Artist Open House 2010: oh yes, er, my stuff

Vanity, my favourite sin?

Despite common perception, I am not very vain. OK OK I am, but I do find it difficult to promote myself (I’ll get over this, I’m sure). In some ways, this is therefore the most difficult blog post I’ve written. But, I convince myself, there is a charity to support (the already oft-mentioned Survivors’ Network)– so here goes, something about my own photos on display at this year’s Artist Open House in the Acupuncture Clinic.

Simple stuff

A couple of photos are straightforward and are not unlike the ones shown below – but showing them as they are would be giving it away… so I don’t. They’re not a million miles away from these is all I will say ;-).

This, but different

See this lone bather take to the sea...

A flock of starlings... but not this one

Panels

Then I’ve got two panels – and I’m actually quite happy about them.

One is made up of two fairly straightforward flower shots, but with enough of a twist (I think) to make them more interesting.

The other panel is part of a bigger project that revolves around the West Pier… they’re really just a lot of photos of the West Pier :-), but all together they make quite a nice ‘documentary’ of the effect that humans and nature have had, and are still having, on the slowly dilapidating pier, and of how the pier currently sits in its surroundings. Before this all sounds like I’ve gone all arty-farty, let me say that these are, in the end, still just what I think are cool photos :-). I’ve not gone soft or anything, good heavens, no!

Purple / untitled

'Defiance'

'Old & New Signs'

'The Tube'

Finally

Everything I’ve got on display (except obviously a large canvas print) is home-printed. I enjoy the control and the short turnover time this gives.

And to top it off, my friend Y is showing a couple of excellent smoke shots in spectacular metallic prints, as well as some less abstract landscapes-with-a-twist. I’ve already mentioned the hand-made jewellery by ika, and then there are all the other local artists and everything else I mentioned in my invitation.

All in all well worth a visit! Please do come along this Sunday!

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Artists Open House 2010: ika jewellery

As I said, in the upcoming AOH it’s not just Yari and me exhibiting but also our beloved Iki with her sister. They’ve chosen the moniker IKEA (Iki and Karin Expressionist Art)… no just kidding, ika it is which does mean iki n karin art.

ika says:

All our jewellery is ‘handmade with love’; every piece is unique. Everything is nickel free and free from animal products – we use synthetic beads and fake leather etc. It is advised not to wear the jewellery in the shower.

So ladies, please come and have a look (and guys, have a look for your present or future better half, too ;) ). It’s all priced very reasonably but instead of supporting a high-street chain you’ll be supporting a good cause: the Survivor’s Network as well as two friendly amateur craftswomen!

I tried to do their work justice by photographing them in an unusual light… so I’m not giving away everything by posting these images of the amazing jewellery they’re exhibiting.

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Artists Open House 2010: why?

Because I’m vain? Well, that’s a good start, why else?

Because the Artists Open House that I (and Yari, and our Swedish friend Ingegerd/a.k.a. Iki, together with her sister Karin) will be exhibiting at is supporting a most worthy local charity: the Survivor’s Network.

Their website isn’t all too informative – but do feel free to explore it – so I’m trying to rectify that in this post – as far as I can, because I am not an expert on them.

In short, they help women who are the victim of sexual abuse of various sorts; childhood abuse of long ago, as well as rape as-short-as-possible after. It doesn’t need explaining that that is a great and very valuable service; I will just post some more informational material below for anyone interested to read.

To shortly explain how the charity support works: if you buy our stuff (and it will not just be ‘us three’; there will be like a dozen artists (I hesitate to use this term for myself :S) exhibiting their art. There will be at least two other photographers; Iki is sending jewellery (all you ladies should be curious – I’ve seen it and it’s beautiful!); there is at least one painter; there is one (or maybe two) embroiderer (embroideress?); and Yari’s mom is sending in, from Italy, her bead-sculptures – and then there’s the people I don’t know about.

In addition there will be all sorts of homemade cakes up for sale which also help the charity so stuffing yourself has never felt so good either!

I’ll write more about what to expect soon but for now I wanted to have this background out. Do all come, the Acupuncture Clinic is in Hove close to Hove station and even closer to Aldrington station, and it’s on the 49 bus line to Portslade too.

Now here’s the Support Network info:

Charity of the Month: Terre des Hommes

Charity of the Month, version 2.0

As of NOW, Charity of the Month has expanded, and improved. With a world full of worthy causes, I cannot keep track of all of the charities. Also, I value the opinion of my friends. Therefore, I have decided to combine these two: I’m asking my friends to suggest a charity and write a promotional text, after which I will donate to that charity and post the whole thing here, as Charity of the Month. A win/win/win situation I reckon.

We kick off with my good friend Steven Verhelst, famous for having an excellent blog, his own Wikipedia entry, and a receding hairline. Actually, I slightly cheated with this one – I remembered him mentioning Terre des Hommes on his blog once and now I simply reminded him. (More actually, of many of my friends I already have some idea of what charity they would like to “endorse” – but let me not get ahead of myself. )

First off then, is Steven’s featured charity:

terredeshommes

I don’t like children. Even worse, I despise them. If they don’t blow their noses in your curtains or climb in them so the whole construction comes down from the ceiling, they’ll keep asking you for Coke or other caffeinated drinks. And because of their resulting hyperactivity you can’t understand a word of your favourite TV-program. The worst is: they won’t stop, you can’t send them on a sabbatical. Well, I guess that’s called boarding school.

With almost a hundred percent certainty I can say that I wouldn’t be a good father. And there should be more people who could say that about themselves.

The Dutch writer Henk Elsink once said: ‘There should be a licensing system for getting children and buying a stereo.’

At some places in the world, children won’t touch the curtains – simply because the dump they’re living on doesn’t have any. Or because they don’t have time and have to work in prostitution. Or because they are abused. Or because they are physically impaired, ignored.

There is no reason to exploit children, wherever on the planet they have been born. Children should go to school. Children should play. And I don’t mean with Playstations, but with Meccano, skipping ropes, each other.

That’s why I donate to Terre des Hommes. Doesn’t everybody deserve a childhood?

Steven Verhelst

(de Nederlandse versie van Steven’s promotie vind je onder de ‘fold’)

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Charity of the Month: Red Cross

flag_of_the_red_cross

The Red Cross

Without further ado (and conveniently glancing over the fact I had no “CotM” in March at all :-S*), I present: the Red Cross.

They’re neutral and they help people who are in need of medical aid. That is easily enough to elevate them to the lofty heights of Charity of the Month. Last week they sent me (and I presume millions of others, too) a little reminder letter asking for £5,-. What? No way – that is too little! (as I mentioned before, I’ve decided not to say how much I actually do give).

*) But to make up for this, there’ll probably be two CotM’s in April. I really hope at some point to do one each month, not one per month on average… :-|.

A small deluge of science 2: good to be good?

There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics. Sometimes, these statistics make it into a scientific paper. Other statistics make it into another one, and together, they contradict each other. Well, not really, in this case, but they send different – opposing – messages.

Case 1: giving is good!

There appears to be substantial evidence that being nice to others, i.e. being altruistic, donating to charities and the like, makes you happier. In knew that, of course, and that is why I publicly and loudly donate money to charities. Being good is one thing, being able to shout that from the rooftops is even better :p. However:

Case 2: giving makes you depressed!

Then there is this paper, claiming quite the opposite* – I’m confused now :(. The author analysed two American studies among over 500 individuals of middle age for a correlation between financial support and the occurrence of major depression (MD). His conclusions?

Can't cope“Financial support of 10 or more dollars per month had a significant impact on the development of MD in comparison to no financial support. Unpaid assistance and providing emotional support were not significantly associated with the development of MD in later life. Conclusions: Those who provide financial contribution to individuals other than family members can be at risk of developing MD.”

It would be enough to drive me depressed – if I wasn’t depressed and cynical already.

(*well, not really – there is always the question of what causes what – correlation does not necessarily imply causation. The famous example of people wearing hats getting more skin cancer jumps to mind. Think about how that one works…)

Charity of the Day: Water Aid

Water and sanitation for everyone!

Water and sanitation for everyone!

It has long been my conviction that the scarcity of fresh or drinking water is going to lead to wars being fought over water – perhaps even more than over oil, or religion. (I’m starting to doubt that, given the unfathomable depths of stupidity of religion. But I digress.)

So when a little article in the local newspaper caught my eye I decided to chip in for my little bit. A pub in Brighton – the Prince Albert in Trafalger Street – instead of charging customers for tap water or tea, asks them for a voluntary donation to Water Aid. A great idea, but since I don’t drink any of these – well not when I’m in a pub – I think it’s a nice idea to simply donate a small amount directly.

Everybody in this world should have access to clean, safe, drinking water, so every organisation that aim to achieve that deserves support, I think.