November 19, 2016
Or “If sculptures could speak”. What would those beautiful Caryatids say ? A stately demeanor, indecipherable expressions on their sculpted faces. Would they talk about the endless flow of visitors coming and going around them in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens ? Or comment on the heavy burden they have been carrying on their head for so long ? Exchanging about their use as decorative supports in Greece and the ancient Near East ?
What could those men in their elegant toga be discussing about ? Would they talk about philosophy ? Would one of them be teaching the others ? Or were they engaged in a more private conversation ? In any case they will remain anonymous…Two worlds meet in this picture. Modern buildings behind a vision of other times. In those past decades when women, mothers had to travel on the back of a mule while taking their children with them as they went working in the fields.
Mules were equipped with two strong sacks (jute or leather) on each side of their flanks. Inside them and well protected, mothers would put a baby or a small child. Usually, the slow and regular mule’s step would bring the children to sleep. Maybe the little girl standing behind the mule would ask : “Mom, let me sit on the mule, please, I feel tired”. The track to the alpine village or to the pasture could be long. (Sculpture by Edouard Sandoz for the association of “The Mule”s Friends”, or Les Amis du Mulet, Sion, Switzerland).In an open air museum of the village of Etroubles, Aosta Valley/Italy, close to the Swiss border, I stopped and observed this three-dimensional sculpture by Andrea Granchi, a Florentine artist. It was entitled : “Viaggiatore sedentario incontra il Grande”. I tried to imagine what the sculptor expressed in this particular art work. Maybe the great (grande) man on the wall would say to the traveller (viaggiatore) : “Here you come, bumping into (incontra) other travelers like you who try – or tried – to cross this mountain pass !” It is just my interpretation of this amazing sculpture.
Greece, Naxos Island. On the metallic entrance door opening to a wild garden, someone had written : “This is paradise”. After a few minutes’ walk uphill, amidst bushes and trees of all sorts, we stopped in front of a dry stone wall. At the bottom of it and protected by a fence, a huge statue of a man, more than 17 feet, seemed lost in a long sleep. It was the “Flerio Kouros”, built in 570 BC in Naxian marble. What would the Kouros (young man) have said at that time ? Maybe he advised the stonecutters to be very careful when they would transport him to another site for the final touches. Apparently they weren’t enough or their artwork broke before ? The statue remains unfinished, its leg broken, the marble has turned grey/brown in time and the mystery is unsolved.I wonder what these sculptures inspire you ?
June 26, 2014
“For a June Photo Hunt, please show me whimsy!”, writes Karma at http://karmardav.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/in-want-of-whimsy/.
The deadline to submit your whimsy photos is Monday, June 30th if you wish to participate. I feel like sharing some pictures that may fit this definition of “whimsical” :
playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way. “a whimsical sense of humour” synonyms: fanciful, playful, mischievous, waggish, quaint, fantastic, unusual, curious, droll; eccentric, quirky, offbeat, idiosyncratic, unconventional, outlandish, peculiar, queer, bizarre, weird, odd, freakish;
Here they are, I hope you enjoy them.
Two sculptures by Dutch artist Hanneke Beaumont in the courtyard of an old castle in Gruyères, Switzerland. Not whimsical enough, are you saying ? Just wait for the next picture… The same characters are visited by tourists. Do you think they enjoyed this sudden familiarity with a photographer and his mischievous son ? 😉 I did enjoy it. How about this whimsical presentation of two pairs of red shoes ? No shop window here but the yard of a large farm. I like the surrealist look of this work created by the artist, Flaviano Salzani. “To affirm oneself” (or to assert oneself ?) is the title of this curious sculpture by Mathilda Raboud. A playful angel riding on a not so funny crocodile. Look at his eyes and teeth ! One of them certainly needs to affirm oneself 😉 Thanks, dear Karen, for your June photo hunt which is really fun. I look forward to seeing the other bloggers’ whimsy pictures.
December 12, 2012
…I still wish to share some of my Fall colours just before snow fell heavily and unexpectedly. Colours from here and there along those past weeks.
Ninio is posing in a golden forest and probably thinking: “If I were not on a leash, all you could photograph would be just a vague glimpse of one of my white legs running away like a flash or just leaves !”
I finally finished sewing a small quilt that brings warmth on a wall of our house. Inspiration came from a photo of a Flickr friend and artist, Eglantine. I tried to find on fabrics the colours and patterns she painted on wood with acrylic and pastel. Thank you, dear Eglantine, for your inspiration and permission to use your picture. Underneath is the photo of my friend’s artwork.
More pictures of Eglantine’s Flickr photostream here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/eglantine/
This is the mini-quilt I sewed and embroidered using scraps of colourful cotton, polyester, organza and gauze ribbons.
Colourful too were the images of a beautiful and fascinating movie I saw recently, in particular the thousands of bees’ swarms working diligently and flying in all directions. “More than Honey” by Markus Imhoof or “What if Bees would disappear ?” in French is a documentary. Fascinating, I wrote, but I should also say very worrying and well worth seeing. The present situation of those precious and endangered insects was filmed in various countries of all continents. Our whole planet is concerned with the bees’ disappearance from their hives or new colonies having to be destroyed.
What are the causes ? Pesticides or medicines used to fight them ? Parasites ? A new virus ? The stress bees are submitted to during their forced long journeys ? Industrialisation and mechanization ? Pollution or damage caused to the environment ? No sure answer is given but the documentary definitely makes you aware of this terrible danger : the bees’ disappearance and with them the absence of cross-pollination. Losing bees, as we all know, would have repercussions throughout the food supply chain.
“More than Honey” should be released abroad at the beginning of 2013. Don’t miss it if you have the opportunity to watch it. The film was presented at the Locarno Film Festival 2012, in Switzerland.
Since October weather has changed. Snow fell heavily in November, temperatures dropped a lot and a Siberian North wind is blowing every second day. I know, Winter is here but…one can still dream of colours, right ?
December 3, 2011
How would you feel if suddenly your world would look in yellow or red or blue or whatever colour you cannot imagine right now ? Would it change anything for you ?
This is not a recent picture. Since the time I took this portrait of a lady deeply concentrated on her work, I could not figure out what exactly she was doing. I am always shy to take pictures of people in the street. The scene was so special, the mood in her workshop too, I just had “to click” from the street. From the various phials, pens and tools I had a quick glimpse at, I imagine she was doing some sort of calligraphy. What would you say she was making ? What do you see ?
Last Summer I visited a gallery in my hometown. There were two artists who presented their artworks. A lady (Mathilda Raboud) who had created some funny, cheeky and unusual ceramic angels and an Italian artist from Florence, Rosario Memoli. He had worked with all sorts of textiles that he either sewed or stuck on a white canvas. It was abstract art, a kind of reflection on the way space is organised between immobility and movement.
I know it is abstract art… but I could not help seeing it differently. Or rather finding a meaning to his particular creations. Laugh if you want but it is what I seem to see in the above picture : a proud rooster is chasing away a black and white sheep while his favourite polka dot hen is quietly nibbling at a flower 🙂
Same sort of tragedy with this other artwork by Memoli… I see a sort of hen (yes, again) and a strange mythological creature with a dangerous looking dented tail. They seem to be arguing. Could the reason be the many colourful seeds in the upper right corner that both are coveting ? See the way my imagination takes over sometimes ?;)
For a long time artists have shown us how to see and think differently. They taught us that there are as many ways as there are people since we all see everything differently. A liberating gift, isnt’ it ?
Rosario Memoli’s artworks bore no title. Maybe the artist intended to free our imagination ? The writer Eugène Ionesco wrote in his book “Découvertes” :
“An artwork is a series of interrogations. Since there is a construction, one can consider a work as an architecture of interrogations. Every artwork must be brought into question”.
June 21, 2011
Rain is falling today as it did last night and part of the day yesterday. A light and persistent rain. During the night I woke up and listened for a while to the heavy drops on the roof. A stormy weather but a cosy feeling inside the house. In the morning a shy and scarce sun lit up the sky for a short while; raindrops, swept by the wind, looked like tiny pearls, colourful beads, like the jewels I had seen once in an artisan´s workshop.Somewhere under those ancient arcades a door opens into a small art studio. Two artists work there, an artisan jeweller and a potter. They each have their own workshop and share a bigger room for exhibitions. I visited this picturesque old town on a rainy day, like today, and thought why not have a look inside ?
As I pushed the door and went inside, stones and pearls were glittering inside showcases. Precious gems that I was reminded of as I saw the brilliant raindrops today. Bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings of different designs and shades.
In the jeweller’s workshop a necklace, as glittering as a river, was set on a bed of pebbles. The necklace was catching the sunrays and colours reflecting in the window. A beautiful piece of art created with silver and labradorite.
I liked the green pendant with the embedded white flower, as if floating in a jade pond. Each jewel seemed to have a life of its own, one given to them by the artisan.Are you sometimes dreaming of faraway shores ? I suggest you go and visit Deanna, a great artist from New Zealand. Her jewelry is inspired by the shores and beautiful nature on her island. http://www.deanna.co.nz
Is it raining in your part of the world ? Here is a child´s poem that will surely keep you smiling 🙂
“If I were raindrops…
I would fall and give kisses
To the world.
Give coolness to the poor.
Cool others who are hot.
And I love it when you are happy!
When it´s cloudy
I have fun
And yes, you know…
I am coming.”
March 22, 2010
Scott Thomas has posted a new photo challenge whose theme is “My Hometown”. Everyone is invited to participate in posting one or more photos about this particular subject. If you are interested, please go to the link below and post your photo(s) until midnight (your time) on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010.
Fribourg, in the French speaking area of Switzerland is not really my hometown… but it is the place I lived the longest in. So now I consider it as my hometown, I feel as good here as I do when I go back to my home state in the Alps. It is a town of about 30’000 inhabitants, its medieval part built along a river, the Sarine. Its cathedral, dedicated to St Nicolas, is imposing and was built in the 11th century. When you walk through Fribourg as I did last Saturday, you cannot but lift your head and admire the old architecture of its roofs and bell towers. Many of them !
Old bridges cross the river and one of them is covered. Cars may drive through it, buses too but just barely ! So much nicer to walk when no vehicles are around.
Saturday was a rather dull day, not many colours to light up my pictures but it was Scott’s challenge 😉 so I did my best and found some cheerful shades. The sun was away but the moon stood in a garden ! Bright and smiling and joyful in a rainy day..
May I introduce you to The Big Moon ? a lovely sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle; the artist was born in Paris but lived in New York for a long time. She spent some time in our town and left a great collection of art in a museum here. I visited it later on and, as always, enjoyed it immensely. I hope you have enjoyed this short walk through my hometown too.
Thank you Scott for giving me the opportunity to present a little of Fribourg.