— Ecogeographer

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Tag "books"

There’s been new interest in the project theirwork recently as well as my general practice.
Here’s a couple of publications about theirwork and a blog post written by Emmet – co-developer. (I am up-dating the theirwork blog next month so I will make a new link to it later.)

Chapter in Rethinking Maps:
New Frontiers in Cartographic Theory by Routledge
editor Martin Dodge (I will put up the intro to the book sometime; the rest of the chapters you have to get from the book in print, which will be in all good libraries with a geography section.)

Article in Fourth Door Review:
This is available in print too.
Ask me if you can’t get hold of it and I will point you.

Emmet Connolly’s blog post about the publications at time of sign off!

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Detail of European Gorse DissectionIt’s winter.
I am currently painting in a land that is winter yellow; Cornwall. It is surrounded by harsh explosive yellow gorse, then shades of yellow daffodils, prissy pale primroses, followed by powdery yellow willow.
I’m finishing a willow dissection, which harbours a gorgeous squat yellowy glistening nectary.
But first showing here is European Gorse dissected. The Gorse gave me beautiful objects to paint. I know Derek Jarman would appreciate them, especially the above detail.
The mechanical hinge of the keel is illustrated below.

…its five petals form the keel, wings and standard – the wings and keel interlocking. If we carefully dissect a flower we can see at the base of each half of the keel a great tooth, and a similar one at the base of each wing, by which the interlocking is effected. We further discover that all the stamens are here joined into a tube round a minute pod; they are monodelphous – “in one brotherhood” – say the botanists.*

European Gorse Dissection
Plant family: Fabaceae
Plant genus: Ulex
Plant species: U. europaeus
Plant cultivar: NA
Held: Eden Project Florilegium
Artist: Dominica Williamson

A friend and colleague, Matt Groshek, remarked, ‘Your work is reminding me of Jarman’. The last year I had periodically clutched his Garden book. It must have seeped in. I hadn’t realised.
Jarman would look at this not only for its form, he would wonder at the colour. It would take him to Prospect Cottage. It’s yellow window frames and the very way he framed the house with Gorse.

‘The milk-white sap bleeds, the yellow flowers turn brown in death.’
‘Daffodil yellow. Primrose yellow. The Yellow Rose of Texas. Canary bird.’
‘Spring comes with celandine and daffodil. The yellow rape sends the bees dizzy. Yellow is a difficult colour, fugitive as mimosa that sheds its dusty pollen as the sun sets.’
Yellow Lines the Kerbside. Yellow earth-moving equipment with flashing yellow lights, cutting a wound in the landscape.
excerpts from Jarman’s Chroma 1994

And it’s Matt who indirectly, through Leslie, took me to the Yellow Wallpaper. What a book. I think it’s because it shows the two extremities of the colour in huge depth – the two polar opposites of what the colour can do. Life and joy versus death and despair – summer versus winter. And now I am thinking of Jarman again.

Yellow has long been my favourite colour, and I am sure always will. (I believe it is Leslies too.)

* Quote taken from Knolik

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May’s about to arrive. I’m looking forward to it. April’s been fun but I’ve been left with sadness. Three of my favourite people died in March and I’ve been coming to terms with this loss.

On March 18th Anthony Minghella died. I couldn’t believe my ears. I was eagerly awaiting the screening of his latest film (set in Botswana) so he was already on my mind. Africa was also on my mind. I’ve hitch-hiked through Botswana and so I wanted to see the film and how the land and people were portrayed. Also, the English Patient is one of my favourite book/film duets. Okay, so you can criticise the film, and perhaps the book’s sweeping romanticism, but wow, what rich multi-layered mapping, and what a base map to operate with – desert Africa.

The desert could not be claimed or owned – it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names long before Canterbury existed, long before battles and treaties quilted Europe and the East. Its caravans, those strange rambling feasts and cultures, left nothing behind, not an ember (Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient 1993: 150).

When I went to sleep on this news, I was thinking about embers and sand, the early death of Minghella and what might have been. What amazing film/book duets I dreamt of. When I awoke on March 19th, I was orbited into star dust. Arthur C. Clarke had died. How I would have liked to dive with him. Whereas Ondaatje and Minghella took me on a temporary visit to Africa, and let me explore it through literacy, love and landscape, Arthur C. Clarke, it felt, was taking me on this never-ending journey – an outer, inner and world space safari. His 90th birthday wishes say it all: ‘for ET to call, for man to kick his oil habit and for peace in Sri Lanka’ ( : March 18, 2008).

A critical – the adjective is important here – reading of science fiction is essential for anyone wishing to look more than ten years ahead. The facts of the future can hardly be imagined abinito by those who are unfamiliar with the fantasies of the past (Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the Future 1973: p15).

Reading science fiction is important to my work, for sustainability is also futurology. You have to read it, you have to project when you set about designing. Looking through my home window on a daily basis is also important. March 22nd saw the death of my grey goose. He was 22, not old for a goose. How I miss him in the garden. He shaped the garden. He had different parts of the garden for different parts of the day and to handle the different weathers. His mapping is one of the home. He shaped where I put the herbs. I had to leave a place for him beneath the window so he could listen to the radio. Watching him and his habits, inspired me as much as the worldly work of Clarke and Minghella.

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