Thing of Beauty

something to make your heart sing

Linocuts into body art temporary Tattoos

Tian Gan, a graphic designer is experimenting with making her linocut and rubber stamp works into temporary tattoos.  Form an orderly queue please, no shoving at the back.

The 2 different style sheets you can choose from are:

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Appropriately, these items are found on her website filed under “other awesomeness“:

http://gantian.se/shop-other

The tattoo sheets are coming out in mid-September 2017, but you can pre-order now.  Sale price is in Swedish Kroner: 60 Kroner (approx $10, £7.50) – but I don’t know details and costs of shipping.  I suggest you head over to her website or facebook page for details.

Reader, I was about to tuck into some toast when I found her designs and the result was cold toast and jaw dropped.  I think she has got a winner on her hands – or arms – here. (In this picture she is wearing a mix of both style sheets, so if you want the exact same look, you have to buy both.)  Tian is a woman of good styling, as the first few comments I read were (like myself) keen to know just where she got the shirt, which she has rolled up in the first picture!  If you are keenly enjoying her stylings as well as art, she does have a Pinterest account – for yet further awesomeness.

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All pictures and info from Tian’s own website

Thing of Beauty – Silver Jewellery

Don’t ever say I don’t point out luxurious beautiful things which you don’t need but will fall in love with, and find you need:

http://www.emmaginnever.co.uk/

Emma Ginnever produces just such beautiful jewellery – some of it bespoke for weddings, much of it just gorgeous gifts…. for others, or for yourself, depending on the amount of love and bank balance you have.

Dear Santa:

if any of the above should happen to fall under my Christmas tree, with my name on them well, they wouldn’t be turned away…

 

Pouffe! Household furniture thing of beauty

You can have the world at your feet….. or take the weight of the world off your feet… with this pouffe.

Hot air balloons, butterflies and rivers are just some of the intricate patterns on this pouffe designed by Kristjana Williams.

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Picture from maker’s website: https://www.kristjanaswilliams.com

One of her largest scale commissions was a theatrical light projection for the Rio Olympics – for the beach fronted hotel Belmond Copacabana Palace.  Inspired by mapmaking and butterflies, it raised a spontaneous “wow” of delight and applause.  Before it appeared, there were butterfly balloons and kites given out on the beach.  (see a glimpse of it in this brief and beautiful one minute video).

Inside the hotel also contained more of her work, behind the reception desk and concierge desk:

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If you’d like to see more of Kritjana’s work – or even, buy some – her website is:

https://www.kristjanaswilliams.com/

 

 

 

Poems about Photographer Lee Miller

Jacqueline Saphra has written a series of sonnets about the colourful (even in black and white) life of Lee Miller: “A bargain with the Light, poems after Lee Miller”.  This book has 17 days left to sell a few more copies to raise the sum to publish it.  It will be in a limited edition of 300, each signed by the poet, and containing photographs by and about Lee herself.

Jacqueline Saphra explains what inspired her to write the book – unfortunately the still frame chosen does not reflect the interest of what she says!

Who is Lee Miller?

Lee was a pioneer – a New York model who went to Paris to learn how to photograph with Surrealist pioneer Man Ray (whose muse she became), a Surrealist artist in her own right, together with her husband Roland Penrose they were friends of Picasso, indeed hosting him on rare visits to Britain (where their young son famously bit the artist).  Lee also knew dark times as a survivor of childhood abuse, the obssessive love of an artist and her own work as war photographer including the liberation of Dachau concentration camp whose horror marked her.  An extraordinary woman in extraordinary times.  She both observed and recorded it in her camera but lived through it in a way only she could.

War Photographer

This video (below) takes you round the very exhibition which inspired Jacqueline Saphra to write the book of poems.  Our guide for this is none other than Katie Adie, BBC war correspondent, a TV broadcast journalist with a lifetime of reporting war and its atrocities.  She was a byword for covering the most difficult and dangerous overseas assignments – “They’re sending Kate Adie in” was a jokey expression in common use –  meaning that things in an area must now have become incredibly violent and dangerous if Kate was being despatched.  Because of her own career, it’s very appropriate that Kate Adie shows us around the War Museum’s exhibition.

Lee Miller’s house and Photographic partnership with Man Ray

Anthony Penrose, son of Lee Miller, takes us around parts of the family home and explains the photographic and personal partnership of Lee and Man Ray (he is recording this specifically for a forthcoming exhibition of Man Ray’s works).

 

Further Creativities:

Read:

I hope that by this point you are seriously considering purchasing a copy of the book “Bargain with the Light”.  If the poems and photos intrigue you to find out more, there are a few biographies of Lee Miller

See:

Visit Farley Farm House in Sussex, where Lee Miller lived with her husband Roland Penrose – it has a wonderful address: Farleys House & Gallery, Farley Farm, Muddles Green, Chiddingly, East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Their house had many famous artist visitors who were also friends:Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Man Ray, Leonora Carrington, Antoni Tapies, Eileen Agar, Kenneth Armitage, William Turnbull, John Craxton and Richard Hamilton  – and the house is full of paintings and photographs by not only Lee and Roland but by their visitors.  There is also a sculpture garden.

“For the most part the house is just as it was when it was occupied by the Penrose family. Lee Miller’s kitchen looks as though she has just popped out to gather vegetables from the garden and Roland Penrose’s study only lacks the aroma of his cigar smoke.” – House website   http://bit.ly/2llmO00

 

Taste:

There will be a surrealist picnic at Farley House on Sunday 27th August 2017, 4-7 pm  – limited availability so you must book (£10 each) and you are encouraged to dress in a Surrealist way and bring surreal food:

Bring your own picnic, bubbly, blankets & chairs for a late summer’s evening in our beautiful sculpture garden with stunning views of the South Downs. Advance booking is necessary as tickets are limited.

Picnic Suggestions: Pink cauliflower breasts, blue pasta salad & Muddles Green green chicken.

Or what dish could you invent which would be suitably Surrealist?

http://bit.ly/2fjIok2

 

Create:

You may want to feast your eyes on the house, to get inspiration for your own interior decor, colours and art.  Certainly the house is a great example of living with vast quantities of visual art and books in an interesting yet informal and at-home way.

Even if you live too far away to visit the house, Anthony Penrose has written a book The Home of the Surrealists: Lee Miller, Roland Penrose and Their Circle at Farley Farm House” (published last year, 2016)

Try writing a sonnet about someone whose life you greatly admire?

Make a Surrealist photo of a friend or a family get-together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living in David Hockney’s Old Flat…. (4 minute tour)

Tchaik Chassay and Melissa North live in David Hockney‘s old flat – layout unchanged since he left…. to be fair, Tchaik was his architect and designed the space originally, beautifully.  It is gorgeous – see around, in this brief video (under 5 minutes) filmed for Apartmento magazine

Watching this film felt a little deja vue for me, because I’ve previously seen the flat in a documentary about David Hockney.  And it truly is very little changed.  Although one difference in the artist’s documentary was that a young, blonde David Hockney casually strolled along the hall naked, with only a towel.  (Those familiar with David’s work will (more…)

A million Lovely Letters

Is a handwritten letter important?  Jodi Ann Bickley hit rock bottom after a brain infection left her with a stroke, fits and chronic pain. Contemplating suicide, she decided instead to use her writing skills to make letters of encouragement for others feeling very low.  So began her “Million Lovely Letters” campaign.

Screen shot 2017-07-23 at 15.49.45Within one hour of her launching the website, she had 50 requests from all over the world.  She has handwritten over 3,000 personal letters and now has a team of 40 volunteers to help.  Local BBC news did a brilliant and intriguing 3 minute video of her story – which is well-worth watching – just input this link into your web browser:

http://bbc.in/2uVgOA1

On her website, one reader, a former psychiatric nurse (no, it wasn’t Jo Brand), wrote “a few well-chosen, sincere words are worth more than months on meds. You should be on prescription”
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Jodi wrote her own life story with the same title as her website “One Million Lovely Letters” – it was a bestseller.  I am surprised that I had somehow missed hearing of her before, but really pleased that I have heard, now.

If you are still intrigued by the real-life story and would like to know more, there is a 13 minutes TED talk featuring Jodi.  At the end of her talk, she reads out a letter written to everyone who is watching.  So if you could do with some personal encouragement – this might be a gift to you, today.  Or perhaps it might be worth sending the link to someone you know, on a day when they are struggling.

 

 

 

 

 

Living the Sound of Music

Intriguing – you can now listen to the “Sound of Music” without the music – simply the audio of what happens with the characters – storms, birdsong, phone ring…..

It looks like – and sounds like – this:

So, if you are an extreme fan of the film – or you just love living life to a dramatic soundtrack – then put this on in the background and live life as imagined in Austria in the 1940s.

Incidentally, I heard about this from Kate Young, a lady who bakes based on characters in books – from her Twitter feed – so it all fits perfectly within the remit of this blog – the arts interacting with life.  Here: cookery, writing, music, film, audio.

Kate’s book “The Little Library Cookbook” is published this October – details here:

http://amzn.to/2s6uMKz

(I now know what I want for Christmas).