Friday, October 24, 2014

Mural - Art on campus

This stunning mural by 1975 artist in residence Andrés Sanchez-Flores is probably overlooked by most campus dwellers as it faces away from a main thoroughfare and to take a good look is difficult if the sun is in the wrong place or a vehicle is passing.

The murals consists of two panels, small one at the top and main panel below.

Closer view of left side of main panel.

And the right side.

The top panel shown in Maya figures the year the work was completed - 1975.

Closer view of left side.


Right side.

This plaque gives all the details.

Very striking artwork.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Moominvalley in November - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-forty-sixth in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

This is the last of the Moomin books and fittingly, in keeping with Jansson's fearless grasp on her creative works, the Moomins are most notable by their absence and in their absence have a strong presence throughout the story.

I can only imagine that November can be a little melancholy in the far north, fortunately there is plenty of whimsical humour and Jansson moves her stories along a pace and brings her characters to life with a sure hand.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moominpappa at Sea - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-forty-fifth in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

The Groke, sea horses in the moonlight, an absent lighthouse keeper, a Moominpappa with an existential crisis and a Moominmamma who stands by her man. Moonimtroll has his own problems and Little My just sails through any crisis looking out for number one (but also being the most sensible and pragmatic person in the story).

Surprisingly deep, this book and powerful in its emotion and imagery. Not sure this is a kids book, but Mr13 read it with the same alacrity as the others. Perhaps it just touches a nerve with an older adult and is thus a little uncomfortable. Not that I would know. Just speculating. Read it and make up your own mind.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Seedlings - Art on campus

This work by Robert Juniper is large and imposing, the height and breadth complemented by the stark rust red of the metal. However it is pleasing to the eye and the (real) native plants give a nice contrast of colour and texture.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tales from Moominvalley - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-forty-fourth in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

I may have mentioned once or twice that I am not a big fan of short story collections, except when I am. This is one of those exceptions where the author has managed to hit the mark (no surprise).

Familiar characters, as you would expect in Moominvalley, appear here and there in the tales.

I particularly liked The Hemulen Who Loved Silence but they are all well constructed, easy to read and poignant. The illustrations change in style from the earlier books for some reason that I am yet to discover, but Jansson never misses her mark.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Moominland Midwinter - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-forty-third in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

Moomins hibernate. Makes it awkward to set your story in the middle of winter, and what a tragedy if Jansson couldn't take advantage of the Finnish winter landscape as a backdrop for a Moomin story.

Don't fret. She finds a way, and the result is another terrific book. Perhaps my favourite. If one is allowed to have favourites. Certainly Moomintroll gets lots of air time, and Little My (just the best anti-hero).

Everything I know about a real winter with snow I learnt from this book. Perhaps one day I will see the real thing. One day.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Moominsummer Madness - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-forty-second in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

Nothing like a flood to create a landscape for a story, and what a great story.

Jansson continues to nail her characters, new and old, with a dash of poignancy and a generous serve of whimsy. And did I mention the theatre? And the play?


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Moominpappa's Memoirs - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-forty-first in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

I had thought that this next book in the Moomin collection might be a bit tedious. Some tired prequel type of work. I was wrong. It was fabulous and actually tied together lots of disparate characters, united through Moominpappa's adventures when he was younger. And it is fun!


Thursday, October 09, 2014

Art as a puzzle

I walk past this art work most days. One day I thought it looked a bit odd so I took a picture but then forgot to do anything more about it. I think the walls had been painted recently.

Today I noticed that the art work looked fine and took a picture.

I think I wasn't the only one to notice the problem :)

Actually it wasn't.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Finn Family Moomintroll - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-fortieth in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

One of my clear memories of Moomin was of the Hobgoblin and his hat, which is a thread woven through this next book of Moonin on my bookshelf. The transformations from the hat are magical (in more ways than one) and a delight but tempered by the thought of the Hobgoblin. I remember so clearly because I was scared and the image of the Hobgoblin on the moon has stayed with me across the decades. I also remembered the ant lion for the same reason. I hadn't remembered the Groke until I came across her but the memory came flooding back.

Tove Jansson is at the top of her craft in this rich, evocative and gripping book.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Comet in Moominland - Tove Jansson

This is the Hundred-and-thirty-ninth in my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

It has been unusual for me to be reading a book from my childhood that I've not read since then. I have always reread all my favourite books regardless of their genre. In this case I had somehow overlooked Tove Jansson's classic books, perhaps because they lack visibility in my hometown, but I had never forgotten them. A visit to Sweden and Finland, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson's birth and a walk through a retrospective of her paintings and objects and illustrations made me determined to revisit the books, which I am now doing.

I was a little nervous when I sat down to read the first book. Would I be disappointed? Would my memory have overstated the reality. I was not disappointed. I was amazed and delighted. The illustrations are an eloquent story all of their own, but the simplicity of the words and strength of the characters combine to make something amazing. Mr13 has now read this book and he said the same thing. He also said 'I really like Snufkin' and I have to agree. Many of the characters are an uncomfortable mirror but Snufkin is also inspirational in his desire for freedom and his ability to walk on stilts!

This book is a marvel and has been added to my 'must have' books on my bookshelf.