Abstracts In Real Space

March 30, 2019

The Guardian has an excellent selection from German photographer Stephan Zirwes’s series of aerial shots of swimming pools.  The following two images are from his collection.

“His series has been shortlisted for the 2019 Sony world photography awards (announced on 17 April). They were all shot by drone, an essential gadget for Zirwes, who started to specialise in aerial photography 15 years ago. “It was my way to show the world in a new way. With the popularisation of drones, aerial photography has become a new genre.”

One of the reasons I really like these pieces is because they remind me strongly of some aspects of my own work.

Some examples might be left:  Wave #2, and Detail #1; center: Door In Tel Aviv; right: Bold Colour #2 and Stairs #1

Night Music: Blue

March 30, 2019


The album of which this is the title track is one of the four or five that I would always want close to hand. For me, it is as near to perfection that you can get.  In a recent article at Literary Hub, John Corbett agrees with me.

“Seen from the fairly conservative folk enclave that it crawled out of, Blueis a joyful, rambunctious, even shocking outing—take the lines from the title track: Acid, booze, and ass / Needles, guns, and grass / Lots of laughs, lots of laughs—even as it is also gut-wrenchingly melancholic and plainly romantic. I hear it as a full-force embrace of mobility and independence—the former domain of guys, now a right to be enjoyed and cherished and protected by women.”

The album is, he says:

“as eloquent a setting of poems to music as you’ll find, a call to live life where you find it, loving the one you’re with, departing from them eventually in an inevitable moving along, no matter how hard or sad.”

For any lover of music, this is an article well worth reading.

Boycotting Brunei

March 30, 2019

Brunei is a tiny country in south-east Asia, owned and governed as a dictatorship by the Sultan, one of the world’s richest men. Starting next Wednesday, gay people and adulterers in that country will be stoned or whipped to death.

The Sultan owns nine of the world’s finest hotels and George Clooney is using his celebrity to call for a boycott of those spaces.

“Let’s be clear, every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery … Are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?

“I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”

The hotels involved include the Beverley Hills Hotel, the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Cosworth Park in the UK, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, the Hotel Eden in Rome, and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.

Staying in any of those hotels is way beyond my reach but I am glad to help support this initiative, and to hope that any tourists planning on visiting Brunei choose a different destination.