Curate | The Poetic Imagery of Petra Jaenicke

Having worked for many years as a commercial photographer, Photo Editor and Art Director, Petra explains she was exhausted and needed to redesign her life and priorities she entered into a career of teaching. Last year she made the conscious decision to fulfil a long terms ambition to focus on experimental artistic photography and mixed media art.

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Her love of being on the road, experiencing new places and people inspires Petra. The act of exploring allows her to “sense poetry and beauty and try to capture my individual perception of it with the camera,” she says.

Each collection takes between 4 to 8 weeks to curate. Using a combination of techniques, like moving the camera or double exposure, she creates a sense of the fluidity of the moment. The challenge is to create something that resembles a dance, graceful and elegant. For someone who is a very clear and methodical person in her daily life, Petra’s artistic work is about creating something that is the polar opposite. When photographing it’s about her seeing and feeling the moment and it is in these times that her subjects find her rather than her having to actively seek them out.

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“In a narrow, almost meditative form of bonding, the camera and I build a unit for this moment. So I approach the reality and disassemble it with the camera into small parts. In this photographic reduction, I work without thinking, without planning, purely intuitive, trying to find an expression for my feelings and visions. Only later during the selection of individual motifs and their digital post processing do I focus on the theme of a certain series.”

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In her current series Petra explores her distrust of classical realism. She describes her work as experimental artistic photography, where the images are digitally merged to create a surreal, emotive illusion, one that questions reality. She says; ” I try to experiment and even play with reality – a visualisation of reality where fleeting, non-permanent and periodical moments occur.”

“My images are not supposed to look nice, they are supposed to make you feel something.”

Her ability to push the boundaries of reality and make photography an exploration of art, where she purposefully works to dismantle the myth that photograph as a medium of capturing the truth. Her aim is to present to those her view her art, a space where “comfortable conventions must be put to the test and renegotiated.”

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“The images remind of a dream you cannot quite remember, but have it remained in your memory.” – Petra Jaenicke

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Petra sees her photography has being a medium for “finding a subjective response to the world.” Engaging and drawing the viewer in, her work is about the finding a poetic and aesthetic view to normal life, one that creates for the viewer an opportunity to form their own perception of that moment.

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Musings | Mummy Love

All too often you get a bunch of mum’s together in a room and here will be advice swapping and “oh god you won’t believe what Johnnie did today” stories flying around before you can can pop that much needed bottle of bubbles.

I remember, pre-children, I would secretly roll my eyes to the far back reaches of my brain and swear to myself that I will never be one of those mums. Three years in and I think I have been pretty good in limiting my amount of mummy advice and philosophical musings I force onto others.

Until now.

When I was pregnant with my son, we were renovating our house, which I was project managing alongside our builder, and I had just taken on a new Managing Director role.  I had allot on my plate…..long nights, early morning renovation site visits, international travel and work commitments all summed up to a fair amount of stress. As we were renovating we didn’t have the disposable income for me to dash off for weekly massages so I had to find my own happy place to keep me and baby calm and healthy.

My focus turned to what could I do to manage my stress and so each night I played the same, and this is the key point, the same chill out album. It worked a treat, it was like a cognitive light switch to my brain and by song three I would be fast asleep in the happy slumbers of floating clouds.

Fast forward about nine months and out pops bub, you all go home and life is postcard perfect. Then the purple crying happens and as a new mum its probably one of the most confronting experiences ever. In desperation one day I turned on the chill out album I had  been listening to whilst pregnant and within song one an inconsolable child had calmed and a traumatised mum felt in control again.

That same album has been played every single bedtime and it marks the start of quiet time for my son. I played the same album whilst pregnant with my daughter and have since played it literally since the day she was born when she needed consoling. It works every time and I mean every, single, time.

So that is my top tip. Find your album and play it while all through your pregnancy for it not only has great benefits to your own sleep but it will save so much heartache when trying t settle a new born, calm a screaming toddler or just to define bedtime.

Curate | Venetian Photographer Pietro Venchierutti

Pietro’s first introduction to photography was during the 2011 Venice International Movie Festival where he was paid to escort paparazzi around in his boat. During the festival, the photographers asked him to help take some photographs, in situations that were often demanding to get ‘the shot’. It was during these times that Pietro quickly realised he had a talent for shooting a good image and so the seed was sown….

 

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His subjects have changed since that first introduction, with his preference now being for minimalist photos that focus on lines, curves, geometries, colours, contrasts. He explains his mind sees things differently when photographing.

“I have a mental concentration that allow me to interpret reality differently and seeing pictures before I shoot them. So the perfect subject can be defined, in my case, every picture I’m able to catch with the camera exactly as I’ve seen it in my mind few seconds before.”

 

A large number of Pietro’s photographs focus on architecture and he explains what he loves about it; “the composition of the architecture. The harmony of lines, curves, colours, shadows…”. The colour and vibrancy of the architectural shots are starkly contrasted with the black and white collection that captures Venetian life. “I live in Venice, a city where you can feel history, art, culture and typical traditions in every part of it. My black and white pictures subjects are mostly Venetian people captured in some original Venetian traditional activities, and I think black and white gives a sort of antique style at the photo” He says.

“I live in Venice, a city where you can feel history, art, culture and typical traditions in every part of it……”

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By day Pietro owns his owns a property management company managing high quality properties for holiday rentals. Through his job he has met a number of property owners who rent their prestigious estates for art exhibitions , especially the Biennale Pavilions. That coupled with having many friends who work within artistic environments he is surrounded by a large pool of inspirational people.  Pietro explains; “real art for me is something created by a mysterious and uncontrollable energy that comes from the inside of the artist and gives to him the power to create a material piece that before was only in his mind, giving the opportunity to other people to see and enjoy it. All the rest, is just business improperly called ‘modern art’.”

Instagram: @pietrovenchierutti

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Health | New Tech Start-Up Health Delivered Is Set To Revolutionise Health Management

I spoke to Tanya Gilliver, Co-Founder and Dietetics lead for new tech start-up, Health Delivered, about a disruptive dietary management program her and her team are working on. A Dietitian with over 15 years’ experience in both the UK and Australia, Tanya understands the complexity of integrating scientific information with individual lifestyle and food preferences as well as considering the individual’s personal medical conditions.

She explains; “In Australia, half the population has a chronic disease. Globally a staggering 1.9 billion people are overweight or obese.     Much of this is preventable or managed with diet yet we know that our current approaches are not meeting this demand.”  The compounding issue is that Dietitans have limited tools and resources to dynamically manage their patients progress on a daily basis. Instead having to provide guidelines and recommendations to the patient and then reassess in two to four weeks, or longer in some cases. This delayed or protracted response rate means treatment is drawn out, leading to a much slower response rate, and in some cases, resulting in weight-loss management failure, as the patient is left feeling unsupported.

 “What makes this already complex scenario even more frightening, is that current software systems are clunky to use, expensive and out of date”  says Tanya, “in this digital age, most dietitians are still choosing to work from paper based assessments and meal plans and we are reliant on face-to-face consultations to problem solve issues or provide support to clients.”

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This gap in the market led to the development of Health Delivered. The cloud based platform will allow Dietitians to provide streamlined consultations, personalised meal plans, integrations with wearable and medical devices and remote dietary management.

The platform creates pathways to better nutrition. The current modus operandi is paper based, reactive engagement with no real-time monitoring. Health Delivered will provide Dietitians with end-to-end digital management, proactive and preventative monitoring that is real-time, secure and scalable. This personalised, real-time management system will greatly improve the likelihood for successful weight management and other therapeutic dietary management.

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Nearly two years in the making the first prototype is due to launch mid-July 2017 for market feedback and bug fixes. The full Dietitian program due to launch to market in early 2018 with a further App store simplified version for ‘Joe Public’ due to launch in the middle of 2018.

Tanya and business partner, Pete Saunders, recently flew to the UK where Health Delivered was one of only 12 start-ups selected globally (and the inaugural Australian start-up) to present at Pitch@Palace in London. Established by The Duke of York less than 3 years ago, Pitch@Palace provides a platform or forum for tech focused start-ups to pitch in front of a global audience of key influencers.

Curate | Artist Julia Badow’s Happy Place

After years of applying to art school Julia’s drive and passion kept here striving to do more, learn more, try more and most importantly not to give up. Its this tenacious spirit that comes through when speaking to her… well that and overwhelming happiness. Julia is a happy person, a really happy person. Not kooky happy. Genuinely happy and its contagious and its this happy spirit that bubbles into her artwork delivering the most wonderfully considered symphony of colour.

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Born in East Germany into a household that nurtured creativity, Julia’s mother was and continues to be a inspiration to her. On the breaking down of the Berlin wall her mother purchased an American magazine that included an article on how to foster creativity in children and so began the supportive and inclusive environment for her and sibling.

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Whilst working on her portfolio and developing her skills as an artist Julia tried a number of techniques and styles. She started experimenting by painting with a credit card and it was at this point that she started getting call backs on her portfolio viewings. Fast forward to a chance viewing of Alisa Burke, Portland based abstract artist, finger painting and  Julia was hooked. Her first few pieces, by her own admission were poor, yet that tenacious spirit kept her persevering and “indulging in her happy place” as she describes. And like a curtain being pulled aside so was the that moment of ‘ting’, that light bulb moment where everything just clicked into place. She had found her medium.

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She started painting in 2012 with a view to fund her fashion school education and by 2015 she was proactively marketing her art.

Having created her own colour wheel she is constantly exploring new colours, her love for colour being the inspiration for her paintings. Julia continues to grow as an artist, with an insatiable appetite for learning and a self confessed workaholic she enthusiastically paints “at all hours of the day” she says.

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She has received so much encouragement and community spirit from other artists creating a positive mind space with a rich support network. This talented vivacious artist has a wonderful career ahead of her.

Upcoming Exhibition:
Vernissage  Thursday, 20th of July at 8 pm at Rosenthaler Str. 34, 10178 Berlin
To get on the guest list register here

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Street Art | Cape Town – a conversation with local artist Fers

I spoke to Cape Town based street artist, Quasiem (aka Fers) about the scene in the Mother City, one that is relatively small as he explains. Small but certainly not lacking in talent, for this the small pool of artists pack a whole lot creative punch!

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Kasi aka Breeze Yoko (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

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Nadstar (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

“Cape Town has a strong graffiti writer scene though, mainly on trains. The street art scene comprises mainly of ex-writers that crossed over to street art. There is a certain stigma attached to graffiti but street art seems to accepted openly.” Says Fers.

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Kasi (Photo Credit: Jose-Romeu-De-Abreu)

Unfortunately in Cape Town any form of uncommissioned public art is deemed illegal. Quasiem shared that in the early 2000’s street art was more prevalent, however in 2010 the government passed a by-law that made any form of public art illegal, unless you had a permit. When these by-law were introduced they sadly removed a large amount of the street art murals from around Cape Town. Street Art, by its nature, is not be constrained by bureaucracy and so unfortunately many artists stopped participating in the scene and the movement gradually became smaller.

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Bear Cat – Nard Fers (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

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Nard Fers (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

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Nard Fers (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

Despite this, Fers explains, three is still a very active graffiti scene on the trains, however a large number of the more established artists have moved into the gallery scene working as more commercial artists.

And with by-laws comes, unfortunately, no development of programmes to support new talent nor are there any public programmes in place. In a city environment I find this such a lost opportunity for not only developing and cultivating new talent, but for keeping kids off the streets as well as developing tourist places of interest. There is so much untapped dollar value against street art in terms of creating cultural pockets within a city-scape that municipalities should harness this talent as a tangible asset.

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I quizzed Quasiem on who he felt best represented street art within a Capetonian context and he responded, “Cars, Kem, Omar, Toe, Faith, Kasi, Coe, Sure, Bief, Falko, MakOne, Wer, Nardstar, Stok, Smet, Spot, Play, Slate, there are too many too mention, basically the entire scene and those who continue to paint even in these tough times.”

Some of the artists have ventured aboard and achieved a name for themselves internationally, the likes of; Faith, Falko, Kasi and Nadstar.

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Makone (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

With South Africa’s rather tumultuous past I asked Quasiem how the country’s politically rich history had influenced the artwork. He explained that; “during Apartheid the artists stood together in solidarity, using their art as a voice of protest. Little did they know that back then that it would develop into a thriving scene. Sadly very little of the political graffiti remains.”

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Kitty (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

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Core Collective (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

Independent Graphic Designer, Quasiem, became involved in street art about 10 years ago, having been introduced through friends. His use of bold lines with traditional graffiti influences are the bedrock to his strong characters.

Twitter: @fersyndicate
Website: www.fersyndicate.com

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Faith47-Living Apart Entwined (Photo Credit: Quasiem)

Street Art | Singapore Walking Tour

I’m extremely excited to be introducing my first collaboration! I came across Louise’s blog and loved her design style. It is fun and whimsical and everything you would expect from a notebook journal. Caffeine Rush (http://www.louiseramos.com) is Louise’s online journal and she has kindly shared her must do Singapore photo and walking tour…

Louise Recommends

Singapore has always been this bright little place filled with so much art and culture. I love that most of their streets and neighbourhoods are filled with murals, and their colourful infrastructures will surely brighten up your day! If you’re visiting and have an extra day (or would rather go to less touristy places), then immerse yourself instead with a Singapore art walk, for which we’ve written a mini guide to below.

The following places are where you can find most of Singapore’s street art. Modernization is apparent, and for some places, skyscrapers are all we see. But it’s good to know that some areas still hold their history and story close. We get to glimpse the old multicultural Singapore where Arabs, Chinese, and Indians lived in, with all its colours and stories. Along the way, you’ll also find shopping and food hubs, hole-in-the-wall cafes and restaurants, and cultural places like museums and temples that are sure worth the walk.

With Singapore’s efficient MRT system, going from one place to another is a breeze. You can find a map below to see the nearest station for each location.

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Little India

At first, Little India may seem like just a marketplace where, for most, Indian people in Singapore are. But walk away from the main streets and you’ll see bright murals and canteens that are more art than just shops. The buildings give off this colourful festival vibe year round and may even feel a little bit bohemian. There’s also a mix of Chinese and Hindu temples, and the 24-hour Mustafa Centre shopping complex.

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Chinatown

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There’s less street art here but it pays to visit the temples instead. There’s the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple as pictured, Sri Mariamman Temple and Jamae Mosque.

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A lot of the current citizens in Singapore are Chinese, and you can learn more about their history in the Chinatown Heritage Centre which also serves as a museum. The street shops in Pagoda Street open right before noon and is a good place to buy souvenirs, plus sample local food in the near food street. Visit at night and you might chance upon street performances or live bands playing!

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Bugis and Bras Basah

Bugis is both an art and shopping haven! Plus, a lot of hotels are situated in the area making it easily accessible. I personally love walking around here because it’s just a lively and lovely place to be! Haji and Bali lanes are short and narrow roads filled with cafes, bars and open restos. the perfect brunch place! Also, bright art fills its walls. There’s actually a lot of places to go to in Bugis, including shopping malls, and you can check them in the map.

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Just near Bugis is Bras Basah which has a separate MRT station but is also accessible by foot. If you’re looking to shop for art supplies and books or magazines, this is the place to go. For a rundown of the other places, there’s the National Museum, art spaces, and Chijmes which is a historic Catholic convent turned to a lifestyle and entertainment centre.

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Tiong Bahru

The murals here are less saturated and depict mostly of everyday Singapore life. They’re not as compressed together or as colourful as in Bugis, and it might be a little harder to look for the pieces, but recommended to do so if you have extra time.

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Everitt Road

If you’ve ever been to Penang, Malaysia, you’d be familiar with Ernest Zacharevicâ’s pieces. His murals are the ones you always see in Instagram and other social media platforms. He painted other pieces too in Singapore and some large ones can be found in the corner of Everitt Road and Joo Chiat Lane.

Behind all the art is a glimpse of Singapore’s rich history and diverse culture. It’s always been a habit of mine to include in my travel itineraries a mural hunt – for that sense of art-venture. It’s also a refreshing way to immerse yourself sans the typical tours. (Though famous places like Gardens by the Bay are also worth the visit!)

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Can you recommend other artsy places in Singapore?