Making a red-tailed hawk carving


This video from the USA says about itself:

Enjoy this archived live conversation with artist and Red-tailed Hawk cam aficionado David Cohen as he explains the inspiration and craftsmanship behind his carving of the Cornell Hawks nest that is now on display at Cornell University’s Corson-Mudd Hall.

Pioneer punk rock women Lou’s badges reconstructed


This music video (only audio, unfortunately) is the Lou’s playing their song Back on the street.

The Lou’s were the first punk band in France, and the first all-women rock band in any genre in France.

They were Dutch Sascha (aka Saskia, Syama) de Jong on drums, and three Frenchwomen: Raphaelle Devins on rhythm guitar, Tolim Toto on bass and Pamela Popo, vocals and lead guitar.

They were the only band playing on both days of the 1977 Mont de Marsan punk festival.

This video shows British band the Damned at that festival.

The Lous were support band to the Clash during the 1977 Out of Control tour in the UK.

In 1978, they played with Public Image Limited.

In 1978-1979, Sascha became drummer, and Raphaelle saxophone player, in London band Verdict. They played much for Rock against Racism.

Meanwhile, Pamela and Tolim founded Les Rois Fainéants in France.

In 1981, Sascha was back in her native Leiden, the Netherlands. She founded the all-girl Miami Beach Girls.

This is a live video of the Miami Beach Girls playing their song Delight in Utrecht in 1981.

Raphaelle came to Leiden as well, playing saxophone in Cheap ‘n’ Nasty.

Now, in November 2020, Dutch visual artist Marion van Egmond has reconstructed the original 1977 Lou’s badges. Today, there are 5 big and 5 small glow-in-the dark badges.

Lou's badge

In 1980, Ms van Egmond was one of four 12-13-year-old girls, the youngest punk band in the world. Younger than Eater. Dutch national radio interviewed them. But the drummer’s father did not want his daughter to play. And so, Marion’s and her bandmates’ plan to play a support set to British band Crass and Poison Girls and Dutch Cheap ‘n’ Nasty did not happen.

Prehistoric bison engravings in Spanish caves


This 2019 video about ancient Moravia says about itself:

A beautiful fictionalized story about the first Europeans, about Gravettian people.

The Gravettian people were the descendants of the Aurignacian, who first thought abstractly as true Homo sapiens.

From PLOS:

Bison engravings in Spanish caves reveal a common art culture across ancient Europe

Study finds ancient Gravettian art culture much more widespread than thought

October 28, 2020

Recently discovered rock art from caves in Northern Spain represents an artistic cultural style common across ancient Europe, but previously unknown from the Iberian Peninsula, according to a study published October 28, 2020, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Diego Garate of the Instituto Internacional de Investigaciones Prehistóricas de Cantabria, Spain, and colleagues.

The history of ancient human art includes various cultural complexes characterized by different artistic styles and conventions. In 2015, new instances of rock art were discovered in three caves in Aitzbitarte Hill in northern Spain, representing an artistic style previously unknown from the Iberian Peninsula. In this study, Garate and colleagues compare this artistic style to others from across Europe.

The artwork in the Aitzbitarte caves consists mostly of engravings of bison, complete with the animals’ characteristic horns and humps. The authors note the particular style in which the animals’ horns and legs are drawn, typically without proper perspective. Pairs of limbs are consistently depicted as a “double Y” with both legs visible, and the horns are similarly drawn side-by-side with a series of lines in between.

This is consistent with the artistic style of the Gravettian cultural complex, characterized by specific customs in art, tools, and burial practices between about 34,000 and 24,000 years ago. This culture is known from across Europe but has not been seen before on the Iberian Peninsula. The authors combine this new discovery with data from around Europe to show that the Gravettian culture was more widespread and varied than previously appreciated.

The authors add: “The study analyses the particularities of Palaeolithic animal engravings found in the Aitzbitarte Caves (Basque Country, Spain) in 2016. These prehistoric images, mainly depicting bison, were drawn in a way that has never before been seen in northern Spain; in a kind of fashion in the way of drawing the engravings that is more characteristic of southern France and some parts of the Mediterranean. The study has shown the close regional relationships in Western Europe cave art since very early times, at least, 25,000 years ago.”

Bernini sculptures exhibition in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


This February 2020 video from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands says about itself:

Caravaggio-Bernini. Baroque in Rome’ (14 February to 7 June 2020) is an exhibition of more than 70 masterpieces by Caravaggio, Bernini and their contemporaries. The paintings and sculptures are on loan to the Rijksmuseum from museums and private collections around the world.

The exhibition has been extended until 13 September.

These 31 August 2020 cell phone photos are of Bernini sculptures.

Bernini sculpture, 31 August 2020

Bernini, Rijksmuseum, 31 August 2020

Bernini, 31 August 2020

Bernini, on 31 August 2020, Rijksmuseum

Bernini head, 31 August 2020

English racists attack George Floyd mural


The George Floyd mural in Manchester, England

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 22 July 2020:

George Floyd mural in Manchester defaced with racist slur

Graffiti artist and the mural‘s creator Akse fixes the damage within hours

THE defacing of a George Floyd mural with racist graffiti in Manchester has underlined the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-racists declared today.

The mural of Mr Floyd, the African-American killed in Minnesota when police knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, was found today morning with a racist slur spray-painted over it.

Manchester City Council condemned the defacing of the mural in Stevenson Square as an “abhorrent crime.”

Deputy leader Nigel Murphy said the council was reviewing CCTV footage to find the perpetrator.

“It is utterly sickening that this type of behaviour exists in our society,” he continued. “Manchester is a place that celebrates our diversity and we will not tolerate hate in our city.”

A police investigation has also been launched into the incident.

The mural was restored by its creator, graffiti artist Akse, within hours of the damage being discovered.

Anti-racist campaigners in Manchester said they were “disgusted” to hear of the racist attack.

Stand up to Racism Manchester co-chair Nahella Ashraf told the Morning Star: “‘This demonstrates the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the continuing campaign needed to rid society of racism.”

The group has called for a protest in Stephenson Square tonight at 6pm to “show that we are the majority in the city.”

London Grenfell disaster killed photographer Khadija Saye


This 2 September 2017 video from Britain says about itself:

Khadija Saye tragically lost her life in the Grenfell Tower fire at the age of just 24. In this interview filmed a month beforehand, she talks about her ambitions and her photography exhibition in Venice.

The footage is taken from the BBC Arts programme Venice Biennale: Britain’s New Voices.

BY LUCY LAVER in Britain today:

Khadija Saye: Breath is Invisible

Khadija Saye 1992-2017 236 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH Until August 7th

WITH THE reconvening of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on Monday and the recent and ongoing global Black Lives Matter uprising, this is a pertinent and timely outdoor exhibition of the remarkable photographic works of the late Khadija Saye.

The exhibition was unveiled by Labour MP David Lammy earlier this week in Notting Hill.

The large intriguing prints are displayed across the façade of 236 Westbourne Grove W11, and the powerful exhibition coincides with the launch of an art project, the Khadija Saye IntoArts Programme, that aims to diversify the industry, working with young people from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds.

It was founded in her memory by the charity, IntoUniversity, who had nurtured Khadija’s artistic talents as a North Kensington student from childhood, and her mentor Nicola Green, a British portrait painter and the wife of David Lammy.

Khadija Mohammadou Saye, also known as Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, was a London born British Gambian artist and activist who lived and worked in the flat she shared with her mother, Mary Mendy, on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower in urban North Kensington.

Although Kensington and Chelsea is one of the smaller and wealthier boroughs in London, North Kensington is a relatively deprived area where its pockets of poverty often sit in stark contrast to the wealth of those around them.

Despite this, at 16 Khadija won a full Arnold Foundation scholarship to the esteemed Rugby School and went on to study a BA in photography at UCA Farnham with a particular interest in post-colonial theory and identity politics.

Her graduate exhibition, ‘Crowned’ was a series of thought-provoking portraits shot in her home against a black velvet background depicting the traditional hairstyles such as braids, locks and cornrows worn by her friends, family and neighbours.

Saye had a passionate drive to make art a more inclusive space and had worked at Jawaab, a creative campaigning group aimed at legitimising young Muslims to become politically and artistically active.

The series used in the current exposition is entitled Dwelling: In This Space We Breathe.

The portfolio of self-portraits is a very personal exploration of the notions of identity and spirituality, inspired by Khadija’s Muslim and Christian religious heritage and portraying traditional Gambian rituals with culturally significant and meaningful objects.

The sepia-toned images have been described by critics as heartwarming, haunting and relic-like, with an ancient feel.

The aged look was achieved by an early photographic process created in 1851 called Wet Collodion Tintype.

The technique entails adding a soluble iodide to a collodion solution and then coating a glass plate with it.

This method results in images steeped in ethereal tones of grey and black.

Khadija’s use of this process and her characterisation of traditional African practices results in powerful and memorable portraits that are reminiscent of the sepia-toned images of early 19th century photographs.

Following her death, Tate Britain announced that they would exhibit a screen print of one of her tintype photographs from the Dwelling series.

Earlier in the year, they had been exhibited in the Diaspora Pavilion at the prestigious 57th Venice Biennale, where Saye was their youngest-ever participant, at just 24 years old.

Described by those that knew her as kind, funny, bright and extremely talented with an infectious laugh, Khadija had been nervous and thrilled to be selected for such an undertaking and had reportedly caught the eye of a prominent director.

The event had heralded the cusp of her recognition, and the images were still on display when the fire tragically engulfed her home and took her life, aged only 24, in June 2017.

Today, in this urban public space however, Khadija’s art lives.

Breath Is Invisible is a public art project which will show four artists’ work in a shared public space to celebrate, reflect, question and heal, and work collaboratively with young creative and local non-profit community arts organisations. It is a project born of urgency to address issues of racism and injustice.

Dutch anti-racist art, and demonstrations today


This 13 June 2020 video from Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself, translated:

On a wall near the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam Noord are five portraits of victims from the Netherlands and the United States, who died from racist violence. …

Mitch Henriquez, Kerwin Duinmeijer, George Floyd, Tomy Holten and Sandra Bland have been depicted from left to right so far. …

“On the right, I’m now working on Breonna Taylor and Philando Castile. We are going to discuss which people we are going to place on the right, ‘says the illustrator. ….

Illustration designer Tijn plans to expand the painting even further in the near future. Although, according to her, the wall is actually not big enough to depict everyone who should be on it.

This 10 June 2020 video is about the demonstration of over 11,500 people in Amsterdam, the Netherlands against the police murder of George Floyd in the USA and other racism. Anti-racist slogans were also projected on Amsterdam buildings.

This 11 June 2020 video is from Bergen op Zoom town. These two people have a Black Lives Matter demonstration there day after day.

Today, there will be at least four more demonstrations in the Netherlands. One again in Amsterdam. The other three are in Den Bosch, Breda and Leeuwarden.

The Den Bosch demonstration will be at the Pettelaarse Schans, 14.00-16.00.

This is a 7 June 2020 video by a church in Breda, supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement.

This 12 June 2020 Frisian language video says about itself, translated:

Marrigt van der Valk lives in Leeuwarden, is a volunteer at conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten and is originally from Indonesia. “I have been dealing with racism from an early age. I am from De Westereen and in the time of Marianne Vaatstra,

The rape and murder of teenage girl Marianne Vaatstra was falsely blamed by right-wingers on refugees. First, they blamed a refugee from Yugoslavia, on which NATO waged war. Then, they blamed a refugee from Iraq, on which NATO waged war. Then, they blamed a refugee from Afghanistan, on which NATO waged war. At last, years later, a white farmer confessed being the murderer and rapist, and was convicted for it.

I was really spat upon and scolded. There was really a fear of dark-skinned people. It is not as bad now as in that time. But enough things are still being said to me.”

The demonstration in Leeuwarden will be 18:00-19:00, de Bult, Rengerslaan.

Tomorrow, a demonstration in Leiden: Lammermarkt, near De Valk windmill.

Prehistoric bird sculpture discovery in China


The newly discovered bird sculpture, photo  Li et al | Plos One

From PLOS ONE, 10 June 2020:

A Paleolithic bird figurine from the Lingjing site, Henan, China

Abstract

The recent identification of cave paintings dated to 42–40 ka BP in Borneo and Sulawesi highlights the antiquity of painted representations in this region. However, no instances of three-dimensional portable art, well attested in Europe since at least 40 ka BP, were documented thus far in East Asia prior to the Neolithic.

Here, we report the discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved miniature carving of a standing bird from the site of Lingjing, Henan, China. Microscopic and microtomographic analyses of the figurine and the study of bone fragments from the same context reveal the object was made of bone blackened by heating and carefully carved with four techniques that left diagnostic traces on the entire surface of the object.

Critical analysis of the site’s research history and stratigraphy, the cultural remains associated with the figurine and those recovered from the other archeological layers, as well as twenty-eight radiometric ages obtained on associated archeological items, including one provided by a bone fragment worked with the same technique recorded on the object, suggest a Late Paleolithic origin for the carving, with a probable age estimated to 13,500 years old.

The carving, which predates previously known comparable instances from this region by 8,500 years, demonstrates that three-dimensional avian representations were part of East Asian Late Pleistocene cultural repertoires and identifies technological and stylistic peculiarities distinguishing this newly discovered art tradition from previous and contemporary examples found in Western Europe and Siberia.

See also here.

How to paint a blue whale, video


This 28 May 2020 video from the Natural History Museum in London, England says about itself:

Join us for this live stream event and learn step-by-step how to paint Hope the blue whale. Discover interesting facts about biodiversity and sustainability as you paint and sip along at home.

Hope’s 25-metre skeleton, suspended in Hintze Hall in a majestic swooping posture, is an astonishing reminder of the fragility of life and the responsibility we have towards our planet. Taking inspiration from this impressive specimen, you will learn fascinating facts while practising your painting techniques on the night.

All you need to follow along at home is some paper/canvas and something to colour, draw or paint with.

The event is hosted in collaboration with Art Sippers: fun paint and sip experiences in London