3/22/2017

Yellow

When Easter is near, the color yellow is everywhere. Such a feast for the eyes! I love yellow. Back in the Easter 2015, I made yellow himmeli from plastic straws and a bit of yarn. And my son got a yellow helium balloon at some event. It even had eyes...

Last year, I was very busy around Easter, and only found the time to post something about these paper flower balls I made, when Easter was long over. 

So I'll re-post them here - they are a yellow and slightly re-designed version of these. I made them a bit smaller, and more buttercup like, and they are super easy to make. They consist of 12 identical petals with slits, and you just slide them together, to form a ball. Add a string if you like, and hang them from a pretty branch.

Print the petals on regular A4 paper - and print on both sides of the paper.  



3/15/2017

Architecture bucket list: Saarinen/Bertoia chapel at MIT

In my childhood home we had four large coffee table books (from a time before such books became common). They were bound in crimson pleather, and must have had colourful dust jackets, that must have gone missing at some point. To me, they were just 'the red books'. They were photo books with themes such as 'Fantastic Buildings of the World', 'Nature's Wonders' - and that sort of thing, you get the picture. And that was just the point: they were full of the most stunning full colour pictures, from LIFE magazine and National Geographic, as far as I remember. I clearly see, that much of my curiosity, my lust for travel and interest in architecture comes from getting lost in those books, hours on end. 

The books themselves are gone now, but I regularly have a moment of "where on earth have I seen this before, I know this from somewhere....? Aaaaaah, of course. I saw a photo in The Red Books!" 

This is exactly what I thought, when I saw an image of the wonderful hanging sculpture/room installation/altar backdrop, Harry Bertoia made for Eero Saarinens small chapel at the M.I.T. campus in Massachusetts (built in 1955). In one the aforementioned red books, there was full page of this fantastic cascading sculpture, and it was a particular favorite of mine. The utter simplicity of the idea, the way this feature in the space is almost alive and magical, like a waterfall of light or snow or flower petals.....

The windowless round brick building itself, is very simple (but has lots of lovely details in the brick- and wood work). The only natural light comes from the giant skylight above the altar, which is simply a white marble cube.

Now see for yourself (and there are a few links and a bit more info after the pictures).


All images are sourced from this very well written article from archdaily.com - read the article here, if you want to know more about this small, peculiar and stunning building:


3/08/2017

In honour of persistent, unapologetic women everywhere

There are so many wonderful and awe-inspiring stories to share on March 8th, thank god, and so many platforms that does that so much better than this one. But I have long wanted to post these absolutely stunning, powerful and remarkable portraits of Tina Turner, and she will be my inspirational, aspirational sisterhood poster woman today. 

Anna Mae Bullock aka Tina Turner: always an idol of mine, definitely a nasty woman, a fighter and such a real human. These photos are from 1969, and are by Jack Robinson (read more after the pictures). 

Jack Robinson, the photographer who shot this series in New York in 1969, had a really interesting story, it turns out. I Googled him, because I wanted to credit these images correctly, and came across  his unusual life story. 

In the 1960s, he was a superstar fashion, celebrity and journalistic photographer in his native New Orleans and in New York, but in the mid 1970s, his career started to decline for a number of reasons, addiction being one of them.

He left New York to care for his elderly parents in the South, gave up photography for good, became sober - and started out on a second career, one in which he seems to have excelled almost as much as in the first: he started working in a company that made stained glass windows, and became amazingly good at that!

He lived in Memphis, Tennessee and made stained glass windows (winning awards and all kinds of praise for that as well) the last two decades of his life, and when he died in 1997, only few people knew about his early career as a photographer. But boxes and boxes of neatly preserved and catalogued negatives and contact sheets were found in his flat, and he was discovered all over, resulting in book publications, exhibitions and so on.

2/13/2017

You should definitely heart someone

Tomorrow it's Valentine's Day, and I think we should absolutely spread some love around.
The world needs it.

Last year I showed you how to make Japanese folding letters for Valentine, menko and tato, and made you a hidden heart origami letter. This year I thought these might be fun....


They take five minutes to fold, and are made from a regular A4 sheet, so you don't even need to worry about square origami paper! I made you a PDF with a lot of red/pink patterns, and scaled the A4 dimensions a bit, to work around those unprinted edges all printed sheets must have. Just grab your scissors and cut away that edge.


Write a nice message to someone you think needs a bit of love, and fold it like this. Or use them for parties, wedding invitations or Christmas ornaments. I made a whole bundle, as you can see, and they ended up as a garland. They are actually very well suited for garlands, the construction has a natural  slit to pull the string through, you'll see for yourself when you try.

Wanna see my garland? 


2/09/2017

Inspiration: giant mobiles by Xavier Veilhan


Xavier Veilhan is a French sculptor / installation artist, who does these massive mobiles - among many other things. The mobiles are the part of his work I really like, they are fantastic. He doesn't stray much from his style: they are always done with very simple elements: spheres, sticks and sometimes round discs.

Sometimes they hang from a contraption, that becomes part of the work (the one above is particularly great, I think), and at other times they hang from the ceiling. What makes them intricate and really impressive, is the sheer scale of them, they are huge! Wow.

All images here are from his own very informative website - which you can check out here.
This year he will be representing France at the Venice Biennale.

And now: the mobiles! Or a small handful of them, anyway.




2/04/2017

Inspiration: paper and acrylic artwork by Klaus Staudt

It's great when you just stumble upon something at just the exact right moment, so that it sets off a whole stream of ideas, that lead to other ideas, that lead to other ideas...! You know what I mean.

Yesterday I was browsing around on Pinterest, when I came across an image of this minimalist, simple white-on-white relief, apparently cut in some kind of paper. It was so elegant and sharp and precise, and I clicked through to the source and found out that it was made by a rather famous German artist, Klaus Staudt. I had never heart about him, but I googled and clicked around, and found one amazing image after the other. 

I find them very beautiful and inspiring - both as patterns, as paper art, and in how they use shadow almost as a physical material.

Super condensed bio on Klaus Staudt: born in 1932. One of the leading figures in constructivist or concrete art. Famous for his geometrically intricate paper and acrylic reliefs and sculptures and represented in many museums and collections around the world. 

Here is his website (in german) - check out it's super minimal style - and here is an interview from 2015, where the camera does some wonderful close up exploration of his work, while he talks.

His art is the quiet, subdued and obsessive kind, that perhaps does not catch your eye at first glance in some flashy collection of contemporary art, but grows on you when you start to really see it.




1/31/2017

La Maison de la Photographie in Marrakech

I was in Marrakech in November, and will probably get back to that visit in a few blog posts, since it's a spectacularly interesting and visually overwhelming city. I only had my old iPhone with me to take pictures this time, but had a wonderful trip and fell as much in love with the pink labyrinth-like inner city, as I did on my first visit, some years ago. 

This time, my two friends and I, made sure to visit La Maison de la Photographie, a small photo museum I will most warmly recommend. It's hidden away in a narrow medina alley, in a very pretty old house, that houses a large collection of old photographs of everyday life in Morocco, from the late 1800s up to around 1960, roughly. They only have parts of the huge collection on display, but change the exhibition regularly.

Marrakech is a place where the past seem very present, and this wonderful little, tranquil house full of fantastic photographs, makes you realize how much - and how little - the place and the people have changed.

Here are a few impressions.....
(all old black/white images below are courtesy of maison de la Photographie)


The house is, as I mentioned, very pretty, and when you reach the roof, you will find a small café and a gorgeous view! They also have a shop that sell high quality prints, if you fall in love with a special image. Most of them are available as prints.

Link to the Maison de la Photographie website, with all the practical info


There is one image you see again and again, in reference to this museum - and one you will remember, because this is a most remarkable face. It is a portrait of a young man, a slave called Hamidou, taken in 1885, and his sad eyes, and strong, beautiful face are impossible to forget.

When we visited, on a rainy quiet day, there was a gnawa street musician sitting outside the open door, and his singing and the sound of his sintir - a kind of slappy guitar bass - was following me all the time, while I was studying all these pictures. It was quite magical, like a perfect soundtrack.

He was really great, and I stepped outside and made a little film - you can see it here (very un-edited), and get an idea of how beautifully the old images and the old music just blended together.....

See (but mainly listen to) my little gnawa video on flickr

1/25/2017

Hi, January!

It's always a bit uphill with January. For me, anyway.

But days are getting longer and - as always - I start to feel a bit more energetic and optimistic, after December, which always drains me completely (this blog actually started as a kind of getting-through-December-therapy, or at least as an exercise in doing the things I like doing in December...).
But enough about that. So, onwards and Hey there, 2017.

This is an Instagram post that just really made me smile yesterday, which is why I will let it not illustrate my point in any particular way..... (?) But it does have two of my bigger idols in it, at once (sort of) and it makes me want to go out and see things, in stead of moping about in here, endlessly sorting our sock drawers.

It's Nick Cave, of course, at Mona museum in Tasmania, in the Yayoi Kusama 'Dots Obsession' installation. From @nickcaveofficial