Showing posts with label roxburgh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roxburgh. Show all posts

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Photos and more...

It intrigues me, when you see police procedural movies or series on TV, how often they use large photographs as part of their investigations, the sort of large photographs that you hardly see anywhere else these days, especially since the advent of digital cameras and the ability to be able to view photos on your computer or mobile or iPad.

Once upon a time it took days to get prints back from your negatives, and then we got to a stage of overnight prints, and then it was down to half an hour, and so on. Now, of course, we can have a photo we've shot on the iPad or computer within seconds.  Okay, it's not hard copy, but for the most part we don't need hard copies of photographs.  Think of all the thousands of printed photos that are stored away in cupboards and on shelves and in attics.  Of interest to archivists maybe, but not very much to those who are moving on with their lives. 

Occasionally we'll have a big sort-out of photos, and in one recent purge, we gave photos away to our adult children.  In most cases there was some sort of sentimental value attached to the photo.  But many photos taken in the past have little sentimental value: they're just a shot of something or other (sometimes not even identifiable) or someone (often someone whose name we've forgotten). 

Endemic's Roxburgh studio
Going beyond the family photos and coming back to the big photos, my wife and I went to see an exhibition yesterday put on by a couple who call themselves collectively Endemic, and who singly are a painter, Rebecca Gilmore, and a photographer, Greg Slui.  They live in Roxburgh, and had brought down a wide range of their prints (and some originals) to a display at the Hotel St Clair.   It was well worth paying a visit, even though the prices were out of our current (pensioner) range.  There were certainly some photos and paintings we would have liked a copy of if we'd had some cash: some of Slui's photos are wonderfully evocative, occasionally simple to the point of abstract, but in general very pleasing.  There was a marvellous shot of a bunch of boulders at Moeraki that particularly appealed to me. 

Gilmore paints in great detail, often with birds as a focus.  Some of these paintings were a delight, but the one that caught our eye consisted of nothing but beach or river stones in all their amazing variety.  Beautifully done.

The Chart Room at the Hotel St Clair is a good spot for an artist: plenty of foot traffic, the sea rolling in just across the road, the far horizon, an overcast sky (yesterday, when we went, but it had been bright earlier on), and an evocative atmosphere. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Theatre of the Oppressed

Some quotes from Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed:

"This book attempts to show that all theatre is necessarily political, because all the activities of man are political and theater is one of them.

Those who try to separate theater from politics try to lead us into error -- and this is a political attitude.

In this book I also offer some proof that the theater is a weapon. A very efficient weapon. For this reason one must fight for it. For this reason the ruling classes strive to take permanent hold of the theater and utilize it as a tool for domination. In so doing, they change the very concept of what 'theater' is. But the theater can also be a weapon for liberation. For that, it is necessary to create appropriate theatrical forms. Change is imperative.

I came across this book this morning while reading a blog post by Alan Roxburgh, who writes a good deal about Christian mission and being 'missional.' When you consider what Boal is saying it's intriguing to see this book listed on Roxburgh's site, since it's plain from the few statements above that Boal views things from a Communist/Marxist point of view, where everything is political. The trouble is, everything isn't political. I've just read a fairly dreary book called The People's Train, by the Australian writer, Tom Keneally. The main character in that book is full of socialist thinking, particularly Leninism, and the book - to me, at least - is as dull as ditchwater, because the main character is so dull; his views on everything are political.

Roxburgh takes up Boal's approach somewhat differently, I suspect. Here's a passage from the blog post in question.

One [woman] spoke briefly of research she had done for her doctorate. It involved listening to the conversations of women in the communities where she ministered in the UK. Her interest was in spirituality and spiritual formation. She brought to those interviews with these ordinary, everyday women the reflections of a variety of feminist theologians about women and spirituality. In the interviews, she discovered that while the theologians had been partially correct in their proposals, these women’s stories were telling her much that she would never have known apart from sitting among them and listening to their stories. These women wanted to talk about their experiences and spirituality but had little sense that they had ever been asked or listened to. There is a chorus of voices in our communities and neighborhoods longing to be heard and screaming to be given voice.

Now Roxburgh doesn't go from there to insist that we all get political. What he's saying at the beginning of the post is that one of the values of Twitter, Facebook and the like is that ordinary voices can be heard.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Beds and beds

One of the joys of being away on holiday for nearly six months was the variety of mattresses and beds we encountered. In general we couldn’t complain, although there were one or two beds that squeaked every time you moved and they weren’t fun to be on.
It was a kind of three bears situation: some of the beds were too hard, some were too soft, and some were just right.
Somewhere there was a bed that was exceedingly hard, but it was nothing to a bed we once struck at a hostel in Roxburgh. I flopped down onto it, as one does (!) and nearly broke my back. It was like falling on concrete. I don’t know whether it was the mattress or the bed itself that was the problem, but I have never come across a bed that was so hard to lie on in my life. It had absolutely no ‘give’, so that you couldn’t get comfortable however you tried. I might as well have slept straight on the floor, because I wouldn’t have noticed any difference.
It was a delight to return to our own bed, finally, and be able to relax. Somehow or other, when we bought this bed, we managed to pick one that suited us down to the ground.
We had to sleep for a few nights after Christmas in our old bed, as my daughter and her family were staying here, and needed to be close to their two young children during the night. How we managed to sleep comfortably in that old bed for so many years is now a mystery to me. Yet it suited us during most of the time our kids were growing up. Perhaps we’ve got spoiled with the new bed!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lilburn and McGann

You can say ‘hypocrite’ if you like, but I have to admit that I’m listening to Lilburn on streaming radio at the moment. It’s his first symphony. Now let’s be clear; I haven’t changed my view that Lilburn at best is a master of movement without melody, as in this symphony, and even in this piece there are stretches where nothing is happening except rhythmic phrases. Time and again he seems about to break out into a real surge, a soaring, and time and again he breaks off. Given that, however, this piece is certainly more attractive than his later works, where he got into ‘modernism’ (of some sort) to such a degree that music flew out the window almost completely. And don’t even let’s go down the track of his electronic music. That stuff is akin to Stravinsky’s serial music, which he produced in his last years; music which is now almost never heard. I have some records somewhere of some of it, with Robert Craft (almost wrote Crafty) writing the notes in esoteric fashion. It’s all baloney, I’m afraid, as far as I can hear.

I’ve just noted too, while I was finding the streaming music on Radio NZ, that Brad McGann, the NZ film director, has died at the age of 43. For those who know more about him than I do, his other films will no doubt be remembered, but the only movie of his I ever saw was the brilliant In My Father’s Den, which came out only two or three years ago. A very strange movie, which could have easily gone so far into the ‘arty’ (as The Piano did) that it would have lost its audience, yet it somehow managed to keep the story in focus, and to offer excellent characters, and not a few surprises. It has to be regarded as a classic in the Crash Palace (with Bruno Lawrence) genre.