Saturday, March 9, 2013


Been busy this week, dealing with lawyers and legal matters on two issues affecting my life...

Pray-Way, 2012, Slavs and Tatars, Eurasia.

So let's go on a magic carpet ride of distraction..
Do you like this contemporary art installation, currently on display as part of 'The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT7) at our local Qld Art Gallery?

Pray-Way combines two forms: the Rahle, a stand used for holy books like the Koran, and the Takht, a communal seat found in the tea salons of central Asia and Iran.  It is a staged combination of the sacred and the profane by Slavs and Tatars, an artist collective devoted to the area of West Asia. They seek to challenge the perceptions of East and West.
The piece is interactive - the public are invited to sit or lie on the carpet!

Artist/photographer Hrair Sarkissian presents a series of photos of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.
Beautiful Mt Ararat, just across the border in Turkey, a symbolic site for Armenian National identity.
Armenia has a long and difficult history.  Millions were killed and displaced in the 1915 genocide, creating one of the world's largest diasporas.  Now there are 8 million Armenians living throughout the world, and only 3 million in the country itself.
The images include the ruins of Soviet-era hotel complexes, now abandoned.  Yerevan was once a mecca for Russian tourists, but post independence, the tourists have vanished and economic hardship has followed.

Sad and haunting, yet also nostalgic, the snow-dusted images are a combination of the beauty and calm of the environment and the lingering memory of terrible events.

From Kazakhstan:

Seasons in the Hindu Kush: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. 2009, Erbossyn Meldibekov.

I love this quirky installation!
From left to right, four mountain tops represent the seasons in the Hindu Kush, a rugged mountainous region stretching from Afghanistan to Kazakstan.
Artist Meldibekov, of Kazakstan, another former part of the Soviet Union, uses sturdy enamel cooking pots from the Soviet era to create his 'mountains'.
The word 'kush' from the Persian verb kushtan, means kill or commit carnage.
Historically, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and other warriors used the passes and frontiers for battle.  During the cold war it divided the soviets from the British in Afghanistan, and after 9/11 it became the site of the US campaign against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Meldibekov was a radio engineer for the Soviet armed forces during the 1979 war in Afghanistan.  He acquired lots of classified information, and as an artist, these days his work draws attention to competing political powers, border disputes and the social effects of transition from socialism to capitalism.

Ressort 2012, Huang Yong Ping.
Commissioned especially for the Water Mall, Ressort 2012 is an enormous aluminium snake skeleton sculpture.
Spiralling from ceiling to floor it metaphorically links sky and water.
Ressort was made by Chinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping who now lives and works in Paris.  
He has made other snake skeleton sculptures, including Serpent d'ocean, permanently installed on the beach in Nantes in France.

Snakes are a central symbol in Chinese culture,
 and 2013 is the Year of the Snake.  
Local school children are visiting in huge numbers, enjoying the thrill of being horrified by such a huge creature!

And in stark contrast, here is the lovely Keira Knightly as Anna Karenina ..

Reader, I absolutely loved this movie.
My greedy eyes devoured every moment of its beautiful images.  
I'd go again in a heartbeat.

Apart from the charming theatrical device, the ballet-like movements, the tragic story which we all know and love, and the fabulous costumes ....

Keira Knightly wears the Best Collection of diamond and pearl earrings you will see all year!

This one is for beauty lovers.

Have a great week



  1. Such a well written and most interesting post Patricia.
    Evoking thoughts and memories of the soviet era and all the hardships.
    Its great to see the young artists turning this around through their art.
    I was about 20 when i first red Anna Karanina.. I will never forget it.
    It was a time, that I went through many of the Russian author's.
    I have not seen the film Anna Karanina.. Who else could they have chosen, but the beautiful Keira Knightly..she is gorgeous.
    great post.
    thank you Patricia.
    Have a great Sunday.

    1. Thank you Val. I also read Anna Karenina about the time I was 20, along with War and Peace. The film is like watching a moving painting, so beautiful. Happy Sunday Val xx

  2. You get to see some wonderful exhibitions. I love that snake skeleton, I think it's beautiful. I hope your legal woes are soon behind you.

    1. Hi Sulky, Even better, I get to take people around on my guided tours of these special exhibitions! The snake skeleton looks amazing at night, when they light it up with purple light, can you imagine! Fingers crossed re legal stuff.

  3. When I was young I was really taken up with the romance of getting on my own flying carpet and viewing the world.
    The aluminium snake skeleton sculpture is very dramatic, and I can well imagine how excited the young children are by it.
    Legal business - hope all goes well.

    1. Flying carpets have a romance about them - I saw about a dozen children sitting on it together the other day; so sweet. The snake certainly is dramatic!

  4. The enamel pots installation indeed resemble the former USSR. Something, I really wish to forget.
    You really have interesting exhibitions in Australia!
    Hoping that your legal affairs will turn out the way expected.

    1. Of course, Mette, Finland is so close to the former USSR - I'm sure you know much about those days.
      Our gallery is very active in attracting world class exhibitions!

  5. A most interesting post, Patricia I'm sure it's quite something to see those pieces in person. You are quite lucky to see so many fascinating things in your gallery. I saw the old Anna Karenina movie, but not the new one. Maybe I shall watch it based on your love of it. Hoping a good week for you with legal hassles behind you!

    1. I have seen an old Anna K with Greta Garbo (I think), and there was a TV series once. It is good to see an updated version. Such a romantic old story!

  6. The skeleton of the snake is amazing, such fluid lines. Haven't seen Anna K yet but will watch it now that you loved it so much.

  7. I would love to visit the exhibit, the pieces you posted are very interesting. Tying history to art makes it expecially interesting doesn't it? Will have to see the movie after your great review.


    1. The triennial is full of wonderful art Darla. I did my degree in Art History so of course I tend to see all the art as part of social history. And if it interests me, then I can convey that to the public. win win !!

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  9. Love the Snake! Would love to see it in person.
    I disliked the character (or lack of) Anna Karenina when I first read the book as a teenager, but am excited to see the movie if only for the clothes. I really felt it drug on and on in the BBC miniseries, so I'm glad to hear your good review of the movie.

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    2. The snake is amazing, Beryl. The main attraction for me in the Karenina movie was visual; it is like watching a moving painting. Maybe I should have added the disclaimer that I found the Vronsky character weak, but then Jude Law as the husband was very impressive.

  10. I have not seen this film but will certainly check it out at some stage as I'll find it fascinating from the history view as well as all the scrummy set designs, clothes, jewllery etc! Fabulous post. xx

    1. Hi Suzy, this movie I found to be definite eye candy! Glad you like the post xx