Journal

A Stupid Story

Yesterday I was at the markets. It was impossible to find a parking spot in the pre-Christmas rush. I spotted a spot and was just about to turn into it and I saw a woman had seen it at about the same time (maybe I beat her by a second).…

One of a few things could have happened at that point:
- I pushed in (I was a mm ahead)
- She pushed in
- We both pushed in and got out of our cars and had a full in brawl.

And then something weird happened. I waved at her and pulled back.

For many of you this is probably not an unusual story but it is for me. If I think I am even a little bit in the right or if it is borderline, my default response would be not to back down.

And this was giving up something I truly wanted (not like giving away surplus money).

And do you know, after I had given it up (even th

A Feather

I hold my life lightly as a feather in my hand.

For this moment I am neither anxious about the past nor concerned about the future.

My being does not weigh heavily upon me.


I recall a story about a Tibetan monk during the Chinese invasion. The monastery was raided and all but he had fled. He stood in the centre of the quadrangle as a Chinese officer came up to him, sword in hand.

“Don’t you realize that with this sword I could take of your head?” said the soldier.

“Don’t you realise, that I can let you” said the monk.

Torchlight

I have just returned from a weekend meditation retreat. It was largely non-denominational but had a slight Christian bias.

Nothing remarkable happened except for at the end. Glancing through a book I came upon the image above and was overwhelmed.

The awful humanity of the scene entrapped me as if I was there. Bent beneath the body, the man carrying Jesus must be covered in his blood. His delicacy and his strength resonates. Their love for the man who has died is clear. And it became for me, in that moment, our love. And Jesus could have been my father, your brother, another’s child.

And yet, something even a bit more. I see in that moment these men and women were bearing the Divinity. Not just something outside of themselves but were carrying their own Divinity. They held God in their ha

The Awesome Majesty

As I drive from my house this morning (too early) I am greeted by a rainbow that stretches from horizon to horizon in perfection. Trivialities fade and I stare at the awesome majesty for a moment (captured poorly on the phone I had to hand!).

In Sydney

I am going to be in Sydney this coming Thursday (23rd October) for a debate.…

Would be delighted to see some bubblers there if you are free. Here are the details. Just register as my guest.

DebateIT – All the web’s a stage, as a guest of Slattery IT.

DebateIT! – All the web’s a stage on Thursday is being held on the 23rd of October at the Museum of Sydney – Corner of Philip and Bridge Streets, Sydney. Registrations begin at 5pm over drinks and the debate will go from 5.30 to 6.30, closing with networking, drinks and canapes.

Join us as we debate whether the internet is helping unleash creativity. What opportunities are there for the creative on the internet? We will discuss the enormous potential of user generated content, new business models, and whether the technology is driving or restr

Glass Blowing

Over the weekend I have done the glass blowing course I had mentioned.…

The weekend was completely captivating. Our hands were literally held by another’s as we manipulated molten glass and transformed it into glorious (at least in my eyes) objects. The glass was entrancing as it moved from running to sticky to solid in a matter of just a few seconds. It could be both generously transformed and unforgiving.

In the process of this you enter a moment when you are focused completely on the object. But it is a focus which has to take in two or three other people because you are always working with others. They are keeping you from being burned. Are helping, holding and guiding.

I don’t think I have done anything else that is quite as completely captivating while thoroughly sharing. I look for

Total Destruction

Just prior to The CERN Accelerator being turned on yesterday there was a fair bit of gleeful radio talkback about the supposed possibility that it may generate a black hole that would consume the world.

A little bit of this glee was just pure skepticism about this risk but I also got a hint of something else – a sort of delighted nihilism. There would be no planet, or people to count the cost so nothing could have been lost.

I confess I also tingled slightly at this prospect of delightful abandonment.

If the Accelerator was really capable of wiping the slate completely clean then people would be queuing up to press the button.

Our Art

I just wrote the following piece for RedBubble here

One thing that has brought the nature of life home to me recently is that my wife lost the top half of her thumb in a horse accident two weeks ago. It is impossible not to slightly grieve for this. It is gone. We are fading, dissolving beings. That is our reality. Art seems to help us deal with this.

I hope on this site we find a way of helping each other on our collective human journeys.

Judged an Art Competition

Nicholas Forrest has just asked me to judge a contest called Next Star Artist.
You can find details about it here.

I was delighted to help. I think the idea of the competition is good and the prize useful (helping the artist with ways to promote themself).

I was also very impressed with and interested by the works. It was a bit difficult to to judge some of the works as I was trying to compare art from very different genres. But I found it very engaging.

You can see the finalists here. I would be interested to know what 3 works you may have chosen.

In Beirut

I arrived in Beirut yesterday. This is sort of like a homecoming for me as I lived in Syria from 1987-1990 but only got to Beirut once during that time because of the war. To be back here now feels like returning to a familiar but also unknown place.…

And it is wonderful and startling. The city hums with a vibrancy and beauty that is unique. Even now (after having yet another stupid war inflicted upon them) the Lebanese people delight. They are great survivors and have a generosity of spirit that is terribly rare. How it survives against the backdrop of a lot of meaningless violence, I cannot imagine.

I will try to refrain from commenting on the political situation in this forum. (I will find some other forum for that.) But will hopefully post some decent photo’s (perhaps with a story atta

Art’s Black Heart

A Picasso cost tens of millions. A Monet is more. And as for a Vermeer, his work is literally priceless.…

Rational, moral aesthetic supporters of the arts accept this. They covet this art. In their own homes they have maybe a Hockney, Hopper, Magritte or lesser Picasso.

Is this art valuable because it is beautiful? No, long ago it lost touch with this basic connection. Certainly it is beautiful but no more beautiful than much other art. Only an absolute expert can separate a good forgery from the original.

The art world freely accepts value is unrelated to merit. It is determined by artistic scarcity. Only 35 Vermeer’s have been painted, therefore their value is astronomical.

BUT … at the heart of this is a deep, unconscionable immorality. I get pleasure out of my art because others don’t

Why Is It?

What it is is obvious – a washer welded to a thin nail.…

But why is it? Now that is a peculiarly Australian story. Here (at least in the state I live in) petrol stations have the irritating practice of removing the pin from the petrol bowser handle so you cannot click it on – allowing you to wander off to wash windscreens etc. So this is my little bit of creativity for the day. My own personal pin allowing me to automatically fill the car without having to hold the handle down. It fits into the place where the pins have been removed and can be carried with me on my key ring.

This particular version is for Peter. And no I am not making them to order as my welder is not really designed for this fine work and tends to blow holes through the metal.

I know it is not up there we with the great

Finding a New Artist

You know what it is like. You bumble around on RedBubble. You see lots of work you like. You see a few things that really impress you. And then as if be magic you read a piece or look at an image and it takes your breath away. You somehow then have to reach for the superlatives. You are just stunned by it. It seems to speak directly to you, but in a new language that you could never have imagined and which you felt you did not know. Isnt that exciting.…

Yes, of course, it can happen off RedBubble as well.

In the last little while I have been stunned to discover deliriousgirl on RedBubble. She puts a sensuality in her work that just blows me away – and is so different than what I do.

And off RedBubble I have recently sat and walked in awe around the work of Tim Hawkinson. His mythic, monume

Art and Spirituality

I see creativity and spirituality as very closely related. Not that all spiritual people are creative or indeed that all creative people are spiritual (I can see many a drunken artist vomiting in horror at the thought). More I see the relationship as one of purpose. Both activities aspire to bring meaning into our lives. And, of course, through the ages art and religion have been deeply connected.…

Art and spirituality, it seems to me, occupy the void created by human beings’ consciousness of their own mortality. They stand between us and the terrible darkness of non-existence. Our art, in its absolute non-utility, imitates the gods we increasingly fail to believe in.

Enabling and encouraging more people to be creative is to shatter the priestly control of the arts. Everyone has a place at

Writing - again

It is so easy to get overwhelmed.…

Since the start of the year I have been absolutely preoccupied with raising money for RedBubble. Most of the work has been compiling a business plan and writing a long document about the company. Sharing this with investors has been relatively straightforward. (And despite the very difficult funding environment things are going OK).

The real downside has been that this appears to have consumed my imagination. I have been left with seeming nothing to say. It reminds me of other stages in my “career” when the doing consumes everything else.

it isn’t very healthy. I lose perspective and the reason for it all. I fail to see RedBubble as the wonderful, complete thing it is. And I also lose the ability to enjoy it properly.

Perhaps I am shaking this off – again

Next Publication

In the Moment will be closing next Sunday. Quite frankly I have been absolutely stunned by the quality of the work in the competition. The magazine will be the most beautiful magazine ever published – I am really serious! I have seen some proofs and have been sifting through artwork. It will be great.…

And …. on the Thursday 17 January we launch the next publication on the theme “Gaia – The Living Planet”. This is the magazine for all of us who live on this earth and love her. So if your interest is the world we live in and how she sustains herself and holds us in the palm of her hand them be ready to submit work.

We have reverted to straight cash prizes as we got a fair bit of feedback from folks saying they would simply prefer the money (personally I would prefer the books which took a l

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