Saturday 28 February 2009

Sunbeam Proof, I hang like a roof

Cumulus by Jo Bradford

This is my all time favourite poem, it's a classic by Shelley, and I just love way it sounds when I say it out loud, the feelings it evokes in me and the images I see in my minds eye......
The Cloud
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers,
Lightning, my pilot, sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine aery nest,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea, Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,--
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-colored bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

~Percy Bysshe Shelley~

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Middle Earth

Cornwall is a place of rolling green landscape and turquoise sea. It is so enchanting. This land of fluffy clouds, quaint stone cottages and majestic trees are all exactly how I imagined Middle Earth to look, as a child reading Tolkien. His stories of the shires and villages of Middle Earth, were inspired by the British Midlands area where he grew up around Warwickshire and Herefordshire.
The idea of a middle earth comes from Old Norse Language and appears in ancient Germanic mythology.
The world of Men is known by several names in Old Norse, such as Midgard, Middenheim, and Middengeard, and is located in the centre of the universe. It was believed that Bifröst, the rainbow bridge, extended from Middle-earth to Asgard, the land of the gods. Beneath Middle-earth lay Hel, the land of the Dead.
Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements such as Britain, during the Viking Age, until about 1300.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Etsy Front Page

My Sailor Of The Atmosphere picture was featured on Etsy's front page today in an Etsy Admin featured sellers selection (made using the search term VAST).
Glad to see some of my favourite VAST colleagues Karen Faulkner, Robin Maria Pedrero and Kristen Stein in there with me.

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Poppytalk Handmade

Spotlight by Jo Bradford

I am showing work on Vancouvers own Poppytalk "affordable art market" this month, it runs from February 16th to March 13th.

Poppytalk Handmade is an online street market curated by Poppytalk to showcase, buy and sell handmade goods of emerging design talent from around the world.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Etsy Front Page

My Build Me Up Buttercup picture was featured on the Front Page of Etsy today.
Thanks to JenniferBurkin for making the treasury.

Friday 13 February 2009

Monkeys Wedding

Growing up in Africa, there is a funny describing those weirdly wonderful weather moments when the sun is shining and it rains lightly as a "monkeys wedding". As kids, we would shout this with glee, whenever we experienced a sunshower. I always pictured in my minds eye a host of well dressed monkeys celebrating their unions in the trees, wearing white lace and top hats and tails.

The expression is what linguists call a loan translation of the Zulu "umshado wezinkawu", meaning a wedding for monkeys. Similar sayings or proverbs exist in a surprising number of languages it turns out. A great many of them have animal associations, often to do with marriage (or that activity for which the word marriage may be considered a suitable euphemism!).

Michael Quinion, in "World Wide Words", goes on to say that in Arabic, they say “the rats are getting married”, while Bulgarians prefer to speak of bears doing so; in Hindi it becomes “the jackal’s wedding”; in Calabria, it is said that “when it rains with sun, the foxes are getting married”, for which there’s a similar phrase in Japanese; Koreans refer to tigers likewise; there’s even an English dialect term, “the foxes’ wedding”, known to come from right here in the South West of Britain it seems.
No-one seems to know how, where or why the expression arose. There’s clearly a common association understood and in use by widely divergent language communities, so it seems to be something at a level below that of superficial culture. But what is it?
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Tuesday 10 February 2009

The thrill of the new

I have been absorbed with creative energy recently, resulting in much time spent on location and in the darkroom. I always find it a thrilling and pleasurable experience reviewing the results of my many outings with new kit and toys galore from dawn to dusk, and any time inbetween when the light is just right or shows promise. I am now at the happy phase of selecting which of my new works will be included in several upcoming shows over the next few months, my chance to see my time and hard work come to fruition.
So here is a little something to whet your appetite, a little taster for you...
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Tuesday 3 February 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

We are rarely blessed with snow in Cornwall, in fact it happens about once every four years. To us seasiders it's such a big deal when the white stuff arrives, that we afford it the same status as a national holiday.

We were lucky enough to have a few inches of snowfall this week, so most people took the day off work and hit the local slopes with anything they could possibly utilise as a toboggan. Great fun was had by all!!

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