Category Archives: art

Nothing Can Dim Your Light

via Daily Prompt: Dim

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As the sun starts to go down the light dims inside and the stained glass is accentuated, allowing the colours to shine and wash over the reveals, and framed by the darkness, they look fabulous.

It only takes one candle to light a whole room, a sliver of light to reduce the darkness, the sun refracts and lights the night. The dimming of light is not an end, it is a change, a moment to focus the light. Light in the dusk, in the night, before dawn, is appreciated, more precise, much more beautiful. The colour of sunsets could not be unless the light dark contrast occurred. Without some dimming, we’d never see the stars as we do at night.

Sometimes we might feel a bit dim, as if the light has diminished somehow because the struggles of life lay us low, and perhaps we don’t feel that we shine. But it is the struggle that enables us to shine in our own way. I think of the many people I have encountered in life so far and the brokenness many of them have experienced, and yet the hope, the love, the spark of life was still there at the core, just needing nurture, a response, a friend, a touch … just like the stained glass window, as the light shines through into the darkness, the colour washes through, the light shines in, and there is beauty, warmth, energy … Sometimes, without ever realising it, we are that window.

Maya Angelou’s words speak to this: “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Astral Weeks

via Daily Prompt: Astral

The title song and opening track of Van Morrison’s 1968 album ‘Astral Weeks.’ Morrison said that the song represented transforming energy, and a renewing or rebirthing energy, dying in order to be reborn. It was Morrison’s take or twist on Astral Projection, and out of body experience. He encountered this in a personal way when he visited his friend, the artist Cezil McCartney in Belfast in 1966. McCartney had a painting which inspired Morrison. He said the painting embodied astral projection.

What is interesting is that the music critics said that the song, and the album, the voices and sounds were other worldly – astral also means from another world. So in that sense the album works and on every level. The album also coincided with Morrison’s wrangle with Bang Records, his move to America and marriage – a lot of upheaval and a lot of pressure, which is reflected in the songs and the mood. The album is a depature from rock and pop and moves into the jazz territory that became his stock in trade. Which leads to the question as to why he named his album Astral Weeks when jazz great Charles Mingus had one with the same name in 1964.

My experience of music is that it transports me. For a time music took me to worlds beyond myself, deep in my imagination, in my youth, when I needed to escape pain. I can still place elements of Lord of the Rings in moments of Led Zeppelin (the film ‘The Song Reamins the Same’ shows how Zeppelin enjoyed a medieval and sometimes Tolkinesque imagination, and some of their songs reference Tolkien) or Bach. There are many hits of the past where I can remember a place, a smell, a situation. I find music both energising and relaxing depending on the genre. Music still takes me to other worlds. Van Morrison is one of my favourites too, and he takes me to other worlds.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Steam Punk Costume

via Daily Prompt: Costume

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(Photo: i.pinimg.com Maria Berseneva Photography)

Steam Punk is a sub-genre of science fantasy/science fiction, but is more commonly referred to as speculative fiction. It combines 19th century art and design forms, clothing in particular, with elements of steam powered machinery, and other mechanics of that era. It is, in short, a design aesthetic. Steam Punk proposes an alternative 19th century history, and is therefore anachronistic,  often set in Victorian England or the “Wild West”of America. Its philosophy is a combination of Victorian industrial progress and the hope of the 19th century art and literature. There’s a slogan that is used in Steam Punk circles – “This is what the past would have looked like if the future had happened sooner.”

It has been used in film, ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, ‘Wild, Wild West’, ‘Van Helsing’, ‘Hellboy.’ There are elements in the historical episodes of Dr. Who, and in the literature of Jules Verne

As with Cyber Punk and Cosplay, the costumes are a matter of personal taste and design.

I love the creativity of those engaged with the costumery, it fires the imagination, and I can see its appeal. I could look at this stuff for hours.

But my Steam Punk wouldn’t be Steam Punk, nor would it be a romanticised version of some era, though it would be a combination of eras and hopes, and therefore framed idealistically. My alternative history would be based around eschewing violence, all violence, from sexual, to gender, to poltical, playground (not sure if there’s a difference there), domestic, class, environmental, and well, violence. I want to see creative costumes of compassion, respect, care, inclusion and integrity. I want industrial strength love of all kinds. I want costumes that shout justice and mercy.

Johnny it's Rotten
punked, but not forgotten
the blossom weeps
©Paul

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Bewildered

via Daily Prompt: Bewildered

Bewildered was a song by one of Asia’s most popular singers Leslie Cheung, who sadly took his own life in 2003. (I have worked in the area of suicide prevention for years, but even though I know the technicalities of suicide, I am still bewildered by it, which, I guess is hardly surprising as I’m not in that space).

Cheung was a very gifted person, a successful singer and a successful actor. He had/has a huge following. I recognize his name from acting – if you ever saw the movie ‘Farewell My Concubine’ then you have seen Leslie Cheung in action. I couldn’t find a version of ‘Bewildered’ with English subtitles, but even so, I quite liked the experience of listening to him sing in Cantonese, and watching him perform/act on the clip. Cheung is considered to be one of the fathers of Cantopop, which is a genre of Cantonese music. Which reminds me of personal truth – I don’t always need to understand something in order to enjoy it. In fact, I can sometimes enjoy the unknown or not understood more than if I did understand or know. Which is an even greater truth, I don’t need to understand everything. Sometimes mystery is good for the soul.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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He Had No Inkling

via Daily Prompt: Inkling

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Why Pisssaro? Did I have an Inkling? Not really, but I loved this quote by him:

I remember that, although I was full of fervour, 
I didn't have the slightest inkling, even at forty, 
of the deeper side to the movement we were pursuing by instinct. 
It was in the air! (Camille Pissarro).

Such humility, such openness, no guile. But equally such boldness, passion and energy. Pissarro, an impressionist and neo-impressionist painter was considered by the younger ones, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin, as the father of the impressionist movement, and their master and mentor. But, as Pissarro states, it wasn’t a forethought, there was no intenional movement at first, there was no plan, they just went with their creativity, their energy.

It says to me that if you try to be profound, if you try too hard to be the one, to be noticed, it becomes forced, even fake. The impressionists didn’t try to be impressionists, they simply worked at their painting and it became something, and eventually, beyond them.

Pissarro also helped to form a painters collective. In that sense, he was also showing that we bring our self to bear in the work we do, but we can really grow and flourish in community. He had no inkling, but he gave himself fully to his passion and creativity. His impressionism has left its mark.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Carved Salt

via Daily Prompt: Carve

 

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One of the places we visited in Poland was the famous salt mine at Wieliczka. The tour of the mine was certainly worth it. There were many highlights along the tour. One in particular was this carved scene – The Last Supper – found in a stunning chapel where there were many other religious carvings. If you look at the right of the photo you will also see a pilar, part of the elaborate, carved architecture throughout the chapel. It still grabs my attention, to think it was carved from salt. Salt of course gets more than a couple of mentions in the Bible, and is used as a metaphor for spiritual vitality in the New Testament. We came home with a grinder of salt from the mine for our culinary vitality, which we have jealously guarded and measured out, more for sentimental reasons. We have salt lakes here that yield edible salt, but after that tour of the mine, and seeing the beautiful architecture and art carved in the walls and ceiling, salt is not the same.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Treat

via Daily Prompt: Treat

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It’s hard to explain, but for me it was a treat to see ancient indigenous paintings at Uluru on two of our visits. There is something about the self encountering the work of a community from a different time. To think that hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago someone painted this story or series of stories for us to enjoy and learn from now, and into the future. It was real treat just to see it and experience th efact that this was ancient, this was created by a person so long ago, this was part of a meaning for a culture so long ago. A treat and a privilege. But it also made me wonder – what will I leave for future generations, what impression will I leave, what will they learn from me? What is my gift?

Paul,

pvacann.com

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Urinal Genesis

via Daily Prompt: Confess

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I confess I took this photo, but I made sure I was alone 🙂

It is, from memory, the only surviving working urinal in Perth that is an Art Deco work, and an amazing piece for many reasons, not least the semi dividers for privacy that no longer exist in public toilets. This one is well known and belongs to a cinema, also an art deco treasure. So differnet to plain stainless steel. Note the pull chain cistern, still available even today in modern forms, but a childhood memory for most of us of a certain age.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Copper Sails

Patina

Patina is a liberated word, it used to be restricted to the effects of oxidation on metals and stone, now it covers just about everything. But my eyes were drawn to the copper sails that help define the Perth Bell Tower.

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If you look closely you can see the oxidation, the patina, of the copper tiles that form the sail. A few years ago the Orthodox commuity decided to clean the patina on the copper dome of their church in North Perth. Once it was done it gleamed like a lighthouse beacon whenever light hit it, it was stunning. But I think the patina on the Bell Tower is somehow more fitting, it sets those ancient bells from England in a mature, historical ambience. Besides I like patina and rust, which is perhaps a reflection on my parallel process of aging, there’s quite a bit of the patina of life that’s clung to me, and I’m conscious of the rust, the things that are not what they were, not gone, but different, maturing and wonderful in their own way.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Oh Mercy

via Daily Prompt: Mercy

Oh Mercy was the 26th studio album by Bob Dylan released in 1989, which seems a lifetime ago now. It was a return to moral, social and political themes following his turn to Chrisitanity and three overtly religious albums, and two mild productions. Oh Mercy carries religious and political themes but more in the usual style of the understated Dylan. For me the two significant tracks on the album are ‘Political World’ which decries any attempt to segment or compartmentalise life sealing off anything political. Dylan makes it very clear that everything is political and we are political, thus the world we live in is unavoidably poltical because we are in that world. We make it political because we are. But there is a hope for a differnt world because politics dominates and poisons our world. Thus, ‘Political World’ is a typical Dylan muse about life and a tirade against the corruption of politics.

The second track I love is ‘Most of the Time’ which a song about lost love, another Dylan genre. It is both whistful, biting and grieving in one. The rest of the album is as good.

And the title says it all. a desire to be rescued from the forces of the world over which we have seemingly little control. There are no solutions, but a deep listening and resonance with life as we know it. The solutions are in our understanding and response as we deal with life and listen deeply to our needs and purpose.

Courtesy of Youtube: Official Dylan Site – ‘Most of the Time’

 

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