One of the great things about falling down the rabbit hole of the internet, is that you can find another world at the other end. In this case, an illustrated world. On one of my recent trips through the internet, I came across the colorful site of the Tokyo Illustrators Society. Their new page archives the work of some of Japan’s finest talent (and provides a somewhat addictive gallery of inspirational material). This was where I found the work of Kondo Yoshie, and her charming illustrated city guides.
With an upcoming trip to Italy being the sole thing on my mind lately, my web browser history and Pinterest page seem to be pure evidence of this. And then I stumbled upon the work of Gina Soden. Her latest body of work, titled Decandenza, is stunning. Soden chooses to portray beauty, instead of the gloom often associated with decay. Capturing the color, light, and tranquility of these neglected spaces, Decadenza is all about beautiful abandonment…
Do you feel like you’ve stagnated somehow? That you know what you want but you’ve reached a road-block and can’t seem to get around it to the other side, which is so close – you can see it – but you just can’t move towards it? I do. I’m at this point right now. Days look like print copies of each other, and I’m not producing a whole lot of stimulating, creative material that makes me stop, get excited and think, this is IT! But I’ve found there is something that helps: someone who has gone through this process telling me not to quit. So if you’re struggling with that gap in creativity, or just need a nudge to keep going, then I suggest you watch the video below.
A few days ago I was at the launch of a new, local feminist magazine when I first experienced Yoko Ono’s performance-art, Cut Piece. I had never actually seen Ono’s original version and was intrigued as to how the reenactment would take place. A young woman, robed in deep green velvet, sat in the middle of a small stage and lay a pair of scissors in front of her. A pianist played Chopin in the backdrop, and we were told that the audience was welcome to come up at any time, take the scissors, and cut a piece from the performer’s dress to take with them. It was a quietly magical experience, with the classical music and stillness in the artist’s face casting something short of a spell on us. People approached the stage, one by one, in almost equal intervals to cut small pieces of the velvet dress, slowly shredding it and exposing the woman’s pale skin beneath.
Last week I received a special invitation to sit in as part of an audience for a Live Art workshop being held at the Tate Modern. This was because I personally know one of the participants, and had already heard recounts of the contemporary dance and choreography they were learning. What I didn’t expect, however, was the sheer grace I encountered. Because it was beautiful to watch. These weren’t professional dancers, and it was not a complicated dance piece, but there was pure beauty in just the simple movements of their bodies; the way they danced around and among each other with such ease and elegance. There was also the added bonus of having the London skyline as their backdrop. But I was still amazed. Amazed at how a group of young, amateur students could produce something so simple, peaceful, and yet so stunning.
Yesterday was the last day of Liberty’s ‘Get Creative’ week, and I was lucky enough to get a spot in their Origami Workshop hosted by Etsy. The workshop was led by designer Gemma Gilleard who displays an array of talent on her Etsy shop, Gx2HomeGrown. Thanks to her careful instruction and an origami-for-dummies guide, I created my very first pair of paper doves. Keep reading to find out what we did, and how to make your own origami dove!