Monday, 31 October 2022

Co-incidence # 2 in life: Brain Forest Quipu – at Tate Modern …


I wrote about the Quipu – an Andean recording device used extensively by the peoples of the Andes pre-colonisation … when I wrote about legs … and how far early peoples could run … the Andeans recording administrative details, including distance, on these quipus.


Quipu in the Museum of Machu Picchu



A Quipu is difficult to imagine … but # 2 is so relevant to our world today …




Cecilia Vicuña is a Chilean poet and artist … who through representation is noted for themes of language, memory, dissolution, extinction and exile … as well as the relevance of her work to the politics of ecological destruction, cultural homogenization, and economic disparity.


Cecilia Vicuña


She has an exhibition in the huge Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern … where her creativity has come to the fore …




Two Quipu work of arts hang 27 metres ( 90 feet!) in the Turbine Hall (gallery height 99 metres (235 feet) ) …



Courtesy of Ian Visits site

Vicuña suggests that we are at the beginning of new time, one where we must first become aware of our collective responsibility in order to change destructiveness, injustices and harm.



Working with some of the material

These two wonderful, very large hanging, artworks made from 'useful detritus and mudlarked objects' are entitled 'Dead Forest Quipu' …






The organic mudlarked items have been collected from the banks of the River Thames by women from local Latin American communities …


A sketch of a Quipucamayoc -
a chronicle of Inca history by
an indigenous early 
historian (c 1535 - 1616)


then with unspun wool, plant fibres, rope and cardboard Vicuña has created these two skeletal forms … which draw attention to the severity of the delicate nature of our ecosystems, as well as the climate crisis.




There's a 'Sound Quipu' …. bringing together indigenous music from several regions, compositional silences, new pieces by Vicuña and like-minded artists, and field recordings from nature …


Also a 'Digital Quipu' … weaves together videos of indigenous activists and land defenders to amplify their calls for us to notice their struggles …


Please read this exhibition guide … it is so informative and valuable – I feel I cannot express it properly here …


Vicuña writes “the Earth is a brain forest, and the Quipu embraces all its interconnections”


This is a thought provoking guide … I encourage you to read … also you will see more of her work and how they are set out in the Turbine Hall – separately, yet joined …


Then I move on to # 3 … which will be my next post … however re # 2 Quipu – I never expected to read about such an amazing exhibit in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern …

Mudlarking in Victorian times



Unfortunately I doubt I'll get up to London to see it … I'm rather avoiding going anywhere out of the Eastbourne area … being lazy, or sensible, or dubious about being amongst masses again …



We are so lucky having the internet to bring us articles of interest, and to have internet friends who enjoy seeing what subjects blogging/social media friends introduce us to …



I hope you appreciate the concept of the Dead Forest Quipu … here's the link to The Tate Modern - with a short 29 second YouTube introduction



It is a new multi-media installation made up of sculpture, sound, music and video, which mourns the destruction of nature and the loss of indigenous history and culture.


Ian Visits - a website I visit ... from where I found out about this amazing exhibition ... 

Tate Modern site ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories




Friday, 28 October 2022

Co-incidence # 1 in life: 'Delizia' Epic History of Italian Food ...

 

Italian food … what's not to like?! - but its history ... now that's an interesting subject …


John DIckie's book


I have two goddaughters – one is 'real', while t'other is 'her twin' – my brother's niece … born on the same day – the year I got back from South Africa – early 1990s.





The honorary goddaughter has recently become engaged and they seem to be spending (short break) time in Italy … so I thought a book on the History of Italian Food for them might be a good idea – which'd also interest me – I can read it before I hand it over!



This is an American film, but
looked a fun run in the kitchen

'Delizia' {The Epic History of Italians and their Food (2007)} by John Dickie looked to be a good choice – however when it arrived it appeared to be of American origin … and I prefer a British outtake (rightly or wrongly!) …




But John Dickie is, as it happens, of British origin – an author, historian and academic, who specialises in Italy. Perfect … except for the mis-spellings throughout the book.


Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci

Anyway forgetting that … I've been watching Stanley Tucci's 'Searching for Italy' on the BBC (originally CNN) … and who did he meet up with in this last programme – yes, you guessed it – but John Dickie – Professor of Italian Studies at University College London. Co-incidence # 1 ….




I had no idea who Stanley Tucci was (bad me!) until I saw the film 'Supernova (2020)' in which he starred with Colin Firth – a very British film … and now I know who Stanley Tucci is …



I think I'll give you co-incidence # 2 next time … it's way off any link I can think of (yes, even me!) … other than 'co-incidence' …


Coat of Arms of the
Order of the Humble Ones

So feast your thoughts on some early ideas of living in Italy way back when … such as you're Bonvesin de ala Riva (c 1240 – c 1313) … a lay well-to-do member of the Ordine degli Umiliati (literally “Order of the Humble Ones”) …




He lived in the marvelliosa city of Milan, waxing lyrical over it while believing it to be 'exalted among cities' … the ideal medieval earthly city – abundantly supplied with meats, poultry … also fish … yet it is the local fruits and vegetables that feed Bonsevin's civic patriotism.



Agricultural Calendar c 1740

Interesting man as you can see from the descriptions above – who, as was the custom in medieval Milan, slept with all his household in one same large (? ginormous) bed … his wife and children, apprentices and servants …


Great Bed of Ware


Thank goodness I have my own bed now – though appreciate many don't!



Back to feasts … I won't go into the how and why … but Dickie mentions Osso Buco – one of my own very early offerings – when I could get the meat (bone with a hole – where the delizia marrow can be found) from Oxford market – a place I miss to this day after 55+ years.



Osso Buco served with risotto

Right I'm off the memories of early days when I loved to entertain – trying all kinds of delicious dishes … so my honorary goddaughter will be getting this 'historio libro Italiano' (I'm sure this is not correct!) … for Christmas …



So that's that for this post … dream Italian food – similar to the one written two years ago for WEP about a tree house restaurant



Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Friday, 21 October 2022

Write ... Edit ... Publish ... Bloghop / IWSG hop: Thriller ...

 

Splurp, Burp, gulp, buccalling … bubble, bubbly boil arising from the primordial mud – cometh 'I' … the thrills and spills of life …


Spluttering into life ... 




The Thriller




Earth, that blue planet we know today … had been bumped and bashed around until we found our rotating space in the unknown interstellar world …


Collage of Prokaryotic
Organisms


this 'I' or 'You' … or 'Us' … started life 3.5 – 3.8 billion years ago from these simple cells (prokaryotes) … Earth had been bumped and bashed into the blue planet of our space era today about 4.6 billion years ago …





Artist's Reconstruction
of Saccorhytus
Coronaris - probably no
more than one mm in size


During which over four billion of those years … cometh 'the human thriller' … watch those images... this was us, then us, then them, then what ….???





Paedomorphic salamander - an Axolotl

... we escaped the primordial soup as complex cells (eukaryotes), these organisms learnt to convert sunlight into energy …



Collage of Eukaryotes
then we had arthropods (ancestors of insects, arachnids and crustaceans); animals appeared; then fish and proto-amphibians: from these plants, insects proper, seeds, amphibians proper!, reptiles … slithery critters …




Did I really become this?


subsequently … the thriller thought about appearing … 



Did I learn to copy myself?


he, she or it started the mammalian journey


Too late for us?


of human life …






Film makers in space


Homo erectus appeared … we changed too – why? … you call these things THRILLER – look at them … what a varied bunch …




Here we are ... still being stirred?

The Thriller 'I' spluttered out, apparently walked on water … before realising there is such a thing as land … then we grew things …



The THRILLER of life …


Life keeps rolling on


I hope you've followed 'our' thrilling development over 3.5 billion years …




Now what does the next – well let's give ourselves- at least half a billion more years on this earth …


Bucalling our very early way to breath


Tagline:

A bucalling blob slurping its way into the thrill of life itself … a time line of bubbling burping life …


Nothing else to be said ... 

Are they coming ... 







Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday, 15 October 2022

Barbers and/or Surgeons ... Guilds of ...

 

The wonder of putting finger to keyboard … i.e. to connect brain to producing something fanciful, or perhaps even informative …


Achievement of Arms of the Worshipful
Company of Barber-Surgeons;
Gouache on Cloth.
(possibly early in 1300AD)



This brain does work … but rather more often than not it wanders off … I have so much to write up about – note to self: settle down and get on with them …




Recently I heard a talk from a retired doctor about the work he has been doing out in poverty ridden communities in various places around the world … this particular one was on Ethiopia … working with a team of eye surgeons.



Master John Banister - Anatomical
Tables with figures: c 1580AD

He's worked in in Canada, in, what I term Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa … where there are war-torn communities - refuge camps etc …




He was fascinating … so more to follow – but he's giving a talk to the Worshipful Company of Barbers on his work … which got me thinking about haircuts … I've just had one!



F A Maulbertschs 'The Quack' 1785

Barbers, in the 1300s, originally aided monks, who, at the time, were the medical men, because Papal decrees prohibited members of religious orders from spilling blood.




Interesting … barbers in addition to hair cutting, hairdressing, and shaving … performed surgery: neck manipulation; cleansing of ears and scalp; draining/lancing of boils, fistulae, and cysts with wicks; bloodletting and leeching, fire cupping; enemas; and the extraction of teeth.




Crumbs – am I not glad I live in today's age!



Royal College of Surgeons - 
Court of Examiners (1894)
by Henry Jamyn Brooks

The Worshipful Company of Barbers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, and ranks 17th in precedence.


However if we row back in the mind to Roman times c/o Websters Dictionary of Phrase and Fable … the barber's shop has been a centre for the dissemination of scandal, and the talk of the town … I guess no snares appearing in this blogosphere …



Thankfully over time the Royal College of Surgeons promoted and advanced standards of surgical care for patients – both in surgery and dentistry … being established in 1800 …


1st century wall painting from Pompeii
(a family banquet)


While the Barbers Company now principally acts as a charitable institution for medical and surgical causes …




Well that's good my fingers haven't been cut off … and I can apparently still type – thank goodness for modern inventions … such as computers with their keyboards … I won't add instruments of surgical torment … just a few 'pretty' pictures …



Thanks for waiting for me … WEP's Thriller this week is a-coming …



Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories