Hieronymus Bosch painting back to the Netherlands after 450 years


Hieronymus Bosch, the Haywain

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Haywain‘ by Jeroen Bosch for the first time to the Netherlands

Today, 14:19

The Haywain, one of the masterpieces of Dutch painter Hieronymus (Jeroen) Bosch, is coming to the Netherlands. For the first time in 450 years, the triptych is leaving Spain, where it usually hangs in the Prado museum in Madrid.

The painting will remain in the Netherlands for half a year and will this autumn be part of the exhibition From Bosch to Bruegel – Uncovering everyday life in the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam.

500th anniversary of his death

In early January the masterpiece will move to Den Bosch, the birthplace of the painter. There will be until the beginning of May in the North Brabant Museum an exhibition with 20 paintings and 19 drawings by the artist expected, the largest retrospective to date.

The exhibition is the culmination of the National Event Hieronymus Bosch 500 years which will be celebrated in 2016 and will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of the painter.

Everyday scenes

Jeroen Bosch was actually called Hieronymus van Aken. Bosch he used as his artist’s name after the town where he was born and where he painted his masterpieces.

Around 1516 he painted the Haywain, one of the first paintings in art history in which everyday scenes are depicted.

The painting depicted a procession of people behind a hay wagon, a metaphor for materialism. The procession leads directly to hell.

Hieronymus Bosch, the Haywain, detail

In the foreground medieval scenes are depicted with drunken monks, tooth pullers, musicians and gypsies.

Hieronymus Bosch, the Haywain, detail

On the hay wagon sits a couple in love with on each side an angel and a devil.

The Spanish King Philip II bought the triptych in 1570 for his private collection and since then it has never left Spain. According to Museum Boijmans van Beuningen the work of art is in an excellent condition after it was restored some years ago.

#BlackLivesMatter at Venice biennale art exhibition, Italy


This video says about itself:

“Freed But Not Free”: Artists at the Venice Biennale Respond to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

11 August 2015

After the fourth day of protests over Michael Brown’s death, authorities have declared a state of emergency in St. Louis County, drawing worldwide attention.

We look at the state of the Black Lives Matter movement and the art world with two participants in the Creative Time Summit alongside the Venice Biennale in Italy. “At the moment we are dealing with Black Lives Matter and the violence against black and brown people in the United States, Europe is experiencing incredible deaths of black people here too,” says author Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, noting the “perilous state of people worldwide that have been subjugated to white supremacy and capitalism.”

Rhodes-Pitts is the author of “Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America,” part of a trilogy she is working on about African Americans and utopia. We are also joined by Charles Gaines, a pioneering conceptual artist who teaches at California Institute of the Arts.

Transcript of this is here.

Protests continued Monday night and early Tuesday morning in Ferguson, Missouri in defiance of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s declaration of a state of emergency across St. Louis County earlier that day. Hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered in the evening, demanding justice for Michael Brown and an end to police brutality: here.

Scottish wildlife photography competition


This video from Scotland says about itself:

4 July 2014

This is what you could experience with a visit to the Scottish Seabird Centre.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scottish Seabird Centre launches 2015 photography competition

The Scottish Seabird Centre, visitor attraction, conservation and education charity, has launched its 2015 photography competition.

The categories to enter are: Landscape, Scottish Wildlife, Worldwide Wildlife, Environmental Impact, Creative Visions of Nature and World Flora – under 16s can enter in all categories.

However, as the Scottish Seabird Centre Nature Photography Awards are in their tenth year, to mark this anniversary there are two new categories: Nature’s Foragers and Nature Condensed.

Following the success of last year’s awards, which had over 430 entries, the judges for are Scottish Natural Heritage’s award-winning photographer Lorne Gill, professional freelance photographer Graham Riddell and Scottish Field Editor Richard Bath, and they will be joined by guest judges for the two new categories.

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, says: “These awards will identify the best photographic talent from all age groups and encourage people to study, appreciate and share the wonders of the natural world in a sustainable way.

“Our Nature Photography Awards have grown significantly over the last ten years, and are now firmly established as a high quality and prestigious annual photography competition.

“The new categories make this year’s competition even more exciting. I would encourage amateur photographers and film fans worldwide to take a chance and submit their best images and short films.”

For the first of the new categories, and to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink, the Centre has introduced the category Nature’s Foragers where entrants are invited to consider our natural larder and how different species engage with it.

The challenge will be to compose an image that can say something about the diversity of natural provisions available or the canny way some wildlife find their lunch.

The guest judge for this category will be Hebridean author Fiona Bird who has written Kids’ Kitchen (Barefoot Books, 2009); The Forager’s Kitchen (Cico Books, 2013) and Seaweed in the Kitchen (Prospect Books, 2015).

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, says: “The Year of Food and Drink is all about celebrating our outstanding culinary delights and unique dining experience.

“It’s fantastic to hear that the Scottish Seabird Centre has incorporated this message into their 2015 photography competition.

“Food and drink is such an integral part of our lives so I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for entrants to get snap happy and capture that prize-winning picture.”

Fiona Bird adds: “I am delighted to be invited to judge the foraging category. We should all relish the opportunity to explore and taste Scotland’s natural larder.

“Most foragers eat locally and every forager eats seasonally; they are, of course, mindful that if they pick all of the spring blossom there won’t be autumn berries, and the birds and the bees will lose out.”

For the second new category, budding film makers have the opportunity to enter for the first time in the Nature Condensed category.

Entrants in this category will create a maximum of one minute’s footage, focusing on any of the themes outlined in the photographic categories.

This new category will also have a guest judge, Laura Miller, News Anchor from STV Edinburgh.

Laura says: “‘I am delighted to be involved in the Scottish Seabird Centre Nature Photography Awards 2015 in this their tenth anniversary year.

“The competition is the perfect platform for local amateur photographers, young and old, and it showcases a wealth of talent.

“I feel privileged to be judging the inaugural ‘short film’ category and can’t wait to see this year’s entries.’’

The deadline for entries is Sunday 18 October.

Judges will meet to decide on a shortlist in each category. The shortlist will then be on display from 20 November in the Seabird Centre and online for the public to cast their votes, until Sunday 21 February 2016.

In each category there will be a winner selected by the judges as well as a winner selected by the voting public. Winning photographers have the opportunity to secure a whole host of prizes, which will be unveiled soon at http://www.seabird.org.

To enter the Nature Photography Awards visit www.seabird.org.

Cecil the lion bronze statue planned


Entrance to Hwange National Park in Zibabwe, where the Cecil the lion statue is planned

From Nehanda Radio in Zimbabwe:

Cecil the lion bronze statue planned

Aug 7, 2015

Cecil the lion, whose death at the hands of hunters in Zimbabwe prompted worldwide outrage, may be commemorated by a bronze statue at the entrance to the park where he lived.

A conservation group has announced it wants to erect a life-sized statue of Cecil at Hwange National Park.

Cecil was shot in July by US dentist Walter Palmer. Zimbabwe is seeking his extradition.

The death made headlines around the world, and sent Mr Palmer into hiding.

Cecil was killed outside Hwange park using a bow and arrow. Mr Palmer says he thought the hunt was legal but two Zimbabwean men have been arrested over the killing.

Cheryl Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said people had already offered donations for the sculpture – the cost of which has not yet been confirmed.

She said: “Cecil was such an icon and it’s created such a fuss everywhere we thought it would be nice to do it.”

The group has commissioned John Binda of Birds for Africa to make the statue and said it would be an “excellent reminder to all who visit the park”.

Mr Binda, a metal sculptor for 24 years, said he was “a little bit thunderstruck” to be asked and when his wife Debbie found out she nearly fell over.

“There’s a hell of a lot of pressure,” he said.

He called Cecil’s death “crazy, stupid” and down to “sheer greed”, but added: “We are going to have to be detached from the emotion and get on with the job.”

His previous work includes statues of a pride of lions at a private game lodge in South Africa.

Oxford University had been studying Cecil for lion conservation and Mr Binda said he was hoping researchers could tell him how much the lion weighed and his dimensions to make the sculpture as realistic as possible.

Mrs Rodrigues said it was not clear whether a permit would be needed from the park for the statue to be placed at the entrance.

But some have criticised the plan, telling the organisation on their Facebook page that it would be more beneficial to use the money to counter corruption and improve conservation.

This is not the only legacy project afoot for the 13-year-old animal renowned for being friendly towards visitors.

Earlier this week the conservation group’s chairman Johnny Rodrigues suggested Cecil’s head be mounted in a glass case.

Meanwhile, China, which has been criticised for fuelling the trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, announced on Thursday it was pledging £1m ($2m) for equipment to curb poaching in Zimbabwe.

John Binda interview on this, in German: here.

Big game left to live has a lifetime economic value that can go into the millions: here.

Idaho Hunter Sabrina Corgatelli Uses Bible Verses to Defend Killing of Innocent Animals: here.

Donald Trump butt plug by Mexican American artist


This 14 July 2015 video from the USA is called The Next Web headquarters reacts to #TrumpPlug news.

From The Next Web in the USA today:

3D-printed Donald Trump butt plug is the best the asshole has ever looked

By Mic Wright

Donald Trump is running for president with all the grace of a three-legged dog chasing a ball and with absolutely none of the cuteness. One of the many unpleasant jibes in his campaign announcement last month was about Mexico:

When [it] sends its people, [it’s] not sending [its] best…[it’s] sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people!

Fernando Sosa, a Mexican-born US citizen, has the perfect response. He specializes in using 3D printing for political satire and has previously made caricatures of Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.

His take on Trump sums up ‘the Donald’ more directly than a late night monologue or ‘Daily Show’ spot: It’s a butt plug.

Donald Trump butt plug

Sosa passionately explains his reasons for creating the object on his Shapeways page, where it is available to buy for $27.99:

[This is my] response to Donald Trump’s remarks…I say screw you and your Republican Party. I was not sent here by the Mexican government. I came here with my family thanks to my step-father, who is also an immigrant from Finland. We came here looking for the American Dream and my parents worked their butts off so my brothers and I could go to college or serve in the armed forces.

I’m no rapist and no drug dealer. I have a college degree in 3D animation and run my own 3D printing business and guess what? I can make you into any shape I want and 3D print you and sell you to others who share their dislike of you.

…You are a public figure and me making you into a butt plug is freedom of speech. Welcome to America, motherfucker!

It’s an eloquent disavowal of Trump’s claims and politics, but in the end, a satirical butt plug is worth more than a thousand words.

Cactus flowers photographed


Cactus flowers opening

This is a photo of cactus flowers opening.

From National Geographic about this, with more photos there:

Cactus Flowers: Mother Nature’s Fireworks

Janna Dotschkal

Did you know that cacti can bloom? Yes, those prickly green plants burst out some of the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen.

For photographer Greg Krehel, these crazy cactus flowers have become an obsession.

“Since I was a kid I’ve always loved succulents and cacti. One year I ended up at a local garden shop and picked up [a] cactus for my collection. A couple years later it put out these awesome flowers, unlike others I had seen. It just kept blooming. It really went to town.”

Note: Many of these cacti are hybrids that were bred and cultivated by different individuals, hence the unusual names.

After seeing these stunning blooms, Krehel decided he needed to know more about the breed of cactus he had bought. He discovered it was a type of Echinopsis, cacti that are native to South America. Krehel says, “It turns out mine was a ‘snoozer’ compared to other varieties out there, even though I thought it was fantastic.”

Krehel was hooked. He started buying more blooming cacti and realized he wanted to find a way to capture the flowers’ incredible beauty.

Eventually he developed a method of focus-stacking images so that every part of the frame would be sharp, making every little detail visible.