Monthly Archives: March 2015

Did you wonder about the onion lawns?

17 March 2015 - Through the camera, the front bit one focusses on just always looks a bit more sparse than it does with the naked eye. Photo: Mick. 2015.

17 March 2015 – Through the camera, the front bit one focusses on just always looks a bit more sparse than it does with the naked eye. Photo: Mick. 2015.

In an earlier piece, I wrote about the onion lawns in Copenhagen’s parks. This lawn in Kongens Have (King’s Garden) must be the most tumblred, pinterested and perhaps wordpressed photo opportunity for early spring in Copenhagen, I imagine.

Continue reading

Reading history

 

Christian Albrecht von Benzon (1816-1849) 1846 painting: The death of Canute IV of Denmark in the Church of Saint Albanus (1086). Photo: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christian-albrecht-von-benzon,_the_death_of_Canute_the_Holy.jpg

Christian Albrecht von Benzon (1816-1849) 1846 painting: The death of Canute IV of Denmark in the Church of Saint Albanus (1086). Photo: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christian-albrecht-von-benzon,_the_death_of_Canute_the_Holy.jpg

How’s the new year resolution going, I hear you ask. It has been a while since I wrote about what I read. And I have been reading. 16 books so far in 2015.

Recently, I have read historical fiction. I have a keen interest in Danish history – I have traced my roots to the history books. I am fascinated by writers who can animate historic characters in historic scenes and make it seem real and believable. Of course, historical fiction is just that, fiction, and should not be mistaken for real history. But when history is told in a fictional genre, it is certainly easier to remember who is who in a turbulent time of Danish history.

Under Christiansborg Slot that houses the Danish Parliament, you can see the ruins of the previous castle, Københavns Slot, including the foundations of Blåtårn, the prison where Christian IV's daughter Leonora Christina was imprisoned for 22 years. Photo: Mick. 2015

Under Christiansborg Slot that houses the Danish Parliament, you can see the ruins of the previous castle, Københavns Slot, including the foundations of Blåtårn, the prison where Christian IV’s daughter Leonora Christina was imprisoned for 22 years. Photo: Mick. 2015

Continue reading

White Energy and Women

Peter Linde Busk's ceramic work at Galleri Kant. Photo: Lone. 2015.

Peter Linde Busk’s ceramic work at Galleri Kant. Photo: Lone. 2015.

Virginia Woolf seems to be everywhere in my life at the moment. I read the literature she writes and I go to a lecture series named after her essay A Room of One’s Own. But I did not expect to meet her at an exhibition.

White Energy at Galleri Kant is curated by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen; the title refers to Woolf’s reflections on creative energy in A Room of One’s Own – the utopian fever state of pure creation. Works have been selected because of their ‘whiteness’ and ‘strong formal power of enunciation’. So the reference to Virginia Woolf is not to her feminist agenda – which is the key message I took away from reading her – but applying more broadly her insights about the need for freedom to create. Thus, only three of the nine exhibiting artists (or groups) are women, which I supect would have somewhat disappointed Woolf. Perhaps it is reflctive of a sad reality that so many years later, men are still more likely to have access to this state. Continue reading

Blooming sunseekers

Crocuses open their colourful petals and reach promiscuously to the sun. Photo: Mick. 2015.

Crocuses open their colourful petals and reach promiscuously to the sun. Photo: Mick. 2015.

On Sunday last week the temperature hit two digits and the sun blared down – at least during the middle hours of the day. Spring has sprung in Copenhagen and it is beautiful, if still cold enough for the wind to make my ears ache during the morning walk.

Continue reading

The spirit of the age

Perhaps a pictorial for female toilet would have been a better design choice that accorded more with the spirit of the age? Sydney Opera House. Photo: Mick. 2013.

Perhaps a pictorial for female toilet would have been a better design choice that accorded more with the spirit of the age? Sydney Opera House. Photo: Mick. 2013.

Orlando (1928) is a short work of fiction, highly acclaimed and thought to be the most accessible of Virginia Woolf’s works. Frankly, I found it tedious and long in the tooth. It took me forever to read, getting lost in long passages of description. I had to look hard for the insights and gems.

Continue reading

Birds and graffiti

My first Graffiti Bird on Vendersgade. Photo: Lone. 2015

My first Graffiti Bird on Vendersgade. Photo: Lone. 2015

 

IMGP8121 graffiti birdCopenhagen has a refreshing number of green spaces that support wildlife. A harbour town (originally known just as Havn – habour), it is situated on the water with plentiful canals and parks, both highly designed gardens like the King’s Garden and the more naturally maintained parks like Dyrehaven. The moors that used to flank the old town outside the ramparts are partly preserved in parklands.

IMGP8024 graffiti birdThe great thing about these green areas are that they are home to plenty of bird life – from the large swans to the tiny finches and sparrows: blue tit, great tit, forest sparrow, robins etc. They flitter in and out of bushes and are impossible to capture on camera. My bird watching husband is excited to see these birds that were rare when he was bird watching in Essex as a child in the 1980s.

But the Copenhagen bird that has caught my eye and imagination is not to be found in the parks and can easily be captured on film. This bird is the Graffiti Bird and once I spotted the first one, I realised it is ubiquitous in this town.

IMGP7839 graffiti birdIMGP8012 graffiti birdI like graffiti and respect graffiti artists. Graffiti in the Banksy style is humourous, clever and often political. City councils find themselves preserving a bit of wall with good graffiti art (especially when it is Banksy and potentially valuale). These same councils also spend enormous resources to remove graffiti from the street picture. The Graffiti Bird caught my imagination. It is a happy picture, simple in its design and often imposed where it juxtaposes unsightly features of the city or other less aesthetic graffiti. I imagine property owners and København Kommune less enthusiastic about the Graffiti Bird, which has been around for some time. I am not sure who the artist is for there is no consistent tag, or if it is just one artist or several.

IMGP7977 graffiti birdIf you are in Copenhagen, have you seen the Graffiti Bird in other places? Do you think it is art or vandalism?

 

IMGP7846 graffiti bird

IMGP7922 graffiti bird

IMGP8008 graffiti bird

IMGP7754 graffiti bird

IMGP8043 graffiti bird