This tag is associated with 18 posts

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Locks, Keys, Knobs and Handles

Its been a little while since I participated in a photo challenge on WordPress, but this weeks topic on Cee’s Photography blog caught my eye – mainly because I like doors, and handles and locks and stuff, and the textures that emerge on these objects over time.

I went back through my travel archives for this challenge and found some pics from Sth Korea, Italy and France – enjoy!

Be sure to also visit other entries to this challenge HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Wall.”

It’s been a while since I participated in the weekly photo challenge, but this weeks challenge caught my eye… I love the colours and textures that are often found in old walls. I find the surfaces inspiring for my sculptural and ceramic artwork. As a result, especially when travelling, I often take photos of walls, including macro details shots.

As well as the inspiring textures and colours I also love how a wall can tell a story about the history of the place and its people.

So for this challenge I will share a few of my travel ‘wall’ photos from France, Italy and Sth Korea.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

This weeks WordPress Photo Challenge got me thinking about my travel photos from Italy, as I have not posted for quite some time about these travels, I wondered if I had finished the Italy posts? I couldn’t really remember. So back I went through my posts, and found that I had not yet written a post about Florence. So this is a mini post about Florence combined with the photo challenge.

Since the theme is ‘horizon’ I will stay on topic, and only post images containing horizons… the rest of Florence will have to be featured in a future post.

The images are a combination of the skylines from the amazing Il Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore in the centre of Florence, Ponte Vecchio, views from the Piazzale Michelangelo and the Piazza della Signoria.

Other images from my Italy travels which included Venice, Pisa, Verona, Rome, Naples and Pompeii can be viewed here, or by clicking the Travel category to the right of the page.

Enjoy 🙂

You can check out other Weekly Photo Challenge entries here:

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

Usually when a creative prompt is given to me about ‘pattern’ I think of the the natural environment or the organic surfaces of my ceramics and how those two concepts blend together, but throw in the word ‘line’ and it adds a whole new dimension.

So, this weeks WordPress photo challenge immediately drew my mind to the urban environment which is quite often a combination of lines, patterns and textures – especially old and crumbling built landscapes.

I’d love to comb through my current and immediate environment for some inspiration, but am a bit flat chat at the moment, so after shuffling through some images I already have I decided to post some shots of gorgeous lines and patterns I collected while in Italy earlier this year.

I hope you think they are gorgeous too 🙂

Other entries in this weeks photo challenge can be seen here:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Hhmmmm… What do I visualise when I think “sea”?

Aahhh…the Mediterranean!!

The following images were taken while on a residency in France in 2010 and while exhibiting in Italy in 2012.

During the France residency I made artworks based on the natural environment – it was the first time I had been to Europe! The final image in the photo mosaic is a series of pieces I made based on some sea pebbles I found whilst walking along the shoreline.

Enjoy 🙂

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge : Sea – more entries can be viewed here

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpieces (2)

So this is Part 2 of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ‘Masterpiece’. Part 1 can be viewed here

Responding to the prompt was not an easy task…. for starters what is “judged” as a “masterpiece” – AND as a consequence of that: what is with the gendered language!! Masterpiece is one of the few remaining words that has remained de-gendered.

HHmmm… what is ‘gendered language’ you ask?? Well, here are some examples (I’ll start with the big one):

mankind- humankind
craftsman – craftsperson
mailman – mail delivery person

the list continues- I’m sure you get the drift…

Why don’t we notice these words in everyday life you ask? And what is the big deal anyway?

Hmmm, I am glad you asked…

Lets look at the history of language – no this is not going to be a ranting history lesson, just a brief overview. I will include some links at the end of this post for anyone that wants to research this topic further 🙂

So…. ‘history of language’:invented by the guys with fire (coz the girls were busy feeding the kids)

Evolved to some storytelling via rock painting and sand painting, also by the guys coz the girls were busy feeding the kids

Fast forward a few hundred centuries, and the guys decided they could plant seeds, and therefore own/steal land – the girls were STILL busy feeding babies…

And then came the Renaissance – science and logic over religion, understanding and humanity, equality for all – ummm, if you were a male, or white, or upper middle class ; gee, funny thing that renaissance!!

So fast forward to now!! Given that we have had a crash course in ‘his’tory I guess you , the reader, may be wary of what I am going to post….do not be afeared!!

I am going to post an artist that I have admired since I first learnt of her decades ago: Artemisia Gentileschi. A painter strong and suffering women from myth and the Bible – victims, suicides, warriors – Artemisia’s works were until recently attributed to her father. It was not acceptable for women to paint during the 17th century, let alone be better at it than her peers! More info on Artemisia can be found here.

The work I have always loved of her’s is her interpretation of Judith Slaying Holofernes. I remember writing about this painting in an undergrad essay for art history about feminism in art.

And then I saw this work at the Uffizzi in Florence in real life, and I must say my heart skipped a beat, after loving this artist for so long – and the real life viewing did not let me down!!

So…. this is my masterpiece!!
























Further contributions to this WordPress weekly photo challenge can be viewed here:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpieces (1)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpieces Part 1 & Part 2

I was undecided about how to tackle this weeks photo challenge – so I decided to publish two posts. this is Part 1. Part 2 can be viewed here


I have come across so many masterpieces during my overseas travels, and while I would love to do a post on small incidental ‘masterpieces’, the big ones just so boggle your mind when you actually see them! Not to mention those you are not allowed to photograph (although with iphones everybody was clicking away!), such as David at Accademia Gallery in Florence and the inside of the amazing Basilica in Venice. Of course, then there there are the off-beat masterpieces, such as the ‘religious’ paintings I saw in a church in Rome on the via Nazionale. It was a church that had steps leading down to it from the street – something unusual in church psychology, as usually churches lead upwards towards the heavens. Within this church were quite unorthodox paintings featuring very natural depictions of the environment, nature and people – not at all the the typical depiction of saints and churchly activities normally decorating such sacred walls. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to research the church a bit more, as we were on our way to catching a train so we couldn’t stop and peruse, though I did get some photos; but it is definitely on my curiosity list for the next visit.

Having said all of that, I do remember visiting a gallery in Vietnam back in 2009 where there was no ‘gallery’ climate control, but merely fans to keep the visitors comfortable, regardless of how it caused the paintings to bang backwards and forwards on the walls. This was no fault of the gallery curator, who was educated on all aspects of preservation and curatorialship – it was to do with funding! The question that weighs down many arts projects world wide.

And of course then there were all the original Picasso’s I saw while in France, including the chapel he painted in Vallourus. And speaking of chapels, what about the Matisse chapel in Vence, France (couldn’t take photos in there, however)….

And so the big question of what to post as a masterpiece?

The challenge calls for one image – so I will post one main image, with a photo mosaic of some other images. Unfortunately all of these images are Italy shots, as my USB drive needs replacing on my computer, so I can’t access images from my other travels (France, Vietnam, Korea- I have been jiggling the connections for over an hour- maybe I will update this post in the future)…

The image I am posting as the main masterpiece I enjoy because it extends beyond the perimeters of the paintings boundaries – I like breaking rules….
Images on church ceilings are so hard to capture, but hopefully it captures the mood, and the gold gilding surrounding it!!

Verona 048_1_1













And here is the mosaic of images 🙂

Further contributions to this WordPress weekly photo challenge can be viewed here:

Tivoli Gardens, Rome, Italy

It has been quite a while since I posted a new article on my travels in Italy at the end of last year. I had been a bit overcome with my other blog – A Poem and Drawing a Day, and recently I came to the end of the 365 days, so I find I now have a bit more creative headspace for other projects – including posting a bit more regularly on this blog.

I am going to get the ball rolling again with a post about Tivoli Gardens at the Villa d’Este, Rome.

According to friends we were hanging out with while in Rome, the estate was built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este for his mistress and son – a bit of sixteenth century Italian scandal right there! I have not been able to confirm this ‘rumour’ via research (that is, that he built and renovated it for his mistress and son), but if he was anything like his grandfather, Pope Alexander VI – who had multiple misstresses and children, it is quite possible! Apparently during this time, and until recently it was an asset of the Catholic Church- according to our friends. It was purchased by the Italian State after World War I and restored, and refurnished with paintings from the storerooms of the Galleria Nazionale, Rome into the tourist attraction that it is today.

If you ever visit Rome, these gardens should definitely be on your ‘to do’ list. As well as the gardens and waterfalls being spectacular, the villa itself is furnished with period pieces and the walls are covered in masterpieces (like most other places in Italy). We visited during the afternoon, and looking out over the landscape from the villa walls we were treated to a sunset that was sublime.

So without any further ado, here are some images form our day visit… enjoy 🙂

PS: more information about Tivoli Gardens can be found here.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

While pondering about this weeks photo challenge all I could think of was my recent trip to Italy and all the looking ‘up’ I did at tall towers and majestic castles and ancient architecture and ornate church ceilings. So it makes sense that this is what this post will be about!

Visit the Daily Post for more info and entrants in this challenge:

Enjoy 🙂

An Afternoon in Orvieto, Italy

After  the Masters of Contemporary Art exhibition finished in Florence the next leg of our Italian visit was to stay with friends in Anzio – a Roman ‘suburb’ (of which there will be a post later), and on the way, after escaping the crazy Florencian traffic we stopped at the hilltop walled city of Orvieto.

View from the lower are of Orvieto - shows the panoramic view that appealed to the Romans

View from the lower are of Orvieto – shows the panoramic view that appealed to the Romans

Such a beautiful town, but so cold!! We were in Italy during the winter, however it was ‘unseasonably’ warm (global warming) but there was ice on the roads and footpaths up here… it was really chilly!

The big feature of Orvieto – apart from the church – was the well! Called the Well of the Cave, it was built in 1527, after the sacking of Rome when Pope Clement VII took refuge in Orvieto. To provide water to the town in case of siege or conflict, the well was built, based on a plan of Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. Also called the St. Patrick well, it was completed in 1537, is 62 metres deep and, its unique feature is double-spiralled stairwells in a helix formation  planned for easier transportation of water… ie – donkeys can walk down one way and then walk up the other way without turning around. ( It is extremely difficult to photograph)

The Well

The Well

We walked down this well and it was amazing in that you could not actually see the double helix… it was also scary – the drop to the bottom was mind boggling, and I couldn’t help wondering how many people peasants had indeed fallen over the previous centuries. While we were walking the well there was couple with a young child also walking through, and at one point the child was looking over the edge with no supervision, and I had to physically stop myself from grabbing the child and making a spectacle of myself!

The well was at the base of the city, and the walk up further through the town was magical, of course… gorgeous buildings and street and shops. Once we reached the top of the town was the view, but also the church. Although I had been in many churches already (or so I thought – I had only been in Florence so far) I did want to look in this one also – I was always amazed at the masterpieces – Michelangelo’s, Raphael’s, etc that were just hanging on the walls! However, I was amazed to find that there was an entry fee… this had also occurred in Pisa, and I am amazed (and somewhat offended as a former Catholic) that entry is charged for churches. Entering a church is supposed to be ‘free’ and open to anyone at any time! So… on principle I did not go in :-/

However, the view from outside the church was amazing… the gothic detail, enhanced by the late afternoon shadows and the Renaissance mural painting is amazing! A MUST see…

But the view from outside was just as grand… it was difficult to photograph due to the late afternoon shadows… but the architecture was – of course – breathtaking.

view from the top of Orvieto

Once at the top of town we walked to a look out area that presented grandeous views of the landscape below… and to our amazement were bombarded by a community of cats – probably about ten in all!


Of course, on the way back down from the town to the ‘carpark’ we stopped at a groovy bar and had a wine, but we also stopped at a quaint olive oil/condiments/wine/etc shop, and purchased some yum wine and olive oil…which now that we are back home we are using in our cooking.

A bit of Orvieto History courtesy of Wikipedia:

Populated since Etruscan times Orvieto was annexed by Rome in the third century BC. After the collapse of the Roman Empire the walled hilltop town gained new importance: and the city was held by Goths and by Lombards before its self-governing commune was established in the tenth century, in which consuls governed under a feudal oath of fealty to the bishop. Like all Italian towns, Orvieto’s relationship to the papacy was  a close one; in the tenth century Pope Benedict VII visited the city of Orvieto with his nephew, Filippo Alberici, who later settled there and became Consul of the city-state in 1016.

Orvieto, sitting on its impregnable rock controlling the road between Florence and Rome where it crossed the Chiana, was a large town: its population numbered about 30,000 at the end of the 13th century. Its municipal institutions already recognized in a papal bull of 1157, from 1201 Orvieto governed itself through a podestà, who was as often as not the bishop, however, acting in concert with a military governor, the “captain of the people”. In the 13th century bitter feuds divided the city, which was at the apogée of its wealth but found itself often at odds with the papacy, even under interdict. Pope Urban IV stayed at Orvieto in 1262-1264.

Me & Strobe


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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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