Earlier this week we announced the winners of the Forest Pitch primary schools’ strip design competition at Hampden Stadium by Shona Robison MSP. Loads of the 30 shortlisted children came with teachers and parents, and it was a great day, the kids (and me) getting to go out into the stadium for photos. Here are images of the winning designs, plus some photo’s for the day. There were 4 winners, whose designs will be made into actual strips for our Forest Pitch players to wear, and there was also a special commendation which we hope to make into the goalkeepers jerseys – see www.forestpitch.org to see the full shortlist and for more details. All photographs courtesy of Christopher James.
Kerr Carlyle - Dalmilling Primary School (Winner)
Anah Dodds - Letham Primary School (Winner)
Mia Gordon - Edinburgh Academy (Winner)
Amelia Purkis - Lilliesleaf Primary School (Winner)
Ben Logan - Maxwellton Primary School (Special Commendation)
Here are two paintings I particularly enjoyed seeing in Siena. The first is “Nativity of the Virgin” by Pietro Lorenzetti from 1335 – 1342. Lorenzetti was apparently a rival to Giotto, who did the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova, one of my favourite things ever. The room we saw this in was full of Italian’s and the Italian tour guide went in a huff because she couldn’t get them to shut up while she spoke about the much more important work “Maesta” by Duccio. Anyway, Lorenzetti’s was of particular note because St. Anna (Virgin Mary’s mum) appears to be lying on what looks like a tartan rug. Obviously a lot of Christian art is less than historically accurate, but still, its nice to see a touch of tartan appearing in the mid 14th century in Italy. Apparently the oldest documented tartan in Scotland is from the 3rd century AD, which is ages ago. And Scotland didn’t even start it….thats by the by. There lies St.Anna on a tartan rug.
Secondly there is “St Bernardino Preaching in the Campo” by Sano di Pietro from 1445. This is particularly nice as the buildings in Siena’s campo are painted in a lovely salmon pink, which they no longer (were they ever?) are. Plus there is a confident oddness about the buildings which I like. Men and women are divided in their praying/listening by a wee red curtain.
Sergei Parajanov was an Armenian film director who made some incredible films. He died in 1990. I went to see “The Colour of Pomegranates” recently, which was my introduction to him. If you are a fan of Pier Paolo Pasolini or Tarkovsky, or just really beautiful film in general, you will enjoy his films. They are studies in measured beauty, absolutely brilliant and my new favourite thing. Here is a small clip from The Colour of Pomegranates (you can now, wonderfully, watch the whole thing on youtube here), but there are other great ones out there that are cheap to buy on dvd, and you should. There is also a documentary on youtube (see below) and a documentary from 1992 called “Parajanov: The Last Spring” but I can’t seem to find that anywhere. Here is a website dedicated to the man and his work
“THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES” – Sergei Parajanov (1968)
“SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS” – Sergei Parajanov (1964)
“THE LEGEND OF THE SURAM FORTRESS” -Sergei Parajanov (1984)
“HAKOP HOVNATANIAN” – Sergei Parajanov (1967 Documentary)
A friend recently forwarded me a link to Fante Asafo flags. These are flags made by military “companies” in Ghana since at least the 17th century and represented different areas and communities. They usually had their own “shrines” as well where people would gather. The companies were represented by names, numbers and symbols, all of which could be shown on the flags they would make. Sometimes they would illustrate proverbs or motto’s. After the British conquest of 1896, some of the flags started to incorporate Union flags, or at least versions of it. Anyway, yesterday I saw a programme called “Hidden Treasures of African Art” presented by Griff Rhys Jones. It’s pretty good, and he talks (amongst other things) about Fante Asafo flags, and the brilliantly personalised coffins of Ghana. He also ruminates on “authentic” african art. There is a roaring trade in “fake” flags and masks etc, I couldn’t care less if they are real or fake (here’s an article about fake fante flags), but these flags are wonderful things. It did make me think a bit about inspiration though. Sometimes, you find something interesting and you don’t want anyone else to know. I felt this way when seeing this programme, I have known about the coffins for a wee while and was disappointed when I first saw them in the programme. Then I thought, fuck it – I am not the creator here, how on earth can I feel anything about the greater exposure of another’s art? I think there are some interesting questions to be asked about the nature of inspirations – a friend asked me recently about this blog and said “aren’t you worried about giving away your inspirations?” – the answer is, no. I only put up what I want, and regardless, anything I produce will always be a recycling of the world around me, but put through the filter of my mind. No one else would come to exactly the same conclusions and why should artists exist in a mysterious, private coded world? Anyway, I’m rambling, here’s a link to the programme, and some images of the flags. (photos copyright Tim Hamill, www.hamillgallery.com also see Adire African Textiles)