Monday, 27 August 2012

Warsaw: Books and dark architecture

As I earlier mentioned, I was on a weekend-trip to Warsaw. It was a group of writers, who write books for youth and children. First we went to see the Warsaw university's library which was an amazing building. The architect's key idea was to make a sort of a symbiosis between nature and city. The whole place was full of plants and it looked like it was from a sci-fi film.

The library had a huge roof garden, but when looking at the pictures one could think it is just some ordinary garden. Also, the coldness of last winter had killed some of the plants and it looked a bit dull.

The non-living green parts are copper and I must say I think it looked very stylish. The grey color of concrete made the place serene.

I adored other houses too. These were homes for humans instead of books and I just wish I some day could live in a house like them. Unfortunately that sort of places are not common in my hometown or even in Finland, so to fulfill my dream I must wait some years.

A detail, size of a small child
Private apartments, judging by the stuff on the balconies

Unfortunately the weather was a bit gloomy and chilly. It rained on Sunday, so I had to cancel the plan to go to the parks and visit all those palaces. Well, it leaves a reason to visit Warsaw again. I felt the weekend was way too short time to really get to know that city. I actually half-serious thought about spending a year in the university, since there can be studied Scandinavian languages.

Traffic Club

In Warsaw there was this gorgeous book store, Traffic Club. It was 5 floors, there was a cafeteria and armchairs to sit and browse the books, there were movies, music, office stuff and lots of other pretty and interesting things.

I bought seven books from there. Those were old classics like Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Not fancy editions, just plain old Penguin Popular Classics. I wanted them because of the content, not looks. Though I must say some of special edition books are desirable.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Flea-market findings and a new wig

I'm once again going to mention how great thing flea-markets are. First of all, it is ecological to recycle things one does no longer need. Other man's dirt is other man's treasure, or whatever that old phrase goes. That is the second reason, and I would like to show quickly my new purchases.

Last Wednesday I happened to go to a self-service flea-market. It is the way almost all flea-markets in this town are organised. It was not that common in the city I lived before, so first I was a little sceptic about it. I was used to the idea, that the owner of stuff is there selling and one can ask about the things one is possibly going to buy.

Pic was taken by Timo Liimatta
Anyways, here is two pictures where I am wearing both of my findings. These boots are probably not real lether, but they sure are comfortable and look good. The other purchase was the vest I am wearing. It is made of a thick, satin-like material, deffinately by some gothgirl who happened to be my size and was very stylish. I adored the turquose lace behind and I could not believe the prize tag said 2 euros! The lovely boots were 3 euros, so one can guess I was not going to hesitate.

What is your dearest flea-market find?

I am also wearing my new wig. I bought it because I am tired of being blond all the time. I've allways wanted to have black/dark blue hair and possibly some stripes. This is basically a dream I had and somebody made it true in the form of a fake hair. I allready have one short wig, black with bangs. When I had no time to wash my hair before lection, I would use it. I think it is better than a cap with a print "BAD HAIRDAY". They sell those in Finland, you know.

As I said, I'm getting tired with my own hair. It is so weak I can not dye it and besides I wouldn't feel up to keep it up. I decided I could get a new pretty wig which I could use when ever I pleased. I ordered the new wig via eBay and must say it was very easy and the order was not late at all, eventhough it came all the way from China.

Pic was taken by Timo Liimatta
The pictures were taken at a larp. It was a cyber-punk game and the photographer was one of the players called Timo Liimatta. As for me being not that cyber, I was a NPC (non-player-character) and I was just some office clerk having a night out. Nothing too flashy, so I wore something I could easily use myself at a bar-night.

I feel so dumb, because when I was visiting my family and went to museums and galleries and had extremely nice time with my friends, I forgot that little cable I need to transfer photos to a computer and also load the batteries. So, there is no way for me to load those photos. Luckily I'm off to my folks at Thursday and on Friday we shall travel to Warsow! Then at least I can load the photos.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Posters of famous paintings, tasteless or not?

Is it cheap to have copies of famous paintings on one's wall? I do not mean in the way that the paintings are forged, and the owner claims they are real. I mean the way that the copies are bought from an art museum's exhibition for example.

The painting is at the right-angle, me taking the pic wasn't
In my case I have seen wonderful pieces of art, fell in love with them and then I have seen that the museum sells posters or postcards of that painting. For example on the right is a picture from my living room. In the frame's is a poster of Vincent Van Gogh's Skull with a burning cigarette. In real life it is about the same size and when I pictured it at my apartment I wanted to have really massive baroque frames but could not find those at the time. Eventhough I ought to change the frames, I still occasionally stop to just look at it and think about how wonderful the brush strokes are and how it is so 3D considering other paintings of Van Gogh.

So, I claim that at least some famous masterpieces can look good in posters. But try to imagine Rembrandt's Night Watch at a student dormroom's wall. There is no way it could be the same size as the original and therefore a part of it's power and effect on the viewer is gone.

Framed postcards and a part of my bookshelf
That exactly has happened with these art works at the left. Those are postcards of Outi Heiskanen's paintings. I bought them as a memory from an art exhibition, since there was no chance I, being a student, could buy one for real. The lowest one on the wall is Pilvihippa which roughly translates to "Hide and seek in the coulds". In real life it is 29X38cm so all little details can not be seen. Long story short, they are all individual paintings, but I made a collage of them. I think it looks pretty and light, but someone could well think it is totally tastless and lower-middle class.

The source
The latest replica I have bought is Georgia O'Keeffe's Horse's Skull with White Rose and luckyly the museum had made the posters allmost exactly the same size. I have not put mine in frames yet, so here is a picture of it from the O'Keeffe Museum's pages. O'Keeffe has made many elegant and intensive paintings of bones she found at the Mexico landscape.

Two weeks ago I did not know of O'Keeffe, but on my vacation I stumbled to a art museum and voilà! Had that funny feeling under my breastbone again. :D

Thursday, 2 August 2012

There is no vacation without some bones!

Skulls from a swamp grave, Finland's National Museum
I'm still visiting my family and my original plan was to make posts when I was back home. This plan has changed a little, since I just had to show some photos. These pictures are from today.

I, with some dashing company, went to Finland's National Museum and Finnish Museum of Natural History and here are the things that took my breath away.

I don't really remember all the details of these skulls, but there has been many communal graves at that period of time, for example these fellows were from a huge grave and the had all sorts of jewellery buried with them. The scientists are not sure why were all these people in a one big grave and who exactly they even were.

Skeletons, Finnish Museum of Natural History
After the National Museum was time for some nature and there too were some beautiful skeletons. There were also a huge amount of stuffed animals and for some reason the huge cats were closest to my heart.

At the wall in the left pic is a skeleton of a python. I'm not sure how long it was but I bet it was more than 7 meters. Underneath it at the left is a wolf and I believe there is no mistaking with those massive antlers of the creature at the right. At the center is a skeleton of a lion.

I think a person who had designed all these stuffed animals was a sort of an artist. I'm not sure can one see it from the picture but they were really vivid and many oh the animals had life-like expressions on their faces.

The lurking lion is simply fantastic!