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Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park is located a little north west of Oslo’s city centre in the Frogner district, and is the largest sculpture park in the world made by a single artist. More than 200 bronze & granite sculptures, and beautiful gates wrought in iron, fill the park. It’s all the work of the dauntingly prolific Gustav Vigeland (1869 – 1943), predominantly made during the last two decades of his life (although sketches and models for many of the sculptures were conceived earlier). It’s a “fantastic concoction, medieval in spirit and complexity” – a weirdly wonderful, exuberantly enigmatic celebration of life, death and everything in between. We made our first visit to the park late at night, and in the darkness and silence it’s a strange and eerie place…

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

We returned the following day – a breathtakingly beautiful spring day with an indescribably blue sky – for a better look (and to soak up some spring sunshine)…

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

And here’s the man himself, chisel and club hammer at the ready (and one of the intricate wrought iron entrance gates)…

Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

cloud gazer, aeromancer

For us gardenless urban dwellers, when summer garden-envy kicks in, an opportunity to have a good old snoop around other people’s gardens can be pretty irresistible! Luckily, for three days each year during Amsterdam’s ‘Open Tuinen Dagen‘, this snooping is sanctioned and entirely above-board. This year it was held 14-16 June, and it’s always a pleasure and a surprise to encounter the ‘secret gardens’ and verdant lushness that lie behind the city’s stone and brick facades…

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

'Open Tuinen' Amsterdam (14-16 June 2013)

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[the bear, csi guy and fawn sculptures are by marjolijn mandersloot.
unfortunately I’m not able to credit any of the others pictured!]

No wanderings in London’s South Kensington would be complete without a visit to the Natural History Museum… if only (when time is tight) to have a(nother) look at the dizzying array of plants and animals sculpted in buff and cobalt-blue terracotta that adorn many of the building’s surfaces.

From the Natural History Museum’s website:

Terracotta tiles provide decoration inside and outside the building. Many feature relief carvings of plants and animals. The buff and cobalt-blue terracotta is both attractive and practical, as a hardy material that could resist the acid smogs of Victorian London.

In his design, Alfred Waterhouse included elaborate sculptures of plants and animals on the interior and exterior of the building, to represent biological diversity. Those on the western wing are of living forms, while those on the eastern side show extinct creatures.

Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London – designed by Alfred Waterhouse 1865 – 1881 (when it opened)

Anthony Gormley (UK, 1950), ‘Firmament III’ 2009 [1]

I don’t always ‘get’ sculpture – in the visual arts I respond much more readily and intensely to two dimensional works (painting, drawing, printmaking, photography) – but I’m always open to confronting, and being confronted by, any artwork.

On Saturday we took a leisurely bike ride along the biennial Artzuid: International Sculpture Route in Amsterdam’s leafy Old South. Here are some of the works along the route, some of the weird, and some of the wonderful…

Atta Kwami (Ghana, 1956), ‘Amsterdam Archways 2011’ 2011 [44]

Thomas Houseago (UK, 1972), ‘Red Man’ 2008 [7]

Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname, 1986), ‘Mighty Man’ 2011 [20]

Koen Vanmechelen (Belgium, 1965), ‘Coming World’ 2011 [14]

Salvador Dali (Spain, 1904-1989), ‘Space Elephant’ [6]

Ugo Rondinone (Switzerland 1963), ‘Sunrise East’ 2007 [28]

Riyas Komu (India, 1971), ‘My Father’s Balcony’ 2006 [40]

Subodh Gupta (India, 1964), ‘Et tu, Duchamp’ 2009 [23]

Yayoi Kusama (Japan, 1929), ‘Flowers that bloom tomorrow’ 2010 [10]

Yubi Kirindongo (Curaçao, 1946), ‘Equus’ 2010 [11]

Jan Fabre (Belgium, 1958), ‘Searching for Utopia’ 2003 [4]

Frederic Beaufils (France 1969), ‘Terroir’ 2009 [48]

Flowers along the route, made by nature (always the great sculptor :)

If you’re in Amsterdam and have a couple of hours to spare, the sculptures will be in place until 28 August 2011. A route map (they’re positioned along the Apollolaan, Minervalaan and in the Zuidas area) can be found here (numbers in [square brackets] in the picture captions above correspond to the numbers on the map).

Faces spotted around town…

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation

instagram

Sketchbook doodling… in search of my lost mojo #creative_block #ugh #sketchbook #doodling #drawing #acrylic_ink #white #anthracite #monochrome #leaves #birch #botanical #pattern #negative_space #design Bold, beautiful brassica #cruciferous #cabbage #leaf #phyllotaxy #purple #green #verdant #fibonacci #pattern #raindrops #roofgarden Gira sez "Eat yer greens!" #good_advice #yum #catgrass #cyperus_zumula #teeth #canines #green #grey #cat #gira #catsofinstagram September is upon us (!) and this is an illustration I made towards the end of last year for @essie_letterpress ‘s 2017 Artist’s Almanac. The almanac is produced in South Africa and the only stipulation for the illustration (apart from colour and sizing guidelines) was that it should fit a Southern hemisphere timeline… September is early springtime in South Africa, when the remarkable fynbos wildflowers begin to bloom and southern right whales migrate through SA’s coastal waters where they can be seen frolicking close to shore.
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The almanac’s cover illustration (partially pictured here) is by the talented @ikronk
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#south_africa #spring #cetacea #eubalaena_australis #baleen #whale #southern_right_whale #tail_sailing through a #garland of #fynbos #flowers #gazania #quaqua #stapelia #pelargonium_incarnatum #ornithogalum #lachenalia #spiloxene #romulea #oncosiphon #euphorbia #lapeirousia #protea #flora #pattern #artistsalmanac #calendar2017 #two_colour #illustration #letterpress Our brave, beautiful boy… happy to be back home after his first cancer treatment @mcvoordieren earlier this week.
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If you’ve got any healing good vibes to spare (I know that’s a big ask in this perennially tough world) please send them Gira’s way ☄💙🐈
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#gira #cat #greeneyes #steady_gaze #inscrutable #manga_eyes #studiomate #best_fur_buddy #positive_energy #healing #lymphoma #enzyme_injections #fuckcancer #catsofinstagram A profoundly pleasing polar bear…
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'Orso’ by Simona Vergani (1998, white Carrara marble, h 350cm) can be found in Amsterdam’s Erasmuspark, and is definitely one of the coolest ❄🐧❄ public sculptures I’ve encountered!
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#polar_bear #ijsbeer #ursus_maritimus #vulnerable #habitat_loss #climate_change #paws #orso #sculpture #carved #white #carrara #marble #blue #summer_sky #amsterdam #erasmuspark

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