By spotogspindel | July 2, 2016
I bet when you hear the word Curacao, you picture a drink in a shade of blue similar to this one:
Well, Curacao is way more than a drink. It is also an island in the Caribbean, just 65 kilometers North of Venezuela. It´s a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Which means that they speak Dutch here. And Papiamentu. Which is a creative mix of Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, English, French and a hint of Arawak Indian and African influences.
We arrived late last night, after 24 hours of traveling. (At least 4 of those hours were spent in immigrations in diverse countries). Everything was pitch black when we arrived late last night, so guess how pleased we were to wake up to this sight outside our window (I´ve always had a thing for palms. They make me happy!):
This 444km2 big island has 155 000 inhabitants, and has only been it´s own island country for 5 1/2 years. I´ll be here a week, and will share my exploration of the island with you. So far I´ve enjoyed the beach, like a true tourist (charging the battery after the long travel). It is also a very agreeable 28 degrees Celsius. Which I don´t mind at all.
By spotogspindel | June 28, 2016
My very first platform! I am so excited to share with you the news: today I have been onboard a oil-platform, more precisely the sleeping quarters of a new platform. And I left empty-handed 😉
It may seem small in the picture above, but it isn´t at all. 16 floors and about 70 meters above ground. (The photo is taken from the heli-deck of another platform, still in the making).
The ship-yard who´ve built the platform, asked me to make a picture for the platform, as an official gift from them to the owner, Statoil. An honor I very happily accepted!
The picture is in quite bright colors, to complement the fuchsia-colored leather chairs and cabinets in the room. All the chairs are stacked away for the travel across the North-sea and the room will be refurnished once the platform is in place and secured to the ocean-floor.
The motif is one of the over one thousand islands of Bømlo. The platform is built in Stord, but it´s the same region, and these small islands are quite characteristic for Sunnhordland, our region. I wanted the platform to take a little piece of it´s history with it, since it´s been built here. Below is the original with the true colors:
The picture is 120×180 cm, digital collage printed on aluminum.
By spotogspindel | June 28, 2016
The “hesje” is drying, even when rain is pouring down. That´s the beauty of this technique of hay-making. The rain falls on the top and slides down the sides, leaving all the hay on the inside dry. A little bit of wind helps too.
By spotogspindel | June 28, 2016
Made this for the Pippi (Longstocking) festival.
By spotogspindel | June 27, 2016
The title is inspired by the French painter Manet, and his painting of four friends having a picnic in the woods. No woods here, but the tranquility is the same. Lying on the gras with the hay-“fence” around you. The sweet smell of drying grass. Looking up, two sea-eagles are floating by high above.
Saturday we invited the public to join us for a picnic in the labyrinth. Several families came, and we had a nice get-together. No need to organize anything for the kids. They very quickly found themselves playing side by side, running, chasing, playing in and around the hay-labyrinth. Giggles and squeals of happiness were heard.
On Friday one of the local kindergartens had visited, and even though it was raining when they were there, the teachers said it was a success. The children were running around, playing and having fun.
It´s all happened so fast, this project. Mainly because it´s weather-dependent. It was literarily from one day to the next. I called my farmer-friend Birgitta one evening, the cut the gras the next day, and the very next day, we built it. It was a short time to plan, but still people came to help build the labyrinth. And on Saturday, when the rain took a break, still more people came. It´s been shared so many times on Facebook, I almost believe we´ve struck a chord. A chord resounding of happy childhood, traditions worth taking care of, and, I believe, the importance of the farmers´ contribution to the rest of us. We really don´t appreciate the farmers enough. They do a tremendous job!
If this small piece of temporary art can raise awareness and appreciation of the farmers, I´d be very happy! I know that it´s already made lots of children happy!
By spotogspindel | June 22, 2016
Today we´ve made some seriously large art! Outdoor, we made a hay-piles, in the traditional, Norwegian style called “hesje”. Between fence-rods you suspend rows of wire, and on each wire you hang fresh grass to dry. I´ve been thinking of this for a couple of years now, and this year everything came into place.
On the west-coast this was used a lot, since there is a lot of wind and rain. The top layer of grass acts as a shield that leads the rain down on the sides, but not so much inside to the rest of the grass. Step one is to cut the grass. Then, mount the fence-rods, or better yet, poles made from young trees into the soil. Third, suspend five rows of wire between each pole, from one end to the other. Then the “hesje” is ready for the grass.
When I was young, the whole family would gather for the haymaking days, and as kids we took part of the work, even though I think we mostly ran around, disturbing the grown-ups. It´s a dear memory, none-the-less, and today, with 10-11 people working together, I was almost reliving part of my childhood. This is the traditional haymaking way, but very few farmers still use this labour-intensive method. Now it seems much easier to just make hay-balls with a machine.
However, I did expand on my childhood-memories! Then, I was just raking the grass, today I got to drive a tractor! Oh, what fun! And what a work-out! Who needs to go the gym, when you can heave hay?!
The best part is still the mid-break. Going into the mid-point of the labyrinth, with homemade juice, jam and pancakes, we had a peaceful pause, with the sounds and scents of nature all around us. Delight! This is too good not to share! On Saturday or Sunday (depending on the weather) we´ll arrange a picnic for the public on the field & in the labyrinth. Eating, drinking, playing, running… This is what good childhoods are made of, if you ask me!
The square labyrinth. Progress, step-by-step:
It ended up so big, I can´t even squeeze it into a photo! It´s about 150 meter all together (almost 500 feet).
Thank you, Birgitta and Terje, for being open-minded and art-friendly farmers! Thank for the instructions and all the help to make this dream come true!
By spotogspindel | June 18, 2016
The 2016-collection of tote-bags are finally here! Two new designs this year. The fabric came already a month ago, but I haven´t had the time to sew them until now. (Post-exam-sewing!)
The golden bag is from the islands out west, with a viking-ship sailing by. Below os the text, as usual from my 1000-islands-poem:
Where the beaten and battered driftwood
turns into salty silver treasures
– on these shores my memories
Where the fishingnets hang drying
on the boathouse-wall
– this is where I grew up
proud and tall
From next week, they´ll be for sale at Marinaden.
By spotogspindel | June 11, 2016
The final exam of the year was an exhibition made with the springs assignments. Martha is here mounting her photo-series “Absence of life”.
Laila and Sarah are figuring out where to put the art.
In addition to the four of us in the Arts and crafts-master class, 34 other students exhibit some of their things in the same room. A lot of interesting things to see. It is an open exhibition, but only for three days (last day tomorrow).
Here´s my little corner: You recognize the costume from the past few posts, I´m sure.
My photo-series is on an actress. 15 photos shot before – during – and after her one-woman-show. I wanted to see if I could detect any changes in her facial expressions – if she was any different when she was in a role and when she was her private self.
By spotogspindel | June 9, 2016
The vest is made with a big rabbit-fur vest I bought at a charity-shop. It smelled like an ashtray, so I put a lot of effort into removing the stench. First, I tried my ozone-cabinet, without any effect (Which is the first time!) Then I had it on a hanger in a dry-cleaner plastic bag, taped the top closed, and left it overnight with a bowl of ammonia fuming it down. Still smelled pretty bad, so I had it in a smaller plastic bag in the freezer overnight. Then aired it for another couple of nights… it still smells like an ashtray, to be honest, I can´t believe how stubborn that stink is! But it does smell a bit less, at least, so I decided to go with it.
For the main fabric I chose to use a roll of vintage kinomo-silk I bought on eBay years ago (I have to start using all my treasures, can´t just keep them lying around!) Carefully adjusting the pieces of fabric to the fur-vest. Since the fur is much thicker and therefore stiffer, it is important not to force the silk where it won´t fall naturally, otherwise it will drag. I cut a slit up along both sides of the vest, as the Asian tradition allows for riding. This makes it easier to move in the vest. The side-seams are hand-stitched, the rest is pinned down and sewn with a sewing machine. It is quite broad-shouldered, it gives it a masculine impression. It is hanging on a female bust, but the outfit is uni-sex, and can be worn by both men and women. Everything is size-adjustable, but the pants need a bit of stitching first to alter the size. The vest is shaped a bit at the waist, but not nearly as much as the photo implies. It´s the belts holding it in.
By spotogspindel | June 9, 2016
My new red leather belt! Sewn from a piece of leather I got at a charity-shop. I found inspiration on Pinterest and made a pattern that resembled the original.
It is shaped so that it glides over itself, and is therefor adjustable to several sizes. It ties around itself, and into a buckle in the back.
I added a few black seams to give it a more “finished” look. And with the olive-green silk-belt underneath, I think it´s looking pretty good! I am looking forward to trying it with my haories (short kimonos).