Saturday, February 25, 2017

Otto's kitchen window

                                   Bratislava        Feb        2017

We talked about history, and life. He told me how he first met Miro. We drank filter coffee and laughed at the taste. We swapped recipes for the best way to prepare garlic, wether to crush or chop. He said how at his age, everyday is a gift, and that his brother and sister died much younger many years ago. He pointed to his little finger and said that life is this short. The sun came in through his kitchen windows and lit up the room, and both of us smiled.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Krzysztof Gieraltowski

Krzysztof Gieraltowski

Today I saw an amazing exhibition of portraits by the Polish photographer Krzysztof Gieraltowski. There were almost 100 portraits, all shot on 35 film, and no two faces or expressions looked the same. He managed to capture the often hidden intensity of a persons interior world in moments that appeared candid and honest.

are they hearts or only shadows?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

collapsed habitats in a permeating darkness

                                             broken light                 Bratislava                 2017

I want to know how things work, how to fix them when they are broken and when to leave them alone if they can't be fixed.

The Fall

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

nočná mora

goodbye Miro

                                                                                                  February        2015

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


                                                                                         Bratislava         2015

Monday, February 20, 2017

"I want to paint the way a bird sings"

                                                                                Sunset    Pourville   1882
                                                                                Marine   Pourville     1881

Monet was so driven to paint that it consumed him, he often begged his relatives, friends and even strangers for money to support his obsession, he was homeless, sick, disillusioned and often misunderstood, but constantly driven to represent the beauty of nature.  When you read his letters you can see that he was never quite satisfied with his ability and was always struggling to do better, and that this struggle is what motivated him. He had such dedication in the pursuit of making art that even as the first world war raged and he could hear the noise of artillery firing he said: "They are going to have to slaughter me here as I paint" He started to go blind, and after operations to remove cataracts from both eyes he continued to paint up until his death in 1926.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


When I was a small boy I ran everywhere, even to school. We lived on a hill and I used to run up and down that hill every morning and evening. I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere, I just loved to run and chase my own shadow, especially when it was late afternoon and my shadow stretched out all the way up the hill. The faster I ran, the further it got away from me. If the light was just right my shadow would flicker and dance then disappear into the other shadows that were cast by the tall trees that lined either side of the lane leading to my house. Often I was so captivated by my own shadow that I didn’t look up or around until I’d reached the top or bottom of the hill, nothing else existed. Depending on the season the shadow could be as dark as the night sky, with an outline so sharp that I could count all the fingers on my outstretched hand, other times it would be soft and grey like the big rain clouds that so often punctuated the changeable spring days in the Yorkshire countryside. 

Just like then, when I see my shadow now, for a brief moment I have the feeling of being here and not being here, my shadow can reach and touch things, that I can still only grasp at. It’s not the same as with a reflection, which holds too much detail, and can lead to a kind of self absorption, accidentally seeing ourselves randomly projected into the flow of life. Another thing about shadows, although they were once used to quite accurately show us the time, they don’t really age, they still only get longer or shorter depending on the time of day. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

vending machine coffee

I took this a few years ago with my phone. It was at the Slovak state TV station, a big institutionalised place with many unmarked doors. I was alone, without a book and with a few hours to wait. I found a small cafeteria that sold vending machine coffee and snacks, through another door that lead outside was a smoking section. I went out with my coffee and noticed this heart, that someone had made from twisted wire and connected it to a section of steel fence. I smiled and my mood lifted at the thought that someone had felt inspired, even the coffee tasted better.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Alone but not alone

                                                                  Sounio              Spring            2016

From beneath the gaps in the cold stones, life reached out for the sky. The strong wind left a salty residue on my lips, its taste a childhood memory. Looking down at the Aegean from high above, I was reminded of how it received its name and of what fate lies in complacency. I didn’t come here to look for answers, but to shout questions into the wind, to hear them echoed out to sea, and for them to be lost somewhere between me and the horizon. Regardless of a change of country, environment, timezone or language, your emotions never really leave you, and your feelings and memories, fears and expectations travel with you. Still if you are going to be alone, then be alone, and if you are going to be lost, then best in a place you have never experienced before.
I sat for a while in the dust near a clump of spiky dried out bushes, their leaves shaking with a brittle percussive rasp. I closed my eyes and drifted as the sun warmed my face, red and amber patterns danced beneath my eyelids, I thought of your smile, so far away, I felt light and warm, as the wind gently rocked me and the sun lulled me away. I awoke several moments later, a little disorientated until I put the pieces together, my mind sharpened and my internal voice reminded me, I am here, on the cliffs in Sounio on the Attica Peninsula, alone. I looked to my right and there less than a metre away, clinging to a dried out branch was a large green dragonfly. Maybe it had been there all along and was difficult to see before as its colouring provided good camouflage for the surrounding shrubbery, but my advantage was that I had fallen asleep, and therefore awoke laying down, and it was clearly revealed as a silhouetted outline against the bright blue sky. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

my favourite T shirt