Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sue Lee

Sue Lee - a life model, a woman renowned for her dramatic and flamboyant personality, has been a life model for many years in Liverpool where she has been an inspiration to generations of talented artists and sculptors. This sculpture by Adrian Jeans is a tribute to her dedication to these people.

  Sue is still working, currently located at the Liverpool Community College where she still continues to influence the next generation of artists.

Sue is a wonderful model and I just love her in the life classes, she is always willing to offer advice and put students at their ease.

This sculptures by Adrian Jeans is a tribute to her dedication to these people.

The Craft of Art sculpture created by visual artist Adrian Jeans during his 12 month residency at Metal, Edge Hill Station (2011). The artwork informed by Victorian art practices and the technicalities of figurative sculpting is an uncanny life-like portrait of renowned Liverpool life model Sue Lee. Entitled ‘Applied Meaning: An Allegory of Death & Destruction and an Allegory of Life & Creation’ the artwork comprises of two identical plaster casts of a life-sized and life-modelled human figure posed on a pile of building rubble taken from the on-going demolition/regeneration of the Kensington area in Liverpool where the artist lives.

Friday, 24 January 2014

"...our future depends on libraries, reading..."

brilliant article!
a superb exposition on the value of libraries and how they can offer wonderful paths to explore

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

It's important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members' interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.
And I am biased, obviously and enormously: I'm an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living though my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.
So I'm biased as a writer. But I am much, much more biased as a reader. And I am even more biased as a British citizen.
And I'm here giving this talk tonight, under the auspices of the Reading Agency: a charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Which supports literacy programs, and libraries and individuals and nakedly and wantonly encourages the act of reading. Because, they tell us, everything changes when we read.
And it's that change, and that act of reading that I'm here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it's good for.

I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn't read. And certainly couldn't read for pleasure.

It's not one to one: you can't say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations.
And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it's a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it's hard, because someone's in trouble and you have to know how it's all going to end … that's a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you're on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far.
The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

 read more:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


'The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn'
(Bertrand Russell)

the brain

'The brain is a tissue. It is a complicated, intricately woven tissue, like nothing else we know of in the universe, but it is composed of cells, as any tissue is. They are, to be sure, highly specialized cells, but they function according to the laws that govern any other cells. Their electrical and chemical signals can be detected, recorded and interpreted and their chemicals can be identified; the connections that constitute the brain’s woven feltwork can be mapped. In short, the brain can be studied, just as the kidney can'
(David Hubel, The Brain )

image author unknown

Monday, 13 January 2014

Hobbling Arts Hobbles Innovation

You Can’t Program Creativity?

Alex Knapp declares that pursuing the arts is a far more useful way to develop creative skills than learning to program computers:

    The best way to harness the power of computers doesn’t reside in coding – it resides in letting computers do the grunt computational work that humans are bad at, so that humans can focus on the creative, problem solving work that computers are bad at. And if you want to foster those creative, problem solving skills, the solution isn’t learning to code – it’s learning to paint. Or play an instrument. Or write poetry. Or sculpt. The field doesn’t matter: the key thing is that if you want to foster your own innovative creativity, the best way to do it is to seriously pursue an artistic endeavor.

    In the history of the Nobel Prize, nearly every Laureate has pursued the arts. According to research by psychologists Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein, “almost all Nobel laureates in the sciences actively engage in arts as adults. They are twenty-five times as likely as the average scientist to sing, dance, or act; seventeen times as likely to be a visual artist; twelve times more likely to write poetry and literature; eight times more likely to do woodworking or some other craft; four times as likely to be a musician; and twice as likely to be a photographer.”

read more:

Saturday, 11 January 2014


'Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country'
[Theodore Roosevelt]

'There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning'
 [Jiddu Krishnamurti]

I had spent almost 10 years in England; I love the country, culture and traditions here and I really want to speak ENGLISH.
I was trying so hard. I was studying every day, and I was speaking it every chance I got; in the supermarket, at parties with friend and strangers I met, but I still couldn’t actually speak English.
I am struggling with repeating the same words and phrases over and over.
Surely after 10 years I should have been speaking much better than I already am?

I couldn’t properly express myself. I would say how English is just too hard for me. Other foreigners were also having the same problem, and yet a few others were so easily picking up the language with apparently little work. Maybe I am just not the kind of people who will ever pick up languages quickly…
I couldn’t conjugate any past-future-tense verbs, my vocabulary are pathetic and my pronunciation are extremely not understandable.
I use the few words I knew to explain around what I want to say, and of course I use a lot of hand waving and gestures until someone got what I trying to say.
Frankly, it is horrible. I couldn’t ask for simple items, I couldn’t have a discussion about anything important, so I am as good as a 5 year old for conversations and actually worse and I couldn’t share my feelings. At the end of the day I come home so tired and frustrated. Anyone learning a language in the country knows what this feels like. There was many times when I just considered abandoning the hope to speak English and be able to express myself properly, but I don’t give in.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


“...dusk is the time when men whisper of matters about which they remain silent in the full light of the sun.”
― Simon Raven

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Art School Confidential movie 2006

Budget $5 million
Box office $3,306,629

 I picked my ONE favourite movie...
Yes - Art School Confidential (Terry Zwigoff - director)

I decided it would be a fun exercise for a mind and (soul?) and opened up a 'word' to start writing a list and… froze.
I remember I was struggling to define my ten favourite films of all time, when I've taken a shot at a similar list before and I've certainly got a shortest list of my favourite movies. 
But only one...
Anyone who took art in college or uni knows just how real this movie is.

Maybe it is for now…maybe I will change my mind.

 The film was directed by Terry Zwigoff and is loosely based on a comic by Daniel Clowes.  Zwigoff and Clowes also collaborated on the film Ghost World, which I like very much.  Clowes himself attended art school in the 1970's, and one can assume it is the model for the school shown in the film.  

Art School Confidential marks another entry in filmmaker Terry Zwigoff's pointed, ongoing commentary upon a singular theme: how funny people are. Or how funny life is. Or how funny people behave when grappling with the inescapable act of living life. As with Zwigoff's other films (Ghost World, Crumb, Bad Santa).
Art School Confidential is a much riskier movie than any of Zwigoff's movies - and not just because it is dark and ugly-looking. 

Art School Confidential is a real and honest view of contemporary art and life ...

It takes no prisoners and has no heroes.
There are no black or white characters or answers here.
The protagonist's angst is palpable, but he turns on it.
Art for art's sake? Or art for love's sake?
No matter.
The innocent victim learns to victimize...all in the name of art...or love...or ego.  

Zwigoff’s movie - Art School Confidential - fights the cult of mediocrity and hypocrisy.

'Humans are the worst species'.

Anybody knows this. It is not misanthropic to see our banality, self-destructiveness or just plain destructiveness, selfishness, ridiculous and painful vulnerability, and the awkwardness of our endless wanting.

  Those who attempt to find their true place and world, unless they exist in unreal circumstances, face the world that Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes depict with sincerity, sensitivity, humour, humanity, and depth.

The outside world: i.e. the institutions, family, survival, acceptance, the academy...
The inside world of doubt, certainty, fear, desire, ambition, the irrational and the loneliness.
And the combinations of the inner and outer world. All the painful combinations of the know-nothing mediocre of the institutional learning, the perpetuators of the status quo, the embittered, the alienated, etc. There is something really important in Zwigoff's (and Daniel Clowes) film, about the experience of the attempt to remove one's mask in a world that insists on a masquerade, the ramifications of an attempt toward being extraordinary in a society that insists...rewards mediocrity. It identifies this human desire to be something more in all the characters in a way that is sympathetic in its humour....


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Søren Kierkegaard

    'People understand me so little that they do not even understand when I complain of being misunderstood'
    (Søren Kierkegaard ,  Journals Feb. 1836)


    “He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others—the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his rib cage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by the midafternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.”
    (Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated)