Thursday, 26 February 2009

Paul Villinski

I have just discovered a kindred spirit - another artist (there are a few of us out there) who uses found objects to create beauty, but particularly lost gloves!! A whole part of my upcoming exhibition involves lost gloves from the streets of Berlin (and Paris and Antwerp). So, I am overjoyed to read of this wonderful artist from New York and his visions of beauty made from the debris around us - beer cans become butterflies, lost gloves become wings and other things... His whole website is worth exploring but I've linked straight to the work that made my heart sing!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Philippe Petit & Jean-Michel Folon

Today I saw the film Man on Wire about the tightrope walker Philippe Petit. It was an incredibly moving, inspiring (and recently became Academy Award winning) documentary about this immensely creative man's fearless determination to live his dreams and to stay true to his passion. Of course this kind of determination doesn't happen without great sacrifices and the doco shows this in some very sensitive interviews with old friends of his...

I first learnt about Philippe Petit many years ago as a teenager thanks to my father having an art gallery. One of the artists he showed was the famous Belgian Jean-Michel Folon, who was a very successful artist of works on paper at the time my father showed him, and a true poet and humane man. I remember falling completely in love with his naïve, whimsical, dreamy style of drawing man in his urban environment and the dreams that go on in his head...

One silk-screened poster, in an exhibition my father had of Folon's work, featured a tiny man holding a beam walking on a line suspended between two buildings. I was too young in 1974 to recall the historic, audacious feat of Philippe Petit's walking between the almost complete Twin Towers of New York City, but the image on the poster stayed with me and captured something in my imagination! And then a while later I asked my father about it and he told me of his fellow compatriot, Frenchman Philippe Petit... So it was my absolute joy today to learn more about this figure I remember cutting out and pasting in my journal as a teenager and not really understanding at that stage.

for visuals from Jean-Michel Folon:

more on Philippe Petit:

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Annie Leibovitz in Berlin

I'm a day late to post this... I met yesterday, for a few seconds, one of my big heros of the photography world, Annie Leibovitz, as she signed my copy of her new book At Work, at the wonderful BücherBogen bookshop in Savignyplatz. She's in town for the opening of her great show "A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005" at C/O here in Berlin. I saw this same show in Paris and it's really wonderful and definitely warrants another visit.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sophie Calle

Today I went on an "Artist Date" (anyone who's read and worked through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way will know what I'm talking about - and yes, this woman deserves her own post!!) and took myself to the Sophie Calle exhibition here at the private gallery Arndt & Partner, in the fashionable gallery district at Zimmerstraße 90-91, near Checkpoint Charlie.

For this exhibition called "Où? Quand?" she worked with a clairvoyant to give her guidance as to where she should go and when, and then checked in with her along the way for further instruction... and there were signs that they used to 'confirm' they were on the right path... I'm fascinated by the processes Sophie Calle uses to let chance and "random parallel synchronicity" (kind of stolen from the beautiful film The Science of Sleep) come into play... She's quite a cheeky, daring and sometimes controversial woman!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Ursula Bogner

What is it with the Ursulas and music? A little while ago I discovered this fascinating story of a German pharmacist, wife and mother, Ursula Bogner, making rather avant-garde experimental electronic music in her purpose-made room, which I found very inspiring! You can hear little snippets of her music on this site. I secretly (well not anymore) love her look too, in a frumpy cool way!

All Handmade Gallery

This beautiful little gallery for ceramics, textiles and painting/prints is located in my home town Sydney, up the road from where I worked for many years in Bronte, one of Sydney's gorgeous innercity beach suburbs!

I particularly love the ceramics available there, and used to love popping up the road on my lunchbreak to check out the latest exhibition... The wonderfully happy thing to me is that it's still there, going strong after many years.

Pip Culbert

I'm a huge fan of artist Pip Culbert's work. Basically anything that involves clothing, textiles or fabric moves me in the heart and I am instantly drawn in. I discovered this English-born artist at Gitte Weise Gallery when it was in Sydney (it's now in Berlin - see also my Maria Kontis post), and I bought one of her pockets... She cuts away all the interior fabric of clothing, tents, bags, flags etc, to reveal the structure in the seams. I look forward to her show at the end of the year here in Berlin, so Gitte tells me!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Berlin artisan Hinrich Kröger & Scott Matthew

Another of my favourite Berlin artisans is Hinrich Kröger, a ceramic artist with a lovely shop/atelier in Gipsstraße Mitte. His work is delightfully whimsical, erotic, often eccentric and lovingly handmade. He is also represented in New York.

I discovered his atelier by happy accident. I passed it one day on my first visit to Berlin back in 2007 and saw outside the door a flyer for a gig by a sublimely talented friend of mine from Australia, New York-based singer/songwriter Scott Matthew, whose profile has risen since his appearance in the film Shortbus, for which he wrote and performed the music. So I had a little flash of excitement because I had not seen Scott for a very long time and I went in and told Hinrich that this is how I was drawn in. And since then I have bought a gorgeous birdy vase for my mother and I own a beautiful cat teacup for my morning tea!

Daniel Heer

When I was working at the wonderful Bless shop this lovely shy stylish young man Daniel Heer came in one day, and hankered after one of my favourite pieces too... but the thing I first noticed about him was his gorgeously simple bag. I asked him about it and lo and behold it was his own creation - so he's another Berlin treasure. His bags hit a nostalgic spot in me for an old 1950s school satchel that I found in my French grandmother's apartment when we had to clean it out after she died (a long while ago now)... they are beautiful, practical and artisanal.

Sandra Buckland

As I was just surfing in blogland, full of treasure, I was reminded of Swedish knitwear designer extraordinaire Sandra Buckland, whose work I adore for its daring, its wild creativity and technical beauty. I would absolutely love to try a piece of hers on and better yet to welcome one into my wardrobe one day...

Great Words

My darling sister Mathilde back in Sydney just sent this magnificent quote to me, and she found it on this site:
(and the woman whose site it is found it on another... ah, blogland)

Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.

in the spirit of cooperation

I just discovered through trusty Google an interesting grant, The Amber Grant, that's available to women in business everywhere in the world... I just applied and encourage other women to do the same! Helping each other in tougher times is the way forward...

Monday, 16 February 2009

Isabelle de Borchgrave

Today I discovered in her book Paper Illusions the work of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, especially her astonishing collection of paper fashion that she created with Rita Brown, a Canadian theatre costume designer. Their exquisite work consists of replicas of historical and ethnic dresses from many periods made from paper.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Berlin fashion favourites

I discovered a couple of years ago a beautiful knitting label here in Berlin called Maiami - their little workspace is at the back of a wonderful contemporary jewellery store in Auguststraße Mitte called OONA.

Also worth visiting for its discreet charm and old-world aesthetic is the Wolfen boutique, tucked up the other end of Auguststraße.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Tilda Swinton

I've been musing about heroes/heroines and who I'd like to dress or take a portrait of and this unconventional beauty rates highly on my list for so many reasons... perhaps she came up on my radar at this moment because she's in town at the moment heading the jury for the Berlinale film festival!

Monday, 9 February 2009

20 years of Maison Martin Margiela

Some pictures from the exhibition in Antwerpen this past weekend... an inspiring reminder of why I love clothes and the visionary work of MMM.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Patrick Blanc

Oh how I wish for a garden one day, or even better a wall covered in plants like the work that Patrick Blanc does with plants and flowers... I've passed one "en vrai" in Paris on the outside of the BHV Homme store. And spotted another tucked discretely in the Fragile store in Antwerpen. See his website for more...

Monday, 2 February 2009

Isaac Reina

Contrary to many women I am not much of a bag girl, however also in Paris I discovered my ideal bags a few years ago... A Spaniard who calls Paris home, depuis longtemps aussi, Isaac Reina makes such beautiful simple, minimal, functional bags and wallets... Highly recommended! I love his design philosophy on his site too.