World Trip – Day 1

South Africa (SA) 1st-8th April

I know I’m running late by 3 weeks, but I’ve been busy living the dream.

Accommodation – Couchsurfing Host: Donald Massyn

April 1st – the flight

Arrived 5 pm local SA Time after leaving Sydney at 1200 noon for a 14 hour, 6862 miles or 11043-kilometre flight. I watched several movies I’d missed. I won’t review them. I can sleep on planes, but not well. So I only slept an hour or 2, and fitfully and read for some of it.

as expected there flight was crowded but not full there was a spare seat that help to make the flight slightly less claustrophobic.

I realised recently that I don’t read fiction very often, just for fun. I also realised that I enjoy James Bond movies but haven’t read the books that inspired them. So I’m reading “From Russia with Love” which interestingly is quite close to the Sean Connery movie from the ’60s.

I beautiful lightning storm greeted the plane as we arrived.

It took only about an hour to get through customs. It was storming with a full lightning show as I got off the plane at SA’s O. R. Tambo International Airport. I had three quarter of an hour wait that seemed like two hours for Donald, my couch-surfing host.

http://couchsurfing.com is website not unlike Airbnb but mostly free accommodation. You can register as a host and traveller. Hosts offer help travellers because it’s fun, they get to meet interesting travellers. Those of us who are couchsurfers are backpackers, creatives, Bohemians, travellers at the poor end of the demographic or just cheapskates. Hosts are often similar to couchsurfers because they have travelled the same way. So they reciprocating. Both hosts and couchsurfers are also at the courageous end of the spectrum. For some reason many mainstream people seem to think that the traditional Capitalist approach to pay-per-day plus extras accommodation (as in hotels and Airbnb) is perceived as safer than the generosity of hosts offering free services for fun and out of idealism is less safe. For safety sake you can check the reference system for both hosts and travellers for their mutual experience with each other. I hosted when I was living in Annadale, and had a spare room, then I couchsurfed three times on my last trip to Europe, five or six years ago.

Still as comfortable as I am with meeting strangers, the first meeting with a couchsurfing host when you don’t have a local phone number is anxiety filled. The airport free Wifi required a local phone number, so no Whatsapp.com call to reassure me Donald was on his way. I was only staying for a week in SA, so I have experimented with not having a local phone number.

It worked. More later.

Donald had a spare room, which regardless of the website’s name, is actually most common among Couchsurfing hosts. We sat talking for a while and he cooks me a quick dinner. I don’t have rules around food when travelling, or at other times I’m a guess. I take the Buddha’s Original Rule that you be flexible and open to experience so eat what is on the table. It’s the host’s Karma (in Buddhist terms. For me, it is about being a grateful guest and an adventurer. I went to bed about 10 pm local time which was 6 or 7, wakeup time in Sydney. I didn’t realise this until day 2.

Grand Art Tour

As of April 1st, I’m touring the world. Well, South Africa, Europe, North America and South America. This itinerary is going to change. And already has. I’ve split the French leg between Paris and some time in the country-side. And I haven’t booked the South American leg because that depends on my budget. I will be posting regular reports on the travels, that will include art (mostly watercolour pencils), photography and the occasional video here.

I’m already behind on postings as this demonstrates, being near 3 weeks late. Enjoying participating in the experiences does interfere with writing about them. Stay tuned I will be catching up soon.

ITINERARY
1 April – Flight to Johannesburg
Origin: Sydney NS AU (SYD)
Flying Time: 14 hrs 5 min
Airline: Qantas

8 April – Flights to Paris
Origin: Johannesburg ZA (JNB)
Destination: Frankfurt DE (FRA)
Flying Time: 10 hrs 45 min

Origin: Frankfurt DE (FRA)
Destination: Paris Charles de Gaulle Apt FR (CDG)
Flying Time: 1 hrs 10 min

BusAbout Europe
1 May – Bus to Amsterdam
Departs Paris: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Amsterdam: 18:00 PM

6 May – Bus to Berlin
Departs Amsterdam: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Berlin 18:00 PM


11 May – Bus to Prague
Departs Berlin: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Prague: 13:15 PM

16 May – Train to Vienna (One-Way Train Ticket)
Departs Prague: 08:50 AM
Arrives: Vienna: 12:50 PM

20 May – Bus to Krakow
Departs Vienna: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Krakow: 16:00 PM

25 May – Bus to Budapest
Departs Krakow: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Budapest: 18:00 PM

29 May – Train to Venice (One-Way Train Ticket)
Departs Budapest: 09:10 AM
Arrives: Venice: 20:05 PM

5 June – Train to Florence (One-Way Train Ticket)
Departs Venice: 07:25 AM
Arrives: Florence: 09:30 AM

8 June – Bus to Cinque Terre
Departs Florence: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Cinque Terre: 10:45 AM

10 June – Bus to Lauterbrunnen (Swiss Alps)
Departs Cinque Terre: 10:45 AM
Arrives: Lauterbrunnen: 20:00 PM

12 June – Bus to Nice
Departs Lauterbrunnen: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Nice: 18:00 PM

15 June – Bus to Barcelona
Departs Nice: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Barcelona: 18:30 PM

20 June – TO BE ARRANGED: MOROCCO + SOUTH SPAIN

2 July – Bus to San Sebastian
Departs Barcelona: 08:00 AM
Arrives: San Sebastian: 16:00 PM

2 July – Train to Bilbao (One-Way Train Ticket)
Departs San Sebastian: 18:55 PM
Arrives: Bilbao: 20:30 PM

7 July – Train to San Sebastian (One-Way Train Ticket)
Departs Bilbao: 05:15 AM
Arrives San Sebastian: 06:40 AM

7 July – Bus to Paris
Departs San Sebastian: 08:00 AM
Arrives: Paris: 18:00 PM

Flights out of Europe

8 July – Flights to Los Angeles
Origin: Paris Charles de Gaulle Apt FR (CDG)
Destination: Frankfurt DE (FRA)
Flying Time: 1 hrs 15 min

Origin: Frankfurt DE (FRA)
Destination: Los Angeles CA US (LAX)
Flying Time: 11 hrs 45 min

24 August – Flight to Sydney
Origin: Los Angeles CA US (LAX)
Destination: Sydney NS AU (SYD)
Flying Time: 15 hrs

understanding Colour..

Colour is central to our lives. As artists we have active control of colour to communicate with our viewers. There are observable ways colours interact to express our tastes and feelings. As we create we explore the feelings, the stories the colour helps us to tell. We can purposely go against our taste, in order to provoke or flow with it in order to placate or the third option is to downplay colour by going black and white. Knowing how they play together gives you freedom of choice.

Quartet at the End of Time

Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen part 1 titled – Liturgie de Cristal

This part is 3mins 10 secs the whole piece is 48 minute or so… I love the whole piece because of it emotional range and it’s story. The piece was writen in a concentration camp for POWs in France during WWII. for the only 4 instruments available – piano, violin, cello and clarinet. It was first played to prisoner in January 1942 on a very cold day. To me it’s classical punk because of it’s use of rhythm, chord and dischords and melody to represent the emotions of the prisoners and the spirit needed to survive the horror of the place it was written. This first part is just beautiful birds singing and yet has a lot of tension in it. I will come back to this piece again and again. I learn so much from this and there is more to learn.

For this I was inspired by Messiaen’s own writing about this movement – “Between three and four in the morning, the awakening of birds: a solo blackbird or nightingale improvises, surrounded by a shimmer of sound, by a halo of trills lost very high in the trees. Transpose this onto a religious plane and you have the harmonious silence of Heaven”

Music by – Franklin Cohen, clarinet Yura Lee, violin Gabriel Cabezas, cello Orion Weiss, piano ChamberFest Cleveland June 20, 2013 Mixon Hall at Cleveland Institute of Music http://www.chamberfestcleveland.com

Original music here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bUzI…

 

My Future Integrating Words, Vision and Performance

Here’s an experiment with combining poetry, performance and art.

It’s for a poem “who will I be” about the anxiety I face meeting other men. It was inspired by women talking about their feelings when meeting strangers, specifically men. The thing that is scary and that seems overlooked is that actually the vast majority of men in the west (at least) are very polite to women they don’t know and that women should be more worried about men they know, than strangers. While for men violence is more likely to come from strangers. In both cases alcohol is most likely to be involved, though ‘Ice’ seems to be becoming a more common contributor, but still no where near as dangerous as alcohol or as expensive to our economy. Interestingly most of the other illegal drugs only contribute to violence as a result of their illegality, because it pushes people to associate with criminals.

The majority of violence in the world is between men. It doesn’t get reported because it is so natural as to be invisible. It only gets noticed when the violence is “dishonourable” that is an ambush punch, or the victim is considered weaker. This is the same source of the shaming that goes on with domestic violence and rape. The other types of violence, or maybe part of violence that gets notices is when there is no consent. “Combatants”, that is soldiers, are consenting participants in violence while “civilian” men, and automatically children and women haven’t consented to participate in the “war”, the most extreme violence. This is a common theme of my poetry, and other writing. There will be more on this site.

art @ RPA

This is the product of a carterie project “Village” all participants use the same set of recycled materials but each came up witht heir own designs even if they had to be helped with the making.

 

Today thanks to St George TAFE School of Fine Arts and especially Thanks to Chris Casali a group of us got an intro to an amazing and beautiful project that acknowledges that being in hospital is tough and that art can help.

Arterie@RPA uses art therapy and art projects to help at least distract people from difficulties of their discomforts, pain and powerlessness of being in hospital.  They do this in a number of ways.

  1. The art is used both to provide direct therapy in the sense of art helping people with their healing process. For example helping stroke victims with redeveloping fine motor coordination. Or to help re-establish (or slow the deterioration of) thinking and problem solving from acquire brain injuries, dementia and stroke.
  2. Then they have Artists in Residence (AIR) who do art on the walls and share their process in public for three weeks. This helps break up the boredom, providing interesting experiences for patients, carers, family and staff. And a beautiful environment for everyone including staff.
  3. There are the travelling art helpers as part of “Carterie”. Volunteers and paid staff take carts around with art supplies and a variety of themes and materials that spark conversations and collaborations that also distract, but also help patients and carers manage the stress of the hospital life.
  4. There are workshops in a central area for patients, carers and staff that basically allow them to socialise and feel empowered and supported emotionally. Some also help people to communicate across the whole range social backgrounds.

    These are 10cm square canvases done with a limited colour pallet, participants could do whatever designs pleased them. The colours allowed them to fit together beautifully.

This project and its processes is such a beautiful modern and advanced health practice. It acknowledges the importance of mind in the healing process in away that goes beyond older ideas of psychology as separate to physiology, as individuals being separate to their environment.

On this visit we were given presentations by staff of the information above, then we were taken on a tour around the hospital showing displays of the results of various Artists In Residence projects and some of the carterie collaborations with patients and carers. Then we participated in a project to create 150 canvas tiles to decorate a rehab exercise area in blue, green aqua and white.

The Aims of This Site.

This site will be a place for me to show explorations, experiments, works in progress (WIP), finished creative works. If I can say it out loud I’m a polymath.

I sometimes hate, but always finds it hard to to be stick to genres, techniques, subjects but I do try to live by an ethical code and philosophy, that of exploration, seeking meaning and understanding, being respectful of others and creativity.

I write, I draw, I paint, I make videos, I make sounds, some of it traditional and some digital. I sit around thinking and feeling and celebrating.

My subjects are sex, politics, violence, philosophy (in the sense of asking who am I, how do I know what I know, how/why do I behave the way I do), everyday crap, and sometimes I have nothing to say at all I’m just playing.