S-s-s-saigon!

Empress Tikki gave her minders the side-eye. They were waving at the scantily clad women dancing in the hall. The Ambassador was seated next to her, outlining his plan to bring animals to the country instead of an embassy. She was only half listening.

It was a terrible idea. Animals aren’t valuable hostages. They don’t bring jobs to the local economy. The Empress fluttered her eyelids. The Ambassador thought she was impressed. She was, in fact, signalling the kitchen.

Someone brought out a bowl of soup garnished with roasted chili peppers. “Fragrant, warming spices,” she said, taking a sip. “Astringent herbs improve the circulation, Excellency.” She handed him the bowl.

The Ambassador had blundered into a dangerous valley and was now trapped in a bog. Moments later, he was in floods of tears but was obliged to keep sipping. Empress Tikki asked one question to end the discussion. “What will you name your residence, Excellency?” He was in death throes but managed to sneeze out a response: “Eh… Eh… It… Eh… S-s-s-saigon!!!”

Saigon | SB

Photo credit:
SHXPIR for Harper’s Bazaar China.

Corona

Pink edit - Popsicle

Berry Soda

Acrylic and moulding paste on
A4 illustration board (processed)

Orange edit - Orange silk

Orange Silk

This is a practice painting I’ve been playing with since early March. It started as an orange stigma and petals in shades of green, on green illustration board. Later, I painted over it in light rose and oxide black. And finally, in deeper shades of rose.

Two versions of the painting were photographed on magazine pages. Below is the light rose edit I’m using as wallpaper for my phone.

iPhone screensaver edit - on magazine pages, a model is wearing a spiky Game of Thrones style tiara and necklace.

Corona – The Same Face

Outtakes: The collage below shows the edits that nearly made it to the main presentation. This time, I really couldn’t make up my mind. The final deep pink version appears in this one.

Collage of alternate edits

Collage with texture details

Corona - Banner with inverted text, by SB

As always, I wish you a lovely day. Thank you so much for viewing.

Magazine photos – Maggie Jablonski by Elena Rendina for Numero, Tokyo, “Be Gorgeous”, vol 91, November, 2015. 

David et Goliath (Archangel Edit)

Archangel Michael

Cheer me on, Oblivia
as I wind up from the knees
to rend from Earth this nemesis
of everlasting peace

Aiming at the nose bridge
of the Grand Chaos Machine
bracing with the groundswell
fully charged, I launch again

Swing that arm around now
Come on David, let her fly
Holding up your left hand
as a shield against the sky
watch that middle finger
you must use it as a guide
Clean your stones; less friction
Count, release and it is done

Lead, my faithful vanguard
Gather, kindred, go that way
On your trusting footprints
shines the mighty light of day

Come on, children, walk this way…

 

Note: I wrote this poem at the end of March and hid it, thinking I would never need to publish it. Clearly, I was kidding myself. Tammy, and Jeanne, this poem might be all I can do. Photo credit: Archangel Michael defeats the Evil One, St Michaelis Church Tombamasta, Hamburg, Germany; image via Pinterest.

Antique Moss Green

paper plate with green wall paint
Antique Moss Green

Ordinary, exterior wall paint (yellow in green) drying out in a paper dish, on a sheet of newspaper. The result of a demonstration that wall paint doesn’t blend like artists’ colours.

Think

Think – Grey

Poster colours and masking tape on 120 mm x 100 mm notebook cover.

Poster colours over assorted masking tape with green filter

Think – Green

 

masking tape

Masking tape

Today, I wanted to play with watercolours and masking tape. I tried something complicated with art and poetry (the inked portions) on Sunday afternoon but messed it up. After hearing encouraging remarks from a friend, I taped another layer and splashed out on a new idea.

Setup – before painting

 

Think – Raw (unprocessed)

Keep it simple if/where you can.

Coffee + Heart

Melbourne – Monday, June 13 – 08.08

GUEST POST

Reflection and photos by Machine.Gun.Meow (mGm)
Facebook: Machine Gun Meow Twitter: @MachineGunMeow
Instagram: @machingunmeow

Growing up in Nairobi, as a girl of Indian heritage, diversity has shaped my worldview. I have been in a nostalgic mood of late and, given recent tragic events, SB asked me to share my morning reflection with you.

While watching The Revenant last night, I noticed the treatment of the Native Americans in the film. I said to Mr. Meow that it is unfathomable that we, as a human race, seek to hate others based on differences.

Filtered

We could go to land’s end and the hate would find us because there is always something that distinguishes one person from the other. What is more unbelievable is that the situation has changed little in the two hundred years since the film’s setting. Simply put, the hate stems from a sense of righteousness or superiority, whether you blame it on religion, ‘science’, politics or custom. I feel we must find a higher order of being instead of looking for problems where none exist.

Mixed bowl

At the moment, I am writing a fantasy fiction novel. In it, I explore the idea of diversity. The questions I contemplate are, “What is the alternative to diversity? Is it uniformity or conformity?” I wonder, is that the kind of world we want? Are we better off being cookie-cutter images of each other? Is that what would encourage acceptance?

Reflection

If the defilers of diversity were confronted with the alternatives, would they reconsider their position? This is wishful. I concede I have no solutions.

 

No Forks Given

aluminum cans

Varnished aluminum cans …

A head dressed up

… dressed up a head

Can I have a witness? Two hours after swearing on a stack of fifty imaginary Bibles that I would never, ever, ever publish anything from my archives, I found myself wedged in a situation.

Hiatus

Hiatus

Wired

Lomo wired

newspaper roses

Newspaper roses

Summer, 2009 – A friend and I thought, “Let’s, like, totally deface a mannequin as an homage to Alexander McQueen (memba that headdress?) and Junya Watanabe (Comme des Garçons).” Yeah, sure, she had some at home, so we borrowed one. Ow!

Netted

Netted

Defaced

Defaced

red tab

Red tab

Instead of using plastic to wrap the soda cans, as in the McQueen Horn of Plenty Autumn 2009 show, we used 110 denier tights, glue and wire. Nail polish went on the lips, can motifs and Hangul lettering. The barcode was inked with permanent marker.

Forked over

Silver painted forks

My friend was really into Korean pop music and the Hangul script was hers. I have removed the forks because I don’t remember why we added them.

The heart can

Heart can wire

They are tucked away in a basket on a nearby shelf. But please don’t get any ideas. I’m not giving away any of my forks.

No Forks Given

Modern art, these days

Thank you for viewing. xo

Buccaneer

Dutch replica of warship

Buccaneer

closeup of port side bow

Ghost Ship

Replica of Dutch built warship

Docked

These photographs were taken on Thursday and Friday (May 19/20), in a small port town, where I attended an art conference. May is the month in which I return home to do laundry and repack my luggage. I hope it’s been a good month for you.

cave, nuanced

Treasure Cave

wooden peg, close up

Pegged

wooden peg, monochrome treatment

Posted

Dutch replica, portside, medium closeup

Ship, Port Side

Wood Love

An open sack of charcoal; the opening is in the shape of a heart

Charcoal Heart

strips of wood, interlaced

Stripes

Captured in a forest reserve. The torches below were for our evening bonfire. The chopped wood for the bonfire is shown in the second to last photo.

In other news, I managed to make curry, over a coal fire, for ten hungry colleagues. No idea what I was doing and there was lots of improvising. So, it felt like an episode of MacGyver. The ingredients (curry powder, streaky bacon, potatoes, carrots and onions) were already prepped by the research facility that hosted us. Everyone was nervous about the potatoes but I Gordon Ramsayed them and they came out just right.

Torches for a campfire on the ground

Torches

Logs on a log shelf processed in black and white

Shelved

wood for a fire, in an iron grill

Wood Burn

Thank you for viewing.

Tea + Poetry

Earl Grey

Notes had been sent asking after my whereabouts. I hadn’t indulged in my favoured Earl Grey, tiramisu and panna cotta combo for months. This is my day off, so I presented myself at my friends’ patisserie just after 11.00 (dessert before breakfast, people) and got to work. Eating, that is.

Orange panna cotta

As for play time, this is what I got up to. Special thanks go to Egbert Starr for permission to work on this composition using excerpts from his brilliant prose poem, The Gallows’ Horse. Please visit his blog to read the full version.

open magazine pages with tiramisu and orange panna cotta

Featured magazine – Numéro, Tokyo, April, 2016. Vol 95: Perfume ads; “Dark Romanticism” and “Pretty Killer” editorials by Ellen Von Unwerth with art direction by Yuni Yoshida.

Dark Romanticism with glass try and tea

Prose poetry excerpted from “The Gallows’ Horse” by Egbert Starr.

Facing pages; poetry on magazine page; empty dessert jars

Upper:
I said to the wise man I met, “Love.” And I said to the crone the same. To children, I said to them, “Love one another.” To kings, philosophers, chemists, scientists of every kind, my message was exactly so.

Lower:
I remembered from the land above the flower of my treachery. I remembered my rage and anger and my fulsome seductions of a thousand Persephones. How pleased I was! How capable! How incisive and cross-quotable my demonic possibilities. I was in the world of common men without compare!

second page with poetry written on

Epic prose poetry, and it tasted fantastic. My friends and I chatted while I worked, so they were my guest editors. Thank you for reading, too. Enjoy a sip of all right until we meet again. SB

Omelette Pizza – Easy cheesy breakfast

Omlette pizza brunch with Yokai Watch

Hello and best wishes for the month of May. This is my brunch. I used one egg for this omelette because (excuse me) I needed room for the cocktail.

Omlette pizza full

Easy cheesy, omelette pizza:

  • Sautée plum tomatoes with sausages and garlic.
  • Cook an omelette on one side, flip it. 
  • Top the cooked side with the tomatoes and sausage.
  • Top that with shredded Gouda cheese.
  • Reduce heat and cover skillet until the cheese melts.
  • Photograph right away.
  • Eat omelette while it is hot.

Greek yogurt with raspberry sauce

The cooking time is short. If you’ve made an omelette pizza before, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s in this?
One egg; sausages – diced; plum tomatoes – halved (green, orange, purple); black olives – sliced; finely shredded Gouda cheese; garlic – grated; rock salt (a little); butter/sesame seed oil.

a part of the omlette pizza folded up

My dessert of choice is Greek yogurt and raspberry sauce, which mGm will appreciate. The May Day cocktail, fresh cut strawberries in blood orange juice and sparkling wine, is for Work in Progress.

fresh strawberries (cut) in blood orange juice and sparkling wine

Thank you for viewing.

“Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle” – Anita Roddick

yellow, cotton Body Shop pouch for hand cream, iPhone and other accessories

This is my iPhone pouch. I washed it recently but I lost it again and don’t know where it is. It has space for lip balm, hand cream and a silk rabbit that a very nice person made for me. Being nice is easy when everyone plays by the rules. The quote helps me pull it together on days when I need constant reminding:

“Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

(Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop)

Did you know that you are easily influenced by the people you dislike? When you despise someone, you become emotionally attached to them. Without realising it, you start competing with that person. You try to be better. To prove that … (something or other). But your detractors created the rules and before you know it, you’re playing their game. So, no matter what you do, you are being influenced by that person.

Olivier Rousteing, head designer at Balmain, once said, “I love my haters!” When you admire something about someone, you remain inspired and grounded in your own space. That is why I remind myself to be nice, every day.

Darling Poacherette…

image
Text printed magazine pages cut out to create a collage like the one linked.

Darling Poacherette

Alas, and did my neighbours bleed
to witness thy wonky third act
rewarded with divine blessings
from that Philistine Hack.

What generous praise hast
thy bland theft wrought,
dear poaching one!

I was rudely interrupted by a messaging app
while dancing in a Polish nightclub.
“Indeed, there is something rotten,”
agreed my dates from Denmark.

They queried: “Will these purloined rhymes
bring the boys to her yard?”

My thoughts fluctuated. Yes? No! Maybe so…

I hope you’ll recover from
that leg thing, soon, my young friend.

William Shakespeare

Refined

Rubber stamp on magazine print, with inked verse on recycled paper
[a] Finally, a readable version (gives up)

Collage: Rubber stamp on magazine print; lavender scented ink (in quill) on recycled paper. Photograph: “Pretty Killer” editorial by Ellen von Unwerth, Numéro, Tokyo, April 2016.

A mindful process refines me. When a thing feels auto-, it’s time to reset and learn as I go.

Refined
[b] Proofread (gives up)

The quill and lavender scented ink are with a friend’s mother. She’s recuperating after a long hospital stay. Writing in a start/pause/adjust style should keep her mind and hand muscles engaged. I practiced for several hours to get a feel for the process. She’s now giving it a try.

Thank you for viewing.

Floral Wilt

floral sculpture dramatic filter
[i] Delilah

Floral sculpture, wilting

Warm wishes for a peaceful and safe Easter weekend. To my Hindu friends, I hope your Holi was full of love and joy.

floral sculpture filtered in pink [ii] Pink this, Fuchsia

For this project, I tried to create a sculpture with wilting flowers. I rearranged them a few times and photographed each version until I found a good balance.

floral sculpture filtered in red
[iii] Carmine phase

I used wilting petals to bring emotional texture to the composition. I hope you like them, too. Thank you for viewing.