Wednesday, 2 March 2016

spotlight: 'greener world' and 'genius loci'

The weather here in Lund is, as usually, unceasingly miserable. The rain somehow seems to hang suspended in the air, clinging to your hair, skin, clothes. Wearing all of your waterproofs at once is not only a glamorous look, but the only way to go out, if you must go out at all. To fend off the oncoming cabin fever of another day in the apartment, I thought I'd share the music and art that has enchanted me of late.


'Greener World' is the first track from Gwilym Gold's newly-released album A Paradise and is best listened to through headphones. If my week was made into an unnervingly pretentious short film, it would feature this playing in the background as I stare at the buds blooming on the trees and bushes on my daily commute in the gathering light. Gold's voice is just divine... this song is divine. Needless to say it's been on loop all week.


Sweden, Gotland. Collage print.

'Genius Loci' adorns the walls of one of my favourite cafes in Lund, Coffee Break. These pieces are the work of Russian-born artist Anastasia Savinova, who now lives and works in Umeå, Sweden. At a first glance, I thought these were painted works, but upon a closer look, they are in fact intricate architectural photo collages. Each piece is based off a city or country, ranging from Sweden to Russia, France to Israel. In her artist's statement, she writes,
"While architecture and landscape are visual components of the integral image of the Place, at the same time, this image is inseparably linked with a mentality and a way of life. It is saturated with “an incorporeal something”. Ancient romans called it “genius loci” – the protective spirit of a place. In contemporary usage, “genius loci” refers to a location’s distinctive atmosphere. A Big house on each collage is composed of many buildings, which are typical for a particular country or city, in their connection with the land and the spirit of the Place."

Belgium. Collage print
Skåne. Collage print

Sweden. Collage print.

This week I've started a new sketchbook/collage book, and a book for researching artists; celebrated St David's Day; played more Beyblades (or "bley bleys", as Linus calls them) than I think I've ever done in my life; and made some anniversary presents for my parents. And I've finally reached Harry Potter och dödsrelikerna (The Deathly Hallows) in my swedish reading challenge...

My leaving quote is, in a nod to my reading challenge, a quote from Professor Dumbledore's notes to 'The Warlock's Hairy Heart' from The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

"This... speaks to the dark depths in all of us. It addresses one of the greatest, and least acknowledged, temptations of magic: the quest for invulnerability... No man or woman alive, magical or not, has ever escaped some form of injury, whether physical, mental or emotion. To hurt is as human as to breathe.

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