Singing Ringing Tree, by Architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu

Harnessing nature’s music


The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind powered sound sculpture resembling a tree set in the landscape of the Pennine hill range in Lancashire, England. The 3-metre tall construction comprising pipes of galvanised steel harnesses the energy of the wind to produce a penetrating choral sound covering a range of several octaves.

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Reflections on Some Public Contemporary Art Pieces in London

Laura of London spends two of her one-hour lunch breaks hunting public contemporary art works in the city.

Challenge: Public Contemporary Art

Lunch breaks taken: 2/5

Rating: Enchanting

I have fallen back in love with lunch breaks! Not that I was ever out of love with them, but the past couple of months of busy-ness and subsequently no midday time away from my desk meant that I had gotten used to being a bit lazy. There’s definitely a cosy satisfaction to spending all day at your desk, even though you know it makes you feel drained and heavy by the end of the day. I guess it’s a bit like staying in your pyjamas all weekend: you feel slightly gross, but at the same time self-indulgent.

Because of this, it took me a few weeks to shake off the sluggishness and motivate myself to actually get away from my desk. I undertook the last couple of challenges with a slightly lacklustre approach, not really engaging with them with…

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Old Age: Suffering Takes Over

As part of the White Night of the Galleries (September 30), the alternative gallery space at Dr. Iacob Felix no. 72A hosted an installation called Road, about the road of life.

The piece that intrigued me the most, despite its simple concept, showed a family photo and a number of medicine package inserts, blisters of pills and prescriptions pinned to an old light brown overcoat. The garment was hanged from the ceiling and a side wall, and underneath it was a pile of medicine packets, pill bottles, and blister packs. The label read Bătrânețea (Old Age), by Rene Răileanu.



The piece, with the medicine signifiers replacing the body of the person, made me think how in our old age we’re shaped by suffering and how the fact that we’re still standing under that coat is due to the many medicines we take, medicines which help numb that suffering but which, in many ways, take over our identity as we become more and more concerned with our health, talk often about our ailments, and are perceived through the lens of our illnesses by others. And then there the family portrait at the top—what most of us hold most dear in our waning years.

Rene Răileanu is mostly a figurative painter. If you want to see some more of his work, here’s his website.

Vlad Basarab, Earth People, at Amzei Market Makers

Walking about Amzei Square yesterday evening, I stopped at Amzei Market Makers to see their current exhibition (curated by Beti Vervega and Mădălina Mirea). One of the artists included in the show was Vlad Basarab (b. 1977, Bucharest), a graduate of the Ceramics section of the University of Alaska Anchorage, as well as of two MFA programs in the U.S., currently a PhD student in visual arts at the National University of the Arts in Bucharest.

Vlad Basarab is mostly known for the clay books in his Archaeology of Memory series. You can see a photo on ArtOut, accompanying Mădălina Panduru’s interview with the artist, and a video on YouTube, showing in 4 minutes and 31 seconds the way one of these books dissolves under the week-long attritive action of water. In the interview, Vlad Basarab explains that he has left the pages blank in order to allude to oblivion and absence, and to stimulate the viewer to imagine what might have been in those books. Along the same lines, the disintegration of the book suggests the loss of collective memory. For more info in English on Vlad Basarab, see this page from the online art portal Modernism.

I didn’t get to see his books yesterday, but the works he did contribute to the show were rather strong, too. They were called Oameni Pământ nr. 1 (Earth People no. 1) and Oameni Pământ nr. 2 (Earth People no. 2), and played with his favorite media, the elementary materials of earth, water, and fire. I thought they were quite inspired. Here they are.

Earth People No. 1
Earth People No. 2

The Virgin Mary Covered in Wax Drips


Found this sculpture in the Old Town last night, as part of Bucharest’s tenth edition of the White Night of the Art Galleries, which included a ten-year retrospective at ARCUB. Titled simply Madonna, it’s a work from 2014 by Michele Bressan (b. 1980, Trieste, Italy), who has been residing in Bucharest since 1993.

I’m showing it because this Virgin Mary covered in wax drips made me think of her as carrying our prayers as a light burden . . .

Here are some more shots of her from today.