Thursday, November 10, 2011

love; ten things i love this week

1. Ok, Halloween is sooooo over but I couldn't help but mention it in this weeks post as I  missed not being in the States for it! A friend of mine shared this link on F.B. Now this is when Halloween was scary and home-made, not sexy and polished! LOVE!

2. I may be a little Halloween obsessed but how could I not direct you all to these amazing pumpkin carvings even if Halloween is sooooo over! LOVE! 

3. Filming! I do LOVE being in a film studio. It is actually one of the most natural environments I have ever experienced! LOVE!1!
4. Becoming a finalist in the Toyota Travel Award! Even though I didn't win, I loved the opportunity to 'show and tell' my work to a panel. Scarey and nerve racking to begin with but I totally fell into a wonderful feeling after the third slide and enjoyed the process! LOVE!

5. All the supportive comments on F.B by you guys about my talk to the Toyota execs. Really blown away by your amazingness! THANKS!!!

6. These photos of pets with a disability by Carli Davidson. LOVE!!!

7. Finding out my application was approved for the Summer Residency Program held at Victoria University for January! WOW! A HUGE free studio and the opportunity to inspire some students! YAY! LOVE!

8. This personality test! Totally follow the link and do it! You will get a HUGE report at the end and it will tell you exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are and what drives you! LOVE!!!

9. This 60 year project!!! LOVE IT! Thanks Nat!

10. Working on my up coming exhibition. Can't show you any pics yet (even though I really want to!) but let me tell you, I"M LOVING IT!!!! Oh and sending invites to all my friends O.S. Sad you guys can;t make it but LOVE the idea of the invite stuck to your fridges!

pink; mystic heather

I came across this photograph a while back in search of pink works and was waiting for the perfect moment to write about it. Today's post is just that. You see, I have three friends who are in New York at this very moment. Well, actually two. One has just left after a four month stint at living in the Big Apple. The other two have set up shop; one indefinitely and the other calling New York home for the next year.
Tim Barber is a New York based photographer and the reason why this particular photograph has caught my attention is because of the what it stirs up in me as I look at it. New York is one of those places that EVERYONE loves, even before having visited. It has an incredibly loud history which seems to be stuck in everyones imagination and formed a sort of pseudo personal history within us all. It is the city of dreams, the place where anything can happen, where everything does happen.

I have spent three short visits to New York city and as most of you already know, I will be going to live there for six months next year. For me, any city needs to prove itself.  I'm not a person who simply falls for or adopts a common view of something. I like to experience it on my own terms, in my own way and then I will develop an opinion after I have had some sort of relationship with what ever it is; be it a city or something else.

The photograph above seems to capture a moment in a womans life of either surrender or victory.  New York is either her demon or her oyster. Is she embracing the city in communion with her successes within it or is she falling down in her failings with it? We are unsure of this womans story but the assumption is she is either about to jump to her death in surrender or she is playing with death by leaning and teasing into the city that is offering her everything she hoped for. Either ways, a feeling of danger is definitely evident.

Lately, Australians I have been talking with have asked me why I am so fascinated with America and it is simply because of it's sink or swim mentality. Here in Australia, we are a culture that is pretty laid back, floating through life as if riding in a well suspended vehicle that takes the shocks of bumps along the journey of life in it's stride, allowing for easy transitions as these bumps occur. America on the other hand, has no such journey installed for it's people. Americans ride in a vehicle with the worst suspension in the world, feeling every tiny little bump along the journey of life, changing it's course as a result. I like this feeling of unpredictability. It is what has made America so great in the past.

Cities within the States all have their own characteristics, allowing for very different experiences. New York City is a tough city, so everyone says. I am yet to experience it and develop my own opinion. I have no expectations of how my own experience of this historic, iconic place will unfold. I will find out next year when I do live there for six months and discover whether I will be feeling like I want to jump off a building in complete surrender, broken by the experience or be in complete happy communion with this 'great' city. Either ways, I know the experience of living in New York  City will be memorable and life changing, just as living in Beijing, Los Angeles and San Francisco were for me, altering the way I currently live my life and the values I currently hold true to my own experience as an artist.

eat; roasted pumpkin, rosemary and parmasen scones

With Halloween now in the shadows of our rush towards the end of the year, I decided to share with you what I created for my film crew a couple of weeks ago. Scones are one of those great things that are extremely versatile, easy to make and great when you have to come up with something quick for a get together with friends. They can be made sweet or savoury and the variations are endless! Try substituting the pumpkin with your favourite savoury combos like olive and feta cheese, or sun dried tomato and basil or sweet with dried apricots and vanilla bean or currents and cinnamon! YUM!

I really can't wait to get my camera. I'm not cooking so much now as I don't get the amazing results I was getting while using Nat's camera in L.A. You'll all hear about it when my camera finally makes it's way into my little hands!!!! Until then, just imagine how good these pics would look with a better camera! LOL!

Makes about 20 scones

1/2 Butternut pumpkin (squash)
a twig of fresh rosemary
splash of olive oil
4 cups Self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 cup parmasen cheese
1 1/2 cups milk

Start by roasting the pumpkin. To do this, peel and cut the pumpkin into small bite size pieces. Place into a pan, add the rosemary by picking it off the twig and sprinkle a little salt and a splash of olive oil. Toss the whole thing to mix and place into a moderate oven for about half an hour.

Leaving the oven on, take out the cooked pumpkin and set aside until cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Add the butter and begin to 'crumb' it together by rubbing the butter into the flour. Making sure the butter is well mixed into the flour, add the roast pumpkin and cheese and mix through.

Now this is the tricky bit. The main thing about making scones is to NOT over-mix the dough!!! It is really tempting to keep mixing but DON'T! What I do at this stage is create the opposite to a well in the mixture so the flour mixture is piled up in the center so you add the milk to the sides of the bowl rather than the center.

Pour milk and with a knife, 'cut' the mixture to blend through the milk. Do not mix until doughy. Mix until just combined. It is ok for the mixture to be a little 'crumbly'.

Once cut through, flour a chopping board and lightly take two handfulls of dough and place it onto the floured board. Lightly press down to make a flat round circle about an inch thick. Cut the dough into eight wedges, cutting in half, than quarters, then eighths, like a pizza.

Gently place the cut scones onto a non-stick tray, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with extra parmasen. Bake in a 200C oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

These are best served warm but still taste great when cooled down.

 Buon Appetito!!!