Long Walks On The Beach
“Jesse Treece is a collage artist living in Seattle, WA whose work screams of the simple, yet ever complex, interpretations of both the mundane and whimsical facets of life. He’s somehow managed to mix both the regular and absurd, beautiful and disturbing and put them into images that you find you could get lost in for hours. His tools of the trade include scissors, glue and vintage magazines/books.” Learn more about the artist here.
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My Grandmother called from Durban the other day, and the conversation went something like this.
"Darling, how you?"
"Fine thanks, Granny."
"And how’s the weather there?"
"Kinda cloudy. Bit cold really."
"Shame. Now, I know you’re going to laugh, you always do, but tell me, darling, are there any boys on the scene?”
Laughter instinctively rises in my chest, a painfully English sound which snaps against the solid paces of the slanted South African accent. I stifle it, rather than admit that she has predicted me correctly. A cough and a few umms harden into a “no”, the abruptness of which seems to beckon some sort of justification in order to fill the pause in the proceedings.
"It’s only been two months since me and…"
"But isn’t there anybody who’s taken your interest, darling?”
"I don’t really know." (Lies.)
"Haven’t you been out at all?"
"I went to a party the other day which was good fun."
"Any nice guys there?"
"There were actually some South African guys there, who were nice. Said I should give them a call if I was in Cape Town."
I knew even before she called it would be a bad idea to let slip this information. Now she’ll be asking me about them every time I speak to her, and needling me to call them when I’m in South Africa. She may be losing her memory like a unplugged bath drains water, but when it comes to the romantic entanglements of her descendants, she will latch onto details with an unparalleled tenacity.
"Oh, lovely! You’ll have a great time with them, I’m so thrilled. I was worried you were becoming a spinster!"
Now it is her turn to laugh, loudly, as if to distract her from acknowledging the potentially incriminating content of her tactless honesty. She does not notice the quiet clearing of my throat. Perhaps she senses she has edged into forbidden territory, as she moves briskly on.
"And otherwise, darling, any news?"
An exit is glimpsed.
"Unfortunately not, it’s been rather slow at the moment. But everything is fine."
"Ok, darling, I’ll leave you to it. Give my love to everyone, bye now!"
"Bye, lots of love."
The weekly phone call ends, once again, with no information of any value transmitted on either side, yet nevertheless magnificently summing up the entire relationship.
Good creatures, do you love your lives
And have you ears for sense?
Here is a knife like other knives,
That cost me eighteen pence.
I need but stick it in my heart
And down will come the sky,
And earth’s foundations will depart
And all you folk will die.
Art interacting with the urban landscape - check out more fantastic photos via the link below.
Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin Chess at the Saatchi Gallery
Funny stuff from Hanksy.
There are only five photos in Timo Klos’s series “To Mark Time.” In each photo, there is a bus stop. There are no people in the photos—neither at the bus stops nor anywhere else. There are no buses, either, which is perhaps not so surprising when you notice that none of the bus stops face a trafficked road. The absence of buses is even less surprising when you learn that the bus stops are fake. Constructed outside of nursing homes in Germany, these bus stops are not transit points. They are destinations. Residents suffering from dementia wait at the stops for buses that will never come. They wait and they talk and they remember, until they are escorted back inside, or return of their volition, having forgotten where it is they won’t be going that day.
This is my first (published) attempt at fiction (The Hill Magazine, Issue 4), inspired by the Santorini sunset. More experiments to come.
You amble slowly up the gentle incline of the alleyway, feigning the leisurely pace of a solo traveller as he savours the tranquillity of his independence. But in your mind’s eye you have a vision of the street such as it was all those years ago, and the remembrance aches in you. The jet-black cobbles, smoothed and polished by countless footsteps, still feel warm though the sea has all but swallowed the last of the sun’s rays. You stop often, delaying, admiring the softness of the light as it reflects through delicate glass ornaments in shop windows, feeling the eternal purity of the whitewashed walls against the ethereal blue of the evening sky, inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold… All remains as it has always been; but you have returned with a different set of eyes; older, and tired. You walk, and step by step traces of the old flames return, stronger than even the most vivid imaginings that come to you as you lie sleepless in your bed. The charming intimacy of the street opens onto the vast expanse of the sea, little boats scattered across it like flecks of paint on a canvas. You are at the summit of the island and your view is impeded by nothing. Triumph swells in your chest, and you feel a deep gratitude – to whom, you do not know – for the privilege of this panorama. Yet the more you try to hold on to this feeling, the more it slips your grasp, the more you feel something is missing.
You remember the day it began. The clean, tangy water soaking your skin, pushing you gently back and forth above marbled rocks, the midday sun burning at your neck, bleaching the hair on your arms. And in the corner of your eye, a girl, pale-skinned, was floating gently in the cyclical roll of the waves, her face turned up to the sky as if to drink in the very essence of this day.
Late afternoon, and a crouching mass of rock calls for you to climb its agèd crags: you feel that peculiar freedom and power that accompany great altitude, a rare and wonderful sensation, as far away from the anonymous bustle of the city crowds as it is possible to be. The sky is ringed around you, and you watch the breeze that ripples through the rhythm of the waves, leaving sprays of foam in its trail. A figure approaches. She smiles sweetly at you, unconsciously running long fingers through golden hair. As she talks, she looks into the distance, into the heart of light, the silence… You are hardly sensible of your good fortune. In that moment, you anticipate only the pleasure that is to come. Afterwards, you realise that it was those few hours, bridging the gap between past and future, which were themselves the real pleasure.
And now the sun is setting, and the crowds are gathering to watch. You find a space on one of the crumbling white walls and absent-mindedly pick off pieces with your fingers, all the while scanning the surroundings, pretending in vain to yourself that it is not the elegant angles of her lightly-tanned shoulders you are looking for. The sky before you is changing colour as the sun lowers itself into its aquatic bed: now peaches and oranges mingle with rose, now drops of red wine add a deep stain; and above you, the darkening night hovers, itching to draw its cover over the earth below, as if anticipating the imminent fulfilment of intimate mortal acts. And then – a hand on your arm, a breathless whisper tingling in your ear and a look, which for a moment makes you forget you have ever seen. You are neither living nor dead, and you know nothing…
It is late, and the warm breeze of the afternoon now chills you, tugging insistently at your shirt. You are walking up the narrow alleyway, feigning interest in the trinkets being sold in small shops. The appointed time approaches, and your whole body thrills with every step you take. Suddenly, the street opens out onto the immeasurable magnificence of the sea, the glow of little boats casting shadows of light onto the water. And there, looking out over the edge, into the distance, she is waiting.
I am a huge espresso drinker, and recently decided that I needed (wanted…) to buy my own set of espresso cups to make that coffee break just a little sweeter. I started searching online for antique sets first, hoping to come across some precious blue and white china, or quirky art deco numbers, but found the ebay listings were poorly photographed or only available as individual cups. So instead I went in the opposite direction, and sought out clever, modern designs that could even be the collectibles of the future. These Hybrid Eufemia cups caught my attention instantly. They draw upon the traditional heritage of china decoration, juxtaposing the Eastern and Western designs and colours beautifully.
In the end, however, I had to go with the (substantially less pricey, it must be said) Rob Brandt cups, which look like crushed plastic cups. They are obviously big sellers, and it’s no surprise: they’re fun, minimalist and unpretentious. Let’s hope no-one mistakes them for actual plastic cups in my student kitchen.
A final word of warning: espresso cups are small and cute, and thus dangerously addictive. Collector-types proceed with caution.