Local Heart, Global Soul

July 1, 2018

Cut Here —

Filed under: Interisland Ferry,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It just so happened that during our December 2017 journey to and from Wellington, Family Kiwidutch travelled on the same ship of the fleet of three, each way.

Some unusual markings on the walls and ceiling got me interested and I discovered:

In April 2011, Interislander sent its busiest ship, the “Aratere” on a journey to Singapore for an extreme makeover of epic proportions.

The ship was literally cut in half with a new mid-section added to allow it to carry more passengers and freight.

The ambitious project was the equivalent of cutting an eight story, 150 metre-long building in half, moving the pieces apart, inserting a new piece 30 metre section and joining it all up again.

While undergoing the extension the ship also got a new bow to improve its handling and performance as well as a major internal refurbishment with the creation of new lounge areas.”

It’s interesting to see that some information is given on the ship about the extension project and that they have given a visual help to contemplating the facts and figures with dotted lines and scissors, illustrating the literal cut and joins.

There is a fascinating YouTube video that details the process (link below) and it’s a geeky feature that some people seem to notice and enjoy, yet other walk past not even registering it’s existence. Of course as a detail fanatic I was one of the geeky ones reading up (as you do)on why dotted lines and scissors are on the ceiling of a ship.

http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/projects/major-projects/improved-aratere-ferry

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/projects/major-projects/improved-aratere-ferry
Interisland Ferry “Aratere” Extension

https://youtu.be/5m6uvBsxLQs (YouTube link)
YouTube / “Lengthening Interislander’s Aratere Ferry” / New Zealand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cook_Strait
Wikipedia / Cook Straight Te Moana-o-Raukawa) / New Zealand

February 4, 2014

With The Frog Or The Bird’s Eye Perspective: Italy Makes An Impression…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m continuing my yesterday’s post where I am detailing some of  Dutch artist M.C. Escher’s early works, may of which were done in Italy, a country Escher fell in love with and later moved to until his conflict with the ideas of Fascism forced him to move with his family to Switzerland, then Belgium and then back to The Netherlands.

One of the information boards in the Escher Museum located in the former winter palace of Queen Regent Emma of the Netherlands, on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague tells me:

Early in his career, Escher experimented with perspective by choosing an unusually high or low vantage point to draw from. The mountains in Italy were perfectly suited to this. For “San Gimignano”, “Bonifacio”and “Temple of Segesta”, he selected an extremely low vantage point, from a valley. As a result the viewer looks up at an object located far above. This is known as “the frog’s perspective”.

In other works Escher chose a very high vantage point, for example in “Morano”, “Ravello”and “Calvi”, the fishing town seen from the citadel. In these prints the viewer looks down at the subject of the work. This is known at as the “Bird’s eye perspective”.

Escher never used the “panoramic view” so popular with other artists at the time. When in 1939 Escher made prints of Delft commissioned by the Dutch Government, he climbed up the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk to show the marketplace from a dizzying perspective.

The viewer’s eye is led downwards rather than out towards the broad surroundings.

In Escher’s time (more specifically, between 1920 and 1940), many European artists played with extreme forms of perspective. Giorgio de Chirico in Italy, Carel Willink in the Netherlands and Ludwig Kirchner in Germany had been using perspective as a stylistic tool since 1910. but their most predecessor was Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who in the 18th Century portrayed spaces using the most bizarre perspectives. 

Personally I think that Italy and the early works Escher did there, and the discovery of  the possibilities  that these altered perspectives offered, heavily influenced Escher’s later works for which he became world famous: the seemingly  “impossible” ascending and descending staircases and waterfalls and the transitional spaces works like “water and air” where fish become birds and visa versa.

Certainly it may be disputed that Escher didn’t always stick strictly to reality, but in fact I have found that as a general rule most artists don’t… it’s impossible to see every twig and blade of grass in a landscape, real world “litter”  in the broader sense of inconvenient  buildings, people, or the distractions of everyday items are often left out of compositions for cleaner lines, better perspective, balance, light, mood or colour. In a way I love these earlier works even more than the more famous later ones because they document the source of inspiration and reveal that Escher’s genius about “thinking outside the box” was a quirky personality trait present right from the start.

I love quirky and I adore detail… this won’t be my last visit here…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Temple of Segesta, Sicily”, 1932 (wood engraving) Note: the block in printing is always opposite to the final printed image of the first photo in this post.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Pineta of Calvi, Corsica”, 1933 (woodcut in light grey, dark grey and black, printed from three blocks)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Study for Atrani, Coast of Amalfi”,1931 (black chalk,pencil)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Study for “Atrani, Coast of Amalfi”,1931 (black chalk, pencil)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Calvi, the Fishing Town seen from the Citadel, Corsica”, 1933 (wood-engraving)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Nocturnal Rome: Basilica of Constantine”, 1934 (woodcut)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Delft, Nieuwe Kerk”, 1939 (woodcut)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Delft, Roofs”, 1939 (woodcut)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Inside St. Peters’ 1935, (wood engraving)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Venice”, 1936 (woodcut)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Venice”, 1936 (woodcut) Detail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Porta Maria dell’ Ospidale, Ravello”, 1932 (wood engraving)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“La Mezquita, Córdoba”, 1936 (black and white chalk)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Coast of Amalfi” (composition) 1934, (woodcut)

http://www.escherinhetpaleis.nl/

February 3, 2014

Take A Stone, or Wood, Ink And Paper: And Create More Than The Sum Of The Parts…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m continuing my series of blog posts about M.C. Escher and the permanent exhibition that’s located on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague, The Netherlands in the former winter palace of Queen regent Emma of the Netherlands.

I visited here in the summer of 2012 with visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and together we are enjoying both Escher’s works and the beautiful palace they are house in.

There are a few information boards placed around the exhibition and from them I find out:

M.C. Escher was a graphic artist, specialising in woodcuts and lithographs. Woodcuts are made by cutting a design into a block of wood, lithographs by drawing an image on a specially treated flat stone. A woodcut is a form of relief printing: a gouge is used to carve out parts of a wood block leaving a raised image. Ink is applied to these raised parts and then a sheet of paper is pressed onto the inked block. A lithograph is a form of flat or offset printing: the ink is applied to the flat stone and paper then placed on top.

Escher and the natural world: From early on nature played an important role in Escher’s work.

In itself this is unsurprising: young artists base their work on what they see around them and nature has traditionally been one of the first subjects to present itself. Escher’s family always lived in a relatively rural setting. He was born in Leeuwarden and his parents moved to Arnhem when he was four years old. 

Between 1921 and 1935 he made long trips every year through a remote part of Italy, the country he eventually moved to in 1925, The Italian landscape and nature in general continued to captivate him all his life. As his graphic work shows, Escher was an attentive observer, yet every one of this landscapes gives rise to the question of whether it corresponds to reality.

As early as 1940, Escher’s friend, the art critic Hein ‘s Gravensande remarked that Escher synthesised what he saw, he meant that Escher cheated just a little when making a print.

That last line made me smile:  after all what artist doesn’t use a little “artistic licence”? Transposing a creative idea onto a flat piece of canvas, paper or other medium is a difficult enough task,  and we all see the world in our own way. Capturing that view in a limited space and in a few lines is a daunting task,  carving it into a block of wood is far harder then it looks, the beauty is that in the finished print we can see the essence of that Escher wants us to see… it’s more than paper, wood and ink… it’s amazing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Witte poes” (White cat) 1910, Woodcut.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Lichtende zee”  (Phosphorescent sea) 1933, Lithograph.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Zonnebloemen” (Sunflowers) 1918, Linoleum cut.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Het Paradijs” (Paradise) 1921, Woodcut, counterproof. ( …very much reminds me of Henri Rousseau’s work)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Drie werelden” (Three worlds) 1955, Lithograph

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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