herding sheep

We sent out this card ages ago to promote our kilims.  We had hundreds of them at the time (loved everyone!).  Don’t know if we’ll ever have that many again !  We have good collection left and at the moment they re 50% off.  Too much really, but such are the times !  This image is very evocative I think. Has a ‘real’ fell to it – unposed.  And the trees, spindly but beautiful.  No idea what they are.  Perhaps someone will tell me.  I’d like to go to that part of Turkey.  One day !

bon jour

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functionalism ?

There has been a lot of nonsense written I think about form and function/art and function etc. I guess the literati are saying that one can’t have one without the other.  Is that so?  I’m inclined to think art stands alone, speaks for itself.  Shakespeare said so anyway.  There’s just too much intellectualising of the visual arts in my opinion. Look and take them in at an aesthetic level.  I don’t think painters paint or artisans craft as much with heads as with their heart.  Make no mistake – this a a magnificent cacbinet but I think it was made as much by instinct and heart as it was by cognition.

Our cover page says it : Art is not utilitarian.

(PS. functionalism failed as an academic theory capable of explaining culture – the meaning people attach to the things and the ideas that shape their minds. Tke it from me I was an A anthropology student in a top 100 university in a another life !)

bon jour

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I am not doing much on this blog for the minute but follow us on birds of passage Facebook page.  I’m always present there. You can find us through the menu anytime, anywhere.

As the beatles sang…love,love,love.

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savour the joy

I am not a buddhist but I am  giving its philosophy a lot of thought and it’s all positive.  I am inclining to the view that it offers great comfort to the human condition.  It does not deny this frequent vale of tears but it appears to lead the way to its amelioration and the mastering of the West’s pre-occupation with time is a gift to embrace perhaps.

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The festive Season Cometh

But for the minute we’re quiet online : things on but will be back full of spirit soon. Meanwhile savour the joy of Christmastide.

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the ethics surrounding anthropology

The headline that accompanied this picture of an important piece of aboriginal art dating from 1947, and of the Yolngu people of Eastern Arnhem Land in The Australian newspaper yesterday, described the noble discipline of anthropology as that ‘thieving craft’.  I can see why that might be said. I’m sure early ethnographers carted off boatloads of stuff, artifacts and art they thought of descriptive interest.  Perhaps they were even unduly covetous to fill their ‘cabinets of curiosity’ from which our modern museums sprang. So what to say about it?  Plead relativity, itself an anthropological invention ? Times were different, the relationships of differential power were intact and widely, if not universally , accepted. Should the great museums of the Western world return everything to its place of origin.  What would that achieve?  Likely as not it would lead to widespread destruction and probably another round of theft. There’s a point of view that I heard some time back and it goes along the lines that it was and remains the act of placing items of ethnographic interest in museums, which are themselves icons and arbiters of culture, that imbues them with broader cultural and intellectual meaning.  Would the value ascribed to them be the same if they were not in museums?  Mmmm… Food for thought.  I was a student of Prof Ron Berndt at UWA who commissioned the 27 crayon on paper pieces , and now subject of the article, and I am confident that he collected for the purpose of academic inquiry, and his collection ultimately has formed the basis of a museum at the University. Is that OK then ? In truth, I think the whole issue remains open and contentious.

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flower boxes in fremantle

Now all over the main trading streets of Fremantle – flowers,feeling, humanity. On our wish list for our part of the world.

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a comment

Highly personal – but this morning I skimmed through a new Bansky book and I quickly looked at a few images and they were confrontational but cleverly interesting.  I’ll buy the book and do some posting for you. (No copyright!)

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I bought Bansky’s book, Wall and Piece, on a whim.  It seemed clever, a commentary worth taking notice of, ironic , at the time.  It remains all those things in the main, but a year later and I am less enamoured, maybe disconcerted, at least by images like this.  It and a variation that was made to it by someone else (which shall remain nameless) was taken down after just two days.  I agree.  It is not witty. It’s actually lazy.  He can do so much better.    It is gratuitous and a salacious use of an iconic Western image.  It’s also dangerous. Who in their right mind wants to glamorize such a stance or  embed an image like this at the heart of Western art ?  I ask you, what are we doing to ourselves ? Bansky’s counter-culture needs more nuancing, me thinks.

and its

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art beneath your feet

For details of each please look under rugs in our catalogue.  Enjoy !  We will arrange delivery to anywhere.

Bon jour

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