Sunday, December 27, 2009

Green

On Christmas day, I drove out to Aramoana - 'gateway to the sea' - and was surprised to find a green beach, waves foaming like hot spinach soup. 
Each time I go walking out there, I know I'm in for a different experience; this time, the sea had delivered up a surreal and extravagant carpet of frilly green seaweed. A solitary oyster catcher was having a feast, his red-pencil beak dipping in and out of the spongy squelch, his small black head thrown back every now and then to gulp and swallow. (What bird can equal an oyster catcher in earnestness and attitude?) 
I walked the length of the beach several times, soaking up the smelly pleasures of salt and kelp and slowly rising heat, my bare feet coming to grips with a whole new vocabulary of sound and texture.  





Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Forty-eight Christmases

... that's how many (or how few, depending on how one looks at it) Christmases I've been around for; add this year and we're looking at a total of forty-nine. Forty-nine's a fine number - I like the frank shape, red sound and nuts-and-bolts reality of it. Seven times seven. This, too, has a lively ring, redolent of promise. A tree that age has roots that reach a fair way down, respectably weathered bark, a crown capable of holding its shape in a headwind. 



Our dear friend Chrissie, whose triumphant memorial service was yesterday, was quaintly eccentric about her age. She was well-read, not least in matters numerological and esoteric so her evasiveness/discomfort/playfulness about her age has been a tad mystifying. We discovered yesterday that she'd given herself poetic license to be between one and ten years younger than she was. Good on her. We share a writer friend, who could be in her early sixties but is in fact in her mid-seventies, and who gives newspapers and literary journals a different age every time they interview her and want to know how old she is. 'What's it got to do with them?', she says, 'It's up to me how old I am. I tell them whatever I feel like telling them on the day... ' Last time there was an article about her in The Oddity (the Otago Daily Times - our local rag), she'd boldly claimed the number sixty-four.        

I'd intended to post a few Christmas recipes today since I've been cooking all day, but here I am talking about numbers and defying age. If time allows it, I'll write up a couple of recipes tomorrow or the next day. Christmas is virtually upon us - I'm still running to catch up with the calendar. I did have the happiest time in the kitchen today, however, baking up a storm with my two sons (both in their early twenties) in celebration of friends and in anticipation of their older sister's return home from the North Island. It's a joy to have all three offspring back in Dunedin for the holidays.  

D, T & I cycled through reggae, Bob Dylan, Ray LaMontagne, Preisner and Iron & Wine whilst making roast capsicum & olive compote (delicious - with anchovies, garlic, fresh mint, thyme & basil), a rhubarb & raspberry compote, dark chocolate & guinness cake, boterkoek (Dutch recipe - a family tradition), spicy roast nuts & pretzels... now this is a heavenly mix. (I made my way to David Lebovitz's recipe from Miriam Levine's blog - thank you Miriam. Thank you, David.). This is the kind of treat you'll want to munch your way through in large quantities and at immodest speed.)... What else did we make? Oh, I know - a dark chocolate and whisky fruit cake. 


I was up with the bellbirds this morning - they wake at around 5 these solstice days - and the last of the light has just dissolved the edges of the peninsula hills. It's bedtime for me, too. 

Earlier this evening, while I was filling the birds' coconut chalice with sugar water, I found my thoughts turning to those of you who live in the Northern hemisphere where the nights are long and the ground is now thick with snow. How very different our Christmases will be. I send warm wishes your way. 


Warm thanks to all of you who pop in & engage in conversation here. 

~<   Wishing you a peaceful, joy-filled Christmas   >~

Friday, December 18, 2009

Candles & french fries, boston terriers & choral music, angels and cornflower blue...





To know and to love: the same thing - Theodore Roethke
 

C h r i s s i e   E l l e n   M a h o n e y

- - - 9 August 1953 - 17 December 2009 - - -

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Harnessing the power of the unfinished


As Christmas approaches with its welcome invitation to don my stained old kitchen apron and start rustling up the family's festive favourites, I take special pleasure in the annual tradition of climbing the ladder and stringing the lights. Each year, I braid my studio's 'spine' with tiny blue and white LEDs. It lights up more like a tall, skinny lighthouse or a mast on a boat than a Christmas tree, but that's part of its charm and I love it.


For some time now, I've had an urge to bring the sea into the studio and 'therein to dwell.' This is not a new impulse. An appreciation of water - whether fresh or salty - references a number of different things, amongst these the near-absence of this element in my natal chart, a simple love for  the ocean and an as-yet unfulfilled wish to dive in it - and I don't mean the bobbing, snorkeling kind. I'm lucky enough to have done my fair share of that. I mean the kind that requires dry suits and tanks and breath-taking plunges into deep, dark waters. (This is a metaphor, of course, and yes, life is letting me know there's work to be done before this year is up.)

An oversized painting (10 X 10ft) has been sloshing about in me for some time and wants out. Chances are it could be a messy process but we all know that squalls inevitably make way for calm. Like the ocean or psyche, the environment of a painting is tidal. Certainly, it is my hope that this one's water will ebb and flow, the spaces and particles in it opening and closing, linking up and separating, drifting in close where appropriate and otherwise cutting the ties that bind in favour of risking a ride on a different current... I'd like it to be an environment that can embrace its own rhythm, one in which heavy objects find their buoyancy and float instead of sink. Darkness and light will visit, ruffling the surfaces without clouding the depths. There will be rest and rebellion, a piece at peace with sometimes spilling over its own edges. 

This work will no doubt present me with a few challenges. If it brings me to my knees, so be it. It may never reach completion, depending on what completion means. Right now, though, I feel energized at the thought of spending the coming year in conversation with whatever tussle and magic's resident in this stable-yet-mutable universe - oops, I mean, painting. My hunch is it has things to teach me that will require me to stick at it, to stay close at hand. 

This morning, whilst doing my blog read-around, I came across a marvelous site I'd not encountered before. What a remarkable community this is. There's so much good will and generosity out there... When you get a chance, do visit Edward Byrne whom I thank warmly for his introduction to Louise Glück in the following piece from her collection, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (Ecco, 1994) ---   

“... I do not think that more information always makes a richer poem. I am attracted to ellipsis, to the unsaid, to suggestion, to eloquent, deliberate silence. The unsaid, for me, exerts great power: often I wish an entire poem could be made in this vocabulary. It is analogous to the unseen; for example, to the power of ruins, to works of art either damaged or incomplete. Such works inevitably allude to larger contexts; they haunt because they are not whole, though wholeness is implied: another time, a world in which they were whole, or were to have been whole, is implied. There is no moment in which their first home is felt to be the museum. A few years ago, I saw a show of Holbein drawings; most astonishing were those still in progress. Parts were entirely finished. And parts were sketched, a fluent line indicating arm or hand or hair, but the forms were not filled in. Holbein had made notes to himself: this sleeve blue, hair, auburn. The terms were other—not the color in the world, but the color in paint or chalk. What these unfinished drawings generated was a vivid sense of Holbein at work, at the sitting; to see them was to have a sense of being back in time, back in the middle of something. Certain works of art become artifacts. By works of art, I mean works of any medium. And certain works of art do not. It seems to me that what is wanted, in art, is to harness the power of the unfinished. All earthly experience is partial. Not simply because it is subjective, but because that which we do not know, of the universe, of mortality, is so much more vast than that which we do know. What is unfinished or has been destroyed participates in these mysteries. The problem is to make a whole that does not forfeit this power.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The tender cursive of waves


NOTHING
from EATING FIRE 
by Margaret Atwood

Nothing like love to put blood
back in the language,
the difference between the beach and its
discrete rocks & shards, a hard
cuneiform, and the tender cursive
of waves; bone & liquid fishegg, desert
& saltmarsh, a green push
out of death. The vowels plump
again like lips or soaked fingers; and the fingers
themselves move around these
softening pebbles as around skin. The sky's
not vacant and over there but close
against your eyes, molten, so near
you can taste it. It tastes of 
salt. What touches
you is what you touch.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Gooseberry jewels




Fun in the kitchen with G while D's away with the birds; he and his camera are happily ensconced on a chair a foot or two from the feeder...


'If you never did
you should. 
These things are fun 
and fun is good' 

... wrote the insightful Dr.Seuss. 


Visit his exuberant site... with or without your children; there's enough fun 'n' stuff there to keep everyone entertained for ages. 


Thanks for the goosegems, Pen x

Friday, December 04, 2009

For the birds


My parents - G & D - are out from the UK at the moment; here for another ten days or so. Earlier this week, my SA cousin's daughter P surprised us with a text from her Magic Bus to say she'd be arriving in Dunedin on Wednesday and would love a bed for a night or three - or five? Yes. Yes, I said. Life's calling for wriggle-room and spontaneity these days. My eccentric old house is bulging at the seams and enjoying every minute of it.

And the birds have never had it so good; dear Father (a bird nut if ever there was one, bless him) tops up their drinking chalice with sugar water twice a day, pounds raw peanuts to a pulp for the small-beaked wax-eyes and finches, talks to the hoardes from the front steps, whistles their little riffs back at them... 

The tuis brush our shoulders when they come down to feed these days and the wax-eyes stay right where they are on the bird-feeder when we decide it's time for a top-up. 

The garden footpath's taking a bit of a hammering with all this activity - sunflower seed husks and no-holds-barred guano attesting to the birds' delight. It's fast becoming a hazard patch of exuberant black and white. 

Bring it on, I say. Bring it on.

; )
  

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hidden Depths



HIDDEN DEPTHS

A Caselberg Trust fund-raising event at Portobello Aquarium - 7.00PM, Thursday 3 December (tomorrow).

I'll be talking about art, science, Euclidian geometry, porcelain bell vessels, ice, music, invisible tides, katabatic winds, uni-cellular aquatic organisms and a red polar haven (amongst other things). I'm not the world's funniest person, but I am passionate about Antarctica and hope that by the end of the hour you'll be feeling that way, too. 

The Caselberg Trust does terrific work in support of New Zealand's artists and writers. Please come along - the more the merrier. 

An admission fee of $20.00 includes wine and seafood nibbles. (Door sales - or you can book ahead of time by phoning the NZ Marine Studies Centre on 479 5826)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Small miracles


My mouth's a-clatter with stones this morning. Words don't want to take proper shape - neither on the tongue nor on the page. Not that I mind having a mouthful of stones. I'm particularly fond of them; love to hold them in both hand and mouth; love the way they come alive in water; the way they respond to touch and emanate warmth. I love their potential for music and their capacity for silence; the ways they invite you in and share their energy. 

Have you noticed how there's no such thing as an ugly stone? If anything, weathering and fractures enhance them.


For some years now, I've worn a great chisel of pounamu against my skin; it's a source of strength and comfort. It was gifted to me by a friend at a time she could not have known my world was in a state of upheaval and imminent change. How much of our individual stories and realities do we conceal or carry in hidden spaces? The deep cracks. The foreign bits of grit and crazed (sometimes, astonishing) seams. The pounamu is a stone I wear to sleep and wake with every morning. It's sharpness reminds me of the importance of living and speaking kindly. It's smoothness tells me obstacles are surmountable and so-called solid things, malleable.  

I think with tenderness of a dear friend I gave a heart-shaped healing amethyst to some four years ago. Healing is a mysterious process - it takes place in ways we do not always comprehend and with outcomes we cannot always anticipate. 


Stones are not unlike us (or perhaps it's we who are not unlike them?) - tight, compact, concentrated forms and at the same time, wide open spaces. Sometimes - often when we least expect it - they offer up small miracles. 
  

Friday, November 20, 2009

Alchemy


The exhibition that Kate and I have been working towards for some months opens in Wanaka this Friday, 20 November and will run till 11 December. If you're anywhere near Gallery 33 (33 Helwick Street) on the night of the opening, please join us for a celebration... 

Our work can be viewed on the following sites -



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Like fire


I feel a little scorched this morning. 

I'm away from home for the exhibition opening and a few days respite time. Late last night, I logged on to the local internet system to check my emails when, for some inexplicable reason, five year's worth of personal and professional correspondence went up in smoke. That's a fair bit of writing. I don't know how this happened. It was there one minute, gone the next. How ephemeral things are, I found myself thinking. And what a powerful statement and metaphor. 

My Sent box is empty. 

Where could those years and pages of letters and musings have gone to, I wonder? And why now when we're just weeks away from the year I'd chosen to take a 'sabbatical' from my usual commitments for the purpose of synthesis and consolidation - reflecting specifically on these five years of life and learning, work, inner process and travel adventures. How bizarre this is.  I was all set! 

This has certainly got me thinking. Is this yet another prompt to practice detachment? Hmm. I suspect so. Drat! (That said, I can't deny I'm more than a little intrigued by this little drama.)

Out of the ashes... ? 

Well, what else can I do but shake my sooty little feathers and faithfully await the phoenix.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Donated to Science


Three weeks ago, at the ArtScience symposium that was held down here, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Trotman, Dunedin-based medical doctor and documentary filmmaker. I was one of many in the darkened auditorium who found themselves falling from the buzz of high-energy discussion into hushed silence as Paul shared with us a selection of carefully-chosen excerpts from his brave new film, Donated to Science. 


This is by no means easy viewing. How could it be with reality and truth as its central characters? We are not so good at seeing things as they are. Not so good at traveling right into the heart of things - especially not when death and the human body are involved. Death is difficult even when we know it's part of life. Even when we believe it's a comma in a much longer sentence, rather than an abrupt full stop. 

On the surface of it, Donated to Science is a documentary about human dissection.  The idea alone is fraught, discomforting. In his introductory synopsis, Paul asks "What happens when someone donates their body to science? How does dissecting a real human body affect the medical students who do it? Why do people donate their bodies? What do their relatives think?"

This is tough stuff; sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat stuff. How could it not be? It is, however, many things besides. Donated to Science is a profoundly tender and life-affirming film; an expression of care, mystery and beauty, too. Life, Death and their complex, kindred processes are laid bare here. We are invited in as privileged witnesses to necessary and respectful processes of analysis for understanding's sake. As a documentary, the film  lifts the cloak on medical method whilst emphasizing what essentially comes down to what I can only call 'right relationships'; those between loved ones, between medical student and donated body, teacher and scholar, death and life. It is a film about grief, compassion, fear and longing. And - in strange, unexpected ways - it is a celebration of Man's extraordinary capacity for generosity and courage. 

Donated to Science premiers in New Zealand at 9.30PM on TV3 this Wednesday evening, 18 November. 



To watch an introductory preview, visit Realscreen 

Paul's PRN Films website also has a number of links to related articles and sites. 

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Quotes from Paul's website:

"That film has stayed with me since viewing. I am sure it was obvious to you that we were, at best, nervous about the film but in reality, pretty much against the whole thing. It was one of my life's great surprises and joys to come out of the viewing room completely turned around in my opinion. I am immensely proud that Dad was involved in this project and you should be very proud of what you have achieved." Tim, son of one of the donors in the film.

"... you don't really expect beauty to be your lingering impression of a film about cadaver dissection... It's interesting that one can have a deep and intimate relationship with a group of people after death. The students were marvelously articulate and open - love to have any one of them as my doctor." Mary Roach, author of Stiff

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brazen shapes



The #^*<>?~^* stadium's going up at a pace. Each time I pass the site on my way from home to town and back, I feel a sense of outrage and alarm. There's something deeply disconcerting about the defiance of this structure; the way it's brazenly taking shape despite so many folk's impassioned objection to it. Hardly a healthy template for trust and cooperation in community?

As a way of countering the blow of concrete and (disarmingly balletic) cranes, artwork is starting to appear on the kilometre or so of primed wall screen. 

There's something reassuring, energizing and inevitable about this; painting stepping in as both poetry and protest.






Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cadence


"... a non-English word entered my unspoken vocab recently which has opened up my way of seeing. The word is 'va'. It is a Samoan word and is used commonly in the phrase 'le teu la va'. Its meaning: cherish the space. My gleanings and conversations inform me that this is not the space that separates people, (as in "I need my space!"), but rather...  " 

And now you'll want to visit new blogger PMM's site Cadence to read the rest of the story! 


Lasting Conversations - charcoal & pastel on paper: CB 2009


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Yes!


The Environment Court has declined consent for the proposed $2-billion wind farm in Central Otago's Lammermoor Range. 

This is thrilling news. All thanks to those zealous and faithful folk who have motivated, advocated, protested, pleaded on behalf of this majestic landscape. Noble custodians of the land you be.   

For further reading, visit Kay McKenzie-Cooke's blog (where she's posted two marvelous poems that speak directly to this subject) and here are links to articles in today's ODT and NZ Herald.  

><

from Nothing to do with you
by Kay McKenzie-Cooke


For a cup of coffee,
you would strike the heart

with an axe, mine stone
for its marrow.

Maim
what rolls on into sky. Screw

metal poles into quiet land,
warp and crush

its offer
of light and air.

><


...and, from our ODT - "After weighing all the relevant matters . . . we judge that the Meridian project is inappropriate in the outstanding natural landscape of the Eastern Central Otago Upland Landscape, and does not achieve sustainable management of the Lammermoor's resources. That is principally because the nationally important positive factors of enabling economic and social welfare by providing a very large quantity of renewable energy are outweighed by the most important adverse consequences," the decision stated.

Yes. Yes. Yes. 


Friday, November 06, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Balsa wood & dope for model airplanes


Kate - my jeweler friend and the artist with whom I've been collaborating these past months - has been down in Dunedin for eight days high-activity in the studio. We've put the finishing touches on various jewelry and installation pieces and completed a series of double-signature drawings (2D composites to which we've contributed in equal measure).

Our exhibition - titled Alchemy - explores transformative processes and promotes the idea that meaningful collaborative endeavour has little to do with ownership of ideas and ideally contains elements of gifting. It opens at Gallery 33 in Wanaka on Friday 20 November. (I'll post more about it, including links to our respective websites, closer to the time.) 

While she was here, Kate commented on a small framed photograph on the bookcase in my hallway. It's a portrait of my late brother, Alan. The photograph was taken when he was a young man of twenty. Incredible to think that was thirty years ago. His abiding absence over the years has been a presence, too, in the way that those we have loved and lost are; sometimes it's palpable, welcome, companionable; sometimes we meet each other with wrestle, incredulity and outrage. Then, too, there are surprising moments of rich dialogue, sudden illumination, helpful instruction. However we look at it, are not all of our relationships ongoing? 

Alan was a boy with a slender frame and tender shell; a boy who loved insects, snakes and the Milky Way, who shared his Easter eggs with his cat and his corgi, who understood flight and bees and had the patience and know-how required to splint an injured bird's wing or to build a fleet (I can't call it a 'squadron'; it's so not a word he'd have used) of balsa wood airplanes.  

Kate's questions about him, together with the fact I've been experimenting with balsa wood as a ground for miniature oil paintings (the smallest are 25 x 39MM), prompted me to dig through the folder of poems I've written to him over the years. 

Here's one of them, lovingly posted -  



HI

I came across your tent bag this evening, in the attic.
We were clearing space so we could see more clearly, 
sort what we’d need for the long run. 

It was empty - your bag. I unzipped the pockets, 
slid my hands slowly into bone-brittle plastic, past old cold
then wet - it felt wet and dripping suddenly with mulberry juice 
and dope for model airplanes.

It's twenty-five years since you were felled
on that brutal Transkei road. Twenty-five years since 
I, away in London at the time, smelled it happen.   

I carry the scent of crushed lemon verbena 
on my fingers still slip into our perfumery 
in the back garden. Often I climb our apricot tree, 
watch flying ants drop their wings 
onto steaming tarmac only to spin round 
and round in dizzy circles, 
nowhere to go but into night.

I’ve tried but cannot see you 
as a middle-aged man. From where I stand, 
you're perfectly at ease sitting cross-legged 
on the rough cement steps of childhood, 
there in the dust-dry courtyard where we tasted 
the nutty bitterness of deep-fried mopani worms, 
sucked honey from the comb, laughed 
from our bellies,  drank summer in 
through open pores.

And I was such a sucker for punishment!
Your freckle-faced little sister sitting in your shadow 
for hours and hours, content just to be 
able to tickle your long warm back 
and blow cool air onto your sunburned shoulders.
   


Monday, November 02, 2009

Disbelieving fingers


Poem by Dunedin poet, Pam Morrison


OK

OK, so I live in the city.

So I've never pressed
My ear to the earth
For its secrets

Never known the furtive 
Tug for water
From a forked rod

Or criss-crossed the land 
Until my soles are knowing
And tough as old boots

Yes, I've opened the dirt
A handful of times

Pressed in odd bulbs
With disbelieving fingers
Only to be baffled again
And again by the harvest

But get this

Old magic, God of Abraham
Call it what you will
Is still thick as thieves
With this urban girl

How else could it be 
That here I am
Humming from the bone

Damn smack in the middle 
On that still point
You call destiny

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quill






ONCE A BIRD
for Annette  

This one, carved in graphite
 warms like wax in the hand 
 its perfect tip wants nothing
 more than to draw saltwater
 stars, a comet's flare, scales
 of silver. Flying fish.      



 Quill sculpted by Agelio Batle 


Monday, October 26, 2009

ArtScience, Nature's little masons, inter alia


This coming Wednesday (28th) an ArtScience symposium titled Illustrating the Unseeable - Reconnecting Art and Science is being hosted by the Electronic Arts section of the School of Art, Dunedin. 

Leonardo, Galileo, Einstein, Heron-Allen (I wrote up about the legendary H-A a few months back) and co. would be oh-so-happy to hear this. Contemporary proponents of ArtScience, Lynn Margulis, Sam Bowser, Elinor Mossop, Richard Feynman, Cynthia Pannucci (founder of NY-based Art & Science Collaboration Inc. (ASCI)), Lisa Roberts, Peter Charuk and others will rejoice. 

rejoice!

Perhaps we could make a point of dangling events like these under the noses of our NZ government in a bid to shake up their thinking around our country's education policies? Their latest conclusions reveal such dismal lack of insight. Pull back on funding; increase the systematization of our education environments, saboutage teachers' autonomy and vocational creativity. What can they possibly be thinking? And what of our ripe-for-learning children? Education by nature resists straight-jacketing. It cannot do otherwise. We're obliged to rebel and insist on more, surely? How can a country such as this one, with its abundance and privilege - not embrace and promote education that's integrative, progressive, contemporary, relevant to current global realities and sensibly, necessarily more liberal-arts* oriented? The three Rs are all very solid and fine, but honestly... I shake my head. 

Tune in to the excellent, eloquent Sir Ken Robinson speaking about Creativity in Schools. 

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Back to Wednesday... 

The day's gathering will include presentations by:

Dr. KarstenSchneider Animator/Marine biologist, Pixel Dust Studios. Professor Geoff Wyvill Computer Science, University of Otago. Peter Stupples Art Theory,Dunedin School of Art. Associate Professor Mike Paulin Zoology, University of Otago. Nicola Gibbons Artist. Trevor Coleman Composer/Musician. Claire Beynon Artist. Bridie Lonie Art Theory, Dunedin School of Art. Pete Gorman MFA candidate, Dunedin School of Art. Andrew LastJewellery, Dunedin School of Art. Paul Trotman General Medical Practitioner/Filmmaker, Dunedin. Felicity Molloy Massage Therapy, Otago Polytechnic. Peter Batson Marine Biologist/Filmmaker, Deep Sea Productions. Alistair Regan Department of Design, Otago Polytechnic. Amos Mann Museum Educator and musician. Chris Ebbert Product Design, Otago Polytechnic, Marcus Turner Research and Information Coordinator, Natural History New Zealand. Dr. Mark McGuire Design Studies, University of Otago. Stu Smith Animator/Computer Scientist, Animation Research Ltd. Julian Priest Artist and independent researcher.


"The 'infotainment' industry perpetually hungers for innovation in the popular delivery of scientific visualizations. At the same time developments in computer graphic imaging and computer enhanced media offer uncharted potential for illustrating the unseeable. Even so, at present, key expositional elements for feature film and broadcast media are commonly created by commercial animation studios whose graphic designers primarily reference a cache of pre-existing broadcast and feature film work to solve graphic concept puzzles. We think there is scope for a different kind of engagement between art and science. 

In a parallel universe - far flung artists, stimulated by the fecund muse of scientific theory explore 'lateral' ways to illustrate and embody ground-breaking theoretical concepts. Artists are developing new ways to interpret science, creating a rich reservoir of ideas; a vastly extended idiom. 

Nearly 500 years ago, Renaissance artists and scientists illuminated worlds of imagination, theory, function and possibility. With the industrial revolution came the inevitable segregation of art and science toward functional material efficiency driven largely by the trade of the day. But in the twenty-first century, economics have irrevocably expanded. Now abstractions and their symbolic expression are traded with the same currency as more 'tangible' cargo. As surely as industrial fetishism dictates a schism between art and science, network economics enable a reunion. 

We view this an an opportune moment to begin a discussion given Dunedin's rich academic and creative environment. 

With a focus toward bringing arts practice in touch with the popular dissemination of innovative ideas, through a variety of media conduits - from traditional broadcast to cutting edge graphic interfaces in location-based museum installations - Electronic Arts will host a symposium to encourage cross-media and cross-disciplinary connections. 

Electronic Arts within the School of Arts is dedicated to critical research practices in digital and electronic media. Being positioned within a School of Art allows us a unique perspective of digital media and technologies. Organized by David Green and Susan Ballard, this symposium will provide a forum for discussions of scientific illustration within our city. A range of invited participants will present short talks addressing scientific illustration as it relates to their research and development focus. Comprised neither of formal papers not trade pitches, this symposium is intended to stimulate a Dunedin nexus between world and local contemporary arts practice and cutting edge science toward media dissemination."

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Astrammina triangularis


My short presentation for Wednesday is titled Nature's Little Masons, and yes, I will be talking about foraminifera, sculptors extraordinaire of the microcosmic world. A passion for ArtScience (+ the advocacy thereof) has been in me for some time but as you already know, the fires were really ignited by my Antarctic experiences. 

Fire and ice; an interesting juxtaposition of elements - and not as polar opposite as one might think. Mind you, is anything when we look at it up close?

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* The term liberal arts denotes a curriculum that imparts general knowledge and develops the student’s rational thought and intellectual capabilities, unlike the professional,vocational, technical curricula emphasizing specialization. The contemporary liberal arts comprise studying literaturelanguagesphilosophyhistorymathematics, and science.[1] In classical antiquity, the liberal arts denoted the education proper to a free man (Latinliber, “free”), unlike the education proper to a slave. In the 5th Century AD, Martianus Capella academically defined the seven Liberal Arts as: grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music.