Archive for 'Art'
Morning Glory Solar Light

Morning Glory Solar Light

Posted 11 May 2010 | By | Categories: Art, Technology | Comments Off on Morning Glory Solar Light

Wendy Legro Morning Glory Solar flower light

The original solar lights in the sky are so magnificent and wondrous to behold, but the solar lights you can buy are generally uninspired and ugly. How to capture and transmit beauty along with the light? I’m utterly charmed by Wendy Legro’s graduation project for Design Academy Eindhoven, Morning Glory:

The sun is our natural light source. Our homes are filled with artificial light replacing it, undeliberately disrupting our biological clock.

This product works autonomously with a light sensor. During the day, mechanical flowers are closed enabling sunlight to come in. When sun sets, the flowers open and start to emit light. In this way, awareness for a beautiful phenomenon will be brought back.

Want to see something crazy? Check out time-lapsed video of a real morning glory vine and how it lassos on to supports.

Saturday Seagarden Spoils

Saturday Seagarden Spoils

Posted 17 April 2010 | By | Categories: Art, Gardening, Plants, Seagarden, Vegetables | Comments

Garden Harvest 17.4.2010: 4 large cucumbers and the last of the cucumber plants; 1 glorious white icicle radish; 2 dwarf beans or french beans; 8 large, 11 small and 17 green potatoes; 1 curvy carrot; 13 ripe strawberries; marigolds (to make space for new plantings); and 6 baby beets. Planted: spinach, purple kohlrabi, cauliflower snowball, cauliflower green macerata, cabbage mix, misome and mustard greens.

Learning from Gardens, Books and Art

Learning from Gardens, Books and Art

Posted 31 January 2010 | By | Categories: Art, Books, Gardening | Comments Off on Learning from Gardens, Books and Art

 Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel by Mickey Smith

I’m charmed by this “Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel” print by Mickey Smith (and its fraternal twin) from 20×200.com (which is having a ridonkulous sale on their prints through the weekend), and it made me think of Cultivating Failure, Caitlin Flanagan’s attack in the current Atlantic on school gardens for taking away from book learning. To which Kurt Michael Friese at Civil Eats replied best summing up my own thoughts:

Ms. Flanagan has chosen to ignore the core purposes of these gardens, only one of which happens to be cultivating a respect for hard work, and only one other of which is a healthy respect for real food. While she notes that the work of the garden has migrated into each of the classrooms, she ignores the obvious point that this demonstrates: There is nothing taught in schools that cannot be learned in a garden. Math and science to be sure, but also history, civics, logic, art, literature, music, and the birds and the bees both literally and figuratively. Beyond that though, in a garden a student learns responsibility, teamwork, citizenship, sustainability, and respect for nature, for others, and for themselves.

Here in New Zealand, I was touched by Maggie Barry’s story of Seeding for Success showing how a school garden program led by Kataraina Nock at the Edmund Hillary School in South Auckland not only engaged students but families and the community beyond. I’m also excited to see The Garden to Table Trust’s initiative for New Zealand Primary Schools where children aged 7-10 will learn to grow, harvest, prepare and share food. The Garden To Table program was inspired by the Kitchen Garden Foundation in Australia, founded by Stephanie Alexander, whose Kitchen Garden Cookbook and Cook’s Companion are two of the books I’ve been enjoying learning from this week.)

Last week I was reunited with the things I saved while dematerializing and moving to New Zealand. I was excited and nervous to uncrate the art I had loved in New York — would I still find it beautiful or have any emotional connection? Would it even arrive intact? On that front, I am so pleased with the packing and crating by WelPak. They lived up to their name completely.

My father noted how uncanny it was that Marc Quinn’s Garden II series of prints (pictured above in part in New York) fit in so well to the new enviornment. But I wasn’t surprised at all… I remember falling in love and wanting to move in and surround myself with the intense blues and greens, the profusion of wild and vibrant flora, the juxtaposition of species you wouldn’t find together anywhere else. Which would not be an incorrect way to describe where I am now in New Zealand. Perhaps the art in part led me here? What yearnings are revealed in the art that speaks to you?

Daily Om: Healing Gardens

Daily Om: Healing Gardens

Posted 08 January 2010 | By | Categories: Art, Health, Spirit | Comments Off on Daily Om: Healing Gardens

Ganesha, Saraswati, and Jallandharnath (detail), identified here as a copy of folio 1 from the Nath Purana, attributed to Amardas, c1825; opaque watercolour and gold on paper; 47 x 123 cm. Mehrangarh Museum Trust

There are very few email newsletters I remain subscribed to for long, but after many years, the DailyOm, continues to inspire me and often surprises me in addressing an issue or theme that’s top of mind. Today’s Om, Healing Gardens, particularly resonated:

Healing Gardens
Hand in Hand with Nature

Time spent in nature’s embrace is a soothing reminder of the fact that we also are products of the natural world’s ingenuity. We feel at home in a quiet forest and are comforted by the pounding surf of the seaside. In both the sunny meadow and the shaded waterfall’s grotto, stress and tension we have long retained melts away. Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature to enjoy its healing benefits can be difficult, however. Planting and tending a garden allows us to spend time with Mother Nature in a very personal and hands-on way. We work in tandem with nature while gardening—honoring the seasons, participating in the life cycle of various organisms, experiencing the unique biorhythms of our environments, and transcending all that divides us from the natural world. As we interact with the soil, we are free to be ourselves and reflect upon meditative topics. Fresh air invigorates us, while our visceral connection to the earth grounds us.

Though you may plant a garden to grow food or herbs, or for the pleasure of seeing fresh flowers in bloom, you will likely discover that the time you spend working in your plot feels somehow more significant than many of the seemingly more important tasks you perform each day. Whether your garden can be measured in feet or is a collection of plants in pots, tending it can be a highly spiritual experience. You, by necessity, develop a closer relationship with the soil, seeds, water, and sunlight. Nurturing just a single plant means cultivating a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that permit it to thrive. A true healing garden is simply one where you feel comfortable plunging your hands into the earth, lingering over seedlings and plants to observe their growth. And yes, even caressing and talking to plants. Creating beauty through the creative use of space, and giving yourself over to awe when you realize that you have worked hand in hand with nature to give birth to som! ething, is truly wonderful.

The partnership that is formed when you collaborate with Mother Nature through gardening is wonderful in that it provides you with so many opportunities to be outdoors. You will be reminded of not only your connection to the earth but also of your unique gifts that allow you to give back to the earth.

  • The image above is a detail from Ganesha, Saraswati, and Jallandharnath, identified here as a copy of folio 1 from the Nath Purana, attributed to Amardas, c1825; opaque watercolour and gold on paper; 47 x 123 cm, part of the “Garden and Cosmos” exhibition of the royal paintings of Jodhpur organised by the Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur, currently on at the Art Gallery NSW in Sydney, Australia through 26 January 2010.
  • The related Divine Landscape self-guided walk pairs paintings in the exhibition with locations in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Their lotus pond takes my breath away each time I visit — it’s one of my favorite heavens on Earth.
  • The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, India

  • A huge inspiration for my current Seagarden is the Oberoi Rajvilas (pictured above), also from the Indian state of Rajasthan, but in Jaipur. I especially loved the flowing water throughout the property, deep blue and turquoise ceramic tiles, scent of jasmine flowers permeating the air, private bathing gardens and harmonious combination of sacred temple and secular haveli.

Pairing Leaves and Letters

Posted 23 April 2009 | By | Categories: Art | Comments Off on Pairing Leaves and Letters

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From a thoughtful “leaflet” on leaves and letters written and designed by Janine Vangool, who looks at a tree and sees typography.

Windowfarms NYC

Windowfarms NYC

Posted 19 April 2009 | By | Categories: Art, Container Gardening, Vegetables | Comments Off on Windowfarms NYC


windowfarms.jpg
Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray have set out to start a window farms craze in NYC. They are creating several different designs for suspended, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield light-augmented window farms using low-impact or recycled local materials. They are calling for participants to build a window farm and grow your own food at home in a collaborative design project.http://windowfarms.org/

This project fits within a larger context of their collaborative work: “crowdsourced R&Diy solutions for environmental issues. Our inspiration for community involvement derives from concepts of local production (think of the coming network of 3D multi-material printers), mass customization, and crowdsourcing. We envision the DIY aspect, not as a nostalgia-inducing hobby or a compromise during hard financial times, but as a futuristic infrastructure-light alternative to big R&D. Instead of waiting for products and services to be developed by industry, local social networks develop solutions for themselves by dividing scientists’ breakthrough findings into actionable local steps.”

Crowdsourcing local solutions to environmental problems. Wikis and instructables aren’t enough – develop tools to help people build on what other have started.