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I just love this artwork by Sue Jowell. It is made using various metals mounted on a wooden base. Size: 30cm x 30cm. I hope you enjoy too!

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In my opinion, the latest album from The Boxer Rebellion is, so far, the one of best albums of 2011.  Their progressive, sublime, alt-rock sound with layers reminiscent of Radiohead, Coldplay and The Fleet Foxes is full of dark tones. However,  the album manages to maintain a beauty and aura of peace and upliftment even though the music is dealing with themes around the acceptance of death and loss.

What really adds to the musical experience is the wonderful artwork and  booklet type album cover.

The artwork and album cover design was created by the Icelandic artist/designer, Jónas Valtýsson. (click here to see his website , it well worth the visit).

Jónas explains on his website:”I wanted to convey the feeling and meaning of the album with a simple metaphor for life. A single leaf full of life on the front cover. The leaf ages step by step inside the booklet, ending on the last page where only the bare skeleton is left.”

Take a look below:

 

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As I reflect on the process of mourning, I am for a moment, stepping aside from the deconstructionist philosophy of Jacque Derrida and Post Modernism and  looking purely at the emotional and expressive reality of the event.

While viewing various works by other artists, I was deeply moved by the sorrow expressed in this painting.

 

youth-mourning

 

 The following description is taken from the Imperial War Museum, London, where the painting is on display:

“Sir George Clausen was an established Royal Academician when he painted Youth Mourning in 1916 at the age of 64.  It represents his personal reaction to the loss of a generation of young British soldiers during the conflict, and particularly to the death of his daughter Katharine’s fiance.

Youth, represented as a vulnerable young woman, mourns the death of her love, and by extension, the deaths of all young soldiers.  In the distance are the flooded battlefield craters.  This allegorical work combines traditional classicism and Christian symbolism with the stark landscape of the Western Front.”

      wine-crucifix 

Wine Crucifix  1957/78 Oil on canvas
1680 x 1030 mm frame: 1685 x 1035 x 40 mm

 

I was at the Tate Modern in London  two weeks ago, while on a short trip to England. The painting that really has inspired me from this visit is Wine-Crucifix by Arnulf Rainer. The curators of the Tate Modern have flanked a smaller painting on each side of this work creating a triptych from the three works that completes the scene at Golgotha. These two painting are works by Herman Nitsch.

As  Christians enter the 40 days of Lent, I will be focussed on the darkness  of the passion which reaches an intensity with Holy Saturday.

The Tate mentions the following details on the work:

Wine-Crucifix was originally painted as an altar-piece for the Student Chapel of the Catholic University in Graz, Austria. It hung loosely, without a frame, across a large window. Light shining through the cloth would reveal the shape of a cross beneath layers of paint. The title of the work evokes the transformation of wine into the blood of Christ. After the work was removed from its religious setting in the mid-1960s, the artist bought it back and in 1978 decided to rework it. ‘I realised that the quality and truth of the picture only grew as it became darker and darker’, Rainer has explained.

 

 

I splashed out yesterday and purchased this beautiful lithograph. I found it hidden in-between other works at my favorite Gallery in Cape Town – The 3rd Eye Gallery. This lithograph is number 7 of 12,  it is 1000mm x 700mm (quite big) and dated 1995.

 

This work spoke to me on several levels. I was mainly captivated by the title “sanctuary” which can conjure up thoughts of comfort, protection and the sacred place. However, in contrast, what we find is a sense of caged, caught and captured represented in this work.

AVA (Association of visual Arts) discribes the work of Eunice Geustyn as follows: “The major impetus of this body of work is the evocation of philosophical and aesthetic metaphors which seek the residual quality of spiritual moments that link humankind and nature in indisputable ways by the recognition of spaces, objects, forms and events that describe sacred places- repositories of religion, nature and culture. One of the major recurring elements is the motif of woven structures; weaving, spindle whorls, spiders and maze patterns function as symbols of the creative, formative power of nature and the ideology that all life, including humankind, is either bound or linked or woven together, alluding to the consequences of hubris and neglect with elements of death, decay and endangered species.”