HAPHAZARD MUSINGS

Posted in Uncategorized by lmass on 31/01/2012

As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, “I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.

Harper Lee, 2006

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Francesca Woodman

Posted in Uncategorized by lmass on 16/01/2012

Francesca Woodman used long exposures to create a sense of movement and other-wordliness in her black and white photographs of female nudes. Many of her portraits of these ghostly figures were actually of herself. She committed suicide at the age of 22 in 1981. She left behind a prolific body of work which includes an extensive collection of these beautiful photos, which celebrate the lines and shape of the female form. The fluidity she achieved in her photos is second to none, and I love the intimate expressiveness of the poses.

 

Bunga Bunga!

Posted in Uncategorized by lmass on 05/01/2012

 

On February 7th, 1910, one Herbert Cholmondesly of HMFO demanded a special train from London’s Paddington Station to convey four Abyssinian princes to Weymouth docks. In fact, the troupe who boarded HMS Dreadnought that morning were pranksters, recruited by the noted adventurer William Horace de Vere Cole, the ‘Cholmondesly of the FO’. Under the elaborate disguises as African potentates were novelist Virginia Woolf, sportsman Anthony Buxton, artist Duncan Grant and a judge’s son Guy Ridley. Their interpreter was Woolf’s brother Adrian. Red carpet and a guard of honour awaited them at Weymouth, with Admiral Sir William May himself welcoming the company.

When rain threatened their make-ups, the ‘princes’ requested the permission to inspect the ship. Inside, they overacted to a ludicrous degree: they handed out visiting cards printed in Swahili. Being at a loss of what to say, Buxton improvised Virgil’s Aeneid in a strange accent, lest the navy recognized Latin. They asked for prayer mats at sunset, and tried to bestow Abyssinian honours on senior officers. ‘Bunga-bunga,’ they exclaimed whenever they were shown some great aspect of the ship; this except Virginia Woolf who had to try hard to disguise her womanish voice.

Yet, their disguises were so good that an officer who knew both Woolf and Cole previously failed to recognized either. They had another close-shave when Buxton sneezed and one-half of his moustache flew off, but he stuck it back again before anyone noticed. (The Navy too had its own faux pas: as the Abyssinian flag could not be found, the flag of Zanzibar was flown instead!)

The next day the Navy was mortified to learn that the party they had escorted around the warship had not been Abyssinian dignitaries at all. Instead it had been a group of young, upper class pranksters who had blackened their faces, donned elaborate theatrical costumes, and then forged an official telegram in order to gain access to the ship. Their ringleader was a man named Horace de Vere Cole, but the entourage also included a young woman called Virginia Stephen who would later be better known as the writer Virginia Woolf.

… awesome