Sunday
Feb192017

Collaboration with Mario Uboldi Jewellery Art

André Meyerhans, the founder and designer of MARIO UBOLDI Jewellery Art, is an award-winning architect who has been named as one of the most influential architects in the MENA region by Middle Eastern Architect magazine.  He is also an artist whose work and installations are part of public and private collections in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. André’s creations blur traditional boundaries between art, architecture and design. 

I have recently had the privilege to work on a collaboration with André which has allowed his jewellery and my iPhoneart on recycled wood collected from building sites, to enter into a dialogue with each other.

 

Our collaboration is currently being shared via social media where you can view both images and an interview André conducted with me. 

The collaboration is evolving and you are invited to be part of it by checking into its story on a regular basis. 

You can follow the collaboration via any of the following links:

Mario Uboldi Jewellery Art on Facebook

Linda Hollier on Facebook

Mario Uboldi Jewellery Art on Instagram

Linda Hollier on Instagram

The dialogue between our two art forms is opening new vistas and I suspect that there is still much more waiting to be visually spoken.

In a previous blog I wrote about the type of listening I believe we need to cultivate in cyberspace, whether it be to visual, aural or textual images. 

My eyes and ears are listening! 

Friday
Oct212016

Future Landscapes

 

To a floating city built on wooden platforms supported by wooden stakes driven into the ground, I took my iPhone art printed on recycled construction wood collected from building sites.

In a city whose architectural style is a fusion of both Byzantine and Islamic forms overlaying a Latin Christian foundation, a group of artists and architects explore the concept of future landscapes. At a time when so many have had to leave their homes and cross borders, this exhibition forms part of the Borders International Art and Architecture Festival, which runs parallel to the Architecture Biennale 2016.  As a featured artist, my contribution is an investigation of the architecture of cyberspace. 

To visually express the experience of cyberspace using the tools found there, I created the series titled “Corridors of Cyberspace” entirely on my iPhone. Working with various apps, I transformed my photographs of Dubai architecture and international venues into iPhone art.

Each artwork on wood incoporates augmented reality

I have written before about bridges and bridging cyberspace and so was excited to take my art to a city with over 400 bridges.

In a city made up of many calles and canals, one gets the feeling of being in a labyrinth. Chance encounters, as those that occur in the corridors of cyberspace, are not uncommon. 

Venice captured my heart. While there I took many photographs and often posted to Instagram Stories.

I did a live iPhoneart sketch on St Mark's Square.

I went live on Facebook for the first time!

Similar to keeping a journal, I wrote up a Steller story each day I was there, and it is these stories I will now share, to perhaps give others a glimpse of my experience. 

Venice, October 2016

Monday, 3 October

Tuesday, 4 October

Wednesday, 5 October

Thursday, 6 October

(the day of the opening of the exhibition at Palazzo Ca' Zanardi)

Friday, 7 October

Saturday, 8 October

(this story was featured by Steller in their Stellerverse collection)

Sunday, 9 October

(featuring my #interact2connect artwork)

I am still processing all I experienced during this time in Venice.

Should you happen to visit Venice soon, Future Landscapes will be running until 27 November 2016. 

Tuesday
Aug022016

Sawadika!

The website here2here came into being five years ago. My first blog post was titled “Ahlan Wa Sahlan”, an old Arabic greeting, welcoming guests.

Today I find myself on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, and so “Sawadika” is the Thai word with which I greet you. 

As I look out my window I see that it is very low tide, as this evening will welcome a New Moon.  The rocks normally hidden by water peek out and make themselves known. They remind me of all the activity that goes on in life that is often not seen. 

Here for a three week fast and detox programme I have become aware of much that has being going on in my own body without me being fully aware of it. My experience is very different from the first fast and detox I underwent four years ago.  Into our second week, I am experiencing deep releases and much regeneration. 

There is a sense of much sweeping occurring.

The sweeper.

Before arriving here I also realised that although I have been decluttering in my home, much sweeping was needed in my digital life.  And so I have begun slowly to delete unnecessary or old documents and emails from my laptop. No small task and so I will continue with that when back in Abu Dhabi.  For now, my focus is on bodily well being. 

I have written before about Mindfulness and Balance and The Question of Balance, and balance is surfacing as a recurring theme for me yet again.

Since my last blog, I am happy to share that I was a finalist in the Mira Mobile Prize 2016 Exhibition in Porto, Portugal.  Three of my artworks are currently being shown in the Electron Salon at the Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art, and next week one of my works will be exhibited on an electronic screen in the reception area of the venue where the Mobile Digital Art and Creativity Summit being run by the Mobile Art Academy in Palo Alto, California, is being held. 

On and off line have now totally merged into one for me and can no longer be viewed separately.  The call to transparency and integrity grows stronger as the here2here world I envisioned five years ago becomes more and more of a reality. 

Thursday
May052016

Jazirat Al Hamra: A Portal in Time

 

The sun is beating down as I make my way from one building to the next. I reach into my bag for the scarf I had packed earlier that day and use this as a form of protection from the heat.

Stepping carefully in the deserted village of Jazirat al Hamra, I am aware that I have entered a special space. Although accompanied by two friends, I am soon on my own as we each go our separate ways to photograph and experience the area.

Jazirat al Hamra, translated The Red Island, is an abandoned pearling village, just 20 km to the south of Ras Al Khaimah city in the United Arab Emirates.

After the decline of the natural pearl industry, its inhabitants left between the late 60’s and the mid 70’s. Some say the inhabitants were attracted by the prospects of better living conditions being offered by the local government, others that that there were better opportunities including relocation in Abu Dhabi. Yet others cite disputes between one of the tribes and local government. Whatever the reasons, the village has remained almost unchanged since then, and is one of the few remaining areas where one can catch a glimpse of what the Gulf was like before oil was discovered.

The deserted village has three distinct styles of architecture - coral stone buildings from the first half of the last century, sand brick buildings from about 1955 onwards, as well as buildings made from concrete breeze block from the 1960s. Fascinating to behold, the deserted houses, mosques and shops evoke the imagination.

Clicking away on my iPhone, I round a corner and am suddenly stopped in my tracks. Standing before me are two women in traditional dress. Alone in this vast space, I approach them and greet them in Arabic.

We soon establish that our spoken communication is limited. I am only able to see their eyes and I cannot help but notice the openness and kindness in them. The hidden smiles shine from sparkling eyes and I gather that the one lady is there to show the other around. As she shares, I pick up the word “baba”, a term of endearment for father, and gather following her hand movements that her father and his father had lived in the village at the spot she is pointing to.

The chances of such a meeting are overwhelmingly slim and I suddenly feel I have entered a portal.

The portal in science fiction is an extraordinary opening in space or time that connects travellers to distant realms or to the past or the future. This moment in Jazirat al Hamra is for me a time portal. I catch a new glimpse of the village before it was deserted, and simultaneously have the feeling that this lady is sharing memories with me not only from the past, but at the same time, memories from the future.

I have written before about a time to come when communication will be beyond words and am living it at that moment.

I hover in the past, the future and the present moment and realise it is all one. We are all one.

We eventually part ways but the two-fold memory of past and future is with me.

Back home, I begin to do further research on the village. Moving through the corridors of cyberspace, I follow one link after the other - each one somehow a portal leading me to another - until I suddenly discover one very special one. It is as if I have this time been diving in cyberspace, searching for an oyster that will yield a special pearl. Please spend some time at this wonderful discovery , as via it you can read about the village as well as watch videos on certain areas and even listen to a former pearl diver speaking!

Time Portal

I have created this piece on my iPhone to remind me of this day and all it brought and led to. Currently, I am imagining it being possibly printed onto rusted steel.

Memory

As I worked on this second artwork, I wished to create a sense of a special story being woven in time, and hence incorporated what could be seen as a tapestry or carpet like effect. I considered calling it “Time Tapestry” but eventually decided on “Memory”.

This piece also came into being at a time when I was reading up more about asemic writing.

"Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means "having no specific semantic content”. With the nonspecificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret….. The open nature of asemic works allows for meaning to occur trans-linguistically; an asemic text may be "read" in a similar fashion regardless of the reader's natural language." - Wikipedia
"Asemic writing offers meaning by way of aesthetic intuition, and not by verbal expression." - Michael Jacobson in his article "On Asemic Writing"

When I met the two women, we were conversing despite a lack of understanding of the words being used. In fact, we had been conversing beyond words. We had communicated with gestures, smiles and eyes, but more especially with our hearts.

With all of this in mind, I allowed myself to sense the energy I had experienced that day, and then simply left my fingers to move across my iPhone screen. The first of my asemic artworks had come into being in an attempt to share the beauty of that moment, the meeting with the women, and our shared humanity.

Friday
Mar042016

#interact2connect

Using slow-shutter photography on my iPhone, I captured images of women at an Ethiopian festival in Rome.  With the aid of various apps I then painted with and on my iPhone screen to create six artworks which I have had printed onto cloth cut from traditional Ethiopian shawls. These artworks make up my new series #interact2connect.

There is a short background to this in my last blog “Linda in Wanderland”. 

The almost see through, gauze like cloth of the shawls results in the pieces being fairly transparent.  The figures in them seem to be moving in a space/time beyond past, present and future, or simultaneously in all. As a cloth is held up, it interacts with the surroundings it finds itself in, incorporating objects or people that are behind it. This evokes different emotions in the viewer. We are reminded too that everything is connected. 

 

This is a photo of one of the shawls shortly after it was printed. 

I would very much like to display these pieces as an installation in a gallery. 

 

Each piece would be hanging draped on the gallery wall when encountered, but visitors to the gallery would be encouraged to take down an artwork, hold it open and even walk around with it, thus allowing the figures in it to interact with the surrounding architecture, art and space. 

At this point another dimension would be added.  Because I believe that the physical and online worlds can no longer be viewed as entirely separate, visitors would be requested to take photos with these pieces and share them via social media with the hashtag #interact2connect and any other hashtags they might wish to add. 

In this way both the ethereal figures in the artworks and the individual sharing the photo would simultaneously be entering the realm of cyberspace - the mindspace we find ourselves in when we connect online.  

Later when other images shared under this hashtag are seen, the possibility would exist to make new and interesting connections by engaging with others who, regardless of their physical location or time zone, have shared their archived experience of the event, or commented on a photo.

As I have used current technology to create the artworks, it is my wish that the heart of the art of this installation will be found in the connections made through online sharing.

The vibrant patterns on the borders of the shawls are a stark reminder of the beauty to be found in diversity within unity, and the harmony of the colors asks us to question how we view the other.

The age of connectivity calls for transparency.  The gauze like cloth of the shawls asks us to question whether we are authentic when online.

#interact2connect would further raise the question of whether photography should be allowed in galleries and museums in an age when most people want to archive experiences using the technology at their disposal. 

Until such time that these pieces find themselves together in a gallery, I have decided that I will carry different ones with me when I am out and about, and ask people to hold them up in their surroundings once I have given them a short background.

 

This week while in Dubai with two instagrammers, Nilufer and Femi, I allowed the first piece to make its debut in the new phase of City Walk.  That the venue included the word “walk” felt appropriate, and it was wonderful to see the background glass shining through, and the reflected green wall pick up the color of the one ladies’ dress. There even seemed to be similar shades of orange and yellow to the colors in the border of the shawl.  

 

The next day I asked a waiter in a cafe to hold up the same piece.  Ernesto willingly obliged.  I had seen beforehand that there were artworks up on the wall behind him but I only realized afterwards that they were of three women too! The green skirt of Maria Callas on the wall also picked up the color of the transparent lady on the right and the chairs behind the cloth, despite themselves being stationary, added a sense of movement to the transparent figures. 

 

Who knows what further journeys the figures in these cloths will make, and what connections they will lead to.

I wait with anticipation :)