Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

The ankle is mending and the doctor says no surgery is needed, so although I don’t really know what happened I do know I can gradually get back walking everywhere again.

I decided to spend some of the downtime updating my book catalogue using MyStuff2. The exercise turned up some stuff that could be donated and a stash of old magazines that are well out of date. The good news was no duplicates, which I was surprised about since I have been collecting this personal library for over 30 years. Mind you, I still haven’t finished yet.

Now for some people (non librarians), cataloguing personal stuff is not normal but photographer Paula Zuccotti takes it one step further by photographing everything her subjects touch in a single day.  She even made a book about it. I may just buy it and add it to my catalogue.

Listening to The Civil Wars who have sadly broken up but I will continue to follow them as they go solo. Joy Williams seems able to harmonise with anybody but with John Paul White it is so intimate and special. Just a Guy, a girl and a guitar…








It took five hours from the time I first saw this faded sign for the sun to get in the right place to cast the shadows from the peeled paint like I know it would.


This is what I saw earlier in the morning and as the light was behind the sign  there was not a lot I could do with it then and there. It always pays to think about where the light is and where it can and will be.

Now I could have sat there and waited but I found other things to do.  Patience in this case is more like knowing something will come and being ready for it rather than just giving up and walking away…


Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

I want to start out by paying my respects to the citizens of Paris and the families of those who lost their lives on the weekend. Anybody who knows French history knows the price France has already paid for “Liberte Egalite Fraternite” since the birth of the republic.

That history clearly shows unity will triumph over evil, whatever the sacrifice, every single time.

So I mentioned what I have been looking at in my last post but I also managed to squeeze in a couple more things.

National Gallery Victoria has an exhibition featuring the colour blue or more specifically the use of Indigo to colour textiles and Cobalt in ceramics. Some nice work and since it is a single room, easy to get through in a lunch break.

There were some portfolios too. Peter Lippmann does fine art and commercial work (Note there is some not safe for work content… Sorry!). Meanwhile Chris Burkard is a surf photographer having a love affair with Icelandic landscapes. He also gives a pretty good TED Talk about having the courage and perseverance to create great images in extreme circumstances.

Listening to Busby Marou

A question to the audience

A question to the audience

I will start this post off with a question and I really would like to hear from you about your experiences in the comments.

What is the oldest hand made object you have ever held and how did that make you feel?

I’m asking because on Friday night I got to turn the pages of a five hundred year old illuminated manuscript. No glass case. No gloves. Just me tracing the lines of latin text placed on parchment five hundred years ago.

For me, this was a little complicated. Since I have a library background, conserving these materials so they are available to future generations is a cornerstone of my training. It felt wrong handling something like this at all, especially without gloves. Contrasting this was the feel of the parchment, being able to see the text clearly without reflections of the glass case, to be so intimate with something in a way that is normally forbidden and connect with a rare artifact in a different way.

The decision to allow this item to be touched was very brave. To be fair the item had evidence of heavy wear and possible smoke or water damage. There were torn and missing pages and some pages suffered from heavy discolouration and buckling. The quality of the work compared to the rest of the collection was lower and I thought some of the pages were unfinished.  The exposure to so much contact will not help preserve it but the cost of restoration would most likely not be recovered, so perhaps this trade off in providing what may be a once in a lifetime experience is the best way for it to be used.

It felt so good, I went back on Saturday…

This opportunity was one I nearly missed out on as I only found out about it on Friday morning. The exhibition at Ian Potter Museum finishes later today and I would like to thank the staff and Kerry Stokes for making his personal collection available to the public.

Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

It looks like I will get to do more reading than photography for the time being as my good ankle has finally decided to go bad. Provided I stay off my feet I can probably manage some studio work.

Always a bright side… Right?

I came across the work of Larry Sultan a few weeks back. Some of the side projects are not safe for work but the images share a feeling of detachment that I found interesting.

Listening to Queens of the stone age





Stripping back layers

Stripping  back layers

A wood plane is a very simple tool. In exchange for a little care and effort it allows you to remove a very small amount of timber on each pass, leaving a smooth even finish.

Repeated passes are required to achieve the result. There are no shortcuts with hand tools, just the satisfaction derived from making that is missing when using an electric plane.

Perhaps there is a metaphor in there somewhere for life and changing it?