Minutes to Midnight and World Embroidery Day

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Minutes to midnight 215 x 106 cm cotton thread, doillies and rubber 2018

Minutes to Midnight is the title of the work above as well as the title for my upcoming solo exhibition at 99 Loop Gallery in Cape Town.

minutes to midnight detail

For a long time my thoughts centered around the words “Minutes to midnight” as a title for a possible solo show, and after many attempts, planning, and  discussions the works of the past few years (some new, some reworked) all fit together and finally I am looking forward to present the body of work soon (October 2018).

“Minutes to Midnight” is basically a continuation of my investigation of fear, which in turn lead me to the notion of time and eventually to the meaning behind the words: “Minutes to midnight” which actually refers to the symbolic clock used by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This symbolic clock represents the countdown to a potential global catastrophe, and refers to this catastrophe as “Midnight”. It is currently standing on 2 minutes to Midnight.

Midnight in turn also reminded me about all the fairytales in which when the clock strikes 12 the magic disappears.

Minutes to midnight detail

But before you think it is all gloom and doom in this post, I have something uplifting to share with you as well:

I found out this morning, that it is World Embroidery Day today!  I saw it on a fellow embroiderer’s Instagram account*, and decided to google it to find out more.

The origins of the World Embroidery Day date back to 30 June 2011 and was an initiative of the Swedish Embroidery Guild, to celebrate embroidery (what a wonderful idea). I even found their Embroidery Manifesto which I would like to share with you:

embroidery_manifesto_-english (1)

Or you can visit this website to Download in 5 other languages:

http://www.broderiakademin.nu/worldembroideryday/

minutes to midnight detail

So I would like to celebrate and wish you a wonderful “World Embroidery Day”. Until we speak again – happy stitching!

Footnotes and links:

*The fellow embroiderer I mentioned is: Nicole O’ Loughlin and there is a lovely interview with her on the Fiber Studio’s blog. click here

*Early this year the “Doomsday Clock” reach 2 Minutes to Midnight…the closest ever…you can read more about it here

or visit the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website… here

*You may download the Embroidery Manifesto here

*For more details about my upcoming solo you can watch this space or contact the gallery 99 Loop, see here

*The photographer of my artwork is Kleinjan Groenewald, you can visit his website here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clock-a-doodle-doo

Art portfolio- my work

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The Lunar New Year was recently celebrated across the globe. According to some cultures we entered the “Year of the Rooster.”

I am fascinated by Astrology, even if I do not practice or study it on a daily basis.  Astrology makes me think about the quote by Stephen Hawking:

“Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet.  Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the Universe exist.”

Random fact: Years ago, after I read the book “The power of One” by Bryce Courtenay, I wanted to have a pet rooster, but never had the opportunity.

It is said that : Roosters can be strangely complex, and sometimes they just won’t fit in. (quote found when I searched Rooster behaviour on the internet). 

While on the subject of not fitting in: I’m not sure how Horoscopes (I like to call it “horror-scopes”) fit in with Astrology, but when it comes to ‘horoscopes’, I think about a quote by John Berger:

“Prophecy challenges our common sense and view of time.”

 

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Back to the Lunar New year: On the 28th I saw this post on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, it’s now only two and a half minutes to midnight. We’re talking about the Doomsday Clock, of course. This week, the BAS’s Science and Security Board moved the clock’s hands 30 seconds closer to midnight. Why, you ask?!? Excellent question! 
As stated in their 2017 Doomsday Clock press release: “Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity’s most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change … This already-threatening world situation was the backdrop for a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change …The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute — something it has never before done — reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days …” What do you think? Let us know in the comments (and play nice!).

A post shared by Science by Guff (@science) on

It was the first time I heard about the “Doomsday clock” (it turns out after some investigation that this ‘clock’ has been around for a while, but it seems that I live in a bubble) I found the concept of this clock very depressing! Why would humans ‘create’ something like this? Also the thought that one person could ‘alter’ the clock with something he/she says is very disturbing…I would not want to be in that person’s shoes.

anyway….talking about ‘depression’- I’ll leave you with this quote from Tom Robbins:

“All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.

The key word here is roots.  The roots of depression.  For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence.  It’s about that time we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo plaground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust.  At the very moment we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn’t give a rat’s ass.  Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning the realisation was.  So, there’s a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which, if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.

Now, unless someone stronger and wiser – a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician – can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in turn, can produce a neurological imprint.

Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way.

One thing’ll go wrong and it’ll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out.  Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it, by then it’s playing by the rules, a whole different ball game…..

And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me – you and I: excuse me- may be every bit as important as the President or Pope or biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but that none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves.  

p44 and 45 from the book: Fierce invalids home from hot climates by Tom Robbins

Apologies for the long quote, but it is just so good, that I could not bear to shorten it.

dav