I don’t know where my words are these days. They feel incredibly submerged. So I’m going to share some pics I’ve taken recently that really just please me.
In December I made the trek down to Tacoma with two friends to see the Art AIDS America exhibit. I expected it to be intense, but beyond that, I had no idea what it would be like. The week before I went down, a group protested in front of the museum to express their anger and sadness at the small number of artists in the show who were people of color, since 40% of people living with HIV/AIDS today are PoC.
The exhibit felt overwhelmingly white and focused on gay men. I have a few theories as to why, related to who had access to support, whose voices were and are being listened to, and how the early AIDS activism was fueled and driven by white gay men.
Altogether, there were over 100 pieces in the exhibit. Apparently I took pictures of about a quarter of them. There was a lot of staring death in the face, like Tino Rodriguez’s Eternal Lovers, which also took advantage of lack of gendered markers. Many of you know I love calaveras, and I loved the interpretation of this one.
The Tale of 1000 Condoms/Geisha and Skeleton flirted with the macabre, again, staring death defiantly in the face.
Many of the pieces I saw engaged with death and dying, bodies wasting away, the corporeal husks that so many people turned their eyes from, but the gaze was unflinching and loving.
Some pieces invited us to interact:
In the sand
write the names
of those you
loved and lost
So I wrote “Jerry” the sweet doorman from the Timberline, and Mark, another doorman at the Timberline with his Tom Selleck mustache and gentle spirit, and Jim, my dad’s college roommate. After each name I swept my fingers through the sand and thought of Keats’ gravestone: Here lies one whose name was writ in water.
Glenn Ligon’s “I am not an invisible man” was particularly chilling after the protest:
I’m only going to talk about one more piece: Silence = Death:
I had this on a button when I was in college. I wore it pinned on my backpack. During the summer of ’92 I traveled around Europe. I remember being at a hostel, I think in Switzerland, and someone saw the button and said to me, “Sometimes silence equals life.” I kept silent, but I wish I hadn’t, because now I understand in a way I never could have then, that the price of silence is the death of the soul.
I really encourage you to look at the entire album. I included a lot of the plaques that give a lot more explanation. Or you can read this write up from The Stranger that gives a lot more context and information. It was what made me want to see the exhibit.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a 52 Photos Project post! I have a few moments and wanted to participate in this week’s prompt: gold.
This is a piece of gold leaf that was left on a ruin in Sukhothai, Thailand:
When I was in Japan, we visited a town called Kanazawa. There is a lot of work done with gold leaf there, and we got to see a demonstration. This man works with gold leaf and I was enchanted with all the dust that covered him – including his lips!
I cannot resist a dahlia bursting with color:
Nor the green and gold bacterial mats in the geysers at Yellowstone:
And finally, any excuse I have to share a Buddha picture, you know I will take it:
This week’s prompt revolves around scent and fragrances. There were so many ways I could have gone with this, from various dishes that make me salivate to blossoms that make me swoon. There are scents that calm me, and scents that invigorate me. There are unsavory scents, of which I will not speak further!
At the top of my list is the daphne odora. This is a small cluster of blooms that radiates the most amazing scent. I think it smells like a hand lotion. If you stick your nose in really close, it gets pungent like a jasmine or gardenia, but from a few feet back, it’s pure bliss. I love this time of year in Seattle because I walk around, hopping from bush to bush and inhaling like I’m going to run out of air.
A few other blooms that make me swoon:
Sarcococca confusa or sweetbox
Mystery Blossom in Portugal. Would love to know if any of you know. When I smelled it, I just wanted to stay where I was and keep sniffing.
And finally, this pair of balsam pillows. My grandmothers always had them around their houses, bringing a little bit of the outside in. Now I have my own, and my collection is growing. We love it when we catch a whiff of that dry, piney scent.
This week’s prompt from 52 Photos: Wildlife. I take so many pictures of birds, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of a few other animals I’ve captured in pixels.
An ibex on Mont Blanc, in France:
Great horned owlet at Nisqually NWR, Washington:
Otter in Yellowstone National Park:
Mangrove Skipper at J. N. “Ding” Darling NWR, Sanibel, Florida:
Pink and purple (and possibly dying) sea star, West Seattle, Washington:
I haven’t done a 52 Photos post in WEEKS! And I checked for the latest prompt and it was teal. I nearly died. I have so many teal things to wear it’s a little insane.
For your viewing pleasure, I present the accessories: a (new) pair of gloves, a pair of earrings, and this hat!
Other teal items I own that are not included: boots, a cardigan sweater, another hat, and a pair of pants.
I also love photographing birds, as you all know. I just happen to have two different teal ducks!
There this adorable pair of blue-winged teals:
And this pair of cinnamon teal ducks:
I’m still selling my cards (through January!) at the Liberated Life Marketplace.
I decided that in addition to offering up the dahlias, I’m also making sets using images from SE Asia, Japan, and Florida. Here are some sample images to give you some idea.
Some variation on the apsara:
So apparently Florida IS for the (snow)birds. I have a couple other images with birds – a snowy egret as well as a triad with an anhinga, roseate spoonbill and an egret.
And something similar to this one:
Also, if you are in Seattle, I’m happy to meet up and hand off pictures, minus the shipping charge. Or if you don’t want to use PayPal, let me know and we can work something out!
This week’s prompt was around desserts! I usually do make a variety of sweets, but for some reason, I haven’t taken many pictures of them.
For the first time this year, we also went to see the gingerbread “house” competition in downtown Seattle. I will note that this is a fundraiser for an organization working around juvenile diabetes. Yeah, the irony was not lost on any of us.
I had two “houses” in particular that I really loved. One was Hawai’ian (I know, you are all SHOCKED), and the other was a love letter to Seattle.
Bertha – Seattle’s BIG DIG
You can see the rest of the pics here.
In case you were looking for a temptation you could eat, I offer up this:
I did try out a chocolate mint thins with candy cane crunch from the NY Times, and it’s been a huge hit in our house. One word of caution – do try to crush the candy canes as much as you can. Chomping into a big chunk does put a damper on the enjoyment.
This week’s prompt was RED!
I do love the color and I had such a hard time choosing. Here are a few:
Egret in the reflection of the torii gate at Miyajima:
Condemned! Red wetsuit:
Red Gold and White Platform Shoes:
Red lantern blooms:
This week’s prompt was Look down! I don’t often take up the challenge of the prompt, but I did this week. I have to admit, I’m always happy when I do, too!
Sunday was a cold, brisk day. We took a walk down to the Pike Place Market and then back up the Hill. I looked down, hunting for treasures to photograph. Here’s what I brought home:
A maple leaf stain
Ice lace draped over grass
Fire and ice
I also love this step from the sidewalk art on Broadway, The Obeebo, that I took last summer.