Male mental health awareness charity Movember have been working with Sotheby's art auction. They approached ten street artists to create works of sellable art that represent male mental health. Because of the stigma involved in this issue, with prejudice and fear making it hard for people to talk about it, headlining the subject with high-brow offerings really helps to shine a light. It's a touchy subject, men are often told to never show weakness and if they believe it, they'll think admitting problems with their mind is a no-no. It takes a lot of strength to go against the grain and speak up when it's taboo. It takes a real man to talk about his own feelings and I guess it takes an even bigger one to forgive society for not wanting to know.
With these ten images, collectively called Against The Wall, the heavy truth is spelled out in multicoloured splendour. We get to see the metaphorical emotions and the plague of brainwashed thoughts which continue to forbid self-respect and motivation. I hope this encourages more artists to work on this area, there's a lot of ground to cover and with the obvious inequality within society's desire to help men's mental health, it's a mission with a worthy cause. The Against The Wall auction at Sotheby's is scheduled to run on the 16th of November for display and the 22nd for the sale itself.
For those who like poetry, here's one I wrote on the subject called Man Up.
Portable Petroglyphs Depicting Extinct Megafauna Discovered In North America When History Books Say Humans Arrived Much Later | Alternative Fruit
Clovis people were hunter-gatherers who are known to have colonised North America around 12,000 years ago. These are considered to be the first people to live on this continent, and helped to seed all of the eventual native American races and tribes who lived there since. This is however in contention as various evidence points to people living there before this period of time. The debate is still ongoing, and it seems that despite the clues, those who make the difference are still unable to piece them together. What about you?
People have been drawing images on stones for a long time, and as reported in the Indian Petroglyphs article last week, it shows us what the people were thinking about at the time. It gives us a good impression of what was important culturally to the individuals who made them. When we see creatures like elephants and monkeys on the petroglyphs in North America, we know that only a human could have made them. We know that these creatures did migrate over the arctic circle to these lands, however there was a mass extinction event during the last ice-age. Partially caused by lack of ecosystem and partially caused by hunting, we lost many of our giant animals at this time.
The Clovis hunter-gatherers lived after the ice-age, when these animals had already gone. So we know that these people could not have produced this art. That is unless they found skeletons and made an artist's representation, or copied described images from passed down tales. It's much more plausible that these carvings were made at the time these beasts were alive by people who lived beside them. Humans would naturally follow the migration paths of animal herds, so why not across into North America? Perhaps there was a period in time when there was an annual migration from Europe to America, especially knowing that the two countries have been gradually moving apart meaning they would have been closer at the time.
Why does it take so long for consensus to even consider an idea that clearly carries weight? Perhaps the cost of reprinting textbooks for every institution out there would be too much to think about, and perhaps the many tenured professors who've made their livelihoods on the back of previous data have other motives at heart. We can only keep considering all the evidence and making our own choices about what it all points to. One thing is for certain, we still love making petroglyphs. Just a quick browse on eBay will uncover loads of them, new and old.
Via Ancient Origins
also see, Museum of Portable Rock Art, Canada
What's been described as a “travelling circus”, the showcasing of several Indian literary gems takes place this year at the prestigious and culturally vibrant OzAsia festival in Australia. The event brings star authors from the nation to take part in lively and significant debates with Australians, plus giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves properly to the work and its creators. It's not just books either, philosophers and intelligentsia also make their way to this festival of thought. Journalists, writers, commentators, and scholars from both India and Australia merge their talent pool into a far reaching ocean of ideas.
An astonishing 54 panellists will speak and anchor the sessions over a period of three days. The author Devdutt Pattanaik plus writer and comedian Sami Shah make an appearance, authors William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale Dalrymple, whose award-winning titles include The Last Mughal, White Mughals, and Nine Lives, will also be there. They founded the Jaipur Literature Festival and the resultant linked events with Gokhale and producer Sanjoy Roy.
The event this year is being hosted by Adelaide, something which artistic director Joseph Mitchell has worked hard to achieve. Finding a place for this iconic Aussie city in this international festival was important to him, and so was finding a way of promoting the written word without sitting on the back of other great events such as Writer's Week. Encouraging cross cultural debate and conversation will really help to widen Australia's influence on the cultural scene. Choosing Indian writers too has been a wise decision, with both cultures having traditions and stories that stretch back independently for millennia.
The special thing about this event is it's not just a handful of authors talking about their latest book. That sort of thing happens all of the time, and people always love to hear their favourite writers speak. What this event does is take the experience to the next dimension where fans and the intrigued alike can truly uncover the soul of the work each writer does. Maybe the joining of Australian and Indian philosophy can breed some really useful ways of seeing the world today?
You can find out more about the OzAsia festival on their website.
The Konkan Coast of India's Maharashtra State is probably best known for its gorgeous Arabian Sea get-aways however recent discoveries in the surrounding hills have supercharged the area's archaeological significance. With wide grasslands on rolling hills which act to shade each other as the Sun moves through the sky, the red laterite rocks have remained stable despite countless monsoons. In one particular patch of grass, where the rock has been sun-baked into a black and soil-less oval shape, there is an eight foot high depiction of a man. With legs astride and arms to the side the figure's head is surrounded by a large helmet or halo shape.
This description is for just one of over a thousand specimens discovered in only the last three years. The petroglyphs seems to be concentrated around Ratnagiri and Rajapur, suggesting these settlements have a legacy stretching back as far as these millennia old drawings. Over 52 sites in the surrounding regions have been documented involving over a thousand individual works of art. The largest so far discovered is an elephant petroglyph which reaches fifty feet across.
A whole range of different forms of art can be found there. Clear fertility symbols mingle with geometric patterns and strange motifs. Various animals are shown including fish and birds. The difference between these images and pictographs is that pictographs are painted on stone where as these petroglyphs are carved into it.
Along with 25,000 year old tools discovered in the same Konkan region, these petroglyphs help fills the gaps in the book of history for the area. Little is known about what went on and who was doing what in these times. Often wisdom was passed down through word of mouth and so finding a period of time which people used to express permanent thoughts into the landscape is a true gift. Now it's possible to open a door and walk into the time of these people to see what they felt was worthwhile depicting in stone.
The Mesolithic period which these drawings come from represents a period of time where humans were still using stone age technology. Metal-work had not been invented and only primitive use of fire was used to cook food or make smoke. Although humanity had managed to occupy much of the planet by this time, the last Ice Age still made the North challenging to colonise.
Find out more about the Petroglyphs of Konkan in The Hindu.
Not One But Two Exhibition Rooms Dedicated To The Muslim World At The British Museum | Alternative Fruit
Muslim culture has been given a real kick-start recently, it was only last week when Alternative Fruit reported on the welcome influx of Muslim thought in the United States recently. Especially designed to appeal to museum visitors of all ages, things to see at every eye level adorn the cabinets and shelves in this new showing. Not specifically about the Islamic Religion, although clearly an important factor in the Muslim world, the demonstration attempts to illuminate us on the human and artistic side of the culture.
From metallurgy from Herat, full of its intricate geometric detail, to a bowl sporting a stylised duck symbol as part of an 11th century Nihavand hoard, this collection has a vast scope. All the various geographical locations under the Islamic cultural blanket are represented on site in a similar way to their geography. This can give visitors a true sense of the area and learn about where various ideas come from in relation to each other.
Themed collections appear at various locations, which will be shifted and changed at regular intervals. This means that visiting twice will not leave anyone disappointed. Items that were considered everyday but now rest firmly in intrigue and valuable history such as charms, games, water filters, and musical instruments are kept in like for like gatherings and placed around the two widely stocked rooms. Getting a real feel for the people of the period that each showing represents from their everyday items is really enlightening.
In the first room, all artefacts date from pre 1500 AD. This exhibit contains items from the pre-Islamic land of Palmyra. Tragically destroyed by misguided people in recent years, this archaeological site still holds huge antiquarian value. It's hoped that the exhibition will help people who visit the British Museum to be educated and informed on the world of Muslim people today and in the past. We perhaps get an unfair bias when the news repeats the same negative sides, and it's great that the British Museum are working to address this positively.
Browse exclusive interior design
Find out more about the exhibit here
Via The Evening Standard
Muslim society has been living among non-Muslim society for centuries however in recent days the divisions have perhaps been amplified. When one particular front expresses boundaries and harsh words in response to different culture, the polar opposite front often expresses equal amounts in the other direction. Because life has many facets and faces, the various directions of societal counter-action are plentiful. Some result in positive and some result in negative outcomes. One of the best ways to express emotion and strong thoughts is through art and creativity. This way we can shift the emotional and mental energy from a place of potential to an output that remains safe yet effective on a civilised level.
By adopting Muslim fashion ideas with open arms, many in the West have made their point that they do not fear this new influx of ideas. Sharing ideas after-all, is a large part of what makes us human. An idea need not be words, and as we all know words can be used to excuse and to hurt, an idea can be a shape, a pattern, a mannerism, or any other subtle adjustment to preference. Fashion, after-all, means the way something is designed, and this can point to all aspects of one's being and doing. Naturally, when something is brought into mainstream consciousness and shown validation in a new light, the ideas and gestures become normalised to a certain degree.
British Muslim Dina Torkia recently published a book called Modestly. It portrays her journey as a religion inspired artist to create fashionable clothes that resemble the Muslim style. She especially wanted to teach the virtue of modesty in her work, hence the name of her book. After noticing many great reviews, I'm certain Modestly will be a worthwhile read.
Religion has been involved in fashion recently before, with the New York Met displaying some highly valuable articles from the Vatican. This time, New York Fashion Week last September showcased crowdfunded fashion icon Eman Idil Bare and her collection of Muslim inspired clothing.
To top off this recent flourishing of Muslim inspired fashion, the de Young Museum in San Francisco is showing a collection called Contemporary Muslim Fashions. These items show off the elegance and beauty of the female Muslim dress in full walk-through displays. Running until the beginning of next year, it's hoped that this exhibition will readdress some of the unbalanced books when it comes to cultural recognition in America.
eBay Muslim Fashion - Browse now!
Via - Religion News Service
Disney, Capcom, Pixar, and Paramount Send Creatives To Poland’s Promised Land Art Festival | Alternative Fruit
Industry professionals from the global players lend their expertise to festival goers at Promised Land in the city of Łódź, Poland. The EC1 Łódź – City of Culture Art Festival opened on the 29th of September with a one-off event in which aspiring local artists could exchange ideas and techniques with those at the top of their field. Where some were given portfolio appraisals, others were able to ask relevant questions. Everyone was able to sit and listen to the wisdom of genuine people who make their living from the creative industry.
While rubbing shoulders with recruiters from video game industries and art talent scouts, artists of all levels can enjoy the experience of being involved in the global movement. Everything from workshops in game design, 2D and 3D art, film production, 3D model making, and lots of other modern artistic paths make up the running order of this year’s event. Outside The Box is among the selected events which aims to introduce artists into other areas of creativity that not as many people go into. This includes miniature model painting, video game story writing, and firearms design. I hope they mean the computer game variety.
You can learn creative skills online from top universities. Join for free.
Running for the long weekend, ending on Wednesday 3rd, it’s hoped that everyone who wants to go will get their day. It sounds like a lot of fun and a chance to network with some really influential and well-connected individuals. Find out about the Promised Land festival here.
What defines art, what defines architecture? Is there common ground and are there borders? Some relevant and contextually appealing questions we can ask ourselves when thinking about building the future. We all have our ideas about how something should look, whether it likens to a style or to an image created from fiction, there is a strong chance that our ideal building is a little like something we've seen before. That's understandable, we could of course imagine any kind of crazy shape and call it a building only it won't necessarily be our ideal one. When art comes into the equation, we always want to include an element of humanity in a project in order to give it a certain personality.
Naturally a designer wants people to be able to see a design and say “Yes, I know who built that”. Architects are no different in this regard.
MVRDV are an architecture company that specialise in preparing urban environments for the future. They want to bring the run-down and forgotten into the new today with fundamentally modern and yet aesthetically gorgeous presentation. Possibly the root cause of the mostly unsightly brutalist legacy was that in predicting the future and using concrete left little room for pleasant personality. This time, atmosphere and appearance have been given key thought. That's something that I think is of great importance.
In South Korea's Seoul, a recent MVRDV project has been completed called The Imprint. Off-the-wall angles and oddly folding extremities on the buildings give a psychedelic effect to their structure. The abstractly sculpted buildings form a network of attractions/venues which make up part of the larger Paradise City Complex, near the main city airport. Clearly there to be seen and walked around, each individual building is a monument to the world of design and creative expression.
It doesn't have to be left up to big firms to complete much needed regeneration works in urban areas. When communities get together and work with local authorities, great things can be achieved from the ground up. It doesn't have to be up to big government to reach down and, with often over-bearing hands, put everything how it should be. There are equally as capable people on the city-centre high streets, walking past the places that could do with extra care. We can all apply ourselves to brightening up our own communities. An interesting report from the Center for Community Progress and Metris Arts Consulting in the USA shows that communities received great rewards from allowing and backing local artists to culturally renovate disused properties.
Everyone enjoys the benefits of having clean and good looking neighbourhoods. We all have a role to play in the facilitation of bringing what is around us into the modern standard we want. From remembering to use the bins to volunteering to be part of a larger project, there's always opportunity to socially invest. Perhaps write to the local council and ask them about your ideas, it might be the start of something. Images via Inhabitat.
A brilliant initiative from the local Hispanic community of down town Phoenix's Arizona State University is a bilingual poetry event. Called Voz De Sparky and aimed at integrating English and Spanish speaking residents and students into one literary movement, it stands to do amazing work with breaking down national walls which prevent each other from growing as a whole. Enabling cultural differences to become a celebratory subject of artistic ventures proves that what divides us is a resource of depth and wisdom.
This year, the event is on October 4th and is taking place in the First Amendment Building of the campus. Named Voces de la Calle or Voices of the Street, the direction opens up for many routes and roads which can be verbally explored in English and Spanish. The specific insights and stories waiting to be told can only be revealed on the night, however for those in the audience they will no doubt influence future thought in some way. That's the purpose of art.
For the Hispanic community there, it is important for their stories and experiences to be voiced. Often muffled by the barriers of language and anxiety, providing a safe haven where their words are the exhibit really makes a difference emotionally. This then will naturally translate into their ability to integrate and to feel at home where their home now is. Because English speakng people and many intellectual Americans truly appreciate culture and poetry, the combination of these two factors will no doubt attract a crowd. Once more, serving to bolster the confidence and geographical integrity of those who may need it.
According to spokeswoman Arisbeth Valenzuela, the event is aiming to “advocate, celebrate and educate not just the Mexican and Hispanic populations but (also) the entire Sun Devil community.” (statepress).
Sun Devil refers to the athletics teams which the university students belong to. There are various sports which all come under this one umbrella. It's good that poetry and literature are being given the same level of respect as sports. The whole message is one of positivity, validation, and reinforcement of personality. This must be an amazing experience for everyone partaking in it.
We can all learn from this, and prove that we too can celebrate cultural differences and learn from them. By understanding each other we diminish the fear of the unknown and we also learn how to best communicate across national lines. It's never easy to embrace something completely new and something we may have heard bad things about in the past, however when confronted with it in a proper way that's built from the ground up, we can quickly learn that we are all just people and we all have a story to tell.
Berlin based music company Innervisions bring their musical arsenal to the Royal Albert Hall for a one off celebrity bash of their top acts. Performing as collaborations or as one off events for the year, many of the billed names can only be seen in full at this one event for the foreseeable future. An elaborate set-list of performances with special effects and lighting are set to woo and entrance the revellers of South Kensington and beyond at this premiere and limited edition evening.
The prestigious venue has never before show-cased such an event. Having a six hour long back to back expo of artists working under the Innervisions label brings house and techno to the top of the cultural hill. Billed as containing mainly brand new material with choreographed audio-visuals, the experience will not only be novel for the venue but for everyone who has travelled the distance to the show.
From 6.30 pm on Friday the 21st of September, the Innervisions show will provide the cream of their selection until midnight. Run by the musical duo Âme and the prolific Dixon, the label boasts a star-studded backdrop of names. Of course, Dixon and Âme will be headlining the event plus Frank Wiedemann from Âme will be providing sounds alongside Matthew Herbert and Gudrun Gut. He also opens the night with folk musician Ry X as the group Howling. Another collaboration on the night will be between German house DJ Henrik Schwarz and Norwegian jazz musician Bugge Wesseltoft. With dance by Nina Kurtela to round off the experience, everyone will be satisfied with the sought after proceedings.
Check all the official details here.
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