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Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Dwiyono…and the Egg

In Art, Painting, Sculpture on August 6, 2013 at 11:09 am
Dwiyono's Eggshell Painting

Dwiyono’s Eggshell Painting

What happens if one morning your wife is cooking breakfast, an egg shell drops to the floor, and as you bend down to pick it up you have in your hand the most innovative new medium?  Dwiyono’s fascination with the simple delicate beauty of this cracked shell along with a little glue, cement, paint and his imagination, all commingle, creating this Jakarta based artist’s meticulous sustainable works.

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For additional info on the artist and his works, please visit Dwiyono and The Jakarta Post

John Banville, “The Sea”..a Post-Impressionistic Review

In Livre / Libri / Books, Media on August 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

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Winner of the Man Booker Prize, John Banville’s, The Sea is a poignantly eloquent, masterfully descriptive, provocative piece on death, love and relationships brilliantly weaving the past with the present.  His adept skills present themselves in full force and leave little room for dispute over this award-winning novel.  With such powerful prose, thoughts, actions andinanimate objects spring to life—his words painting a scene as artfully as paint on canvas.

Tying the wrists of writer and artist together, Banville’s protagonist, Max Morden, is writing a book on Pierre Bonnard, one of the Belle Epoque’s greatpainters and a member of Les Nabis, a famous group of French post-Impressionist avant-garde artists.  Max describes, Nude in the Bath, with Dog, so beautifully.

The Baignoires are the triumphant culminations of his life’s work.  In Nude in the Bath, with Dog, begun in 1941, a year before Marthe’s death and not completed until 1946, left end, and beneath the bath on that side, in the same force-field, the floor is pulled out of alignment too, and seems on the point of pouring away into the corner, not like she lies there, pink and mauve and gold, a goddess of the floating world, attenuated, ageless, as much dead as alive, beside her on the tiles her little brown dog, her familiar, a dachshund, I think, curled watchful on its mat or what may be a square of flaking sunlight falling from an unseen window.  The narrow room that is her refuge vibrates around her, throbbing in its colours.  Her feet, the left one tensed at the end of its impossibly long leg, seem to have pushed the bath out of shape and made it bulge at the a floor at all but a moving pool of dappled water.  All moves here, moves in stillness, in aqueous silence.  One hears a drip, a ripple a fluttering sigh.  A rust-red patch in the water beside the bather’s right shoulder might be rust or old blood, even.  Her right hand rests on her thigh, stilled in the act of supination, and I think of

Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard, Nude in the Bath and Small Dog, 1941-46

Anna’s hands on the table that first day when we came back from seeing Mr. Todd, her helpless hands with palms upturned as if to beg something from someone opposite her who was not there.

Being a writer’s writer, Banville consistently and meticulously delivers eloquent prose (“I expected everything to be changed, like the day itself, that had been somber and wet and hung with big-bellied clouds when we were going into the picture-house in what had still been afternoon and now at evening was all tawny sunlight and raked shadows, the scrub grass dripping with jewels and a red sail-boat out on the bay turning its prow and setting off toward the horizon’s already dusk-blue distances.”), exquisite similes and metaphor’s (“But who is it that lingers there on the strand in the half-light, by the darkening sea that seems to arch its back like a beast as the night fast advances from the fogged horizon . . . I felt inexplicably lightened; it was as if the evening, in all the drench and drip of its fallacious pathos, had temporarily taken over from me the burden of grieving.”), and an astounding comparison of life by describing present moments with past remembrances—a true gift to have, brilliant memory and recollection to pull the past to the present.  He pens, “Really, one might almost live one’s life over, if only one could make a sufficient effort of recollection.”

Banville’s poetic prose, like Bonnard’s complex compositions, delivers a post-Impressionistic view—an artist exploring color, line and form, and his emotional response—bringing to life images through words.

Our table was near the open doorway from which a fat slab of sunlight lay fallen at our feet.  Now and then a breeze from outside would wander in absent-mindedly, strewing a whisper of fine sand across the floor, or bringing with it an empty sweet-paper that advanced and stopped and advanced again, making a scraping sound.  There was hardly anyone else in the place, some boys, or young men, rather, in a corner at the back playing cards, and behind the counter the proprietor’s wife, a large, sandy-haired, not unhandsome woman, gazing off through the doorway in a blank-eyed dream.  She wore a pale-blue smock or apron with a scalloped white edging.  What was her name?  What was it.  No, it will not come—so much for Memory’s prodigious memory.  Mrs. Strand, I shall call her Mrs. Strand, if she asks to be called anything.  She had a

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William John Banville

particular way of standing, certainly I remember that, sturdy and four-square, one freckled arm extended and a fist pressed knuckles-down on the high back of the cash-register.  The ice cream and orange mixture in our glasses had a topping of sallow froth.  We drank through the paper straws, avoiding each other’s eye in a new access of shyness.  I had a sense of a general, large, soft settling, as of a sheet unfurling and falling on a bed, or a tent collapsing into the cushion of its own air.  The fact of that kiss in the dark of the picture-house—I am coming to think it must have been our first kiss, after all—sat like an amazement between us, unignorably huge.  Chloe had the faintest blond shadow of a moustache, I had felt its sable touch against my lip.  Now my glass was almost empty and I was afraid the last of the liquid in the straw would do its embarrassing intestinal rattle.  Covertly from under lowered lids I looked at Chloe’s hands, one resting on the table and the other holding her glass.  The fingers were fat to the first knuckle and from there tapered to the tip: her mother’s hands, I realized.  Mrs. Strand’s wireless set was playing some song to the swoony tune of which Chloe absently hummed along.  Songs were so important then, moaning of longing and loss, the very twang of what we thought was love.  In the night as I lay in my bed in the chalet the melodies would come to me, a faint, brassy blaring carried on the sea breeze from the ballrooms at the Beach Hotel or the Gold, and I would think of the couples, the permed girls in brittle blues and acid greens, the quaffed young men in chunky sports coats and shoes with inch-thick, squashy soles, circling there in the dusty, hot half-dark.  O darling lover lonesome moonlight kisses heart and soul!  And beyond that, outside, unseen, the beach in the darkness, the sand cool on top but keeping still the day’s warmth underneath, and the long lines of white waves breaking on the bias, lit from inside themselves somehow, and over everything the night, silent, secret and intent.

And like the master painter’s dedication to painting his wife Marthe in the bath at Le Bosquet even after her death, so to is the writer’s dedication to delve into our minds and compel us to process and reflect on the stark reality of life, death and love.  As an addict is with his addiction, how will I ever read one-dimensional prose again and be ok!

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