November-December 2019

So, way behind with last month’s report; therefore, I have decided to offer a two-month bumper posting. This kind of works out since I have been away for 6 weeks in Australia and South American. In a way, it is holiday ‘snaps’ but, along the way some quite telling experiences.




Before I even left, I managed to take in some art in London.



Firstly, the extraordinary sculpture piece in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London. The piece is called Fons Americanus by the artist Kara Walker. It stands some 13 meters high and is a kind of mimic of the sculpture of outside Buckingham Palace, London, which celebrates Victorian Imperialism. However, in this piece, the artist draws attention to the slave trade on which the wealth of Britain was made. A theme which had resonances while I was in South America – reading of the millions of slaves that were brought to that continent to service the various natural exploitations there. A kind of piece about the links between America, Europe and Africa.





Also, the Anthony Gormley at the Royal Academy.





Back at the Tate Modern and the somewhat whimsical pieces by the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. Interestingly, he too had a Turbine Hall installation some years ago: a big sun set in mist in which spectators were invited to sit. The sensual nature of his art was demonstrated in the various pieces in various ways: his interest in architecture; shapes; colours. One had distorted 3-D effects, another mist with lights running through it; still another where you are invited to walk through a long tunnel of coloured mist. Perhaps not the most profound art but certainly I cannot think of another that invites you to get inside it in such a complete way.










Before I leave, the last rose of summe in my garden:





And some photos – then and now – of Lyndhurst where I live:





First, Fremantle, Perth, West Australia. One of my favourite places. The plan is to mix some business – in effect sessions at universities – with some pleasure – chilling out in the local terrain. So, beaches and sunsets:









While there, I also get to reacquaint myself with Aboriginal art, which fascinates me – indeed, as does their whole culture:







On to Adelaide and another favourite place. I am greeted by the ‘cheese festival’  -quite something – and my host Justin. Here, I have a seminar, a masterclass and a public lecture. The last is a discussion of the 1960s and The Beatles. A great crowd turn up, including one who went to school with Brian Epstein. LOTS of post lecture discussion. Later a trip to the Adelaide beach as the weather hits – HOT. Also, more Aboriginal art, included some contemporary artists:
















I also pose next to the only other place in the world that has Grenfell Street:



A one-string fiddle I play in the Centre of Creative/ Performance Arts:



Flight to Melbourne:



Not one of my favourite cities – despite its heavy cultural involvement. Maybe it is just too English for me – well, the weather is. It is very cosmopolitan, but then lively for that. For example, the only place where I have come across premises of the Theological Society (who incidentally hold Georgina Houghton’s work):







Again, Lecture, Masterclass, and individual student tutorials:



Soon, I am leapfrogging from Melbourne to Santiago to Salta. Happy to be back again in the Samsi Yoga/ Tai Chi Centre in Salta and to be with my host Vijaya:







We are on for another MeM Course:




We are about 18 and run a Performance/ Intro and Active Listening course in a nearby retreat centre:




Quite a stunning environment marked by spectacular scenary. The local trees are extremely tall. Also, despite being in a convent/ monastery, some have managed to develop distinctive Sheela Na Gig  characteristics:






Also, the sound of the Cojoyo – a kind of moth which attracts its mate by rubbing its wings together. We had this first in the morning and later in the evening. They begin and then build to a cacophony until pretty much stopping:








Later a performance at Samsi. Here, a clip from the sound check – playing Fallen Angel by King Crimson:




The plan was for me to return to Chile to do more lectures, but the demonstrations there made this practically difficult. Therefore, instead, I went back top Patagonia – Bariloche. In typical Patagonian style the weather here was cold and windy. In fact, we reached 4 degrees one day – this allowed me to state that on this trip, I had gone from 4 to 40 and everything in between.




Again spectacular scenary:





I get to see a Green Lake – because of sediment deposit and the motorbike that Che Guevara rode on an epic bile ride from Argentina up through South America to Venezuela:






A 1600 year old tree and spectacular waterfalls:






Also, a ‘black glacier’:






After six weeks, time to return to the UK – again a dramatic drop in temperature.




Reading and listening. Again lots happening and lots of words and sounds. But to note are, first the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges, with its elements of magical realism and post modernist themes of time and place:






Also, of course, the posthumous CD of Leonard Cohen. More a recital of poems than a set of songs – similar to the Dear Heather CD –  but telling in its insight into himself, love and life:



No one to follow
And nothing to teach
Except that the goal
Falls short of the reach