Walkabouts and wonders

"A life not examined is a life not lived" – Socrates

Tag Archives: inspiration

Fun in Singapore (?) 2

Who knew? – Singapore houses the best modern museum of art and culture that I have ever seen (at least in Europe) in the form of its Museum of Asian Civilisations. I am sorry to say that I couldn’t get enough decent pictures to do the place justice –  just a few steps beyond my current skill-levels – besides there weren’t just artifacts and stills, but multimedia presentations on where they came from and how they were made, interactive bits made for children and amateurs like me and so on. And it probably has the best and most intelligent presentation on Islamic art and its foundations in that faith, that I have visited. Frankly knocks the Victoria and Albert Islamic and Chinese galleries in London, back into the 19th Century (sorry guys – the Singapore museum even has a nicer restaurant attached).

If you think I am going a bit over the top, go have a look at the website for an idea of its rangeº and, if you live in Singapore or get a chance to visit the island, let this place surprise you.


And although I didn’t go all the way through them, what I saw of two other museums – the National and the Peranakan was pretty impressive, too.

Has Photography Lost its Soul?

I met Patrick Keough on a street-corner in Vienna when we were both lost looking for a photographic exhibition. Later on, after we had found the exhibition he mentioned this blog – enjoy!


Photography has a rich and illustrious history and is a relatively new medium compared to other art forms.  I mean painting has been around for 0ver 30,000 years compared to photography’s relatively short history. Photography has also borrowed much of the visual language from painting and applied it for both composition and content translation purposes.

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I personally believe our true goal as photographers is visually translating external /internal references (landscape, nature, people, architecture) and metaphorically (symbolically and/or blatantly) translating our expressive/emotional response to our subject matter into a conceptual bridge (path) for deeper awareness and understanding of the world around us spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. This can be accomplished realistically or in more abstract / conceptual ways.

Last week I spent 2 days reviewing photographic portfolios in Bratislava for the European Month of Photography and also have attended many photo exhibitions and opening during my travels in Eastern Europe over…

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Contagious inspirations

Bear with me on this posting – it does get to be inspiring….. promise.

You know how it can sometimes happen that it all seems too much effort to get anything done? Even the stuff you were quite looking forward to, yesterday, can turn up to you with all the attraction of a bowl of soup that’s gone cold and congealed and, “yeuch”.  (I remember at school, that sometimes they would serve this tomato soup – that was always too rich anyway, but half the time they left it in the pot for too long and it got really thick – like that, but cold and heavy).  Anyway, this is more or less how I felt as I dragged myself to the computer earlier this evening  – “Walkabouts and wonders, huh? Well, not much chance of that!” said I. So, abandoning a story I have tried to write three times already this week, I turned to “Freshly Pressed” with the vague idea that I might find something amusing to make it worth spending the effort of pushing the on button – get the idea.

But behold – what dd I see, but a blog title – “I’m tired”. So, I clicked on that and found myself in the slightly odd, funny, querulous and questioning blog-space of a rap admiring young black comedian by the name of Ola. And I found his posting so well observed and to the point, that first, I re-blogged it (you can see it below) and then I found myself writing this –

“So Ola,

What do you do and where do you go, to catch the moment and relight the glow?

Do you go out in search of new sensation, or inward towards your soul dedication?

Do you think your virtue is only in succeeding, or is it in the charge of the making and believing?

See you – see me – cry if you must, but keep on trying. See you – see me – my body is slow, but the spirit loves flying.”

Now, that got written in 10 minutes flat –  that’s the power of inspiration – it really is contagious, even to a guy who was dead on his feet 10 minutes before, and who last wrote in rhyme about 20 years ago, but listened to a little rap on Ola’s site a few minutes before.  There is more to art than just cleverness – training helps, of course, but there is a mystic something extra that anyone may touch.

A title searching for an article…..

Here’s an odd thing – I have had a series of great experiences during the course of a day in London, largely as a consequence of following my instincts. Thinking about how I might describe the experiences in a blog, a great title came to mind – “The Value of Shallow”. Troble is, it doesn’t actually fit toany of the experiences I had or any angle I can think of to write about them. So, what gives?

Maybe it’s not my title. Maybe there ‘s some unfortunate soul out there;  a budding novelist, and this is the title they need for their book to be a best seller. Only, I got it; they didn’t and it would have ushered in a whole new era of peace and mutual understanding based on collecting and swopping souvenir cards, but now it won’t happen.

Or maybe a wormhole opened between me and another “me” in an alternative universe – and this is the title of the book that I wrote in that universe, where my childhood sweetheart and I made up after that fight over pulling her hair (I was seven and she was six) and we eventually got married and had three children, and lived happily ever after on the royalites.

Or maybe, sadly – this is a discarded title – some great writer somewhere was trying to figure out a title for his next great book, and “The Value of Shallow” came up, and it nearly fitted but then it didn’t. And he just dismissed it; threw it out into the cold hard world, where it’s so desperate to get used that it jumps into my head in hopes of getting used in my blog (poor thing)…..

Or maybe, I had a little too much sugar in my tea, earlier.

Except now, I got another new title – “Pret-a-tete” – which I can use! Yippee!

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