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Frequently to be found dreaming of new adventures and other such schemes.
We make artists’ books, we make all sorts of things, and we favour evenings over mornings.
Interests: collage, drawing, the animal kingdom, nightfall, idleness, daydreams in the early morning, watching films and reading books, reading faces... most things prove of interest.
Recent Activity
{Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, The Company You Keep, 2016, artists' book} A decade seems a good point to change things around, and so whilst I'll still have an online space for showing works in process through to completion, how it looks, feels, and runs will be different. I've been here, High Up in the Trees, for ten years. Time to construct a new tree house more in keeping with how I share what I see and think and do. For now, I will be keeping High Up in the Trees as an accessible archive, keeping it just as is, for I've many fond memories of this space. It has transformed from a rather warty, small file size, personal scrapbook to a more considered place. I have learned more of how to communicate, as my pieces for Fjord Review are a testament to, and I've refined my visual sensibilities. From a humble platform, I feel I have found my feet, and now I am keen to eke out a new spot rather than limp along. Thank-you to everyone who has stopped by here throughout its various incarnations, and to the loyal hearts from start to finish. I have enjoyed creating this space with and for you. My links list points to many blogs now closed, removed, or cobweb-cloaked, left to languish with a forlorn 'March 2013' post on the front door. (Am I suffering from a bout of nostalgia when I say they remind me of ghost towns or something of ash-cloaked Pompeii?) I had wanted to give High Up in the Trees a fitting wake, but sadly most of its friends have already passed. And so before I grow too sentimental about what blogging was in the early days before the instant share of instagram, twitter, and snapchat, for when comments were to be read, before the tiny violins do play: thank-you. Really, thank-you. Thank-you. And so, I guess, if this is to be a wake, we need refreshments as we mourn. And I have just the space for that. High Up in the Trees has been reincarnated as MARGINALIA, and who knows how it will grow. Come along. Over here. Yes, you. Over here. I've so much to show you. Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{From setting up to lights out, the Melbourne Art Book Fair.} Monday night, just time enough for a quick gallop through the Melbourne Art Book Fair. For a whirl about the Great Hall, before the edges soften further and fade altogether. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you crazy flash. Sweep, hare, fly! Here, below, a little of how it looked from our stand at the fair. And perhaps a little, too, of how it felt. Giddy. Exhilarating. And exhausting. Good hallmarks, all. We are beyond thrilled that copies of our artists' book, Because I Like You, are now bound for the National Library of Australia, the State Library of Victoria, and the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne, as well as private collections. And speechless that The Company You Keep, an artists' book comprised of fifteen Salvaged Relatives collages on cabinet cards, is destined for the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. The stuff of dreams! Thank-you to everyone who swung by our stand and leafed through our zines and new work. It was a pleasure to show you our jaguars, giraffes, tigers, and other pressed animals on the page. A real pleasure indeed. Thank-you for having us, Melbourne Art Book Fair team. 2016 proved even merrier than its debut, and we've talked ourselves hoarse. We've talked ourselves silly. From Dear tails to Whiskers and Bristles, over the coming days, we'll list our nine new zine titles on our online store, for those of you who couldn't make it along. With heavy eyelids, weary bones, and happy hearts, goodnight, and big thanks, G&L xo {To savour: the quiet moments setting up in the morning to fair's full flight. So happy to have shared this with you, Deidre, Deanna, Theo, Peter, Emily, Trent, M.33, and Kyoko.} Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Ready to go again this weekend. (Melbourne Art Book Fair 2015, image (detail) courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria)} {Lenni, in role of tiny overseer, double checks the stock for the forthcoming fair.} {Safely delivered: 9 of 9 boxes for the Melbourne Art Book Fair, plus 1 Lottie} Dear you, Blowing the proverbial trumpet from the rooftops, we invite you to join us at the Melbourne Art Book Fair this weekend. We'll be bringing with us nine new zine titles (all an edition of 100), two unique-state artists' books, and one limited edition (of 10) artists' book. We'd love to show you these new works in person, should you be nearby. And for those further afield, all new zine titles will soon be available through our online store. Yours, with fingers taping at the (piano) keys in a foxtrot now that the brushes and pencils have been put aside, G&L X {Cutting the Collection} {Wrens, flycatchers and honeyeaters beware} {An Afternoon of a Hopping Mouse (Notomys mitchellii)} {Thumb Through} {Seasonal museum sketches (spring)} {The Company You Keep} {Whiskers and Bristles} {Seasonal museum sketches (summer)} Melbourne Art Book Fair Saturday 30th April 10am–8pm Sunday 1st May 10am–5pm (#NGVABF) + Contented hound, hard at work (by @pasadenamansions) + Unexpected mailart from Frips in Belgium is the best kind of unexpected mail art (@necessityofnonsense) + Automobiles for Mice Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
Home time, but not quittin' time. #theworkingtable A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Apr 18, 2016 at 11:12pm PDT Testing the "thumb-through-ness" of 'Thumb Through,' our flip book featuring collages created with treasure from the #PerformingArtsCollection. A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Apr 10, 2016 at 7:21pm PDT {From making edges glow to testing the flip of a flip book.} Everything of late, it interlocks, as we prepare for the Melbourne Art Book Fair in the Great Hall at the NGV. Nine new zine titles and three (limited edition and unique state) artists’ books are all in various states of completion. Towers of drying, Almost There and Really, Really, Almost There dot the landscape of our home-based studio between which pets weave. Drawings on individual pages are cut, curved and sanded, their edges made gold. Pets sleep. Pets leap. Zine spines are coated with twelve layers of glue. Pets leap. Pets sleep. Scoring. Folding. Signing. Tweaking. Our only niggle with the days of late: that they are soon to draw to a close. In this beautifully blinkered state all else drops away. And the pets sleep on. Bliss. With a frenzied intensity to it. Bliss. + Olive's cat fort of zines. + Lottie perfects the Art of Cat. + The Tortoise dreams of being able to glue the spines of Whiskers and Bristles at the speed of a Hare, but with accuracy. {Precarious towers of zines as they dry and bookbinding components are given the rub of approval.} {In the last of the light, taking shape.} {The Dear Tails production line is, rather suitably, flanked by sleeping soundly pets.} {Olive as Tower (of Zines, Drying).} {Fittingly, a closer look at several new characters from our artists' book, Closer to Natural.} {Thirteen animals from Closer to Natural ready to be fixed, cut, sanded, and trimmed with gold paint.} {A quartet of new zines (Seasonal Museum Sketches (Spring and Summer), Wrens, flycatchers, and honeyeaters, beware, and Afternoon of a Hopping mouse (Notomys mitchellii) will be released into the wild at the #NGVABF and our online store at the end of April.)} {Happiness is seeing (our) animals drawn from the collection return to the collection. (Image credit: @museumvictoria, @melbournemuseum)} {Whiskers and Bristles waits to be made whole} {Handwriting 'Whiskers and Bristles' 90-odd times, I can no longer recall with ease where the 't' in 'bristles' goes.} {Lottie and her assistant, Louise, check the proofs and give the green light.} {Little dog; big factory. Taking it all in her stride, like Perce, as the guillotine slices through tower after tower of soon-to-be zines.} {From these parts will come three titles: Cutting the Collection and Thumb Through (featuring the Performing Arts Collection) and Whiskers and Bristles (featuring components from our forthcoming artists' book, Because I Like You).} {'Psittacula wardi,' 'Atelopus zeteki,' 'Eretmochelys imbricata,' and 'Mustela erminea' might be fun to say, but they're Devils to hand write.} {Olive's cat fort varies from day to day. #theworkingtable} {Four (of nine) new zine titles, Whiskers and Bristles, Closer to Natural, Cutting the Collection, and Thumb Through, ready for the fair.} This time next week, the National Gallery of Victoria's Melbourne Art Book Fair will be in full flight. We hope to see you there! Melbourne Art Book Fair Great Hall, NGV, 180 St Kilda Rd. Friday 29th April 10am–6pm International Symposium on the Future of Design for Publishing (ticketed event) 6–10pm Melbourne Art Book Fair Preview (ticketed event) Saturday 30th April 10am–8pm Melbourne Art Book Fair (free) Sunday 1st May 10am–5pm Melbourne Art Book Fair (free) Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
#AndyWarhol's #Photobooth harlequinade at @ngvmelbourne. (As part of Studio Cats, #NGV, accompanied by Shades of Sennet, performed by Henry Mancini and his Orchestra.) A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Apr 15, 2016 at 2:51am PDT {Always, always, in the last week. Catching Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei at the NGV, and leaving with a colourful souvenir.} Mice? Play? What's that you say. Away from the (cat) desk, we indulged in a little silliness behind the silver curtain of Studio Cats. Why leave it all for the little people? {Makin' faces "while U wait".} Right, intermission over. No, really. Back to it. Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
Turning the pages of our #artistsbook, Because I Like You, the Stick-nest rat edition. (Music: Camille Saint-Saëns, Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium) A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Apr 13, 2016 at 11:23pm PDT The trickiness of filming with a curious siamese cat on set. #pawsonbooks #ohno! A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Apr 13, 2016 at 6:40pm PDT {Turning the pages of, Because I Like You, this is our version of close-enough-to seamless, crowned by the trickiness of filming with Lenni.} Because I Like You, as the title suggests, is based on the concept of a love letter to ten mammals. Each of the edition is housed in a black fabric Solander box. And each page has one mammal lemonwood block print portrait and one original collage of the mammal mirrored. The mammals featured range from a Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) to a Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) by way of a Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus) and a gruff Polar bear (Ursus maritimus). This edition has been over a year in the making, based on a back and forth notion we have been toying with more and more (my collage in response to Louise's print, this time). With the printed portrait showing nature, as intended (close to), and the collage placing the animal in different (and often less than ideal) surrounds, it is also our first book to feature woodblock prints. Along the way it was discovered that there are many nice words to write, but few as nice as 'mouse lemur'. I suspect it is the pair of 'u's and the hills of the 'm's, but I could be mistaken. (Spinning the 2B pencil, in love letter to the mouse lemur.) {Turning the pages of the Greater stick-nest rat edition of Because I Like You.} To the Greater bilby I like you because your long ears are pinkish in colour, and you gallop much like a rocking horse. I could be talking about a Greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis); I could be talking about you. To the Black-and-gold howler monkey I like you because you greet the dawn with a guttural howl. I could be talking about a Black-and-gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya); I could be talking about you. To the Rufous mouse lemur You’re shy and nocturnal, hiding in the foliage from the Fossa, the Ring-tailed mongoose, and the Madagascar harrier hawk, and it is why I like you so. I could be talking about a Rufous mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus); I could be talking about you. To the Polar bear, we say I like you because we share a plantigrade gait. Your whiskers too. I could be talking about a Polar bear (Ursus maritimus); I could be talking about you. To the Royal antelope I like you because your crepuscular ways find you frequently ruminating by day. And because your hind legs are so long, in relation to your front legs, you appear in something of a constant crouch. I could be talking about a Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus); I could be talking about you. {Turning the pages of the Greater stick-nest rat edition of Because I Like You.} To the Californian sea lion I like you because of your short black stubble on your flippers. I could be talking about a Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus); I could be talking about you. To the Snow leopard I like you because your long tail serves as a blanket. I could be talking about a Snow leopard (Panthera uncia); I could be talking about you. To the Greater stick-nest rat I like you because you can weave a secure nest from branches and collected vegetation. I could be talking about a Greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor); I could be talking about you. And to the Red squirrel I like you because the forgotten seed caches you bury sometimes sprout and grow into trees. I am also fond of your long ear tufts. I could be talking about a Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris); I could be talking about you. Finally, to the Sea otter The loose patch of skin under your forearms serves as a pocket for rocks and other tools and it is primarily why I like you. I could be talking about a Sea otter (Enhydra lutris); I could be talking about you. Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
Featuring treasure from the #PerformingArtsCollection, a tiny collage of moving parts on wet, wet day. (Music: 'Malmequer' performed by Banda do corpo de Bombeiros do Distrito Federal, composed by Christovao de Alencar and Newton Teixeira) A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Apr 6, 2016 at 12:14am PDT {A tiny collage in moving parts featuring treasure from the Performing Arts Collection.} From yesterday's silhouettes to full colour at speed, I proudly present 150 frames in 15 instagram-able seconds. The 'filled' version, lest it feels neglected, is also going to be made into a zine, flip book style. Though yet to be printed and hand-bound, it will be one of ten new titles created especially for our stall at the Melbourne Art Book Fair. And, here, a fragment of the whole, paused. Sixteen random frames between six and one hundred and thirteen to enable a closer peek. Enjoy! {Slowed down, and ready for their close-up.} + Lottie Long Legs is following in the footsteps of our dearly departed Percy and marking her New Life journey by participating in the RSPCA's Million Paws Walk this May. We're walking with Lottie to raise awareness and funds for all animals, the great and the small, long-legged or otherwise, and you are most welcome to chart our progress and/or donate to the good cause. Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Collage from Cutting the Collection, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, digitally printed zine, edition of 100, 2016.} A love of collage led to a love of ‘collaging’ with words. More specifically, collaging with words about dance. Combining two things I love in the one place, for the time being at least. To me, the means are the same: an image is arranged until it can be ‘read’, until it can communicate something close to what I saw (in the case of dance) or see (in the case of a collage created from ephemera). Cutting the Collection, a new collaborative zine made with Louise, features treasure found within the digital archives of the Performing Arts Collection. Skimming the surface of their dance, theatre, and circus collections, we harvested digital copies of raged-edged programmes, costume designs, and juggling balls. A mixed bag of images we in some way responded to and thought we could combine within the pages of an A6 zine to be created especially for the forthcoming Melbourne Art Book Fair at the NGV. Chiefly in the role of the fan, whilst also acting as the visually curious, we selected images of Moya and Fred Brown juggling cushions, c.1920s and Patricia Redmond and Owen Laurence performing as ‘Latasha and Laurence’. We collected more than we needed to tell a tale, all the better to whittle away the excess later on in the studio. This was our process. We dug about in the archives and left with a wealth of sepia-toned gems. In the collages within Cutting the Collection, we have layered two or more elements one atop the other. In echo of the process of creating collages by hand, layers serve to mask or reveal, and all in some way to alter. And so you have illustrated costume designs replete with ruffled collars and long feathers atop photographs of stage sets for musical comedies. At first glance it might appear as though we have blanked out what was once a part of the scene, but the closer you look, the more you will see that the additional silhouettes are from a different period or of a different scale. A circus poster collides with a set from a vaudeville show. Our interest here is shape, yes, but mainly the new story it tells. Pared back, in this way, whilst making these works we were thinking about the ephemeral nature of dance; the thrill of a live performance and the trace it leaves; notions of recording what was, whilst not ever able to capture or document it fully; and the importance of such collections. The transitory nature of all performance, filtered through our own memory of it or through the imagined memories documented by others before us, in the sense of the earlier material held within the Performing Arts Collection, is something we wish to explore further. A live performance cannot be siphoned in its entirety into a recording (unless specifically created and/or staged for film). It cannot be ‘relived’ fully just by looking at a piece of staging; the work was beautifully fragmented before the curtain closed. The very idea of something so impossible to harness holds great appeal to us. Serving as an exquisite metaphor of life’s cycle, what occurred on the stage at the very moment can never be seen nor felt again. We are left with trace memories, borrowed or otherwise, with costumes that yellow and fade; we are left with silhouettes that tell a little of what was. This “state of vanishing,” as the choreographer Crystal Pite described, is both powerful and quite tragic. Working digitally, we were able to cut up precious artefacts, and such temptation we can never refuse. Wish fulfilment! Stop the clock! Rewind! {Two costume designs, one with gold trims and pink flowers, and the other with green sash and four strands of beads under the chin, by Attilio Comelli for act two from the musical The Girl From Utah, c.1913, upon a photograph of the stage set for the musical comedy Follow Through, 1930 or 1932.} {Black and white photograph of Patricia Redmond, performing as ‘Latasha,’ upon a poster sign for Holdens Circus’ Saturday Big Matinee, and a black and white photograph of ‘Carter’s’ featuring Patti (Patricia) Redmond and Owen Laurence.} {Photograph of Mona and Beryl Ferguson in costume for Going Up, 1919, upon a programme for A Tivoli Show presented by the Allied Works Council (Amenities Branch), featuring Jenny Howard, Tibby Roberts, Eddie Marcel, Marie Doran, Percy King, June Holms, the Loretta Twins, Fred Brown, Flannagan, Ted and Flo James, Mavis Reed, 1940.} {Poster for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus featuring Con Colleano, ‘Wizard of the Wire’, United States of America, c.1930s, upon a black and white photograph featuring Ursula Irving and Gordon Girdwood.} {Costume design, replete with orange sash, silver trims, and light green fan, by Attilio Comelli for act two from the musical The Girl From Utah, c.1913, upon a photograph of the stage set for the musical comedy Follow Through, 1930 or 1932.} All images borrowed and cut with permission from the Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne. Thank-you for having us. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Amber Scott, Lana Jones and Karen Nanasca; Scott and Adam Bull, in Forgotten Land (Image credit: Jeff Busby)} Vitesse penetrates the heart of being and the beauty of matter through perpetual change in the Australian Ballet’s triple bill and first ballet for 2016. And like its predecessors, 20:21 featuring the choreography of George Balanchine, Tim Harbour, and Twyla Tharp; Chroma featuring choreography by Wayne McGregor, Jiří Kylián, and Stephen Baynes; and Vanguard featuring the choreography of Balanchine, Kylián, and McGregor, our journey is one to spark imagination by presenting the unfathomable as an inexhaustible force. Especially for Fjord Review, my response to Vitesse, Ballet Without Borders. (Thank-you Penelope. Until next time.) Vitesse The Australian Ballet State Theatre, Melbourne Monday 14th March, 2016 Tuesday 15th March, 2016 Forgotten Land Choreography: Jiři Kylián Assistant to the Choreographer: Roslyn Anderson Music: Benjamin Britten Sinfonia da Requiem Set and costume design: John F Macfarlane Original lighting design: Jiři Kylián (concept) Joop Caboort (realisation) Lighting redesign: Kees Tjebbes Technical adaptation: Joost Biegelaar In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated Choreography: William Forsythe Repetitieur: Kathryn Bennetts Music: Thom Willems in collaboration with Lesley Stuck Set, costume and lighting design: William Forsythe DGV Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon Repetiteur: Jason Fowler Music Michael Nyman MGV: (Musique à Grande Vitesse) Set and costume design: Jean-Marc Puissant Lighting design: Jennifer Tipton reproduced by Jesse Belsky "... for the only human race to which it is forbidden to sever the bonds of time is the race of those who create art." —Alejo Carpentier, The Lost Steps In Vitesse, Jiří Kylián is our trusted guide and cartographer, joined by William Forsythe and Christopher Wheeldon. Together they map our course and broaden our understanding of what dance is and can be. In their hands, Vitesse is shown to be a heart, furiously beating, of that there can be no mistake. This is ‘ballet without borders’ where cause and effect relationships are explored and fleeting moments glorified. A squally wind blows into the theatre, pursued by beat after beat on the timpani. Kylián’s Forgotten Land is set to Benjamin Britten’s symphonic memorial for his parents and dramatic statement on the horrors of war, Sinfonia da Requiem. Beginning with a funeral march, Lacrimosa (Weeping); there is still a sense of hope in this work, namely in the final movement, Requiem Aeternum (Eternal Rest), and in Kylián’s known fluid movement, which affirms "in a wartime context ... that one day there will be peace… And Kylián’s choreography gets inside the essence of the music, even when it’s not interpreting it literally, and he perfectly reflects the moods and implications of the Sinfonia in Forgotten Land."[i] Just as humans are altering the landscape to devastating effect, causing Antarctic ice shelves to melt, in Kylián’s hands, we’re not just looking at the landscape but at how we (through the dancers) can carve out and alter a space. And just like weathering a storm, it is never easy to find new ways of being. So whilst the dancers appear battered by wind and try to keep themselves anchored in the face of wild terrain, they, themselves, are actually the forceful energy. Recalling Edvard Munch’s painting The Dance of Life (1899–1900), there are three distinct periods: youth, in white, full of hope and serenity; red for passion and intensity; black, wise, strong, and determined. Lana Jones beautifully symbolises black’s ‘what will come’ awareness. Heads whip round and recall sea birds buffeted but steadfast in their promenade. With their backs to the audience, the dancers are individual and community, constancy and change, hand in glove. As Amber Scott and Adam Bull make footprints in the eroding coastline, "each footstep is a form of measurement that mediates between [the] body and the landscape"[ii]: Humans have created the world around them and as such have the power to reshape it. With a melancholy undertow that echo’s Munch’s own lament: "my art is rooted in a single reflection: why am I not as others are?" From seascape to the electronic score by Thom Willems in collaboration with Lesley Stuck, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated at first appears to disturb nature's order. Is there no limitation to the range of actions the human body can perform? Energy unleashed gives the impression of being beyond rule, where in fact the very opposite is true. Discipline and courage, this power is controlled, but the dance, from the audiences’ vantage reads as fantastically chaotic; it is triumphant and in parts downright destructive. Movement appears like hot glass before it sets, and it is the colour of malachite. Hard and brittle, it expands before it shrinks and cools. Glass (like the dancers) has enormous tensile strength. The beauty of this work is that movements are rooted in the classical. The same building blocks but spun anew! Achieve equilibrium, an interactive balance, or be doomed. Slippage! The potential for danger in the choreography is never far away. And so we have the heel weighted walk as reprieve in the sidelines. To read this as diverging from the formal is to misread turbulence, this is showing us the way things are as organisms collide and evolve. This is physics as materials morph, reshaping dance’s evolution through choreography that lets the audience feel the play, release, and hyperextension of muscles and joints. Fleeting moments, suspended, offering an abundance of shapes both in the positive (dancer) and negative (background) space, and for me it was symbolised by Nicola Curry, Jill Ogai, Valerie Tereschenko, and Alice Topp (on Monday) and Ako Kondo, Kevin Jackson, Robyn Hendricks, and Benedicte Bemet (on Tuesday).* From here we spin, or rather hurtle, punching holes into the burnished steel of industry as we go, into Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV (Danse à Grande Vitesse). As with Forgotten Land, where the score becomes entwined with movement, the perpetual motion of Michael Nyman’s MGV: (Musique a Grande Vitesse) ensures unity. As the world flies by, the suggestion of changing scenery and train are not separated, but one. Time, whether recalled in Kylián’s poetic dream... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
In my pocket, a forthcoming zine, 'Afternoon of a Hopping Mouse (Notomys mitchellii)' (featuring drawings from a day drawing specimens at @museumvictoria). A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:03pm PDT {In my pocket (I)} Move over, Rabbits. Shuffle aside, Chickens. Here come the Potoroos and co from the Melbourne Museum. (Louise's zine, 'Seasonal museum sketches (spring)', is folded, editioned, and ready.) A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Mar 27, 2016 at 2:09am PDT {In my pocket (II)} Hurrah! Hurrah! Whether from a sailors' cry when hauling or an alteration of 'huzza', we're excited, neigh chuffed, yip! yip!, to announce that we have a stall again at this year's Melbourne Art Book Fair at the National Gallery of Victoria. With many new zines planned, in process, or completed, like Louise's Seasonal museum sketches (spring) and my An Afternoon of a Hopping Mouse (Notomys mitchellii), we'll have so much to show you. All this, and we've yet to touch upon the artists' books we'll also be bringing with us. In readiness, all ten copies of Because I Like You, and several unique-state artists' books, are receiving their final polish. See you there, one and all, see you there, with bells or otherwise. Kicking off on Friday evening, April 29th and running until Sunday the 1st of May, you'd be silly to miss it. + Four-hundred zines to fold and then some, on the working table + Collating The company you keep in the quiet of the afternoon (#SalvagedRelatives on #theworkingtable) + Thank-you to everyone who went to see our work as part of Animal Instinct, but especially to you and you and you + In the Museum, tailed + Pagination: The Book as Object Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch's in Nelken (Carnations) (Image credit, top to bottom: Oliver Look, Tony Lewis, Ulli Weiss)} "Up startled the whole forest in [not] violet fire," but blush of pink, in echo of George Meredith’s spring carpet for Richard Peverel. Where Peverel found a night-time forest floor of bluebells that "drooped glimmeringly" and filled him with “awful rapture,” I found, in Pina Bausch’s piece, Nelken (Carnations), my own prepared forest floor and I gasped. Here now, especially for you and Fjord Review, a little Romance in the Dark. "Darlin', oh so near," at last. Hold on! (Thank-you Penelope.) Nelken (Carnations) (1982) A piece by Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Festival Theatre Adelaide, South Australia as part of Adelaide Festival of the Arts 2016 Thursday 10th March, 2016 Friday 11th March, 2016 3,000 pink carnations standing upright on the stage. A dreamscape! My “spirit rose, …. let it be glory, let it be ruin!”[i] A flame grew from just a spark When I found romance in the dark with you. In the dark, with Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch, nature has been brought indoors, and in the process it has changed its makeup. Petals and stems were plastic (all the better to fray the hem of your evening attire, my dear), and unruly wilderness was ordered in near-perfect rows. In this fake field, carnations grow to a uniform height with no colour deviation: flesh incarnations. Pink carnations to say, ‘I’ll be there for you.’ Carnations, artificial or otherwise, the symbol of Bausch’s fascination with love. My own love affair with the unique humanist core of Bausch began late and unknowingly. Introduced by Pedro Almodóvar in his film, Talk to Her (2002), which featured her performing in her own work with Malou Airaudo, the heart-breaking Café Müller (1978). It was followed by Wim Wenders’ 2011 film Pina, which “after half a year of intensive work, and only two days before the planned 3D rehearsal shoot, the unimaginable happened: Pina Bausch died on June 30th 2009, suddenly and unexpectedly.”[ii] Caught in an exquisite and demanding tribute, within the dark embrace of the cinema my eyes were opened. Film had introduced us, and I was keen for more. Here for the first time in sixteen years, and exclusive to the Adelaide Festival of Arts*, the Australian premiere of Nelken was worth the wait I knew it would be. In Bausch’s ‘space where we can encounter each other,’ generous as it is confronting, charming as it is unsettling, open as it is restrained, the landscape was raw, private, unblinking, and real. It feels a little like recounting a dream. Also, given Bausch’s apparent "mistrust of words [that] made her rely all the more on her eyes, but in a very particular, unique way of her own. She honed her gaze into an extraordinarily sensitive tool for recognizing and analyzing everything we say and express with our movements and gestures, for everything we reveal about ourselves through them.”[iii] In showing us an “interpretation of our humanity that was wholly new and unexplored," her work "hit[s] us right through the heart." Gesture, her palette. In Nelken, created in 1982, five years before the Berlin Wall fell, movement was initially imposed as the dancers stepped, almost gingerly, through the artificial wilderness with their armchairs held aloft. As with all her work, it is ‘not how people move, but what moves them,’ and until the suited official that was the achingly elegant Andrey Berezin asked for your ‘passport, please,’ you’ve ‘permission to hop.’ In the transitional space, tangled in dream before you open your eyes, much of Nelken balanced. With its stalking, almost menacing introduction undercut by the jaunty second theme, the East St Louis Toddle-O further emphasised the balancing act Bausch favoured: where happiness can wobble over into sadness, where freedom can tip into a controlled state. As the low clarinet of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra growled the music conjured what Ellington described as "an old man, tired from working in the field since sunup, coming up the road in the sunset on his way home to dinner. He’s tired but strong, and humming in time with his broken gait." Sweetness, in music as on stage, is always undercut with grittiness. Cue: the appearance of four suited officials and their accompanying German Shepherds. In the blink of an eye, an innocent childlike arena revealed itself to be a police state. Beautiful men in beautiful dresses freely tipping themselves in the air in playful hop was now deemed unsuitable: ‘put some decent clothes on.’ The offence: punishable by spanking. Humorous acts have given over to improper and finally now teeter on the edge of shameful and humiliating. For as much as Bausch lets you sit back and marvel at and celebrate beauty, if you slouch too comfortably in your seat, you’ll soon be pulled upright brutally by your collar. You may even find yourself ejected from the theatre altogether. Her infamous gaze continues to be not just on the dancers on the stage; it is also fixed on the audience. Titillation comes at a price. And nowhere was this better illustrated than in Fernando Suels Mendoza’s "okay, you want to see something?!? You want to see ménage?!? Here. Look! Ménage! Here! Ménage! Ménage! Ménage! Viola! What else do you wanna see!?! I can do anything!" In a black dress with a full skirt, he angrily pounds the stage ‘performing’ for the audience who in turn applaud all the louder. Venezuelan born Mendoza, who has been with Tanztheater Wuppertal since 1995, jetés across the stage in a fury, demanding we, the insatiable audience, take responsibility for the heavy expectations we have placed on the shoulders of performers. With the rough edges of the more challenging components (read: experimental gestures and quiet, unsettling bits) smoothed over, the familiar classical steps soothed the audience like a baby being rocked to sleep. Even if the rocking was being done by an outraged performing seal balancing a ball atop its nose, it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Sign (language) me Ira and George Gershwin's The Man I Love as I perform the four seasons from spring's new shoots to winter's brrr. All the world for 3000 pink carnations.} {Playing tourist. Waiting for Pina.} {Minerals organised by colour to appeal.} {Paw to the glass. A Spinifex hopping mouse (Notomys alexis) pleads for cabinet release.} {Cool respite, with mummies and amulets. In the museum.} {From mounted specimens to glorious models, shuffling about in the South Australian Museum, dreaming of new works to make.} {Never could resist a museum display of the scaled, haired, or feathered. (Lo! I thought I saw a thylacine.)} {Art Gallery of South Australia, turning on the cloud charm.} {In awe of the papier-maché mushrooms and fruit models in the beautiful Santos Museum of Economic Botany.} {A collection of artificial fungi in different stages of growth. The papier-maché models were made in Germany by Heinrich Arnoldi and Co, and are labelled in three categories from edible (blue) to poisonous (red) to harmless (green).} {Thank-you for your cotton-bud cloud formations and green grass underfoot.} {The Divided House with divided title on the spine, by Mary Raymond at the library. "Note to subscribers: a fine of 2 cents per day as provided in the Libraries Act will be imposed for the late return of the book"} {Ocean floor exploration. (2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object, Lovers of Neptune's Cabinet, @nellartist's The way of Saint shell, 2009, bronze)} {flâneur:"a person who walks the city in order to experience it"—Charles Baudelaire} {Thank-you for revealing the human condition (Gallery 13), unapologetically suspending Berlinde De Bruyckere's monumental We are all flesh, (2011–12) alongside J. W. Waterhouse's painting of Honorius meditatively feeding pigeons as his secretaries wait to discuss matters of state (The favourites of the Emperor Honorius, c. 1883). Thank-you for your seated cow playing Narcissus gazing at her reflection in a puddle (William Ford's Between the showers, at milking time, 1887, above a card table from Hobart, c. 1840).} {Putting ourselves in the collection (I).} {Putting ourselves in the collection (II). (Shinto deities (Shinzo), 15th–16th centuries, Usa shrine area, Oita prefecture, Kyushu camphor wood, pigment, ink, and you and me.)} {From @samstagmuseum by way of @jamfactoryau and the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, back to @artgalleryofsa, we've peered in every crevice of @adelaidebiennial's Magic Object wunderkammer and found it true to premise: artist as conjuror.} {Farewell Adelaide. Thank-you for your ladies in sun hats before Roger Kemp (Controlled Extension, 1972) and Segantini's nocturnal scene. Thank-you for the music. (St Cecilia: an allegory of music, c. 1650. "I am Music, who in sweet accents can calm each troubled heart ... and now with love, can kindle the most frigid minds.")} {Tickle my soles. Colour me jewelled. Carnation carnage. Beautiful and brilliant.} Because of Pina. Because of Carnations, 3000 of them. Adelaide at a glance. Three days, two nights, squeezed. Just for you, until my piece is posted on Fjord Review. From Welcome swallow to bunting roll, I can't wait to share more. Adelaide playlist, courtesy of Nelken (Carnations) The Man I Love Composed by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin Performed by Sophie Tucker String Quartet in D minor — 'Der Tod und das Mädchen' ('Death of the Maiden') Composed by Franz Schubert Performed by Melos Quartet Sophisticated Lady Composed by Ellington/Harwick/Brown/Mille Performed by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra Schön Ist Die Welt Composed by Franz Lehár Performed by Rudolf Schock and the Berliner Symphoniker East St. Louis Toddle-O Composed by Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley Performed by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra Shades of Sennet Composed by Henry Mancini Performed by Henry Mancini and his Orchestra West End Blues Composed by King Oliver Performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five Last Night I Dreamed You Kissed Me Composed by Gus Kahn and Carmen Lombardo Performed by Lillie Delk Christian with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Four Pastorinhas Composed by Noel Rosa and Joao de Barro Performed by Banda do corpo de Bombeiros do Distrito Federal Dama das Camelias Composed by Joao de Barro and Alcyr Pires Vemelho Performed by Banda do corpo de Bombeiros do Distrito Federal Malmequer Composed by Christovao de Alencar and Newton Teixeira Performed by Banda do corpo de Bombeiros do Distrito Federal Romance in the Dark Composed by Sam Coslow and Gertrude Niesen Performed by Billie Holiday + Welcome home + How I missed you + Truly + Lottie's own holiday, drawn I, II, III, IV Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Drawing from specimens at the Melbourne Museum.} Mitchell's hopping-mouse (Notomys mitchellii) Brief description: Long, hopping legs. Large ears. Long tail with tuft of fur at the tip. Description: Body fur pale brown-red, white underneath. Tail red-brown with a tuft of hair toward the end. Body up to 13 cm, tail up to 16 cm. Biology: Mitchell's Hopping-mice nest in logs and deep burrows. They eat plants, roots, seeds, fungi and insects. Habitat: Mallee and dry woodlands. Native status: Native to Australia Diet: Omnivore Colours: brown red Distribution: Scattered populations across mainland Australia. Conservation status in Victoria: Near Threatened Spinifex hopping-mouse (Notomys alexis) Brief description: A large bicoloured mouse with a long tufted tail and elongated legs adapted to hopping. Description: The Spinifex Hopping Mouse is large for a mouse and can weigh up to 45 grams. The upper parts are chestnut and the underbelly is very light, almost white. They have large pink ears and a very long tufted tail. A small throat pouch is present on adults. Size is measured as the head-body length. Biology: This species is nocturnal and lives in groups which construct deep burrow systems with several entrances. They shelter in these burrows during the day. They have a typical omnivorous diet, eating a wide range of plant material, fungi and invertebrates. Breeding can occur year round and a high survival rate in good seasons leads to a boom and bust type population. They can move very fast by hopping on their elongated hind feet. Habitat: Sandy hummock grasslands and mallee woodlands on loamy soils. Native status: Native to Australia Diet: Omnivore Colours: Brown, white, pink Distribution: Central Australia Conservation status in Victoria: Least Concerned Smoky mouse (Pseudomys fumeus) Brief description: Dark nose, dark around eyes, dark grey fur. Description: Body fur soft, dense and dark grey, light grey underneath. Dark nose and dark ring around the eye. Tail long, pink with brown stripe along the top. Body up to 10 cm, tail up to 15 cm. Biology: Smoky Mice raise their tails up and down when threatened. They eat a variety of seeds, fungi, fruit and invertebrates. They shelter in communal burrows in the ground. Smoky mice were thought to be entirely restricted to Victoria until they were found in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales in 1986 and 1994, respectively. Habitat: Sclerophyll forest, heath, sub-alpine and coastal areas. Native status: Native to Australia Diet: Omnivore Colours: brown white Distribution: Isolated populations in south-eastern mainland Australia. Habitat types: Terrestrial Conservation status in Victoria: Endangered Rakali (Water-rat) (Hydromys chrysogaster) Brief description: White end on tail, swims in water. Description: Extremely dense fur, black to grey above and white to orange underneath. Tail thick and dark, white at the end. Wide, webbed hind feet. Broad face with large whiskers. Body up to 39 cm long Biology: Water Rats feed on a variety of primarily animal foods including fish, crustaceans, shellfish and some vertebrates. Most active at dusk, but can be active anytime of day. They have been protected since 1938; before then they were killed as a nuisance animal and hunted for their soft fur. Habitat: Fresh, salt and brackish wetlands. Native status: Native to Australia Diet: Carnivore Colours: brown black yellow Distribution: Widespread in permanent water bodies of Australia, New Guinea and offshore Islands. Habitat types: Terrestrial Conservation status in Victoria: Least Concerned Infrequent is the glorious chance to draw from specimens up close at the museum. Held quarterly, such hen's teeth drawing opportunities allow for luxurious focus for a whole day (with the only interruption being one's own stamina). On Saturday, together with Louise and my Mum (and a handful of other nature enthusiasts), I was able to draw our requested mounted (read: stuffed) and/or pinned specimens in the quiet hush of the Discovery Centre. With 2B pencil in hand, I was able to soft-shoe shade a sleeping Spinifex hopping mouse, 'paw' over the splendour of the tufty-tailed Mitchell's, ruminate over the nature of a smoky mouse, and marvel at the 'water-mouse with golden belly'. In attendance, an Australian Pied 'peepapeep' oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), an Azure kingfisher (Ceyx azureus), and a brilliantly impressive, somewhat quizzical Australian raven (Corvus coronoides), though I didn't have enough time to draw their portraits. Naturally, I can't wait for the next session. (On the heels of a conversation with an elderly neighbour who has put rat poison down in her back garden, it feels somewhat disquieting to pop this rodent post up this evening. I am concerned for both the local colony of rats in our patch (one is never far from a rat; I'm well versed in Ratatouille, Brambly Hedge, Anatole et al.; I've 'riverbanked' with Ratty) and also for Misha and Tommy, the local ratters. At my neighbour's hands, a small nest of littles perished, and I can't shake my unrest. I shall try to channel it into the drawings I wish to finish off from the museum the other day. Coming soon your way: a zine dedicated to the rodent!) + An Australian raven, Rakali, and a Mitchell's Hopping mouse appear on the page (by @pasadenamansions). + From the last time, when Louise drew an Echidna, a Barn owl, and a Potoroo, and my Mum and I decided it was too much fun for us *not* to come along. + Earlier, at the museum, researching Pressed Wings. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
In visual summation. Green new-shoot summer. {Because. Blue.} {Post yoga class, mountain dog variation.} {Measurements have been taken and checked twice for good measure. (@pasadenamansions is knitting dear Lots a jumper for the winter, and it has already been the subject of a daily drawing.)} {'Look out now, Five! Don't go splashing paint over me like that!' Painting white roses red on the Queen's Croquet-Ground. (Taking the longer route homeward with Lottie since always.) } {Once upon a time, to paraphrase Jazmina Cininas, we entered Castle Counihan and considered unfurling our wings in the beautiful works of Deborah Klein. (Standing between Cotton Harlequin Bug Woman (2014) and Splendid emerald Wasp Woman (2015) by Deborah Klein, exhibited as part of Modern Myth, curated by Domenica Vavala, at Counihan Gallery until the 6th of March. Congratulations Deborah, Paul, and Jazmina. Exquisite works!)} {In echo of ol' Perce, on the edge, flouting the rules.} {From Milly to museum, showing Lottie about the traps.} {Tightrope. Frank. (We've been here before. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX. Patterns, like grid, sucker for 'em.)} {Lenni showing Lottie how to garden. (Little Lottie Long Legs is from Mildura, like Perce. She was rescued by Starting Over Dog Rescue, and they believe she is two-years-old. She had overgrown claws, and she needed to be treated for bush tics and fleas, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed, and desexed. She's fallen on her (long) feet.} {For Animal Instinct, we have created four costumed Salvaged Relatives on cartes de visite (by me) paired with drawings (by Louise) of the same collage element in a new and arguably more natural setting. Like this one, In the borrowed evening jacket inspired by the heavens, designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, c. 1937, with an American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) paired with Closer to natural (American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)). (Animal Instinct at Metropolis Gallery from the 5th of March.)} {Never met a grid I didn't like.} {Impromptu training session with Miss Long Legs. (Take II. Because it is all about the pattern. Always.)} The last day of summer. Leap! Time, just enough, to introduce you, officially, that is, to Lottie Long Legs, the newest charm-rolled addition to our menagerie. Adopted three weeks ago now through Starting Over Dog Rescue, Lottie is a Jack Russell on elegant pins. Part Italian Greyhound and all adorable, when carried in your arms, the look of Lady Di. I'm not half smitten, I grant you. Asta, we're one step closer to your talents. Contentment, she wears long legs. (For more, you know where to find it.) A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Feb 18, 2016 at 9:05pm PST {Lottie and Lenni, shootin' the breeze.} + For those of you who couldn't make it along to the Sticky Institute zine fair, please allow us to bring our stall to you. We've three new zines to share, and all are available through our online store for gold coins' song. What's more, from now until Sunday the 6th of March we are offering FREE POSTAGE on all orders over $10 (AUD) when you enter the code 'freepost' upon checkout. + It's going to be great, Louise! XO + Dogs on laps I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII. (A just for kicks (or rather, tails, snouts, chew toys) collection, with more to come, naturally.) + When Percy met Lottie. (Thank-you Inez. Your drawings, always a delight.) + Inside the front fence post. Beloved Omar 9th May 2014. Beloved Percy 4th January 2016. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Stephanie Lake's Double Blind (Image credit: Pippa Samaya)} Charged, my response to Stephanie Lake's new work, especially for Fjord Review. (As always, thank-you Penelope.) Double Blind Stephanie Lake Company Choreographer: Stephanie Lake Dancers: Alisdair Macindoe, Amber Haines, Kyle Page and Alana Everett Composer: Robin Fox Lighting Designer: Bosco Shaw Northcote Town Hall Monday 15th February, 2016 "Please continue." "The experiment requires that you continue." "It is absolutely essential that you continue." "You must go on, there is no other choice!"[i] Stanley Milgram framed his notorious social experiment of subservience as an inquiry into the Holocaust. Building on Solomon Asch’s conformity experiments of 1951, Milgram’s own 'obedience studies,' which began in the early sixties, can be seen to demonstrate the banality of evil in a controlled environment, in a laboratory, in life. The dark heart of the human animal, ripe for translation both direct and indirect, the Milgrim paradigm has since made countless appearances in literature (Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader), and film, Henri Verneul's I as in Icarus and Paul Scheuring's The Experiment, to name a few, and now dance, in Stephanie’s Lake’s new work, Double Blind. Fresh from its Sydney Festival premiere at Carriageworks, Double Blind explores internal and external conflict, action and reaction, cause and effect, through a series of its own choreographed behavioural experiments. On stage, as in laboratory, roughhouse quickly gave over to cruelty and torture. Whether "seduced by the trappings of authority, by the control of their perceptions”[ii] or driven by fear: "how far can [one] be pushed to act outside of one’s moral code when instructed?" Lake asks. In a sixty-minute performance, it transpired, quite a bit. Lake has freely drawn upon the psychological experiments of Milgram, but perhaps also upon the sense of theatre within his experiments. “Milgram was a fantastic dramaturg. His studies are fantastic little pieces of theater. They're beautifully scripted.” [iii] The Milgram Experiment could almost be said to have been in play before the work began. As I waited near to the front of the queue, the usher (read: person in authority) informed the crowd (read: willing subjects gathered to see Lake’s new daring) to fill the theatre from the back rows downwards, thereby leaving the best seats for the last in line. A technique favoured by ushers because it is easier to manage naturally makes early birds bristle as perceived stragglers receive premium seats, front and centre. I found myself heading to the back of the venue before realising I could rebel, in part, and sit in the middle, albeit to the far end of the row. Asked to look closer at our own animal instincts, Double Blind was an uncomfortable and powerful work. If you want to understand the human animal, sit back, prod it, and watch. Grim and episodic, as befits a series of experiments, I played the alternating role assigned to me of 'passive observer' and 'active participant.' In a work, like the experiments, that felt geared to evoke a specific response, I, too, was manipulated to administer electric shocks to another out of a sense of obligation. Yes, in order for an electric current to flow, the circuit needed to be completed. With audio-visual artist, Robin Fox, behind the console on the sidelines, a lab coat and black frames suggested by his impassive face, a gritty, disquieting subject was charged by and revealed in the frenetic movements of four dancers. Alisdair Macindoe and Alana Everett, Amber Haines and Kyle Page alternated between being experimented on and being those in charge, an extension of the definition of ‘double-blind.’ With the ringing of a boxer's bell, following voice commands, they alternated between playing sated or hungry rats competing with one another for air, water, food, shelter, space; survival, in short. They lurched from defensive to aggressive. Revealing their backs in echo of the vulnerability of a blue hospital smock in costumes designed by Harriet Oxley, each one was a conduit for electrical charge. At times they moved like machinery parts, both in terms of the precision demanded and without fluidity of joint. Fox's compositional audio barrage enhanced the effect. The clunk-clunk of the cogs and the hissing of the pistons, the ticking of a human motor not quite working in time with the current was made audible and then some. Lake has replicated ideas behind the Milgram experiment with its snaking red and blue electric cables, but in a broad and visual sense, and in doing so, other psychological experiments were referenced. We also learnt that the human form, once hooked into the amplifier, is a noisy beast; a tap-tap on the shoulder of another sounds like a jackhammer. Clipboard in hand, in this session, where you stood ethically was also pulled from the recesses. In keeping the work open to interpretation, but precise in its choreographic execution, for me, a wealth of imagery, from the twisted surgical experiments of Vladimir Demikhov’s two-headed dogs to the deprivation of Harry F. Harlow's tragic monkeys isolated within steel 'pits of despair', leapt to mind. Thanks to the subterranean lighting of Bosco Shaw, pit ponies and canaries in a coalmine also got a look in. Bedded in a viscous sludge was every bit as alienating as the white noise confines of a sterile laboratory. And it was this hideous and macabre imagery that Lake’s choreography hauled from the dark cavity as Haines appeared in a second position plié over a kneeling Macindoe. Her elbow upon his head, they moved as a surgically grafted Cerberus[iv]. Operating like an inkblot to interpret, this 'wrong' cohesiveness, this mutant form soon shifted. Haines appeared as controller over Macindoe, where she willed him to move, he followed suit. Before again, in role reversal, he donned a laboratory assistant’s rubber glove and appeared to ‘blow’ into her forearm. Shadowing the metronome sequence between Everett as the friendly controller issuing prompts to continue and Macindoe in an initially comic, but increasingly frantic bid to keep up, I saw the movements of a baby monkey released from an... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{(Signing one hundred copies of) You and Me.} {Louise's beautiful and poignant, A Company of Parrots, is finally released.} {Salvaged Relatives in Seven Costumes (being editioned).} Thank-you to everyone who swung by our stall at Sticky Institute's annual zine fair as part of their Festival of the Photocopier. It's always lovely to catch up with familiar dear ones and meet new faces too. We feel very lucky to have your friendship and support. That you came with chocolate frogs, rose drops, knitted hearts, and vim, an added bonus. Big thanks and love to all the clever, tireless, and dedicated folk at Sticky Institute. An always, always seamless and swell, chiefly toasty, and merry charged atmosphere makes it a pleasure. We're looking forward to next year's, and all else in between. And for those of you who couldn't make it along to the Melbourne Town Hall, our three latest zines, two of which were made especially for the fair, are now available through our online store for gold coins' song. You and Me Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison $6 (AUD) A Company of Parrots Louise Jennison $2 (AUD) Salvaged Relatives in Seven Costumes Gracia Haby $3 (AUD) {From preparation and those 11.58am final tweaks to full swing, it looked something like this. Brilliant! (Thanks to Shane Jones for the photos of the two of us making our right angles look 'relaxed' before noon tee off, and my Mum, @pasadenamansions, for the over-the-balcony peep. Deborah Klein and Shane, we loved being stall chums. Let's do it again!)} + The fair, illustrated. Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Salvaged Relatives in Seven Costumes, a new zine for 2016.} Alongside earlier titles, this Sunday, we'll have three new zines on our table as part of Sticky Institute's annual Zine Fair at the Melbourne Town Hall. One, a splendid pocket-sized parrot zine by Louise from the feathered-tail end of last year, which we never quite made it around to releasing into the wild; another, a collaborative zine, featuring the a quartet of Louise's drawings in response to a suite of cartes de visite collages (created as part of the group exhibition, Animal Instinct); and the third, a small zine of costumed unknowns selected primarily because they are, for varied reasons, my favourites. Salvaged Relatives in Seven Costumes is an edition of 100, and it will be available at the fair for $3.00. After the fair, all three titles will be available through our online store. {In the borrowed costume from Petrouchka, designed by Alexandre Benois, c 1911, with a Burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia).}} {In the borrowed costume for a Little God from Le Dieu bleu, after Léon Bakst, 1912, with an Eastern collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris).} {In the borrowed costume for a Young Man from The Rite of Spring, after Nicholas Roerich, 1913, with a Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus).} {In the borrowed costume worn by Fyodor Chaliapin in the Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov for Diaghilev’s Saison Russes, after Alekandr Golovin, c 1908, with a Western tarsier (Tarsius bancanus).} {In the borrowed costume from The Sleeping Princess, c. 1921, designed by Léon Bakst, with a an Indri (Indri indri) and a Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).} {In the borrowed costume for Vaslav Nijinsky as the Prince from the pas de deux L’Oiseau et la Prince, after Léon Bakst, 1914, with a Northern cricket frog (Acris crepitans).} {With a Russian (Vladimir) doll from the second half of the 18th century's headpiece of glass, pearls, linen, cotton and wood. (A #SalvagedRelatives collage on a carte de visite, with an accomplished climber, the Slow loris.)} Sticky Institute presents Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair Melbourne Town Hall Sunday 14th of February From 12 noon to 5 pm See you there! + Roughly this time last year... + 2015 + 2014 (take II) + 2013 + 2011 + 2010 + 2008 Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{The upside-down Three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus) receives his final strokes.} {One collaged creature drawn in a more natural environment.} {Wet day: stars complete.} {Thursday's quartet. On violin times two, the American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) and Golden angwantibo (Arctocebus aureus), on cello, the Three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), and on the viola, Franquet's epauletted fruit bat (Epomops franqueti).} Following on from our recent artists' book, A deck of Salvaged Relatives, and especially for a forthcoming group exhibition, Animal Instinct, Louise and I have created four new works comprised of pairs. Four of my original Salvaged Relatives collages on cartes de viste have been paired with Louise's delicate drawings of the same collaged element in a new and arguably more natural setting. Think: parrots in trees instead of perched upon costumed shoulders. A fruit bat is released from the thankless role of headwear in Cléopâtre. A Three-toed sloth dances in Carnival before returning to its natural habitat. Or is that the other way around? A Golden angwantibo climbs from wilderness and hunkers down within a stage fantasy. Either way, together, these two works become one piece, like two puzzle pieces revealing more of the one tale. It is something, this back and forth notion, we are toying with more and more — a collage in response to a print, a drawing in response to a collage — and we like the ground it is revealing as our collaboration evolves. In the borrowed evening jacket inspired by the heavens, designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, c. 1937, with an American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) and Closer to natural (American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)) In the borrowed jacket from The hunt, Act I, Giselle, designed by Alexandre Benois, c. 1910, with a Golden angwantibo (Arctocebus aureus) and Closer to natural (Golden angwantibo (Arctocebus aureus)) Closer to natural (Three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus)) and In a borrowed costume for Columbine from Carnival, designed by Léon Bakst, c. 1942, with a Three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus) Closer to natural (Franquet's epauletted fruit bat (Epomops franqueti)) and In the borrowed costume for a Greek from Cléopâtre, designed by Léon Bakst, c. 1909, with a Franquet's epauletted fruit bat (Epomops franqueti) You will be able to see these works in person in March as part of Animal Instinct. Animal Instinct Anita Barrett, Dean Bowen, Jazmina Cininas, Rona Green, Bridget Farmer, Lucy Hardie, Gracia Haby + Louise Jennison, Sheridan Jones, Kyoko Imazu, Adrian Lockhart, John Ryrie, Judi Singleton, Jess Szigethy-Gyula, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Deborah Williams, Gail Willoughby Metropolis Gallery 64 Ryrie Street, Geelong, Victoria 5th to 19th March "Metropolis Gallery is excited to present Animal Instinct, an exhibition exploring how we view animals and at times appropriate their characteristics to make sense of the human species. Since prehistoric times and throughout art history the animal has appeared in many guises in mythology and storytelling, and the attributes of animals have supplied artists with a wealth of inspiration and artistic metaphor. This exhibition will present diverse interpretations by a number of artists in a variety of mediums." A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Jan 21, 2016 at 4:47pm PST {A night sky embellished for the flight of the Franquet's epauletted fruit bat (Epomops franqueti).} A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Jan 4, 2016 at 10:36pm PST {Earlier, selecting four from twenty-four.} + When Lenni and Lottie sleep they are great with snow leopards and paper. + A collection of Salvaged Relatives on cabinet cards. Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{111 animals all cut out and waiting.} ten |ten| cardinal number equivalent to the product of five and two; one more than nine; 10 : a visual list of our ten favourite mammals. (Roman numeral: x, X) • a group or unit of ten of our favourite mammals : ten mammals in a limited edition (of ten) artists' book by Gracia and Louise. Lately, when asked about projects Louise and I had on the go, I was inclined to reply that January was not always the most productive working month for us, and 2016 was proving no exception to the rule. However, dusting aside the stop-start crumbs of Christmas and a New Year, I see we have something. A collaborative artists' book, half finished. An edition of ten, the process of this artists' book has been making itself a regular fixture on our instagram feed. Untitled as yet, but in essence, a love letter to ten randomly selected (read: favourite) mammals. A visual extension of the type of list you draw up in your head of, say, your ten favourite authors, colours, sounds, foods and so forth. The first part of this book is already complete. It features ten of Louise's lemonwood engravings, all velvety black and dense. A Polar bear, a Howler monkey, a Rufous mouse lemur, and a Greater stick-nest rat alongside a Sea otter untethered from it's kelp bedding, they are all there waiting. Waiting for their collaged companions to finally catch up. (A variation of the Sea otter and the not-so-elusive-when-on-paper Snow leopard appeared late last year in Port Jackson Press Print Gallery's Christmas exhibition.) Two images side-by-side, one printed, the other a unique-state collage, and all housed within a handmade black Solander box. Yes, of all the artists’ books we have worked on, this one has changed its form the most. And, in this case, it has been for the better, though we’re still at the slippery otter midpoint. I look forward to sharing more of this work with you. I look forward to the year of the (brilliant) monkey. But first, I've a suite of antelopes to glue as the squirrels dry. A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Jan 27, 2016 at 3:06pm PST {Howler monkey business on the working table.} {Taking pleasing shape, on the working table.} Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Meeting Teddy, at @rspcavictoria.} Monday’s To-do list: Call local council and cancel dog permit in process for Teddy Call the RSPCA and see how Teddy is coping. An intended ‘Meet Teddy’ post on the heels of a ‘Dear Percy’ post has become another goodbye tale, and it has torn my heart in two. Sadly, Teddy is not suitable for our menagerie and our menagerie (of small, chase-able animals) is not suited for a dear dog with a keen and active prey instinct. At the time we adopted him, Thursday of last week, this was not known to us, but in the days that followed it became apparent that he saw Lenni, Olive, and Misha as something to hunt rather than befriend or grow indifferent towards. We followed the training exercises for introducing a new dog to cats, practising on the cats’ terms when they were ready, and always supervised and with diverting dog treats in hand, but though Lenni and Misha, in particular, began stoutheartedly they quickly became wary of him. Even the more robust visiting neighbourhood cats, Frank, Millie, and Tommy, after a few close scrapes, heeded the warning. We tried to convince ourselves that it was just a big adjustment for all involved, but deep down, though neither of us gave it a voice, we knew it was never going to work, unless Teddy and the cats were kept zoned within our house, sharing the space in turns. As Teddy grew increasingly focused on fast-moving Lenni, he lunged at him and snapped on two occasions and it was only because we were both there that the outcome was not a tragic one for all involved. When the cats were not in the room, he was the teddy bear languid and snuggly. The longhaired heartbreaker with black currant eyes. A shrunken polar bear. Easy to train, desperate to please, relaxed in our company: the quintessential man’s best friend and Voltaire’s "most faithful". This could work, we dreamed. We can do this, we thought. We’ll get there, with time. And more training. And besides, he’s adorable. Never ones to take the easy path, we rallied. In adopting Teddy, a six-year-old rescue dog, we were giving him the second chance he merited. In adopting Teddy, he became a physical symbol of our hope. And abandoning this hope has been one heavy millstone. Rationally, we understand that there was no way for it to work, for the cats to feel and be safe, for Teddy to flourish as the sweet dear he is, but in our hearts, we feel we’ve let Teddy down. As the post-operative anaesthetic for his de-sexing wore off and he finished his course of antibiotics for kennel cough, Teddy also began to show lead aggression and he would snap at other dogs. Initially, we put it down to the steep learning curve we were all on, when not blaming ourselves. At home, on his own, he looked and was the teddy bear who loved belly rubs and to be brushed. Louise called the RSPCA about Teddy’s behaviour to see if there was anything in his case file in relation to how he was with other animals. It was then that we found out about his known socialisation issues with other dogs. This alone, this we could have worked with. Independent of the prey instinct towards cats, we could have got Teddy through the aggression towards other dogs with training. Treatable, just like his flea allergy and tendency to whimper if out of your sight. On Saturday morning, we drove Teddy back to the RSPCA. Red-eyed from crying all night, we had to surrender Teddy and it was the hardest thing either of us has ever had to do. An affront to everything we believe about caring for animals and accepting responsibility, it remains an emotional yoke to bear. A kick in the guts, a constriction in the throat, grief is physically felt in the body. An anvil has been placed inside my chest cavity: the weight of guilt and love—but we’d adopted him, we surrendered him, legally, absolutely. The RSPCA staff and vollies were empathetic towards us and the whole unfortunate mess, assuring us it was as if we’d provided him with great foster care in his post-operative phase, but right now, to me, it feels like I’ve broken an animal’s trust. Though we know it was the only decision we could have made, in the best interests of Teddy (in the long term) and the menagerie we so desperately wanted him to be a part of, doing ‘the right thing’ was, and remains, so damn hard. Part of opening up your heart means you inevitably get hurt. Teddy, we miss you. As I write this late on Saturday evening, I know you are alone in your kennel, crying and confused and scared. But I also know that the good and caring folk at the RSPCA will soon find you the right fit forever home you deserve*. If the comments you drew out from strangers are any indication—he’s just so cute!—this will be soon. * Since writing this, Louise called the RSPCA to see how Teddy was doing and he is already on hold. His potential new owners are coming in to the shelter to see him today. It is such a sweet relief and we trust they’ll all be very happy together. In a home where he is the only dog, he’ll do just fine. {Farewell Ted.} Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{The long goodbye.} Spending time in the transition between what was and how I remember what was, facts are curling, memories are forming. I am caught in that tender spot where I still expect to hear Percy’s little trot-trot-trot on the kitchen floor. To see his little face appear as he enters a room, propelled by a tail that wags so happily it is a blur. Present tense, not past. Not yet. Where in the quiet dark of the night familiar household forms assume the appearance of him. A pillow on the floor, the semblance of his sleeping body, nestled. Later, his outline is suggested by a white paper bag of stale bread placed by the backdoor. Lit by moonlight and softened by sleepy, unfocused eyes, one small inanimate bag is momentarily capable of reconstructing itself into the animate beloved. Conjured before my eyes, my sweet canine sits waiting to go outside. Tomorrow's breadcrumbs for birds no longer. Shadows too, they are in on the lark. Out the corner of my eye, they tumble into his shape in a game of shadow-play tomfoolery. Percy, he appears in the negative spaces as often as the positive. It is a game of pleasing, flexible deception that lets me know he is near. And tied to this close presence is the sense that I am already forgetting particular things about him. The feel of his fur, the sound of his conversations, the size of the cataracts in his eyes (were they the same in both eyes?), the baldness of his underbelly, the symmetrical swirls of his hair on his back chops, his dark muzzle before it greyed. Photos and small films, they fill in the gaps, but only from one camera angle. They are already as reliable as my recollections, a coloured echo. But I remember him on our walks, now more than ever, as I tread a path that is as familiar as it is not. The same path, different tempo, my passage now is less stop-start-stop. I can still place him pulling at the lead to get to a smell or to leave a mark on the fence post for another. I feel his absence, walking 'dogless' in the park. And I remember the heavy warmth of his little body on his last day as Louise and I held him in our arms. I remember the faint green of the mixture that travelled up the clear tubing that put him to final sleep. I remember seeing his little right front paw buckle and thinking: oh, that’s it, it’s happening right now, his departure, this is goodbye and it is swift. I remember the calmness of him, and the unobtrusive gentleness of his vet. I remember thinking this is hard; stay calm for Percy’s sake, and Louise’s, and the vet, Craig. I remember thinking this was the best ending for a dear little chap. The ending we’d promised when we adopted him five years ago. A good final chapter, full of love, care, and time spent rolling in the grass. Of walks where he could set the initial pace and later we’d fall into slack-lead rhythm. I remember that he looked at peace, lying there on the table. And though his eyes remained open, I remember that he looked like he was sleeping. A toy flea for a pillow and my old jumper for a blanket. And now, some days later, I remember what a dear little soul he was. He gave us such love and loyalty. He taught us so much. He shall always be missed. Percy passed away four days into the New Year. We believe he was sixteen years old, but we don’t know anything of his life before we adopted him from a rescue group. However we do know he loved cats, and small children, especially small children offering him bits of biscuit or toast. He had a certain fondness, too, for men who drank turpentine for breakfast. He is being cremated and we will bury his ashes in the front garden that he loved to be in. We will lay him to rest alongside his dear buddy, Omar. Together they can keep guard, keep warm, keep company. Together, in a nest of flowers. Always. Thank-you for all your heartfelt messages about our dear Mr. P. It has meant so very much to both of us. Thank-you. Oh Perce! How empty the house without you. A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Jan 3, 2016 at 10:23pm PST {The last walk on the last day.} {To Perce. Forever. To Perce. Dearly missed. xo} + Percy, in the clouds! + Yes, a very good first day of the year, leisurely worn in + To the dog belongs the Saturday + Loosen up, unwind, unbend, and take it easy + In summation Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2016 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Dec 30, 2015 at 2:39pm PST No best-of lists and notable moments, just a little black and white merriment for you all, dear hearts, and a warm wish for the brightest of New Years. May 2016 come with good health, a corner turned, plenty of love and laughter, new projects to spring into action, and time to make and dream. Tails up, raise your glasses and sing. Happy New Year! Yours wrapped in optimism, Gracia and Louise (and Percy, Lenni, Olive, Misha, Zelda, Timmy, and the ring-ins, naturally) XO {Pause. Ten from one hundred frames in a little under fifteen seconds. Loosely inspired by gold-lamé in silence.} + #gracialouiseadvent2015, in full (or one by one) + Silent film dreaming, with dog (Musical snippet from the tail end of 'Púsl' by Amiina from Puzzle, 2010.) Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2015 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{From when it was the 7th of December no matter which way you looked at it.} bouquet |bʊˈkeɪ, bəʊˈkeɪ, ˈbʊkeɪ| noun 1 a bunch of flowers presented in the form of a collage during the lead up to Christmas. Eight December days in and our advent calendar continues to sprout whiskers, new shoots, and the odd long tail. In case you missed it, here is a look at what was, from the 1st of December through to the 8th. Created in equal parts for the fun of it and for you, an advent calendar with the intention to see you lightly to Christmas Day. A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Dec 7, 2015 at 10:34pm PST + Suspended at Milly Sleeping. Small brooches. Many animals. Hand-cut ornaments. All December long. + Horse chestnut. Yellow-lark nasturtium. Buttercup. Sweet Woodruff. Toadflax. Blooming papier mâché from University Melbourne's Herbarium. (My learned object: collections & curiosities, The Ian Potter Museum of Art) + Hurrah! Hurrah! Our artists' book, A deck of Salvaged Relatives, was recently acquired by the State Library Victoria. + In the museum, with her trusty 2B pencil, Louise drew the portraits of an obedient long-nosed potoroo and a tame echidna. (Expect a Museum Victoria zine in 2016, to be sure.) Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2015 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Paper ornaments, cut by hand, to serve as festive roost for our brand new badges especially for Milly Sleeping, with a dash of Lenni.} or•na•ment noun |ˈôrnəmənt| a thing used to adorn something but usually having no practical purpose, esp. a small object such as 120 hand-cut paper decorations. • decoration added to embellish Milly Sleeping From a Columbine Cup from Nuremberg, 1573-1580, the convex curve of a bell we made. A drawing of bronze French handbell from the second half of the 12th century became another of our paper baubles. From a lidded beer tankard, c. 1540, came a green lantern, while another was fashioned from a table clock of rock crystal and silver guilt, c. 1750. Six different ornamental shapes hand-cut and decorated with our brand new badges. Part Middle Ages and Renaissance to present day, with an owl and a donkey. Making treasure from treasures and all especially for Milly Sleeping, in something of its own beautiful working pattern. Last year, we brought to Carlton a troupe of Salvaged Relatives in an ornamental spin. In 2012, a charm of golden finches and their hidden and painterly gems. Today, for the bright festive days of December, 120 hand-cut paper ornaments. Pinned to each ornament, a selection of our fourteen new badges (ten small and four medium). Collaged. Decorative. Wearable. For lapels or ears. Head to Milly Sleeping (157 Elgin Street, Carlton) to see and perhaps lay claim to a colourful bunch. (Milly Sleeping is now also open on a Monday for the month of December.) Fourteen different badges. On six different paper ornaments. To wear on ears or hang on trees. Especially for @milly_sleeping and available now. Enjoy! A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Nov 28, 2015 at 9:15pm PST #tinyoverseer hard at work tapping his tail on a Saturday. #theworkingtable A video posted by Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison (@gracialouise) on Nov 27, 2015 at 6:51pm PST {For Milly, for December, for you.} {Something new in hand, with added aadvark.} {An ornament in need of a bough. One of one hundred and twenty.} {Old dog; new badge.} Thanks Leah. We always enjoy coming up with something just for Milly. + Salvaged Relatives launched at Milly Sleeping (2015) + Last legs of our November sale. Simply enter the code word REBOOTED upon checkout to receive 30%-off your whole order on zines, cards, and every little thing in our online store until the end of November. + Something familiar. Our two prints, And Zarafa Kept Walking (2013) and Turning the Tables on Alfred Court (2013), exhibited as part of the group exhibition, Street Stories, at Delmar Gallery. + Speaking of familiar. Lenni! Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2015 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES
{Percy's reprieve! We may have another week; we may make it to the New Year! Percy's kindly vet has assured us that the tumour looks worse than it is, and he is still comfortable and with spark. Thank-you for all your kind words and good thoughts. Were that all long goodbyes could be like this.} {That's it! @pasadenamansions sure knows how to capture Mr. Percy's grin. (Elaine Haby's sketchbook tales, #dailydrawingforayear.)} {I'll keep you steady (2012), in hand. One of a handful of postcard collages.} A small message to let you know, loyal sorts, that new greeting cards have landed in our online store featuring Salvaged Relatives in costumes for dancing by Sonia Delaunay and tiger stripes by Gilbert Adrian. In addition to these cards and just because, you'll also find a very small selection of original postcard collages (previously exhibited as part of an installation of 464 postcards on the gallery wall). And while you are there, please do remember that our NOVEMBER SALE still has legs. Simply enter the code word 'REBOOTED' upon checkout to receive 30%-off your whole order on anything in our online store from now until the 30th of November. {From a Magical Saturday afternoon. (Magical: an exhibition of prints by 47 artists, Neospace, 7 Campbell Street, Collingwood, curated by the brilliant (and booted and bruised) @ronagreenart, until the 11th of December.)} {Two of our artists' books, 30 days in Vienna (2003) and Melbourne in 31 days (2002), are currently on display at the State Library of Victoria as part of their permanent exhibition, Mirror of the World: books and ideas.} {Because there is always the floor. Rest easy, dear Olive.} {Louise's Sea otter (2015) and Snow leopard (2015) awaiting their spot on the gallery wall.} {Because Lenni. He catches rainbows.} {We are thrilled (and blurred) to have our artists' book, As inclination directs (2013), feature in The Craft Companion by Ramona Barry and Rebecca Jobson, published by Thames & Hudson.} {A fan of new cards, available at Milly Sleeping in Carlton and through our online store.} {In the gallery, checking up on old friends. A deck of Salvaged Relatives (2015) tucked inside a fairy tale inside a Solander box-nest where old age and weary muscles will not find them.} Our two prints, And Zarafa Kept Walking (2013) and Turning the Tables on Alfred Court (2013) will be exhibited as part of the group exhibition of urban tales, Street Stories, at Delmar Gallery. Street Stories Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School, 144 Victoria Street, Ashfield, NSW 22nd November to 6th December And Louise's two beautiful and tender lemonwood engravings, Sea otter (2015) and Snow leopard (2015) will be exhibited as part of the group exhibition, Wrap Up, at Port Jackson Press Print Gallery. Wrap Up Port Jackson Press Print Gallery, 84 Smith Street, Collingwood, Victoria 25th November to 23rd December + Edvard Hagerup Grieg composed the song Våren (Spring, also known as The Last Spring) as his Opus 33, no.2, to words by Aasmund Olavsson Vinje. “Once more I saw winter before spring drove it away; again I was able to see the branches of the cherry tree blossom. Once more I saw the ice as it thawed. I saw the snow melt and the rapids in the brook foaming. Once more I saw the green grass and the flowers. Once more I heard the spring bird sing to the sun and the summer. One day, I will bathe in the spring air that fills my eyes, and there I will find a home. Everything that spring has brought me, the flowers I gathered, all seem the spirits of my forefathers dancing and sighing! And so under the birches and pine boughs I found a springtime riddle. And the sound of the flute that I carved seems as though I am weeping.” Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2015 at HIGH UP IN THE TREES