Thursday, 26 February 2009
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
"A little boy came up and started asking all the `why' questions about my legs (she was removing her prosthetic legs)," she says.
Rather than having to go through the logistics of amputation with a four-year-old, Vessey said: "Do you know about the Little Mermaid?
"He said he did, so I told him: `Well I'm a mermaid'."
(full story here)
Weta Workshop has actually made it happen. Nadya Vessey *is* a mermaid, look at that! A fully-functioning mermaid tail. Wow!
And the Close-Up video (interview and demonstration) is here.
Friday, 13 February 2009
I thought his main reaction had been anger? He has to correct me again. “This wasn't anger. This was rage. You can smoulder with anger. I could weld with this rage. Actually, that's quite good, I should write that down.” Did he take it out on his wife? “No! That's the whole point, you save it up.
He wrote somewhere that his last book, Nation, a brilliant parable about reinventing civilisation after a tsunami, had been written with “filtered rage”. “Look, I'll own up, OK? Authors are good at this sort of thing. I've got some rage here. It is bloody good rage. It's like an artist finding a bloody good blue pigment, what can I paint with it? So this book is about a boy raging at the gods.”
Read the whole thing here.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
I'm going to list some of my favourite pieces to give you a taste:
These familiar-looking Tupperware pottles have sprouted delicate limbs, claws, fins. They have morphed into new and alien forms of life.
Castles in the air of the Cave Dwellers
Models of insect colonies are attached, like outgrowths, to model human brains. A colony of social insects, which to humans seems like a utopia, a model world, is contrasted with the brain, a colony of cells that houses only one isolated individual.
Flowers are the reproductive parts of plants, and their beauty and their scent are designed to attract pollinators. This work plays with the idea that humans use flower perfumes to attract each other: The bottles of flower essences are decorated with paintings of naked women in frankly suggestive poses.
This work is housed in a cross-shaped display case, and consists of videos of war movies, with the videotape unspooling from the cassette and knitted into glittering, dark, frightening forms which hover above them. The forms appear to emanate from the video cassettes, like horrifying afterimages that cannot be erased from the memory.
When My Boat Comes In
In this work Hall explores the economics of plants, how the import, export, and exploitation of particular species, such as sugar, tea, coffee, and rubber have influenced the world economy and created huge imbalances of wealth. Hall has gathered banknotes from many different currencies, all depicting boats or ships, and on the banknotes painted the leaf of a plant native to each particular country.
In this work Hall has meticulously copied the forms of various types of birds' nests, using hand-shredded banknotes as her raw material. As the names of the bird species face off against the serial numbers of the banknotes, we are left to contemplate the consequences of commercial exploitation of natural resources.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Monday, 9 February 2009
OK, permit me one small moan.
THE PLURAL OF MEDIUM IS MEDIA.
Please, please, if you write about art, remember: you have one artistic medium, but two media.
And if you have an artwork that uses more than one medium, that work is executed in MIXED MEDIA.
The only time you can have mixed mediums is if you have a whole bunch of clairvoyants gathered together.
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Thursday, 5 February 2009
I noticed this morning that they were looking almost ready, with their wing-patterns clearly visible...
Unfortunately, there were far more caterpillars than the plants could support, and after they had devoured all the leaves and flowers, they proceeded to eat the stems:
Some of them tried neighbouring plants, but they didn't seem to like them nearly as much.
Here's a chrysalis (green with gold detailing!)
I picked the stems I could find that had chrysalises on them, and brought them inside. One has hatched so far:
It took a while to dry out its new wings. It trotted up and down the windowsill slowly flapping for a long time.
When it seemed to have got the hang of flying, I took it outside:
So that's one success. There are 2 more chrysalises to hatch, so the ratio of skeleton-ised swan plants to butterflies will probably be 1:1!
Thanks Katie for the plants :-)
Images copyright 2009 Grace Dalley. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
This was taken near Ahaura, on the West Coast. They obviously don't get a lot of visitors.
English painter Sue Moffitt has forged an entire career out of portraits of cows, and they are just amazing! Look at this. Or this. Who would have thought you could get so much personality into a picture of a cow? You can check out Sue Moffitt's whole portfolio here.
Image copyright Grace Dalley. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Monday, 2 February 2009
A recent panoramic view of Mars taken by the Mars Exploration Rover was named in honour of Bonestell and his work.
On the theme of other worlds, for anyone who missed the amazing photographs of the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft, look here. And there's a magical view of the dark side of Saturn, also taken by Cassini, here.
Sunday, 1 February 2009
Images copyright 2009 Grace Dalley, all rights reserved.