“Det är bara regn” Book Cover

April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some time ago I made paintings for the artwork for Det är bara regn (“It’s just rain”) by Alice Kassius Eggers. The book was released yesterday! The text itself is very poetic and the subject matter is so close to heart; so for me it was both a great honour to be asked, as well as a joy & pleasure to work with the project, making this cover.

A closer look at the front cover:

The back:

 

A Brief History of Encyclopaedias

February 12, 2012 § 5 Comments

I’ve been meaning to do more research on encyclopedias, so this book might serve as an introduction: A Brief History of Encyclopaedias by Andrew Brown. Will report back when I have read it.

Reading Now: The Golden Bough

April 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Golden Bough by James Frazer has found its way to me from the library, and I have finally started reading it. A little late though, since I have to return it in three weeks. With so little time to finish 800 pages written in small print, perhaps I’ll have a look at these chapters first:

  • The Worship of Trees. Section 1. Tree-spirits.
  • The Worship of Trees. Section 2. Beneficent Powers of Tree-Spirits.
  • Relics of Tree Worship in Modern Europe.
  • The Worship of the Oak.

Den belägrade staden

January 23, 2011 § 4 Comments

Someone gave me this book  – Den belägrade staden – for Christmas. It contains prints of charcoal / graphite drawings made by a Swedish artist, Mattias Fagerholm. I hadn’t heard of him before, or seen these works, so the book was a really nice surprise.

The artist was given the opportunity to partake in a polar expedition to Antarctica in 2002. Many of my favourite images of the book are the ones in the chapter called “Antarctica”, like the ones in the photo below  (“Fitzroy” and “Antarctica II”). Visually, these two images remind me of old Japanese woodblock prints (Ukiyo-e), and how mountains and waves are rendered in those prints. But the atmosphere, compared to ukiyo-e, is different. Frozen, darker, more menacing.

I like his architectural drawings a lot, too, like the ones shown below (“Hamnen” and “Container 2”). There’s a dream-like quality in them; like a nightmare in black and white, in slow motion, where the only audible sounds are muted and low.

This is the artist’s website: http://www.mattiasfagerholm.com/.

A Dictionary of Symbols, J.E. Cirlot

January 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

I finally own a copy of this! I first discovered it when I was writing an essay on the doppelganger motif, and borrowed the book from the library to do some research about duality and twin/mirror symbolism. That was years ago, but I’ve returned to the notes I took, when I started writing this blog – particularly for background for some of the entries in my “Encyclopedia” category. But now that I had started referencing it frequently I really had to have it, since there’s too much interesting stuff in it to miss out on. I must say that I think that Cirlot’s symbol dictionary is a real treasure for anyone interested in symbology. One thing I particularly like about the book, is that the interpretations and explanations aren’t just over-simplified standard statements about the particular “meaning” of a symbol, which often is the case with a lot of symbol dictionaries. In his texts, Cirlot draws from a lot of sources: religions, mythologies, astrology, alchemy, heraldry, art, psychology, etc. The interpretations of symbols most often differs historically and culturally, so I really appreciate the diverse references. Another thing I enjoy is the language, the way the texts are written and how the sentences have been crafted; the writing seems almost archaic (well, at least by my definition). Perhaps that has got something to do with the translation (from Spanish to English), in combination with the subject matter where, naturally, the archaic references are abundant.

Utopia

November 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Utopia – Arcadia – Forest

I’ve now read “In the Realm of the Lithuanian Bison”, the first chapter of Landscape and Memory. So far, I feel I have come across some interesting ideas presented by Schama. One of them is the idea of the wilderness of the deepest parts of the forest as a sort of “primitive paradise”.

Schama first connects the primeval forest with the idea of Arcadia on page 67, when he says that the writings of the Greek traveller and geographer Pausianias, describes the historical province Arcadia (from which the utopian Arcadia has derived its name) as an unruly wilderness, teeming with wild boars, and the people who lived in the forests there were more animal-like than they were human. The “heart” of the forest, the primeval wilderness untouched by human civilization, is like a primitive forestial paradise, where Nature rules alone.

Later on, as Schama writes about Adam Mieckiewicz epic poem Pan Tadeusz , he reconnects to this idea and elaborates on it (p. 81). The protagonist Tadeusz travels by horse through the forest and as he arrives at the deepest, darkest part of the forest, it is a place of death and decay; sick and deformed trees with branches covered in moss and trunks attacked by fungi. Behind a thick fog lies a “primitive paradise”, or as Schama describes it, a zoological Utopia. An “Ark” containing archetypical animals who send out their offspring from their secret inner city, but they themselves remain there.

Reading now: Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama

November 13, 2010 § 5 Comments


Skog = Forest

I’ve just started reading Landscape and Memory, by Simon Schama.

I borrowed it from the library. I hope noone will mind that I’m writing down my own notes on the pages of the book. I promise that I will erase my writing later when it’s time to return the book to the library. I would, as I usually do, mark interesting passages by placing paper bookmarks and write down interesting thoughts and ideas on a separate paper, but there are just too many interesting sentences so I’d have to copy something from every page.

The cover reminded me that I have written a short essay on Albrecht Altdorfer’s painting “St George and the Dragon”. I’ll summarize that text and post it here at another date!

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