Category Archives: Travel

A Dystopian’s Utopia: DISMALAND

Dystopians, rejoice! Your Utopia has arrived, in the form of a major Art installation of gargantuan proportions, bigger and badder than ever construed in your minds, more painful, raw, mind-searing and thought-provoking than anything you’ve been preparing for all your lives!

After an extremely secret hush-hush rush spanning several weeks, in the UK’s not-so-secret tourist seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare (where yours truly has fond memories of spending 3 days every month for 2 years doing her Diploma in Consumer Affairs at a majestically run-down, labyrinthine hotel right on the seashore), artist-activist Banksy‘s “Dismaland” has opened to the public.

Contrary to local folklore, gleefully seeded and carefully nurtured by the organisers to add to the urban legend, the old derelict open-air Lido was NOT the site for filming an up-and-coming film codenamed “Grey Fox”. Instead, Dismaland is a pop-up Art installation with the strapline promising to be “The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”, spearheaded by Banksy, being a collaboration of more than 50 other artists of international renown.

Staff at Dismaland wear those famous black ears, and bright pink high-visibility vests with the word DISMAL emblazoned on their backs. Only the most morose, bored, dispirited and de-motivated-looking applicants got the job. (Previous Disneyland Mouseketeers and its lawyers need not apply).

Dismaland is an apocalyptic dig at consumerism and capitalism, a dystopian’s wet dream of what will happen to us all frighteningly, if Society today carries on with its relentless, mindless, let’s-all-bleat-to-the-same-sheeple-tune march towards self-annihilation.

Whether or not the general hoi-polloi will get that message, is not clear as yet. Certainly, I envision that many will throng to the attraction for sheer entertainment value, whilst leaving their brains safely cotton-wooled at home. They will come across the many strangely distorted sculptures, bizarre juxtapositions and positionings of Disney princesses, a weird machete-wielding butcher/scientist on a carousel, epilepsy-inducing strobe light effects, depressing messages stencilled in giant letters too big to miss, sooty stencils of humans that look like they were blasted into oblivion against walls etc…and whether or not they understand the underlying message behind the allegorical scenes, or simply accept them at face value i.e “entertainment”, is anyone’s guess.

If they are disappointed by what they find, then Dismaland has lived up to its promise. If they do understand the message, then Dismaland has served its purpose to awaken a few more souls each day.

(If I sound like a drunken poet today, it’s because I’m currently reading Russell Brand‘s latest book “Revolution“, and I may subconsciouly be channelling Russell’s unique way of speaking and writing. What can I say, the man does not speak so much as spout poetry in motion. If Russell Brand ever starts an anti-consumerism, anti-capitalist, alternative lifestyle cult, I’ll be one of the first to follow him. Hell, I’ll make sure I become his First Lieutenant!)

Dismaland will remain open to the public for 5 weeks. So, if you still have the stomach for it, and especially if you “Get it”, then make sure your flight ticket to England is already in your hand.

I’ll leave you with some links for further information on Dismaland, as well as some of the first images of Dismaland starting to flood the internet.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/08/dismaland/

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/20/banksy-dismaland-amusements-anarchism-weston-super-mare

http://mashable.com/2015/08/20/banksy-dismaland/

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Amazing Places

I have a Pinterest Board called “Amazing Places”, where I pin up pictures of the most fantastical places, places that I would like to see for myself some day. My Bucket List of Destinations, so to speak.

Maybe it’s the luscious photography (not mine, I’m sad to say), or just the quality of the light, or just a Romanticisation of the country or place…no matter. There are some places on Earth that are just plain awesome.

If you want more information on these places, find me on Pinterest and look for my board there, under “Amazing Places”. When you click on a photo there, you’ll be transported to the originating link or website where the image was pinned from. Did you think I was going to say you’ll be transported to the place in the photo? Oh, how I wish that was possible!

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Glass Beach, MacKerricher State Park, CA, USA

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Wind Cathedral dunes, Namibia

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The Ocean Flower, Maldives

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

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Porto Katsiki, Lefkada, Greece

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Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

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Perfume River, Hue, Vietnam

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Khao Luang Cave Temple, Phetchaburi, Thailand

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Osaka, Japan

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Sintra, Lisbon Province, Portugal

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Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore

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Guilin, China

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Paso Dello Stelvio, Italy

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Mount Fitz Roy and Laguna Torre, Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina

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Yosemite National Park, USA

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Mount Rorraima, Venezuela

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Pamukkale, Turkey

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Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

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Red Forest, Cantabria, Spain

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Bora Bora, Tahiti

Oh, I could go on an on (and on), but I think there’s enough here to fire up your imagination and wanderlust…

Dalai Lama Quotes

His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama is currently in Australia for a 12 day tour. He’s due to give talks in Perth, Western Australia sometime soon. I have a strong hunch it’s going to be really expensive for me and The Kid to buy tickets to see him, such is the way Australia operates. It certainly won’t be for Free, that’s for sure. A shame, really, because in an ideal world, the Dalai Lama would be speaking to and mingling with the people just like Jesus Christ did in His day.

I’m 100% sure the Dalai Lama himself does not charge for his talks and seminars. Rather, it’s the organisers and venues that charge such exorbitant fees to the public for the privilege. A shame, really, because in an ideal world, a visit from the Dalai Lama would be like welcoming a venerated village elder to your neighbourhood, putting on your finest clothes, everyone making mountains of food, making music and dancing, happy in the knowledge that that person cared enough to visit your area. And then gathering around as the village elder spoke and dispensed words of wisdom to each and every person listening.

But, we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a sad world where Money is the real God. And I’ll bet if Jesus Christ Himself came to Australia to give talks on spirituality and peace, the organisers and venues would make sure only the wealthy could afford to meet Him up close, and the poor from half a mile away.

You know what, sod it! I don’t know when the Dalai Lama will visit Perth again, or how much more it’s going to cost the next time. I don’t know if I’m even going to be alive then. I DO know however that His Holiness will be in Perth on 14th June 2015, at the Perth Arena, and that the cheapest tickets (B Reserve, right at the back) are AUD68 plus a booking fee, and 2 tickets (for me and The Kid) will set us back just over AUD130. So sod it, I’m getting those tickets and WE’RE GOING! We may never get the opportunity again.

(In case you’re curious, the most expensive seats for the event are priced at AUD164.50 each, and the next one down is AUD113.52 each. Way too much for my limited budget, unless we go without food the rest of the month!)

No, I’m not a Buddhist and no, I’m not religious. I just happen to agree with a lot of what the Dalai Lama says. His philosophies go way beyond the tenets of Buddhism, or indeed any religion. We would do well to put aside our own personal prejudices and examine for ourselves the Dalai Lama’s sound advice on how to be better Human Beings. Imagine, if EVERYONE adopted a culture of Love, Peace, Co-operation and Tolerance, the world would be a better, happier place immediately.

Anyway, I’ve curated from good old Google Images what I feel are the best Dalai Lama quotes. All copyright and credit go to the original creators of these images, of course. NamastĂ©!

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Graffiti Art : Baldivis

Baldivis is a newish suburb a few miles down the road from Rockingham, where I live. It started out with some new housing developments, a couple of schools and a small shopping mall hardly worth mentioning. Without a car, the Baldivis mall is terribly inconvenient to get to…there are only 2 buses that go anywhere near it, and 1 of them stops half a mile away.

That was then. This is now. Over the past 2 years, Baldivis’ “Stockland” shopping centre or mall has slowly been expanded and renovated. Just recently it celebrated the grand opening of a new extension. And what an extension it is. It’s gone and quadrupled its size from 7000 square metres to a whopping 29500 square metres.

I happened to visit Stockland Baldivis just last week, as the newest extension was opening to the public. As hubby parked our car outside McDonald’s, I noticed 2 great big walls filled with the most wonderful, vibrant graffiti. So, after having our lunch, and before going into any of Stockland’s shops, I took the opportunity to take some photos of the graffiti.

Here they are. I hope you’ll find them as cheerful and happy as I do.

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This mural is a collaboration between 2 well-known street artists, “Beastman” aka Brad Eastman and Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Click on the hyperlinks to access their respective websites.

I hope no one tries to deface this beautiful mural, or spark off some graffiti artist turf war. I’ve seen similarly wonderful graffiti art in Perth City defaced by lowlife scumbags with no respect or intelligence. Hey, people, it’s Art and it’s meant to be enjoyed by everyone, so please respect it and leave it alone!

Art Around Perth : At the Esplanade Bus Terminal

Just some pretty Art on the walls of Perth’s main Bus Terminal at the Esplanade. I was going to use these for projects, but, being an eclectic magpie and with an attention span just as fleeting as a bird’s, I’m onto other projects now so these have fallen by the wayside.

You’re more than welcome to save them to your own devices and use them however you like – as backgrounds for digital photography art, to print out as postcards, for collage, for art journals, etc.

Have a great day!

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You’ll notice the signature of the artist at the bottom of a few of the photographs. I tried searching for “Leanne” the artist, but was sadly unable to find any mention of her or of the wall art at the bus terminal. If anyone knows who “Leanne” is, do let me know so I can update this post, many thanks in advance! :-)

Mother’s Day Art Abandonment, Rockingham

Castaways” is an annual sculpture exhibition held on the beach in Rockingham, Western Australia. It’s the little sister of Cottesloe’s “Sculpture By The Sea” exhibition held in March each year. “Castaways” uses recycled materials, with a nod towards environmental awareness, and is held in May or June each year.

This year, The Kid and I went to see “Castaways” on Sunday, which also happened to be Mother’s Day. I thought, why not gatecrash the party and add some Art Abandonment into the equation? So we did.

I printed out some Art Abandonment tags onto cardstock. I then experimented with glitter paint mixed with regular acrylic paint, and Gelli Plate printed an A3 sheet of paper using just 1 doily stencil and 1 trivet with circles. I kept it simple, with just 3 paint colours – dark green, yellow and blue. I inked the empty white spaces with a Tim Holtz Distress Inkpad, Picked Raspberries (a ravishing neon pink). I like how the glitter effect turned out, so I’ll be experimenting further with that later.

imageThe glitter paints. They were too transparent to use on their own for Gelli printing, so I mixed them with regular acrylic paint, in dark green, blue and yellow.

imageAt the top are some Art Abandonment tags that I printed onto cardstock and cut out. I Gelli printed an A3 sheet on one side only, and then divided and cut the sheet into 12 pieces, to be adhered onto the Art Tags, then trimmed to fit.

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The bookmarks assembled. On one side is the Art Abandonment tag, on the other side is the Gelli print. I then single hole-punched the tops, to tie hemp twine to later.

imageThe 12 finished bookmarks. I stamped some positive, affirmative words on each card.

And here are some close-ups. Sorry about the light reflecting off the cards, the photos were taken at night under my kitchen lights:
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Artist Inspiration : Thomas Lamadieu

An artist-illustrator with his head in the clouds. Thomas Lamadieu hails from France, but his art takes him to cities everywhere around the world. Yes, he’s always looking up to the sky, because the blue spaces between skyscrapers is where his inspiration lies for his wonderfully whimsical art.

Lamadieu takes photographs of tall buildings, and then brings them to his computer where the magic begins. He uses not Photoshop or Illustrator, but Microsoft Paint. He styles himself as Roots Art or Sky Art.

Excerpt from Thomas Lamadieu’s website, in his own words:

Thomas Lamadieu / Roots Art

Born in 1985 in Avignon (France), Thomas Lamadieu aka Roots Art finished the formation
in topography before studying art history.

As a member of a group of artists (ACA, Avignon), he participated in several collective
projects during the Avignon Theatre Festival since 2012.

One focus of his work is the use of photographic pictures of buildings, where he integrates
his characteristic drawings in the sky (Skyart). His prolific work is carving out a beautiful space
on the internet where he published his photos and drawings, which led to a viral circulation
of his works.

Many gallery owners, journalists, art lovers all around the world remarked and
welcomed his interpretation of art.

Thomas also has a Wix website: http://tlamadieu.wix.com/roots-art

Lamadieu has been widely written about by many, many other people. You only have to Google his name to find those articles. I just want to share my own Lamadieu favourites with you here: (all images curated from Google Images)

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I’m an Eclectic Magpie

Today’s post is just a motley collection of images that appeal to me, curated from my travels in the wonderful lands of Pinterest and Google Images. All credit and copyright remain with the original artist/photographer/designer etc. I always save my favourites to my Pinterest boards (just search for AlyZen Moonshadow), so if you need further information about any particular image, that’s where you should head first.

What can I say, I’m an eclectic magpie. I collect images like the ones below, to help stir up my creative juices, provide a springboard for inspiration, serve as colour or mood boards for future photography and art projects, trigger nostalgia, or just make me feel all sunshiney happy and gooey on the inside. :-)

Enjoy!

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Have a wonderful weekend, all! :-)

Oi Doily!

Not something you’d expect to see on the big glass walls of a corporate skyscraper in Perth’s CBD. But someone’s got a sense of fun or humour. And it does look really cool.

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imageThis one’s pattern reminds me of a cat’s face, perhaps the Chinese “Lucky Cat”?

imageThis one’s pattern looks like a fox’s head.

imageThis one looks like an angry Storm Trooper.

image I call this one the Happy Panda, for some reason.

Some close-ups:
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I was curious as to what I could do with these photos, so I ran one through some apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and came up with these:

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Definitely fodder for future creative projects.