Monday, 25 June 2012

Sketchbooks: Trees

sketchbook cover

My friend Maria Raymondsdotter gave me this little notebook. I love the quality of the paper with its yellow tinge. It reminds me of our time at Kingston, when we were hunting for paper just like this to draw on. Not knowing what I wanted to use it for, as it had to be worthy of it, I have kept it for years.

When Kenn and I went to the beautiful Rold Skov to stalk foxes in the forest, hear the raindrops on our tent at night and warm ourselves up with steaming hot porridge at dawn, I had decided this was the time to take the little notebook with me.

I filled it with drawings of trees.
I am in awe of trees since childhood. They last longer than us, if we let them. These giants are the ultimate witnesses of history and Rold Skov has a special magic about it with its beautiful, gnarled troll trees, that each seem to have their very own personality.

troll tree
Troll Tree

one more troll tree
One More Troll Tree


In The Thicket

thin giants
Amongst Thin Giants

weaving branches
Weaving Branches

looking close
Looking Close

mushrooms grow on trees
Mushrooms Grow On Trees

the worms leave their trails
The Worms Leave Their Trails

each ring a year
Each Ring A Year

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sketchbooks: Animals

Sketchbooks are special.

I love looking at sketchbooks and even more so, I like to keep one as my steady companion wherever I go. In my sketchbook I note down observations, in writing and drawing; lost & found things find their place; I make collages and sometimes small paintings; I test out ideas, colour combinations and compositions, I experiment with calligraphy; I doodle, embellish, rip and patch up, sew and glue.

To sum it up, my sketchbook is the manifestation of my thoughts when it comes to the development of creative ideas and concepts. With it I document processes of development and the making of creative projects and collaborations.

My sketchbooks are like friends, whom I miss when they are filled up and whom I revisit to look for ideas.

Here is a small selection of pages from my sketchbooks, where I focussed on animal studies. They were made on trips to my favourite museum in the world, the Natural History Museum in London (I never tire of its architectual beauty!) and while visiting the peculiar collection of natural history specimens at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, London, where I am always happy to see my old friend the overstuffed walrus!

Nine-banded armadillo and a common eider

Red-sided parrot and Lady Amherst's pheasant

Heron and kookaborra

Domestic horse

horned mammals
Mammals with horns and teeth or wool

Giant anteater

Maned wolf

sea creatures
Octopus and other sea creatures

star fish
Starfish and deep-sea angler fish

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Perleplade Marmelade

On the first weekend in June, a secret club had cooked up some deliciously colourful Hama-Bead-Marmalade at our favourite tiny coffee shop called Street Coffee, in Vestergade, Aarhus, Denmark.
For this event we had specially retooled the Fantastic Automatic Aut-o-Mat to spit out Hama bead challenges to the people who dared to take them!

Perleplade Marmelade in full swing
A secret club outside Street Coffee in Vestergade

Perleplade Marmelade

In preparation, I had hand lettered a poster, which we had fixed on our newly built A-frame.
The text reads translated from Danish into English: 
"Take the Hama bead challenge with our Fantastic Automatic Aut-o-Mat for just 10 crowns. Solve the challenge and you will become a happier and more beautiful person. Inside, you can play our special Hama bead games completely free, while you are sitting and sipping (your coffee)."

Hama bead sudoku
Participants are having a go at a more difficult Hama bead sudoku.

Perleplade Marmelade sign 1
Looking out on Vestergade through a secret club's Perleplade Marmelade sign

Upon inserting a 10 crown coin into the Fantastic Automatic Aut-o-Mat, a number of beads and a task where issued. When you had finished the challenge, the beads were ironed to stick together and a pin was attached so that the proud maker could wear his or her creation.

Give me another bead challenge!
Freda is looking for another bead challenge from a secret club's Fantastic Automatic Aut-o-Mat

H-bead challenge and a secret club's banner
Kenn and a participant working on mastering a bead challenge

Hama bead challenge 2
Some examples of possible challenges: Something that can fly, a medal, a monster, a robot, ...

glow-in-the-dark robot
A fine glow-in-the-dark robot made by a young participants

Inside the coffee shop, those who'd rather play a game could try themselves at our Hama bead versions of Tic Tac Toe or solve a Hama Bead Sudoku if you'd rather played alone while sipping your coffee or hot chocolate.

happy punters 2
Happy people showing off their mystic signs

Jonas and Corinna
Jonas is getting the look with the beady eye glasses

a secret club with Katrina
Katrina and myself with our finest beady feather headpieces

Take one!
Take One! - This was a secret club's calling card of the day.

This event was funded by Børnekulturpuljen and sponsored by Hama.
All photos by Nikolaj Knudsen and a secret club

Monday, 4 June 2012

Robots, Aliens and Rocketships

Robots, Aliens and Rocketships

In March, the Ole Rømer Observatory was invaded by alien, creative beings, which were invited by a secret club to join in an intergalactic afternoon of astronomical play.

You could make your own dimension twister, invent new star constellations or decide whether you are siding with aliens or robots and make a mask to fit. Simultaneously, collages made by artists from all over the planet were on show and the place was humming and shivering with an outlandish atmosphere.

Entry was free, but to join in the workshops it did cost you a few Nauts. You could exchange your Danish earthly Crowns into a secret club's Astronauts and Kosmonauts with the cosmic Bank-o-Mat.

outside the observatory
The Ole Rømer Observatory in Aarhus, Denmark

friendly robot
Friendly Robot

inside the observatory
Starry Mountains (left) and Local scientist searching the sky (right)

Star constellation workshop
Invent your own star constellation
Invent your own Star Constellation workshop with Katrina Wiberg

intergallactic space traveller
Intergallactic space traveller

Give me more buttons
A participant is reconfiguring the friendly robot with a push of a button 

Dimension twister expert and mysterious bank clerk
The Dimension Twister expert and Clare Voyant, the director of cosmic monetary interchange 

Change your Danish earthly Crowns into Kosmonauts and Astronauts

Nautomatisk Bankomat
A secret club's Nautomatic Bank-o-Mat (left) and Ole Rømer himself peeking in (right)

Dimension twister workshop
Dimension twister workshop
Dimension Twister workshop with Jane Kloster

Alien vs Robot workshop
Alien vs Robot workshop
Intergallactic space traveller meets young alien
Robots vs Aliens
Robot vs Alien mask making workshop with me

Super Duper Nova
Super Duper Nova, an exhibition of collages on the theme of "Stars"

Eat me
Eat me! - shooting star cookies baked by the lovely Sabrina Borg

photographs by a secret club, Nikolaj Knudsen, Sabrina Borg and Line Kristensen