Byron between my toes

Byron is one of those special places where nature is just so breathtaking you can't help but lose yourself in it. Whales migrate past this most eastern point in Australia putting on a show for us admirers to our delight. Dolphins also frolic in the waves close to shore and birds soar past the surfers bobbing in the water. The beaches seem to just go on endlessly, framed by the Arakwal National Park. You can trek through the bushlands with often, no one around. Just when you think you get this glorious slice of top-notch Australian landscape to yourself, a hippie turns up for her daily yoga ritual, or a millionaire retiree appears with his dog on his routine morning walk. It's one of those rare spots where yuppies, hippies, backpackers, hipsters, and the (locally known dreadlocked, alternative-lifestyle-living) ferals have learned to co-exist.

It's amazing what a few days away from the grind can do for the soul. Bike riding nonchalantly in the rain, or hiking in ominous weather, things that would annoy me in the big smoke, somehow just don't. My first ever Kundalini meditation yoga class in the surf club overlooking the ocean was just what the doctor ordered. It turns out reconnecting with my super chilled inner self in just one session was enough to do the trick. As I breathed in the evening salt air basking in the light of the full moon, I felt a calmness I have never experienced in my life. The city stress washed out to sea and I too found myself taking my shoes off and feeling the sand between my toes.

**

 
Open your eyes

Due to the horrific terrorist attacks that occured last friday, I have dedicated this past week to posts about Paris. Working on my stories and revisiting old memories from a time when I lived there, has really made me miss this special city.

Sometimes when I feel this way, I look at the familiar neighbourhoods shown in the video clip below. It's great because it's a snapshot of my old stomping grounds. This music video of a Snow Patrol song was shot on a motorbike one early morning entirely in one take. It particularly resonates with me because the rider passes some of my favourite landmarks; the river Seine, the Louvre, Opera (Palais Garnier), Galleries Lafayette, my old apartment block, local supermarket, metro stations Trinité, Pigalle and Blanche, the Moulin Rouge, and through the winding streets of Montmartre. The final destination is the steps of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica where I too spent many moments enjoying the expansive view, pondering over life or meeting up with friends.

It's a little reminder for all of us to really open our eyes and be present in the every day, especially because life is so fragile and can be lost in an instant. x

Music video by Snow Patrol performing Open Your Eyes. (C) 2006 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

ParisEmma Tamaokivideo, French
Beautiful Decay
 

Decay can be visually beautiful. Peeling paint, graffiti, rust, oxidized metal, crumbling ruins. If you look long enough, there is beauty there. There are stories. There is history. 

I’ve been keenly aware of my fascination with ancient things, historical places and worn surfaces for quite some time. It has been the central theme and creative inspiration for my artwork for several years.

My latest collection of paintings, titled Nagori, is all inspired by the ever-changing graffiti and un-intentional “art” that I stumble across every day in New York city, as well as the growing collection of photos I have taken of these “relics” in my travels.

But when I think about it, I’ve always been drawn to old things. As a young child I wanted to be an anthropologist. I loved the idea of discovering a long lost artifact and piecing together a story, paying tribute to a lost civilization and culture. 

Maybe it’s because I’m a visual and tactile person. 

Maybe it’s because I am happy doing anything that my hands get to experience first.

Perhaps it’s because I love imagining and dreaming up stories of who and what happened before I discovered it. 

Perhaps it’s because some of the most fascinating and beautiful places I have been to are so incredibly rich culturally and historically. Istanbul, Amman, Tokyo, Mumbai, Bali, Bologna, Jerusalem…

Or, maybe I’m an old soul. 

Perhaps I have lived in these places and my memories are stirred when I come across an artifact that I used in my past. 

Either way, I can’t resist running my hands along an old wooden door, a fresco, a stone wall, the marble in a hamam, peeling wallpaper, picking up a tarnished piece of metal, or snapping a photo of the latest street art in Brooklyn. 

As my hands make contact, I travel across time and space.
 

**

Unplugged in the jungle with James Vincent McMorrow

Our Magic Jams series with Tripiktv is about bringing music and travel together. One of the more magical moments we had was with James Vincent McMorrow. We brought him down to Tulum, Mexico after a long tour to do one of the most unique shows he said he has ever played. We drove with 50 fans into the middle of the jungle with no electricity, no phone signal and had a great afternoon listening to James completely acoustic. It was magical to say the least!

Tripik Presents #MagicJams Spring 2015 Tulum, Mexico James Vincent McMorrow - Red Dust ( Live Acoustic ) Magic Jams www.tripik.tv

MØ in the mountains

Magic Jams really change the way the artist experiences their live performance. Because we have been doing something quite different, it's hard for them to really figure it out until we arrive to the location. The band didn't seem too interested in the private show until we slowly crept our way into the forested mountains outside of Mexico City. Their interest perked up and then they realized they were part of something special. This time we had electricity but we almost got stuck in the mountains after a torrential downpour. Overall it's hard to remember a day that magical.

Music video by MØ performing Never Wanna Know. (C) 2015 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited http://vevo.ly/Ncdoam

I heart this: Taka's Treehouse

In line with Sachi's Story this video narrated by (possibly my favourite surfer) Rob Machado, depicts the unique quest of  Takashi Kobayashi, an extraordinary Japanese treehouse builder and his contribution to the community in Sendai who were largely affected by the Great Touhoku Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11th, 2011. It shows an insight into Kobayashi's thought process and how he constructs such beautifully organic structures that are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, are at one with its surroundings, but also has function and most importantly, jam packed with a whole lot of heart.

Mother nature has the power to sweep our lives away before our eyes in an instant without any reason or logic. I love this tree house project because it's the perfect platform to provide tangible physical joy for the children, but also is a strong symbol of hope for their future. Kobayashi says, " For those who survived the disaster and still living, it must be tough but they still have dreams to chase and to capture something invisible in the future. That's all we can do anyways".

’辛くても、辛い思いがあってもやっぱり生き残った人たちは見えない何か、未来に夢を持って生きていくしかないのかな’ 小林 崇

I think I just found my Dream Atelier creator.

THROUGH THE LENS with Rob Machado - Taka's Treehouse

Time to Draw: Where soul meets body
 
 
 

“I want to integrate life and art so that as our art expands our life deepens and as our life deepens our art expand.” Anna Halprin

 
 

The invitation to indulge and immerse myself in a new landscape, draw & share time with other artistic souls for a weekend was enough to make me burst. Escaping the city on a Friday evening, our winding journey took us deep into the Hunter Valley of NSW, to the quaint village of Wollombi. On arrival in this setting, it did not take me long to realise why this place has now become a renowned artistic epicentre of this region and home to respected Australian artists, such as Paul Selwood; whose property we had the fortune of visiting and drawing at.

Our creative hub was a handcrafted, converted barn, perched overlooking an enchanted grove of paperbarks; an aqueous and primeval gem set amongst an emerald field.  The infectious warmth and energy of our host, Rena Czaplinska-Archer made for an instant sense of intimacy amongst the group. An all-round Renaissance woman, and deeply inspired by the doctrines of revolutionary dance teacher and choreographer Anna Halprin, Rena’s soul oozes passion; and speaks of her quest to connect body, soul and creative process.

Arising at dawn, our days commenced by wandering into our landscape sanctuary and arousing our ‘artist within’ via a sequence of fluid, wriggling motions;   effectively loosening up, with the intent to stir up, unprecedented connections between mind, body and our creative selves. From here, it was all stations ‘draw’ as we explored both ourselves and our context as subject matter. At times challenging,as all artistic endeavours can be yet deeply rewarding, I left the valley at the close to the weekend ‘stirred’ with a new appreciation for the importance of engaging one’s entire being in the art of making.

**

To Rio, With Love
 

/ en /

My happiness sang into your mountains.
My sorrows weeped into your sea.

Your rolling waves swallowed my secrets.
Your pastel clouds cushioned my fears.
Your setting sun filled me with hope.

Drunk in your essence, and in love with your land, I gave you my all.
I will return some time.
I promise, I will.

**

/ pt /

Minha felicidade canta em suas montanhas.
Minhas tristezas choraram em seu mar.

Suas ondas engoliram meus segredos.
Suas nuvens de algodão amortizaram meus medos.
O sol me encheu de esperança.

Embriagada na sua essência, e apaixonada por sua terra, eu te dei meu tudo.
Um dia eu voltarei.
Eu prometo, eu vou voltar.

**

Kapalbhati
 

'In Sanskrit, Kapal means 'skull', 'forehead' and bhati means 'luminous' and also 'perception' or 'Knowledge', Kapalbhati  (the skull shining technique) is the practice which bring a state of 'luminary', or 'Clarity' in mind as well as in body. This form of pranayama is a highly energizing abdominal breathing exercise that acts as a kriya or a yoga cleanse. The vigorous exhalations act in many ways to yield benefits beyond the energetic qualities of this advanced yoga breathing exercise.'

My boyfriend, Jason, and I had just completed a course on Pranayama with a lovely Indian man in Goa and this particular technique was part of our daily morning ritual. We were staying in a little shack by the river and spending our days practicing yoga and relaxing. I was doing alot of drawing and in this particular piece was trying to pictorially convey the effects of Kapalbhati (the skull shining technique)  on your body and soul as I imagined it. Pranayama has been practiced for 1000's of years throughout India, created and perfected by the ancient yogis. It's an integral part of yogic life.

**

My Dear Friend

/ en + ja /

 

/en/

" I wrote this as a tribute to all those who were affected by the 3/11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsumani, and to Japan's unfailing resilience in the light of this heartbreaking disaster. What I had hoped to do, ultimately, through this song, was to send my regards and prayers to the people of northern Japan. I wanted people to understand that we will never forget this day and the tears that were shed. "

/ja/

" この歌は、3/11/2011におきた東北大震災の後に書いた曲です。東北大震災の被害者、救助隊、ボランティア、そしてこの日涙を流した皆さんに捧げたい­自作曲です。いつまでも忘れないと、3/11を忘れない、この日失われた命を決して忘れないようにと、願いを込めて書いた一曲です。" 

–モントゴメリー 紗智子

 

**
Someday, when time has passed
To the important ones we love
We must gift them a million flowers
With a smile

 Yesterday, the world cried
Precious life you led swept away
You were trembling in fear
And there was nothing I could do

 ♪ I wanted to go and cry with you
I wanted to go and find you in the rubble
My dear friend
I am here I will never forget you
Even if you've become a star
You are my favorite star
My dear friend

 One day you went to save the world
"I'll be back soon" you said
Trembled hands you tried to hide
I knew you were scared to death

 Next day you cleaning up the mess
mercilessly the snow fell
A frightened old woman you carry on your back
You run for her life

 ♪  I wanted to go and cry with you
I wanted to go and find you in the rubble
My dear friend
I am here I will never forget you
Even if you've become a star
You are my favorite star
My dear friend

 You once told me that there ain't no hero
Nobody's strong enough to save the world
But you're the one who went around at nights
Sharing your hope, peace, and happiness to all
You are my hero
You are my hero

 ♪  I wanted to go and cry with you
I wanted to go and find you in the rubble
My dear friend
I am here I will never forget you
Even if you've become a star
You are my favorite star
My dear friend

 ♪  repeat

**

**
Some day 時が流れ
大切な者たちに
百万の花を
捧げようwith a smile

Yesterday 世界が泣き
Precious life you led swept away
震えてる君に
何も出来ない僕がいて

本当は一緒に
泣き叫びたかったの
がれきの中で
君を探しに行きたくて
my dear friend
ここにいるって
忘れないよ
星になっても一番
好きだから
my dear friend

One day you went to save the world
涙隠し「すぐ戻る」 って
trembled hands you tried to hide
死ぬほどにこわいはずなのに

Next day you cleaning up the mess
容赦なく雪は降り
怯えてるおばあちゃん肩に乗せ
you run for her life

本当は一緒に
泣き叫びたかったの
がれきの中で
君を探しに行きたくて
my dear friend
ここにいるって
忘れないよ
星になっても一番
好きだから
my dear friend

You once told me that there ain’t no heroes
Nobody’s strong enough to save the world
But you’re the one who went around at nights,
sharing your hope, peace and happiness to those
You are my hero
You are my hero

本当は一緒に
泣き叫びたかったの
がれきの中で
君を探しに行きたくて
my dear friend
ここにいるって
忘れないよ
星になっても一番
好きだから
my dear friend

**

Finding Kashgar
 

Kashgar marked the end of my Chinese Silk Road journey before entering the ‘stans, and a dream destination I had to see soon before it disappeared – the old and original part of town, that is. The old town is where the ethnic Uighur people of Kashgar, in Xinjiang province, reside and where their daily life has unfolded for centuries gone by. Sadly, this now small pocket of colour and life is being replaced by soulless high rises with not much thought to preservation of Kashgar’s rich Silk Road history. I felt honoured to experience the warmth and character of Kashgar, and a different slice of China.

When I remember Kashgar, I recall the people and the greetings exchanged. Upon my arrival, I quickly learned the local greeting “A Salaam Alaykum” to which locals in turn would reply “Alaykum Salaam” with warm, welcoming smiles. It instantly broke any divide and allowed me to capture many memorable portraits. One of my favourites is a shot I took of an older man with a long white beard and a peaceful disposition. With hands on our hearts and gentle bows of the head, we both warmly voiced “Rakhmat” after I photographed his portrait, in thanks. These kind of exchanges, genuine and full, always bring the photos right back to life.

**

 

Maruuru Roa
 

/ en /

For one year of my life, I lived in Heaven on earth. It was a sureal experience. On this tiny island paradise, in the middle of the South Pacific, I fell madly in love. During that moment in time, my life was so achingly beautiful. The dream inevitably came to an end. But the sweet perfection of Bora Bora is forever deeply tattooed in my heart. Mauruuru roa (Thank You)

/ ja /

ある一年間、私は天国に一番近い島に住んだ。とても不思議な経験だった。この南太平洋の小さな楽園で恋に落ち、すべてが痛むように美しく感じた。その夢のようなひと時はやがて終わった。でもボラボラ島での甘い思い出は永遠に深く心に刻まれてある。Mauruuru roa (どうもありがとう)

/ fr / 

Pendant une année de ma vie, j'ai vécu dans un vrai Paradis sur Terre. Ce fut une  expérience complètement surréaliste. Sur cette minuscule ile paradisiaque, plantée au coeur du Pacifique Sud, je tombais follement amoureuse. C'était un moment de ma vie, où tout n'était que poignante beauté. Le rêve inévitablement a prit fin, mais la douce perfection de Bora Bora est à jamais tatouée dans mon coeur. Mauruuru roa (Merci Beaucoup)

/ pt /

Por um ano eu vivi no Paraíso. Foi uma experiência surreal! Em uma pequenina ilha no meio do Oceano Pacifico, eu me senti completamente apaixonada. Durante esse momento, minha vida foi tão perfeitamente bonita! Infelizmente chegou a hora do sonho acabar, mas a doce perfeição de Bora Bora sempre ficara profundamente tatuada no meu coração. Mauruuru roa (Muito Obrigada)

**

Colour of Maroc

WANDERLOVER  Rob Palmer,  and his wife Sophia spent the last year pouring their hearts out into a wonderful new food + travel book infused with delectable recipes and gorgeous photography portraying their love affair with Morocco. Lucky for us they did, because the result is a stunning coffee table book which transports you to a land rich in spices and smiles no doubt invoking the wanderlust bug within.

You can read Rob's STORY about an unexpected encounter in the vast desert just outside of Midelt, near the Algerian border where they met a Family of Nomads here. They also documented their journey along the way and here is a snippet of their adventures in the beautifully exotic Kingdom of Morocco. Enjoy their video journey below!

Colour of Maroc Episode #2
Photography and video courtesy of Rob Palmer, Colour of Maroc