Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Shantell Martin

VJ Designer and all round creative Shantell Martin is opening a gallery space in New York.

Called Garland and located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan

It`s selective about... design, and fashion, and will also serve as a space for kindred spirits to gather. Here we can amuse and inspire one another, share ideas, screen movies, and introduce natural and artisanal items, some of which you’d otherwise have to scour obscure corners of the desert to find.

We have events, too. Programming includes light meditation, sound immersion, creative aura field recordings, and unique yoga classes, as well as your regular ol’ art opening type things. And there’s more: Garland will also have its own in-house publication that’s sincere and informative, combining culture and news, featuring fantastic, well-edited writing with enormous personality.

Looks good.

Subtle Mob

Subtle Mob

Love this Bristol Bases artist/musician who creates soundscapes which can be listened to via downloading an mp3 and hearing it at an appointed time and place.

Due to come to Japan this year.

Bath Japanese Festival Update

We now how a twitter page up and running, and more and more people are getting involved, very excited but need to sleep ...

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Black Out Poet

Black out Poet

Nice little Onsen

I stayed here with my Japanese family the Kaori`s. The owner of the place was very fun and he gave us a brief tour of the area, including a traditional thatched "middle class" house, some strange scarecrows with the faces of dis-used gaijjin (foreign) dummies and the temple with its intricate washing rituals. water from right to left, same water wash the right hand and put into your mouth and spit out before replacing the utencil scoop side down back on the fountain. So many things in Japan seem to connect - with regards to the use of objects within rituals, c.f the tea ceremony.

Tomihiro Hoshino

富弘美術館  Do you know him?
He was a school gym teacher until at 24, a tragic accident left him paralysed from the neck down. He became a christian and started to paint using his mouth. At 33 he had his first exhibition in Gunma and went on to publish many books and essays.

I thought I vaguely recognized his work from my childhood, hanging on a calender in the kitchen. Flowers, deep reds or mauves or yellows with some squiggly text. If it was him I remember as a teenager turning up my nose at anything less than what I believed to be revolutionary art and poetry. My staple diet of reading at the time being Neitzche and Wittgenstein.

Now as the last bloom of my twenties fades I have re-discovered his work. It makes more sense after living in Japan, it is subtle, quiet. The kind of work that is humble enough to lack big bill boards and probably twitter links.

I was so moved by listening to the poems (in Japanese), I tried the English audio but somehow the strong male australian voice seemed incongruent. His poems and color are simple but lack artifice. They are similar to traditional Haiku in that it is what is not said that is moving. The connection to flowers is a sense of beauty and transcience, pain and hope.
This poem reads:
I have a wound
But your tenderness penetrated through the wounds.

Another one which particularly stuck me on a personal level was one about the Plum trees:

I climbed the river bank to see a fire
The river was in a  village on the other side of the river
The house where the fire broke out
was red like charcoal in the kotatsu heater
There were no sounds nor human voices heard
While I was sitting in the dark
I could smell the fragrance
of the flower

Thursday, 11 March 2010

2010 Bath Japanese Festival

Coming soon to a Library near you (if you live in Bath). co-organised my my good self - Rachel Carvosso and Haiku Poet Alan Summer. This looks set to be a hectic two weeks, but I am incredibly happy that it is going to be so varied and bring together my two loves art and poetry. I just need to get some sleep now!!!

See this in progress blog/site 2010 Bath Japanese Festival