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An artistic life

November 15, 2009 1 comment

I love looking at artists’ blogs & websites.  Apart from the beautiful images often posted therein, I enjoy the insight I get in to their minds and their art. I find it can be as relaxing as a slow meander of an art gallery on a quiet afternoon. It can also be incredibly inspiring, firing up my own creative synapses, presenting me with ideas I’d like to explore.

No matter what medium the artist works with, be it photography, painting, sculpture, text or film (to name but a few), art does have value. Art for art’s sake, not just as a commodity. (Although, to be paid for one’s art is very nice feedback for one’s endeavours.)

The internet makes it so easy for artists to share their work with the world. It’s great and I appreciate it.

I’m quite a fan of people using their blogs as a form of text-based creative exploration. They might be discussing any manner of topic, but the fact that they’re writing and putting it ‘out there’ on the web for all to see, makes it creative. I also enjoy those who post video monologues to achieve the same end, a discussion on a topic, expressing thoughts and maybe exploring different options as they talk. I do love it when a writer uses the web in this way as one means of exploring and creating.

I have a great love of photography. I’m not a great fan of digital manipulation although I appreciate the skill and artistry. I prefer the thoughtfully composed (or luckily composed!) simple photograph. Landscapes, the urban jungle and fine art nudes are my favourite themes.

I find paintings and drawings fascinating. Possibly because I don’t draw very well at all. 🙂 I love to look closely at the details, to see the brushstrokes and colours. That’s easier done when you have the painting in front of you in a gallery or studio. But I get a lot of enjoyment from reading what the artist has to say about how a particular painting came about and what they were trying to express. Again my favourite subjects are landscapes and female nudes. I like nudes that show women’s beauty within. This is something I look for in photographs of women too.

Artists who work with film or performance challenge me. Often the material they are presenting makes you think, sometimes about issues you’ve not given thought to before. I like that.

Anyway, here is an assortment of artists whose sites have given me much delight this weekend. Some of them have been ‘Favourites’ for a long time, some recently discovered and a few recently re-discovered.

Note: Some of the sites may feature some nudity and/or sexual imagery or discussion thereof. Not all. Just a few. It’s art. It’s relevant. It’s worthwhile.

Mattographer

xobs – and do read her ‘about’ page

Kate Hughes

Just A Perfect Day

Wolfcat

If Not For You Then Who – play a couple of the videos

Faceless-Music – this group are exploring “Dead and Desirable”, life on the internet.

Drugged up with naked thoughts

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m at home today. Drugged up on Stemetil to combat some unpleasant middle ear inbalance & associated nausea. In no condition to drive to work today (or ride my bike!). And in no condition to be in charge of a computer either me thinks. 🙂 The Stemetil is relieving the nausea thank the gods.

Anyway, a day at home allows me to cast an eye and a brain over a few things I’ve placed in my “yet to do” tray on my desk.

E-health records

The National Health and Hospitals Reforms Commission released its’ report and recommendations to the public yesterday. Much fanfare, a scattering of oft-seen politicians, a lot to think about IF the government actually opts to implement any or all of the recommendations. I’d like to comment upon recommendation #13 – that by “2012, every Australian should be able to have a personal electronic health record that will at all times be owned and controlled by that person.”

I live in Alice Springs, a very small town of around 27 000 people. And we have had access to electronic health records for some time. As a former nurse I found them a useful tool in providing optimum care for my patients. These days, as a patient myself, I find these e-health records to be so time-saving and useful for both the doctor and myself.

Last night I found myself having to use the privately run After Hours GP Clinic. It was an urgent consultation, but not life-threatening, hence I opted not to attend the Emergency Department of the local hospital. I’d been unable to obtain an appointment with my regular GP’s clinic and I was in need of treatment. I felt like crap, I’d had to leave work early, and I was a bit scared of the symptoms being experienced. Fortunately, Alice Springs has the wonderful After Hours service, and more fortunately, I am able to afford the $95 fee (some of which will be refunded by Medicare). As I checked in at reception, I signed the consent that basically says, yes please do share my health records between my regular clinic and the After Hours practice. I have no problems with privacy here. Sharing my e-health record makes life so much easier for me and the treating health care provider. Last night, feeling quite unwell, the doctor was able to go back through my recent medical history with both my regular GP and the hospital. That meant he was up to speed and better able to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. It saved me having to remember and recite it all. So useful. I am a great fan of the shared electronic health record. And very pleased we already have this system in place in Alice Springs. 🙂

Naked thoughts

A friend has suggested (re-suggested actually) that I do a naked outdoor photo shoot. Given that I feel like crap still, together with the fact it’s only 11 degrees as I type and we’re only expecting a maximum of 18 today, I’m not likely to do this today. 🙂

[Warning! The link to Project ISM below goes to a page that contains images of nudity. It is considered an adult site. ]

Originally I had been going to put together a portfolio of shots a few summers ago but got distracted with life and thus the project has been put aside for now. But I am giving the idea fresh consideration. How can I verbally support a public art project such as ISM unless I am prepared to partake? It would boost the numbers of older women being featured, something I, and the women who work behind the scenes (and in front of the camera) believe is important. But I’m now approaching 48, the body has been battling a few health issues, and I find myself re-examining both my reasoning for partaking, as well as coming up against some self-confidence issues. These days I’m a little fussier about who I display my nakedness to. 🙂 Then there’s the whole planning the shoot exercise – the where and when of it all.

A close female friend, older than myself, did a nude shoot a couple of years ago. She used a professional photographer who specialises in the female nude. The shots are awesome! But they’re also out there on the internet. As she says, it’s a risk, but one worth taking for her. She found the entire experience liberating and boosted her senses of sensuality & sexuality. So far, no-one at her work place, nor in her social group (apart from myself) have stumbled across the internet display. Oddly enough, no visitors to her home have commented on just who the subject is in those fine black and white nudes on display in her lounge room. Was she not recognized? Or are people a bit too embarrassed to speak up?

Other women I know or are aquainted with have shot themselves for Project ISM. A few have gone on to do “other film work” for the Feck sites. All have enjoyed their experiences, for a variety of reasons.

It’s not like I haven’t done nude shots and film before. I have. But I was so much younger. I didn’t have to worry about being “found out” (I wore sunglasses.  🙂  ) (You’d have to be extremely familiar with me to pick me out in any of those old photos.) (Sorry, no links. It was a very long time ago, the internet was young, You Tube wasn’t in existence and I don’t even have copies.)

But my lifestyle was very different back then. These days I’m far more conservative in my living arrangements. I’m not sure my partner would be thrilled at the idea. He wouldn’t try to stop me, but he’d probably ask that I not announce it to the town folk. Or his family. My family are okay with the idea. Most of them.

But I am working and interacting in a small community. I can see the potential for what I do in my creative arts work to be misinterpreted, not to mention being possibly displayed as “pornographic”. So I need to be very clear in my mind what it is I want to achieve with partaking of Project ISM, and where I want it to lead artistically. Before I disrobe and pick up the camera.