By spotogspindel | July 30, 2014
New York may have Broadway. But London has it´s West End. And the theatre they produce here is truly world-class! My London-week was filled with input. We´ve had theatre-meetings, but part of working in the theatre is to go see shows too. You always learn something from a show, good or bad. It´s been 3 years since I was in London for more than a day, so I had quite a bit of catching up to do! The repertoire had almost completely changed. Let me share some of it with you:
First up was the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This was the show I had the biggest expectations for, and which I was most disappointed in. Not because it was bad, but the music was so forgettable. The set was pretty awesome, and the costumes were nice, especially the oompha-loompas´. The story is fun of course, like Roald Dahl often is, and some of the kids playing in it, were really, really talented! Nevertheless, it was actually a bit… boring, to be honest.
The next show was anything but boring! The dramatization of Shakespeare´s Richard III with Martin Freeman (Watson in Sherlock) as the violent king. And if there is any doubt: yes, he IS a magnificent actor!
The show is staged in the winter months of 1979, the winter of dis-content, filled with political unease in Britain, and with a big, general strike.
Next up is The Book of Mormons. A fun-filled feel-good laughter-bomb with catchy music and never a dull moment. Absolutely well worth the time, and I´d like to see it again. the brilliant thing about it, is that the humor is not putting anyone down, it´s more self-irony than viciously laughing on someone else´s behalf.
The set here was also pretty awesome. Downside: Insanely expensive tickets!
In the evening we caught a traditional fares by Oscar Wilde: The importance of being Earnest. I don´t like farces, never have. But this one as the best one I´ve seen. In other words: for a fares, it was good. I even laugh a couple of times. And the set was a delight, a traditional, realistic set with historically correct costumes.
Next up is what turned out to be my favorite this week: The curious incident with the dog in the night-time. It was a strong story about a boy with Asberger´s decease. His deception to play a detective in solving a mystery, results in uncovering more secrets than he can handle. And it truly shows how “people can be confusing”, to use his own words.
I don´t think I´ve ever seen such a well-polished co-ordination of set-, light-, film- and sound-design. They mix together perfectly, and invites the audience into the main-character´s perception of what goes on around him.
Finally: Shakespeare in Love, the dramatization of the movie. A lovely stage-version, where the musicians where in roles as musicians on stage. Sweet, romantic, and with a relatively realistic ending (which honestly is kind of a relief in the sugar-coated Disney-versions a lot of entertainment concludes with today)
Such a super treat to see so much theatre! And such great productions! Excellent actors, truly talented designers, talent both on- and back-stage. The London-stage really is THE place for experiencing excellent theatre, be it for tourists or professionals, – the talent is undisputed.
By spotogspindel | July 29, 2014
The Barbican in London hosts a very special exhibition: the art, design and work of Jean Paul Gaultier.
Two of my favorite outfits. The mongolian inspired dress above and the aran knitted dress below.
Gaultier is a true master in fashion design, but he´s also made costumes for several films: The 5th Element and The City of Lost Children to mention a couple.
The exhibition is huge, with two full floors of his designs. And with evert single outfit you stop and think Wow! This man is my creative hero! And that is pretty much my conclusion. If you have a chance to see this exhibition, you should really go out of your way to see it!
By spotogspindel | July 28, 2014
The only thing I knew about Barcelona really, was that it was the home of La Sagrada Familia, the cathedral Gaudi designed. So of course I wanted to see this building I had heard so much about. And even though I had high expectations, I was overwhelmed by the beauty, the size, the work, the craftsmanship, the thoughts behind the design, the whole thing!
Part of the Passion-entrance, the four towers. There are another four towers on the other side of the church. They are still building five more, the middle one, representing Christ will be the biggest and tallest of them.
The windows are made by an artist, interpreting Gaudi´s thoughts on design. And they look amazing!
One of the things I didn´t know was how much of Gaudi´s designs are based on nature. He had studied plants and animals since he was a young boy. All the columns and the roof is designed based on trees. How a stem divides itself into branches, and again into a crown of leaves. the ceiling was breathtaking! (I have a feeling I´m gonna run out of superlatives here soon) The columns are based on tree-trunks, well planted into the earth, like shown below.
Gaudi was also inspired by honey-bees, honey-comb-bee-hives. It is the most efficient way to build anything, measured by strength, use of material, space-efficiency and so on.
I almost get a feeling he has made a cathedral fit for Metropolis, some distant future for superheroes or for the other-worldly like Lord of the rings. But that is just because the designers for those movies/series probably were insired by Gaudi and his work, not the other way around. The truth of it is he´s made a cathedral for ordinary people of today. Ordinary, intelligent people living in a complex world.
One of the big brass doors is overloaded with symbols. The whole building is really, but this door is just amazing in it´s pictography.
Another door, that is just stunning in all it´s delicate detail!
The building of the cathedral was started in the 1880s. They are still not finished. Not because they couldn´t of, but because it was part of the architectural idea to use at least a century, with different artists adding different styles, affected by the time they lived in. There are two entrances to the cathedral: the Passion of christ and the Naitivity of Christ. The main gate/entrance isn´t made yet.
By spotogspindel | July 27, 2014
Barcelona – where the old meets the new
Barcelona – where else can you find a beach miles long AND an distinguished cultural city?
Barcelona – where else can you, while eating dinner, be musically entertained first by an accordionist, then by a punk-band?
Narrow streets, funky shops, nice people.
And a nouveau genius architecte…
I think I have to come back.
By spotogspindel | July 25, 2014
Stril Luna is the name of Simon Møkster Shipping´s new offshore vessel. It´s a beautiful supply-ship, about 80 meters long, with accommodation for about 25 people. I am very honored and happy to deliver the artwork for this ship.
The ship was Christened a month ago, but is still not finished for another couple of weeks, so there are still bits and pieces not finished, as you can see in the photos below. But once it is all in place, it will be a true beauty!
The ship will be working in the ocean outside the Northern part of Norway, partly in Arctic waters. Therefore the owners wanted the pictures onboard to have a theme of ice and snow. A lot of them have motifs from my visit to Svalbard in April.
Well, it´s time to start our tour, and let´s start in the mess. This is where I´ve placed the “feature”-picture.
“Aurora”, named after the Northern light. 120×180 cm
This is snow from the outside and ice from the inside. Or to explain: one of the layers in this collage is of the ice-wall inside a glacier, 20 meters below the surface! This is what the picture looks like in the room.
Aurora´s sister-picture is called
“Borealis”, 60×80 cm
“Bi-Polar”, 60×90 cm
I met this polar-bear in Svalbard. I have to admit, he was standing quite still in the museum. I don´t really have a secret dream of seeing these animals in person. That doesn´t mean I don´t find them grand!
The mess is in many ways the most important room onboard. Everyone goes there at least 3 times a day, to eat, gain energy and be social. So soon this room will be filled with life!
Next door to the mess is the day-lounge. This is the place to watch tv, talk or just relax.
“Puffin- Nuffin”, 60×80 cm
This is the first English word-play I remember from way back in the early 90s, and finally I could use it!
“The Reindeer rules“, 60×90 cm, printed on plexi-glas.
The Arctic reindeers are not afraid of people, they only have one enemy, and that is the Polar-bear. So you can see them walking in the streets and in-between houses in Svalbard.
The smaller picture of a bird is not mine, it was a gift from one of the suppliers.
The next picture is yet another magical landscape-picture from Svalbard. If you ever have the chance to go there, don´t hesitate. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I´ve ever been. And certainly one of the most exotic!
“Cold Geometry”, 60×90 cm
I placed this picture in the hallway between the mess, the two day-rooms, the stairs and the exit.
Moving on, we enter the smoker´s lounge. Arctic animals are the theme for this room.
“Finnmarcken seal”, 60×80 cm
“Husky holiday”, 70×70 cm
This is actually a contradictory: huskies love to work, that is to run, or drag heavy sleighs. According to people who knows a bit about dogs. The dogs dragging the sleigh I was in, were certainly working! This is the leader-dog taking a rest on top of the glacier.
“Walrus”, 60×80 cm
All the maps are of the Arctic ocean or of Svalbard & Spitsbergen. And this is how they look in the room. (As you can see, there are still some lamp-shades and plants missing here)
Moving down a couple of stories, we find the conference-room.
“Spring”, 90×150 cm
These are mountains not far from Barentsburg.
(Again, you don´t get the right impression without the lamps and chairs in place.)
But let´s not complain, let´s visit the Captain!
“Husky power”, 60×60 cm
I mentioned that huskies love to work. They are powerful animals. And the same traits are to be found in a lot of people. And maybe as an ideal for a captain. Someone who loves to work, and really strain themselves in effort for others.
“Chill-time”, 60×90 cm
The captain also need to rest, he can´t always be on alert. So this is a little fantasy in a picture. While surrounded by icy cold mountains, one is allowed to dream of warm days, resting in the warm rays of the sun.
Across the hallway, is the chief´s cabin.
“Snøfartsnasjonen”, 60×80 cm
His picture has a Norwegian word-play in it. “Sjøfart” means shipping, while “snø” means “snow”… oh, well, it sounds better in Norwegian, trust me on that. It´s difficult to translate.
Finally we come the the first-officers cabin. He´s in for an adventure:
“Arctic Adventure”, 40×60 cm
I hope you´ve enjoyed the tour!
Bon voyage to Stril Luna and her crew! May you sail steady in wind and weather!
By spotogspindel | July 24, 2014
The Family-life in the light-houses along the Norwegian coast is now moved on to Nord-Trøndelag. The Coast-museum of Nord-Trøndelag (Kystmusset i Nord-Trøndelag) is the host until August 30th. So if you life nearby, please visit! The museum is a newly built museum, with several other exhibits and activities.
By spotogspindel | July 23, 2014
I am in Spain on business! Along the Northern coast of Spain in the Asturias-area, there is a small town called Figueras, and in this small town there is a ship-yard. They happen to be building Møkster Shipping´s newest vessel, an advanced supply-ship. A couple of weeks ago I sent all the art down through Europe, and now I am here myself to hang all the pictures on the walls onboard. A couple of the pictures are so big they had to be fastened onto the frames onboard.
The small town where I am staying a couple of days, as seen from the ship.
And this is what the ship-yard looks like, also from the ship. It´s a nice atmosphere here. People are hard-working, but not stressed. All day I was fortunate enough to have Vladimir from Lithuania help me with the pictures.
The vessel is as I mentioned quite advanced. Rolls-Royce are delivering the design for the ship, and a lot of the technical equipment. This is from the bridge, and the steering-department is much smaller and easier to overcome. Before the units were SO big, now they´ve made a more practical version. Did I mention this is a prototype?
Here is the ship itself, hidden behind all the stuff one needs on a quay when building big boats! Stril Luna is the name, and tomorrow I´ll share the art with you!
By spotogspindel | July 21, 2014
These beautiful paintings are made by Barbara Rae. I was introduced to her art at the Summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London. It´s one of the few open exhibitions in England, where anyone can apply to show their art. Barbara however, is not just anybody. She is an acclaimed artist, painter and printer. I was so inspired by her abstract paintings that I simply had to share with you.
I think my favorite part about her art is her strong sense of color. The two pieces at the exhibition were even more outstanding than these two found online. She has written two books, both available on Amazon.
Finally a picture from the actual exhibition. Over 1300 pieces of art are displayed! I really like how they have crowded the pictures together to be able to show as much as possible
By spotogspindel | July 20, 2014
London is my favorite city in the world!
What a joy this past week has been, being in London both for work and pleasure! This fall and winter I will be working at Haugesund Teater with props and costs for Grease, the musical. Along with the director and the translator, we had meetings with the designer and production-manager. I can´t reveal any of the design, but I can tell you that it feels like a very fresh approach to the now over 40 year old musical. And of course it´s always a pleasure to work with wonderful and talented people like Takis, the designer. This is from his studio/workshop, where 4-5 girls have been busy sewing the costumes. But I will tell you so much more about this later in the fall, when we actually start working with it.
I love London. The busy streets, the colors, the smells, the people… But England is so much more than London. The country-side is really something special too. A landscape that has been cultivated for centuries, it breathes history! There are an amazing amount of houses over 500 years old in this country, houses with people still living in them. Among other things, I believe this says something about a people who treasure their heritage. This time around I also had the chance to visit one of my dear friends who live in the countryside an hour south of London.
Just a few shots to share the green beauty of England.
By spotogspindel | July 18, 2014
Today is the Christening of a new fishing vessel, and it´s name will be Østerbris which means Eastern-wind. This picture was given as a gift to the ship from one of their suppliers.
“Slåtterøy fyr”(/ Slåtterøy lighthouse) 40×60 cm