Filtering by Tag: photo art

Day 26: Creative Challenge

Unbeknownst to each other, the creative challenge team has generated a textiles theme today. Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has finished his opening night masterpiece and it's an absolute stunner. I defy anyone to look better dressed that Kanen in this marvellous jacket. It came at a cost, of course - sewing endless seed beads and sequins is not for the faint hearted - and Kanen summarised the result thus: La Commedia è finita. I'm assuming that, three days and sore fingers later, he means a black comedy.

Kanen's extraordinary opening night jacket

Kanen's extraordinary opening night jacket

Our resident cooking guru, Trish Urquhart, who runs Allaboutwriting, works as a documentary producer for Left-Eye Productions, and tries very hard to live up to the title chef extraordinaire (succeeding admirably - check out her food blog here), has really branched out today. She even took herself by surprise with this one.

A friend popped in yesterday and while they were chatting, she noticed the stunning grey wool felt sleeveless jacket her friend was wearing. It had been made, apparently, by an artist friend (contain your envy, Kanen Breen). When Trish exclaimed at its beauty, her friend whipped it off and said - 'Look. It's made in one piece. No seams, just holes cut for the arms.' Trish knew immediately that she had to copy it. She ripped down some flip chart paper and traced the shape. Then she remembered a boiled wool dress in her wardrobe that she'd been thinking of turning into some sort of jacket. Ten minutes later, she was the owner of a new sleeveless wool jacket. It has a seam down the back, admittedly, but it's gorgeous. Trish is going to be turning heads in this wonderful creation. There's real competition on the creative challenge runway tonight.

Trish's gorgeous boiled wool jacket

Trish's gorgeous boiled wool jacket

Alas, that's where the runway competition ends. You may remember that, inspired by Kanen Breen's stunning work with fabric dye, I reported my not-so-stunning misadventures on day 22, when I managed to turn some perfectly good shirts a ghastly shade of mauve. My Lincraft dye order arrived in yesterday's post, so I rectified the damage today, transforming my mauve monstrosities into unglamorous, but serviceable, black tops. There's no razzle or dazzle on display here, but the tops can now, at least, be worn. And I shouldn't have any trouble rustling up some eye catching jewellery to brighten things up a bit. I don't think my creative efforts today improved on the original garments, but they're a huge improvement on my first dyeing effort, and at least now when I dribble pasta sauce at lunch time, it will find a home in forgiving black.

Scarlet's dyed shirts

Scarlet's dyed shirts

Stephen Bennett picked up a day's work teaching singing at a private school and it was his first day today. He's been on the go since early this morning and he hasn't had time to do anything seriously creative. He always has time, however, to play with some photos. He's made a 'faces' composite for today's contribution. Bring on the weekend, he says. I don't imagine he'll face much opposition to that sentiment.

Steve's faces composite

Steve's faces composite

Kissing in the rain

It would have been all of five degrees Celsius. The wind was blustering off the Brindabellas with determined ferocity, and my thermal undergarments felt about as useful as a moth eaten mosquito net. Just when I thought I couldn't get any colder, the rain started to fall. Large droplets carried on the wind in an almost horizontal trajectory, landing on my face then trickling down inside my rain coat onto cold, almost-numb skin.

Duke 'Kissing' Casanova finished his warm supper and ambled over in search of some female affection. He's an all-weather smoocher, our Duke. Impervious to the elements and endlessly enthusiastic, particularly when there are girls around.

I fumbled about in the pocket of my rain coat for my phone and thrust it out into the rain with my left hand to snap this photo. It took a bit of doing. My hands were so cold, I had no feeling in my fingers and it took me ages to trigger the shutter.

I was entranced by the photo on first sight. The soft kiss in the falling rain had a charming romance about it. But it wasn't until I ran the image through my photo editor that I saw its real magic. The heart that's featured in the sky above me and Duke is entirely natural, a heart of light created, purely by coincidence, by a gap between the trees behind us. Technically, the light effect is called bokeh - out of focus highlights caused by a shallow depth of field.

Can you imagine my delight? How perfect, I cried! Kissing in the rain under a heart shaped cloud of light!

Carl Jung talked about coincidences like this as early as the 1920s. He coined the term 'synchronicity' to describe meaningful coincidences that, he argued, reflect a deeper order. Jung used one of his patients as an example of synchronicity in action. His client, a highly rational woman, whom Jung found psychologically inaccessible and remote, recalled a dream of a scarab beetle. As she recounted her dream in a session, Jung became aware of an insect knocking on the window pane outside his office. When he opened the window and allowed the insect to enter, a scarabaeid beetle flew in. He caught it and handed it to his client, saying 'here is your scarab'. It was a turning point, in his view, creating a large enough crack in her rationalism for exploration of life's deeper mysteries to begin.

There are alternative explanations for synchronistic phenomena, of course. Mathematicians will ramble endlessly about probability and outliers to an audience of glazed eyes, while cognitive psychologists will try to impress us silly with big words like confirmation bias and selective perception.

I don't actually care who's right. I just like the beauty of synchronicity, and the mysterious glimpse of hidden forces at work. When life sends me an unexpected heart, I accept it with gratitude - along with every tidbit of beauty and mystery on offer.

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