Art and especially architecture are often seen as the exclusive realm of formally trained experts. Award-winning architects Steven and Cathi House explore the other side of that reality in a part of the world that has been at the crossroads of history for thousands of years. With more than 500 photographs and insightful commentary, they reveal the remarkable beauty of the people, land, villages, textiles, and vernacular architecture across seven countries of West Africa, situated between the Sahara Desert and Atlantic Ocean. The book celebrates the artisanship of tribal people who use building methods that are both practical and ingenious and that respond not just to local climate, materials, and topography, but also to the needs of the inhabitants with poetic insight, creating environments that are stimulating and sustainable. With their clarity, function, and beauty, these villages are living models of what community life can be.
The authors of this book are architects who travel to remote villages for inspiration and personal growth. Their wanderings chronicled here, have taken them through a number of West African countries including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Togo.
Approaching such coffee table books as these, you expect them to be heavy on lavish photos and this book does not disappoint. The photos have a divided emphasis on both architecture and the local peoples. Although there is some inevitable crossover with European culture – such as Coca-Cola decorated building or graffiti for favourite football teams like Olympique Marseille – there is a lot more emphasis on the countries of today and their lives, rather than focus on the remnants of colonialism. Continue reading “Villages of West Africa – Steven & Cathi House”
Animals are great and even if I wasn’t a fan, living with a horde of the critters would certainly change my mind. The kittens have been spoken about elsewhere on this blog before, my favourite of which is still Mr Boffles:
Here he is, attempting to line up with mum Alut and uncle Rambo, in what I assume is a homage to the opening scene of the magnificent 2001: A Space Odyssey. As mentioned before, he enjoys gangster movies and the music of Louis Armstrong. Since then he feels confident enough to run at Rambo and be mercilessly pawed at in return, as well as meowing at Die Hard 3, dramatic stunts are expected from this little one.
Our latest new edition – a dog this time, just to mix things up – which arrived yesterday is this little lady, Rexie:
Having spent little over a day with her, I can confirm she likes the taste of slippers, nibbling Rambo’s tale and disappearing at various times to make me worried that she has wandered off somewhere. Now that we are up to six animals, life is getting more interesting both in and out of the house.
To the final post from this wonderful museum and more variety and intriguing works were to be seen,
and to kick things off, there is nothing like a bit of a nod to Europe to start, even it is of the dark days…
I love this painting for really showing not only the imagination of the artist but the crazy ideas we all possess that are waiting to get out.
This one was about an exploding woman made of cheese, if memory serves me correctly. I prefer the idea of the mainstream traditional media having egg all over themselves thanks to their increasingly questionable news reporting. Continue reading “And Out the Other Side”
Continuing the tour through various galleries of the Pintô Art Museum and the diverse work of Filipino artists took a slightly more whimsical, wooden direction this time.
I am rubbish at filters so sorry if these are again poor quality, it is partly that and also the lack of light which is a constant struggle to someone clueless when it comes to such things.
I like the wooden, framed effects of this artwork. Overall this was my favourite gallery for consistency in theme. Continue reading “Further inside the Pintô Art Museum”
First of all, apologies for my poor photograph taking, hopefully some will do justice to the pieces and also for not being able to tell you what artist did what. Due to the short nature of battery life over here, it’s take as many photos as you can and hope you get everything you want. With that out of the way, welcome to eclectic creations of Filipino artists.
After yesterday’s post about exterior shots, it was time to enter the building. Pintô means door in Tagalog, which is a fitting name for this place. As everything is subjective to the viewer’s perspective, it could mean a whole host of things both in the philosophical and artistic sense.
There are six spacious galleries – and assorted outside art pieces which are dedicated to showing off the talents and direction of Philippine art and it is a fascinating study. It was well worth the hours we spent there, especially seeing the enthusiasm of our fellow explorers. Continue reading “Inside the Pintô Art Museum”
I love a good museum, especially one that is housed in a lovely building. On a Sunday living up to its name Crissy and I, took advantage of an offer from cousin-in-law (if that is the right term) Jerrold and girlfriend Kim to explore the Pinto Art Museum.
What a find it was! Entering through a small gated archway, I could have been mistaken for thinking I’d ended up in the Mediterranean countries. The greenery and the whitewashed buildings were a world away from the glass and steel buildings of the everyday. The addition of a little chapel near the entrance was a nice juxtaposition of historical art, leading as it would, to modern art.
I could find no information about the actual buildings but I think that adds to the aura of the place. The relaxing atmosphere leaves the adventurer free to explore and stumble upon the pieces as haphazardly as one wishes. I imagine sitting for a time at the mini amphitheatre watching a play in the dusk breeze would be amazing.
With chairs and beds placed around, as well as some statues and sculptures to keep one satiated between galleries this is a truly wonderful place to seek out and appreciate nature as well as art. Continue reading “Pintô Art Museum, Exterior”
I’ve been saving these up for today, as what is more romantic than to show the official wedding photos now that we have them, on Valentine’s Day. I will show a selection here (less than I’d hoped due to the internet being on the blink, thanks to some high winds) and for anybody who is interested in the full set of nearly 1900 photos, you can check them all out at this link…here!
The ladies were looking great even before getting into their dresses…
The Gents were as suave as always…
Releasing the doves was picturesque, even if Crissy’s failed to fly after this shot… Continue reading “Valentine’s Date”