Category Archives: Art

“Everything you can imagine is real.” ― Pablo Picasso

Carpet Veins

These are two of my favourite photos of The Doors. I first saw these photos when I was about 10 years old & I have never stopped wondering what they were thinking about… or what happened to that amazing carpet; to me it looked like the veins on an arm & they were all coming out of Jim Morrison. It’s possible these photos are the reason I became obsessed with the veins in my own arms & spent years carving them up, who knows, perhaps I was looking for a Door.

The Doors, 1968
Photography by Art Kane

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© Art Kane 1968

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© Art Kane 1968

Relief

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It was a relief to see something so beautiful in the sky last night after the terror of the last few days of bushfire in South Australia. I’m so thankful my family are safe. ❤💜

Velveteen Inspiration

A little while ago I became a Patron of one of my heroes, Amanda Palmer. Being a Patron means I help to pay for her art. It means she can make the art & music she likes without needing a record company. Right now, she is 8 months pregnant & yesterday she stood naked in full body paint in front of the New York Public Library to raise awareness for literacy & gather books from supporters for needy children. She stood as a living replica of the Verity statue by Damien Hirst & as people dropped off books she moved to a new position. Anyone who has been 8 months pregnant will know standing still for any amount of time is difficult & painful so I was in awe of her efforts. Literacy is something Amanda obviously feels passionate about, as I do, so when she stated in a recent interview that her favourite children’s book is ‘The Velveteen Rabbit‘ I could not ignore what is for me, a meaningful coincidence. Continue reading

Filtered In Winter

Today is the first of a precious few winter days without rain & the first time I have had to get out into my garden & explore. It is a different place in the winter – the plants either go dormant or thrive. There are hues of brown & purple that are not visible in other months.

I find the garden to be one of the only places I can go to just be where I do not have to think. My mind clears & I lose hours in a sunny afternoon pottering about. Without the garden I would be lost. Sometimes it is not enough to look out from my kitchen window; I was pleased to get out in the sunlight today & took my camera with me.

 I have been experimenting with coloured & macro lens filters – it is much more difficult than I imagined. There is no
‘point & shoot’ scenario – it takes time & patience; both of which I find sparse at the moment. The first of our winter blooms came out of hiding with the unseasonable sun – I hope there will be more in the days to come.

Strawberry Bloom - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Strawberry Bloom – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet Succulent - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet Succulent – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

After The Storm

This morning I drove around listening to Mumford & Sons, trying to find distraction & since then it has been a day filled with contemplation. Good contemplation can, of course, always be done while shopping. Navigating my way through racks of women’s clothes, shoes & jewellery. I found myself standing in the jeans section & looking at the way the store was divided. They used nicer & more marketable words but each section was clearly thus;

Section 1: skinny, young & hip – lovely fabrics, cut well – sizes 6 – 16 only
Section 2: older, fatter, sensible – basic colour wheel & no imagination – sizes 10 – 18 only
Section 3: maternity / so fat you might as well buy maternity – all in garish colours & floral prints – sizes 16 – 26 only

I wandered through each section & also noticed that what was a size 16 in Section 1 was a totally different Size 16 to that in Section 2 & in Section 3. I was confused. How can you call it the same size? What dressmaking school did they attend? I did not understand.

I bought something from each section just to mess with their statistics.

I had to negotiate the grocery store after that – one of my most loathed tasks. People everywhere with no clue what they need or want. People picking things up, smelling them & putting them back. One lady ran over my foot with her trolley. I just stood still on the spot & was tempted to scream.

At least the coffee aisle was the one closest to the entrance of the supermarket. How convenient, I thought. Then I noticed it is the same aisle as the chocolate & lollies. How conveniently annoying – putting something everyone needs next to something everyone wants. Pure evil. I did not give the Cadbury’s hazelnut chocolate any eye contact as I walked swiftly passed & kept my head down all the way to the opposite end of the shop where they keep the milk – you need a winter coat all year round down there.

By the time I got home & invented something for dinner, tucked it away in the fridge & sat down to fold socks my mind was racing. Racing with anger for all the fat people who like coffee & cannot avoid the chocolate. For all the skinny girls that want to dress sensibly but cannot find clothes to fit & fat women that want to dress stylishly with the same problem.

Noticing that I am middle of the road on all of these issues only gave me further pause.

I knew I was avoiding my real problems by filling my mind with trivial ones & only adding to my anxiety but I couldn’t help myself. I took a peak in my email for anything exciting that might have happened in the 10 minutes since I last looked. An email stood out – a WordPress notification from the blog of Jain Carey Photography. A post entitled “After The Storm.” I opened it. I stared at the photograph. I was whisked away to shores of still water & instantly, I was calm. I am always affected by great art & today was no different. Perhaps I should take a copy of this photo in my purse with me the next time I visit the supermarket.. I could have stared at that photograph for many hours, I could have started at it all day… had the washing machine not beeped…

After the Storm by Jain Carey Photography

After the Storm by Jain Carey Photography

After The Storm — Mumford & Sons

& after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
& I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind & not this heart,
I won’t rot.

& I took you by the hand
& we stood tall,
& remembered our own land,
What we lived for.
& there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
& love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill & see what you find there,
With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair.

& now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.

& I won’t die alone & be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full & man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind & what’s before.

& there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
& love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill & see what you find there,
With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair.

Lightning Bolts

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Last night I dreamt of Zeus & of Hera & their children. Eileithyia – with her watchful eye has followed me through the last two years & two dead babies. She whispers to me & although I understand her in the dream I do not remember her words when I wake & yet her words haunt me.

I awoke with pain lingering in my abdomen & tears on my cheeks. My husband asked me what was wrong, why was I crying & I maintained, “I’m alright, I’m fine” but I am never sure if I am.

The two dead babies in my dream – they float. They stare at me but they do not talk. I know who they are, even now, but they are not mine anymore. Eileithyia runs her hands over my back & through my hair. Whatever she says, upsets me.

I am not the same person I was before I met Eileithyia in my dreams. I am not as fickle or forlorn but I am the same amount of furious. There is a burning in my belly, a ferocious fire that wants to burn the world down – holding in my words, my thoughts & my feelings for fear of hurting people is like having lightning bolts streak through me minute by minute. If only I did not care. Perhaps I could let it out & the burning would stop. Perhaps I would be reduced to Ashes. If only.

We do not talk about these things anymore, my husband & I. I am too angry & he Is too sad. All the waiting & the disappointment. The passion & the pain. It beats down our door every month & we fall deeper in all the time. We both know it cannot destroy us, we know no matter the outcome we are stronger together & stronger than anything the Gods could throw at us. But in the meantime, our daily lives are filled with hope & uncertainty; of conversations not endured & decisions not made.

“People ask me how we are,

We are, I say, mostly lost.”

Lightning Bolts – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Two lightning bolts were delivered to my room,
They were gifts from Zeus.

I rock the bolts in a bassinet of pine.

People ask me how I am,
I say “I’m all right, I’m fine.

I push the lightning bolts in a pram,
Till the sun goes down & it gets dark,
& the girls from Jubilee Street hang out their windows,
& they wave & ask me how I am tonight.
I say “I’m good, I’m all right.”

In Athens all the youths are crying from the gas.
I’m by the hotel pool working on a tan.
People come up & ask me who I am.
I say if you don’t know, don’t ask.

Zeus laughs – but it’s the gas.
& he asks me how I am.
I say “Zeus, don’t ask.”

My lightning bolts are jolts of joy,
They are joy boys from Zeus.
I feed them porridge in their booster seats of knowledge.

& in the cradle of democracy, the pigeons are wearing gas masks.

 

My lightning bolts play in the elevators,
They slide down the hotel banister,
& Zeus throws a gas canister,
& it spins around the pool,
As pigeons wearing respirators steal the lightning bolts.

Zeus wants them back.

 

O my bolts of joy,
O my darling little boys.
They are lost to us.
& people.. .
They are never coming back.

At night I watch them sleep,
& cry years of tears,
& it’s not the gas.

People ask me how we are
“We are,” I say, “mostly lost.”