Red trees, ripe corn and fields of gold, the splendour of autumn in Switzerland!

When I stay in Switzerland, I am at home in Arbon in the canton of Thurgau. This region is known for its apple trees and on a recent walk I was able to see them in their autumn glory. I especially love the very old and tall variety, it’s so good to see that they are being preserved. Here are a few impressions from my neighbourhood!

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The sweet sound of the Hae Gum at the airport

I have now overcome my jet-lag, I hope. The good thing about being in Switzerland this time of the year is, that when tiredness from lack of sleep and the time differences takes over, all you have to do is step outside, and the cold will keep you awake! My trip to Switzerland has been via one of my favourite Airports, Incheon in South Korea. It is the only airport that I have visited that offers free cultural show and activities. This time I was lucky enough to shorten the waiting time with a concert performance which featured traditional Korean music and instruments. In this photo the performer is playing the Hae Gum, Hae Gum is made up of 2 strings and played by a bow with the instrument placed on the player’s knee. The bow has a string of horse tail hair and is held by the right hand. The Hae Gum is called the “two string harp. Moreover, it is called “Kang Kang I,” so named after the peculiar sound from the resonance drum. It sounds like nasal human voice.

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Last Flight of Icarus

This work on paper is the last painting in my ‘The Flight of Icarus’ series.  I have been working with the Icarus myth for a number of years now and I don’t think it will be the last that I have seen of Icarus.  As I am heading off to Europe next week, I will concentrate on my photographic exploration of the Witness concept,  (see last post)  which in a way is a continuation of the Icarus story anyway.

last flight (2009)
mixed media on paper
90 x 60 cm
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Looking is seeing!

This update is about my  new direction in interpreting the Icarus myth.  My basic premise is based on the Brueghel painting ‘Landscape with the fall of Icarus’ (1558)  where the fall is unnoticed, in fact Icarus’s fall happens without a witness.  This would just not happen today!  It would be on Twitter, the news, Facebook etc. in no time.  For this reason I have chosen to investigate the act of witnessing and the call for alertness within our society. Using photography seems to be the most approbate choice of medium for this.  

The camera sees but the photographer makes it ‘look’ by focusing, framing, and selection.  Traditionally the camera is used to witness, it offers an eyewitness proof of existence. 

The act of looking relies on our desire to believe that there is something there otherwise there would not be a witness pointing at ‘it’ or a photo of the witness pointing at it.  Both the act of witnessing, the documentation of it make the indiscernible, intangible thing pointed to, credible.

The ‘thing’ exists because a witness believes there is something there.  

What do you see or think of when you look at someone pointing into a void?

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