News: Bad and Good

Apologies for my absence and thank you for bearing with me.

The last few weeks have been rather intense. My grandfather passed away last week. Juggling work commitments and travelling to Johannesburg to help with, and attend the funeral, meant that other things – like this blog – took a back seat. My grandfather was an amazing man, who I will dearly miss, but remember fondly. He lived a long, full life (93 years) and taught me so much. I’ll always be grateful for the time I had with him.

Now on to better news, hopefully I will be blogging more regularly than I have been this year. I’m planning a number of exciting things, which I will reveal soon, as well as kick starting my illustration again. Wish me luck!

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In The Shadow of Freud’s Couch

My mother has worked as a clinical psychologist for the majority of my life. I vividly remember the various offices she practiced out of. As a kid, it was a place of mystery where strangers went to talk, cry and shout, and where children had their drawings “read”. Maybe that is why this series of photographs by psychoanalyst Mark Gerald appealed so much to me.

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In The Shadow of Freud’s Couch is a photographic project that documents psychoanalysts in their offices.

“This project, which I began in 2003, stems from my intersecting lives as a psychoanalyst and photographer. I have always been interested in seeing people…in their surface appearance and in the deeper sense of who they are…

The subject of the psychoanalyst is fascinating because of its traditional posture of neutrality. The analyst and the analytic space, as represented physically by the office, occupy a very private domain. The person and the room have been thought to exist as a blank screen for patients to project their transferences and fantasies upon. The Victorian consulting room of Sigmund Freud, with its oriental rug-draped couch, set a mood and technique that governed psychoanalytic life for much of its first century. 

Today, psychoanalysts speak not with a single voice or presentation. They are a mosaic of diverse practitioners showing multiple faces in their work. I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed into the special places where my colleagues practice, to have been granted the opportunity to experience these analytic spaces, and to see the women and men who, true to Freud, still are the receivers of dreams and dread.”

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Damien Florebert Cuypers

The loose and playful technique Damien Florebert Cuypers employs in the creation of his wonderful fashion illustrations is envy-inducing. I can vouch for this as someone who struggles to loosen up their own drawing style (I blame my OCD tendencies).

Damien’s drawings are exuberant drawings. They lift your spirit with their bright colours and dynamic energy. I really enjoyed following his New York Fashion Week sketchbook diary this year and thought I’d share some of my favourite illustrations from his website.

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The Green Dandelion

I first came across the work of The Green Dandelion, when the floral details of Julie and Nate’s wedding caught my eye. Captured in all their botanical beauty by photographer Phil Chester, the organic arrangements venture outside the usual scope of traditional wedding arrangements in the best possible way.

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The Green Dandelion, a Portland-based, mother-daughter team who specialise in eco-friendly weddings and event floral design. By “incorporating recycled materials and organic, locally grown flowers, (The Green Dandelion) strive(s) to mimic the natural beauty of the world and re-create it through our work”.

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Mio Karo

Carolina Melis is a creative jack-of-all-trades who started her career as a choreographer before moving into design. She specialised in illustration and animation direction at Central Saint Martins in London. She then went on to work on a number of creative projects from high profile commercials to music videos, corporate identities, textile and set design.

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One of her more recent ventures is Mio Karo, a company that produces fine rugs and wall hangings inspired by Sardinian traditional motifs. Handmade in the small village of Nule in Sardinia, the rugs and wall hangings are made using,

“…the pibiones weaving technique (that) is most commonly found in the central and eastern areas of Sardinia. This is a particular type of stitched relief, created from the countless grains that make up the design. These are made by twisting the yarn around a needle which is arranged in a horizontal position on the loom; the needle is then pulled away, thereby creating a raised effect (grains). Operated entirely by hand, including the slay mechanism, i.e. the working phase effected by a complicated mechanism moved by the hands and feet which tightens the weft yarns one against the other once they have passed over the pin.”

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I Love Ugly Spring 2014

Today I thought I would offer up some sartorial inspiration for the male contingent of my readers (if there are any). I have written about New Zealand men’s clothing and accessories label I Love Ugly before (see here and here), but, their new Spring 2014 collection was too good to pass up.

I Love Ugly is known for treating print and illustration on clothing in an inspired way, and this collection is no different. I particularly liked how the graphic iconography of nautical flags are translated into sophisticated silhouettes and striking prints.

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Indian Architecture & Ettore Sottsass

Although I have never been, India seems like a country that gives you sensory overload. The sheer amount of people, coupled with an aesthetic sensibility and culinary culture that believes “more is more”, is a recipe for an opulent and multilayered visual culture.

I came across this article on Architectural Digest‘s website that documents Vincent Leroux’s photographs of the colourful regional architecture of Tirunamavalai, in South India. These houses are said to be a labour of love for the families who live in them. Families plan, build, and paint these unique homes, that are noteworthy for their unusual combinations of asymmetrical geometry and colour.

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These houses are posited as an  inspiration to Italian architect and industrial designer Ettore Sottsass, who visited India numerous times in the 1960′s.

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Sottsass founded The Memphis Group in 1980 in response to ambient minimalism and functionalism. Pinned as an significant group of the Postmodern architecture and design movement, the aesthetic of The Memphis Group is defined by their use of asymmetrical shapes, “bright colours, kitsch suburban motifs and cheap materials like plastic laminates”. Here are some examples of his work:

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