annual of The Draper of Australasia.
That's a sexy piece of drapery lying there and those ladies know it. Uh huh.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Men's Socks Illustrated

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Lustre half hose for men, image from the 1929 annual of The Draper of Australasia.

I've never never seen such a pair detailed, skillfully rendered and styled half hose aka socks before and I probably won't ever again. Neither will you I'm quite sure so here's a detail for your delectation.

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Top Dog something something...

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Top Dog bathers for men and women, image from the 1929 annual of The Draper of Australasia.
I'm not sure what is going on in this image but it's odd. The first thing that caught my eye was the inflatable crocodile. I didn't know they made them back then! Next, the woman's right leg is tucked away or resting at a weird angle or is possibly being eaten by the crocodile. The man's left arm and hand is invisible, then my brother noticed that his fingers are in weird positions for holding a ball. If you're on the look out for odd things with a vague sexual connotation well there's that in this picture as well...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Random thoughts on dogs*

A dog is like a person only better.

Puppeh is another word for dog.

I've always wondered why dogs with their superior sense of scent always smell each other's bottoms directly instead of just sniffing nearby or elsewhere, and also how can some dogs find faeces an attractive meal? I know that dogs have scent glands under their tails. After watching a documentary from the BBC about the sense of smell I came up with a hypothesis.

Things that are harmful to humans to ingest such as off food, faecal matter, vomit, rotting flesh give off organosulfur compounds or sulfides in their scent. Our sense of smell is particularly sensitive to sulfides. Dogs can happily eat any of this stuff without much harm and sometimes to benefit because thier guts are designed to deal with it.

My hypothesis is that dogs are virtually insensitive to sulfides. They don't need to detect them, only the other parts of what make up the scent. By ignoring one note of the scent they can appreciate the finer nuaunces of a scent that make it unique.

Have you marvelled at the texture and form of your dog's nose? You can immortalise that in a silver pendant to treasure always. Clicky here.

*May be added to in future

Friday, July 01, 2011

One Piece Bathers with Cut Outs - For Men!

Over the last couple of Summers, women's one piece bathers have featured saucy cut out sections for the slim, brave/fool hardy among us. You need to have the body of a model to pull that look off as you can see here.

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Image from the 1929 annual of The Draper of Australasia
Smokin' hot or what? The Melford suit was also available in black trimmed with two red lines around the bottom hem which looked even smarter. No really!

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You can feel the heat radiating from the glowing face of this Adonis.

In all seriousness though he is a buff chap/trio with fine pins!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Enjoying the silence?

[to the tune of Sound of Silence, by Simon and Garfunkel]
Hello insomnia my old 'friend'.
You've come to taunt me yet again?
I will fight you off with myyyy red wine,
And surf the web just oooone more time.
As my vision, it grows blurryyyy with fatigue,
Longing for sleep,
And the rooooad outside ... grows silent.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wonderful cook!

I sat on the tram to work earlier this week with 3 older ladies, who I think I've sat with before or possibly served in my shop. Anyhow they were chatting about how many cookbooks and cooking magazines they had and didn't use, how they'd been sorting through them. One lady said after talking about the assorted magazines she had accumulated around the house said
"I've got _so_ many! When I die they will think 'She must have been a _wonderful_ cook!', when all I've got is a wonderful collection [chuckles]".

Funky little lion logo

This is the first of a short series of images scanned from the 1929 annual of The Draper of Australasia. Sure I could have scanned a great many images of the fashion of the time, but let's face it I think we're all quite familiar with that sort of thing. This blog is more about the quirky rather than the quaint. I don't find 1920s fashion particularly exciting anyway.

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Trademark, John King and Sons and Glasgow, drapers specialising in curtains
He looks like he's holding up his thistle with a grin, a spring in his step, a slightly flamboyant curl to his mane, and tiny round sunglasses perched on his nose.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Preserved Moroccan style lemons.

This recipe is for a basic Moroccan style preserved lemon. The actual recipe is very easy but the technique for stuffing the lemons can be fiddly and potentially wasteful so I'd like to visually share my technique with you to help you get the best result and prettiest jars!

The finished product goes beautifully with meat and fish. Most Morrocan recipes call for only the rinsed and finely choped rind but if you like things extra lemony you can try using the pulp as well in your cooking.

You will need:
1 wide mouthed 1L jar, sterilised*
up to 12 or so, small, thin skinned lemons
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup rock salt

Some of the lemons will be preserved in the jar/s others will be juiced only. Start with your preserving lemons first which the instructions will refer to.

Gently wash lemons in warm water with a soft bristled brush. This is to remove the natural waxes on the skin.

Hold lemon, stalk end down and use a small knife cut into lengthwise quarters but ensure quarters are still joined at the base like the petals of a flower.

Over your chopping board, put a small amount of rock salt into the lemon quarters to seperate them from each other like this:
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Hold the lemon on its side and prise the quarters apart to fill. Use the side of the spoon to fill and push in the salt. Give it a squeeze to hold in place as you continue to repeat between the other sections.
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This isn't full yet! I have found it's best to gradually stuff them with salt rather than try to get it all in at once.
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A fully stuffed lemon.
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Put the filled lemons into the jar one by one. You should squish them in to truly fill the jar and release some of the juice. When the jar is half full add the peppercorns and bayleaf. Once it's full of lemons you can juice the remaining lemons. Add the remaining salt, including any salt spilling from the stuffing process, to the jar. Cover lemons with lemon juice. Close and gently shake. Store in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks, shaking the jar once a week. The liquid should eventually clear up and the lemon pith will turn yellow. Then, it's ready to cook with! Store in refridgerator for around 6 months.

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You can divide the ingredients between more than one jar so there's one for you and one for a gift. I've used a 500ml, La Parfait jar and an old olive jar. The tall jar should fit another lemon to really cram it full but I wanted it to be pretty :P
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*STERILISING JARS must be done to ensure the shelf life and food safety of your preserve.
There are a few ways to do it, but never use a towel to dry! Also note that this is only part of what you need to do when making jam or other hot mixtures, in which case the boiling water bath method is necessary.
Anyhoo:
1 You can wash them in hot soapy water then dry them upside down on a clean tray, in a cool oven (100-130C) for 15 minutes. OR
2 My manager who has made prize winning jellies and preserves recommends the microwave technique because it's quick and easy. Fill jars with hot water and microwave for a couple of minutes. Then dry in the oven as above or for this recipe, empty and allow to cool a little. OR
3 Putting jars through the dishwasher on a hot cycle will also sterilise them. Immerse the rubber seals and metal parts in boiling water for a few minutes until you're ready to use them. OR
4 Fully immerse in boiling water for 10 minutes then oven dry.

Metal lids and rubber seals can be immersed in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ricky Swallow: Field Recordings, by Justin Paton.


Ricky Swallow: Field Recordings
By Justin Paton
Published by Craftsman House

One of the reasons I haven't read many art books is because I feel that art is for looking at not writing about. As an artist I am loath to write too much about my own artwork because I’d like the artwork to speak for itself regardless of the inspiration and backstory of it. The other reason I have an aversion to reading and writing such statements - and some art criticism - is that it’s often gibberish infused wankery and I want no part of that. Galleries, critics and educational institutions seem to insist that words about art must contain a higher than average percentage of polysyllabic words within a set artistic vernacular. Artists are encouraged to talk up works without it being evident of having put quite as much thought into their execution, perhaps to make up for lack of technique or complexity in the final work.

The reality is that artists do need words to convey the depth of their ideas and allow their audience to get the most out of their art appreciation. Perhaps if artists were allowed to say exactly what they believe their artwork is about or what they were inspired by, instead of what is expected of them the whole process would be simplified. For an artist a skull is a really interesting shape ... which happens to be a universal symbol of our mortality and commonality as humans. By saying little about his work, and leaving it up to the viewer to interpret, Ricky Swallow allows his work to be appreciated in its own right.

I purchased this publication at the most recent, major retrospective of Swallow’s art , 'The Bricoleur' at the National Gallery of Victoria, at Federation Square aka NGV Fed Square. There were a number of tethered books in a little reading room that viewers could peruse at their leisure. I spent a few minutes with this one before deciding I’d like to own and read it in full.

I’ve been an admirer of Swallow’s sculptures since seeing a series of his turntables on a window sill back in 1999, following his career ever since. As an artist his skill, use of small scale, craftsmanship and discipline has been an inspiration to me. It was good to hear some of his artistic philosophy, which I strongly identify with. Swallow believes that if you want your audience to spend time looking at your art, then you need to spend a certain amount of time creating it.

The focus of this book is Swallow’s technically refined, unforgettable, world class sculptures, while skimming over his watercolours which are unremarkable by comparison. For some works I can’t help but feel that Swallow savoured the artistic challenge and time needed to carve in wood - particularly something complex in form - or the paradox of recreating something soft in a hard material. There has been a consistent, underlying irony, in his choice of materials.

Without quotes from the artist to confirm, I am unconvinced the bulk of meaningful descriptions of the artworks featured are what the artist intended - rather than a writer’s interpretation of what they could mean. Some of this is the expected dietary art wank fibre but nonetheless, fairly digestible from beginning to end offering further insight into Swallow’s art than may be gleaned by simply viewing it. The writer's interpretations provide food for thought, and that is where the value of reading about art comes into play, and why this is a worthy book.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazing Rare Things.

Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery
by Martin Clayton, Susan Owens, Rea Alexandratos, David Attenborough, soft cover edition

Prior to this I read Eaten by a Giant Clam by Joseph Cummings, which proved to be quite a good companion text.

In some ways you can judge this book by its cover; there are some equally gorgeous illustrations inside; David Attenborough's contributions are insightful; it's too small in format to be an art book. Visually it's an appetiser rather than the meal its title promises to be. The text makes up the bulk of the book providing background to some illustrations whilst directly referring to others. It's the referencing that is let down by the format size. Smaller pages means more pages of text between illustrations. Being the diligent reader I am, I endeavoured to view each referenced illustration to give it context which made my progress through the book slow and something of an effort. I strongly feel this book would be a better read if the pages were bigger so that not only could you get more text to a page but the highly detailed illustrations could be better appreciated.

An interesting read and beautifully illustrated but any subsequent editions should be in a larger format.

Chilli sauce as a weapon

At work today a man walked in holding a large squeeze bottle of what looked like chilli sauce which he must have just bought. He was otherwise unremarkable. As I stood near the register I thought "He could hold up the shop with that! Has anyone ever staged a hold/stick up armed with the threat of chilli sauce squirted in the eye?"
DISCLAIMER: Don't try anything like this, I am not endorsing that at all. That would be a really horrible thing to do.

However maybe the airline security people should be onto this?
[edit]
I asked a friend of mine who works in the field of Aviation Security about this. She said in her personal opinion that
'On international flights it would be a LAG* and therefore confiscated (over 100mls). On a domestic flight it's feasible but the fear factor wouldn't be there like a knife or gun which can be fatal, plus the reaction time to squeeze it out is longer compared to capsicum spray. If you attacked someone with it, you'd have plenty of other crew and passengers reacting and getting the bottle off the assailant. I'd deem it low risk on its own, but it could be used with other weapons.'

*Liquid, aerosol, gel.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Neverending Doggy

Seeing a spritely, white, little, dog running to its owner with its ears flapping in the breeze I thought "It's a little Falcor! Okay I want a dog called Falcor. Yep, I'll call my next dog Falcor if he's fair ... or Artax. Maybe Atreyu if he's dark. How awesome to have a such a dog or three and to call in the park 'Faaalcoooor! Artaaaax!!! Atreyu!' Yeah that would be cool."

Noooodles

Overheard in a Vietnamese grocery shop in Little Saigon, Footscray
[sing song female voice] "Noooodles, noooodles where could you be?"
Followed by a young woman in gumboots, to a small boy
"No udon for you. Go back."

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Perfect Pyjamas



Larry "What, are those?"
Balki "My spiderman pyjamas."
Larry "Let me rephrase that. Why are you wearing those?"
Balki "My He-Man pyjamas are in the wash."

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Magic Otter

Eaten by a Giant Clam

'The English naturalist Charles Waterton would often startle guests to his Yorkshire manor, Walton Hall, by hiding behind the front door and biting them as they entered. (His pretentions to being a dog were no idle fancy - he was perfectly capable, even when well past sixty, of scratching the back of an ear with his big toe). '
From Eaten by a Giant Clam by Joseph Cummings

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brush-tailed Possums

[edited 16/02/2011]
Here's some snaps I took of a gorgeous brush tail possum mother and another cute, smaller individual while on holiday at Broulee, NSW, Australia. While the brushie - as they are affectionately known - is commonplace Australiawide including in the city, it's only here that I've taken the opportunity to snap some shots of them. They are Australia's equivalent to an opossum or small monkey in terms of size, habitat, adaptability to developed environments, being nocturnal and diet.

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A little curious.

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Very curious. A particularly large and bold individual not unlike a tom cat in both respects.

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Ready for her close up, she is the picture of health.
That moist pink nosicle is too much! ;)

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Brushies are very cuddly looking. Note to overseas readers: Do not cuddle a brushie! They've got claws as sharp as a cat and they never retract.

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We only noticed she was a mum after seeing her bulging pouch. After getting aquainted with us we gave her a bit of space to do her thing.

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Mama Possum sat and her pouch slowly dilated.

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She allowed the joey to emerge, gave it a solid grooming before popping back it in and going on her way.
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Mama Possum and bub. Taken about a week later when she returned and the joey was on her back for a while.


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Young 'Snaggletooth' out and about. This one is much smaller than Mama Possum. He was first discovered by J, sleeping on a blanket in the downstairs bedroom cupboard on our arrival. His presence has since been confirmed by myself, as temporary resident of said cupboard. It was part of my daily ritual to quietly slide open the cupboard door to check on him. He must have an alternative sleeping spot because he wasn't there everytime I checked on him. It's just as well because we had to block his entry into the cupboard!

He's a very gentle, shy, sweet possum. I know this from having fed him some fruit scraps. He was very careful not to scratch me with his claws, daintily taking the food in his mouth and gently holding onto my finger for balance. Mama Possum did scratch me slightly and grabbed onto my fingers very firmly even though with both possums I didn't offer my fingers to be held! He is at the bottom of the pecking order as far as other local possums go. Mama Possum hissed him off, while the another chased him off. He's had a hard life, and that little bit of missing lip revealing his teeth was probably the result of a close encounter with another possum's sharp claws.