Sunday, September 1, 2013


The Sea is the land's edge also is a line from one of Seamus Heaney's poems (I will hunt out the poem and post it here later). Over the past 30 or so years, I have turned often to his poems, never failing to find solace, inspiration, wisdom there - airborne and waiting. His words have served as prompts for a good many drawings and paintings, many of them exploring the particular potency of liminal spaces, the 'energy of edges'. The very first drawing I exhibited in New Zealand after immigrating to the South Island nearly nineteen years ago carried the line The Sea is the Land's Edge Also as its title. 

I took this series of photographs today after hearing of his passing. . . A great tree has fallen. RIP, Seamus Heaney. You will live on through your words, your voice, your unique way of revealing the world - its beauty, complexity and mystery - to us. 

Arohanui. Kia Kaha. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MIDWAY ISLAND | A film by Chris Jordan

"Midway Atoll is a collection of three small islands in the North Pacific, and one of the most remote places on earth. In many ways, this film could be shot in many places on the planet where we find tragedy and despair, but here- about halfway between the U.S. and Asia- on an island teeming with life and wonder, it is the proverbial canary in the coal mine.
Midway Atoll is located near the apex of what is being called the Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling soup of millions of tons of plastic pollution. In fact, much of this plastic can not be seen, but it can’t be avoided as it comes ashore on these pristine beaches and in the stomachs of the birds. The islands are literally covered with plastic garbage, illustrating on several levels the interconnectedness and interdependence of the systems on our finite planet.
The ironies are unmistakable- the first trans-atlantic cable was connected here on Midway; the scars from the Battle of Midway are unmistakable. Yet now, as a protected area, we can’t help but look at the role this island had in the past, and think about where we are today. This place, a historic moment in World War II, stands as a turning point that launched America’s economic dominance of the 20th Century. And so it is here, sitting halfway between the consumers of North America and the consumers of Asia, that we get to stop and consider some of the unintentional consequences of growth, and the responsibilities that we have for our planet. . . " Chris Jordan 

To read more about Chris Jordan's work, please follow the link

Friday, May 17, 2013


I have just been introduced to the work of New York artist, Ran Ortner --- immensely powerful paintings. . .

from the article 'Water Water Everywhere' by Ariane Conrad -

"Ran Ortner's work consists of paintings of the ocean on canvases that are as much as eight feet tall and thrty-two feet wide. They show no land, sky, boats, figures, or other reference points, merely what Herman Melville calls 'this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.' Viewers commonly experience strong emotions standing before his canvases. Some feel as though the paintings are not about the ocean at all, but are instead tapestries of our human condition. . . " 

Ran Ortner writes, "You do not mess with the ocean. It will pummel you and chew you up. It is devastatingly brutal and yet it can be luminous and delicate and tender. We clean our wounds here. . . "

Monday, March 11, 2013

BOOKS of ICE | Basia Irland


Again and again—in roots, in books, in rivers—this pattern repeats in nature: small things gather into larger things, which gather into larger things, which merge into one big thing. It’s a movement from the particular to the universal, as if the cosmos wanted everything ultimately to come together. In a book, stories, characters, all the consequences of betrayal and the possibilities of love converge—on a street corner, maybe, or an island—and something new is revealed. This is the art of the book. What had been many things becomes one thing, the layered geology of the human imagination, cut to bedrock truth.

Just so, a river gathers small evidence from high in mountain streams and carries it along, always along. A salmon egg, a hemlock branch, and the smell of dying fish join with silt from the uplands and roots of sage, and here is a new story unrolling. Along goes the river, gathering stories until they all converge in the sea. And what story does the sea tell? The history of all those uplands, the stories of lives won and lost, and the blue mystery of the unity of all lives, the unity of all stories, which is the saga of onrushing life. . . " BASIA IRLAND

Read the full article on ORION MAGAZINE's website here