Tag Archives: travel

Turning Japanese …

Since our previous trip in 2015 was cut short, we have been planning to get back to the crazy/sane, beautiful/ugly, elegant/kitschy, techno/rustic conundrum that is Japan. So we finally got back there this winter (hot summer over there) and loved it all over again. This time we travelled from Hokkaido down to Tokyo by train over 4 weeks. You can read the story here: http://belinda-ann.blogspot.com.au, and see the slideshow here:

Stay tuned for some Sacred/Profane Japan mashups 🙂

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The grand tour …

At Palais du Papes, Avignon
At Palais du Papes, Avignon

… well, grand-ish.
In June Chris and I made a journey to England (to visit his brother Bob), Wales (where I spent childhood holidays), France (re-visiting Provence) and Italy (re-visiting Umbria).

Of course a thousand photographs ensued, and here is a selection. They have been waiting weeks for me to edit and caption them, and maybe I will do that soon, but in the meantime …
You can read about the trip in my travel blog.

These images, as well as some from previous travels in Japan and Australia are inspiring my current project.

Itinerary:
Hong Kong
UK: London, Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia (Wales), Solihull and Birmingham (Midlands).
France: Orange, Avignon and Uzes (Provence), Nice.
Italy: Milan, Perugia and Montefalco (Umbria), Rome.

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A pilgrimage

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Taylor’s Lake, Grampians, Victoria.

In late November I reluctantly abandoned my convalescing husband, and travelled to Adelaide to visit my Mum and rest of the family in commemoration of my late sister Kate’s 40th birthday. Mum and I enjoyed a long-planned trip to visit the Grampians in Victoria – staying in Mt. Zero, a location where she and Kate had stayed many years ago. In spite of some wild and windy weather we had a poignant time revisiting the places she had been with Kate. Here is a record of the trip, including some images taken in another of Kate’s favourite places, the Belair National Park.

We visited several lakes in the area – Lake Lonsdale, Lake Natimuk, and Taylor’s Lake. The last was the only one with any water, in spite of the promises of tourism websites. The last day of our stay had wild 35º winds and dust storms, and the effect of prolonged drought upon agricultural (wheat cultivation) areas such as the Wimmera was clear. Water management and environmental conservation is a critical issue in Australia, particularly for regional areas, yet it does not often appear in the headlines of our media.

I love to get into rural Australia and get a feeling of the ‘real’ country, away from our comfortable urban fringe. Here’s a gorgeous country store in Dimboola, selling all kinds of crafts, cakes, jams, plants, second-hand books and remaindered stock of toiletries – a school fete all in one shop 🙂

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Mum is buying a cake for our dinner; check out the guy in top hat and steampunk goggles 🙂

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Coast 2014

Marlo - Snowy River mouth
Marlo – Snowy River mouth – dawn

In December 2014 we travelled along the NSW-Victorian coast, to:
Myer House – Bithry Inlet, Mimosa Rocks NP – a restored holiday house owned by Kenneth Myer and Roy Grounds, and donated to NPWS, now available for public rental.
Geelong and Melbourne visiting friends and galleries.
Camping along the coast from Port Albert via Marlo, Ben Boyd NP, Mimosa Rocks NP, and Murramarang NP.

Inspired by a workshop with the fabulous Shona Wilson, along the way I began to create some ‘ephemeral’ natural art images. Shona completed ephemeral art works one-a-day for a whole year, and I began to realise what a challenge this is. The ephemeral images I created are extremely simple, just rearranging a few items, or occasionally selecting a natural arrangement.

My favourite piece is this floating twig/cloud triptych from the lagoon at Marlo, at the mouth of the Snowy River.

Floating twig/cloud triptych - Marlo, Victoria
Floating twig/cloud triptych – Marlo, Victoria

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sub/text (delhi-kashmir-ladakh)

road workers and prayer stones
subtext – workers 2 (Ladakh)

Travelling in India you can’t help but be struck by the social inequities. The caste system is alive and well. As ‘wealthy’ tourists we are served by many Indian workers, who cannot imagine the lifestyle options that we Westerners enjoy.

Major monuments, old Mughal palaces now open to tourists, are still maintained by an army of low-caste (and minimally paid) labourers, gardeners and construction workers – it resembles modern-day slavery. The roads of Kashmir and Ladakh traverse steep and barren terrain, and road crews camp alongside the roads and perform the necessary maintenance work, in all weathers. What are they thinking when I wave as I ride by?

In these images, taken in Northern India (Delhi, Kashmir and Ladakh), pictures of workers are juxtaposed with local found texts – plaques describing the rich Mughal history, graffitied pavilions and tombs, Buddhist prayer stones and election posters.

‘sub/text’ Images

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… and now for something completely different

Chris and I have recently returned from a three week trip through Kashmir and Ladakh in northern India. It’s taken some time to sort through the photos … here’s a taste …

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Lamayuru, on the Srinigar-Leh road

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1983

Michael and me in Richmond Park
Michael and me in Richmond Park

I recently found out that an old friend from London died last month. Michael had just turned 60 and I hadn’t seen him for 30 years. He lived in Albuquerque for the last 20, and we exchanged Christmas letters for most of those years.

Michael and Mark, Richmond Park
Michael and Mark, Richmond Park

Michael was a friend of another friend, Mark, whom I met in the Greek islands and then spent time with when I was based for several months in London in late 1983. Mark, Michael and I were the greatest philosophers on earth, or so it seemed as we talked late into those London winter nights.

In philosophic mode
In philosophic mode

I came home to Sydney in February 1984 and have never met those old friends again …

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Sacred sites … volume 2

Sacred sites: Exploration - cover

Here’s the next in a set of portfolios of my photographic work produced over the last ten years. This one, Sacred sites: Exploration, has images composed from photos taken in exploring the Australian outback and bush over the last few years, combined with some song lyrics that have been inspired by my travels. Readings of the history of the settlement and exploration of Australia have influenced these works – this is further explored in my next portfolio, Wounded Country – stay tuned 🙂

All the portfolios can be purchased directly from Momento Shop (search for Belinda Allen).

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Sacred sites … the book

sacred sites cover_smI have been wanting to try out photobooks for a while, but having looked at a few sites I didn’t like how clunky and inflexible the layout software seemed to be, and was concerned about the  production quality. Then I found Momento Pro, which is a service for professional photographers and artists. I can use professional layout software (Adobe InDesign); the prices are higher, but the quality is amazing.  So I have started to compile a set of portfolios of my photographic work produced over the last ten years. This one, Sacred sites: Royal National Park, has images composed from photos taken in the national park where I have lived for the last 23 years.

Check out a preview here where it can be purchased directly from Momento Shop 🙂

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At last – the ‘sacred sites’ shop

A shop for sacred sites? seems an oxymoron I know 🙂

shop

You know, I love travelling, taking photos, and playing with making images, but haven’t had much time and energy for the business side (well, there is that pesky day job, not to mention studies …). However, at last I have bitten the bullet and opened up an Etsy shop. It’s not a ‘fine-art’ outlet, but I love Etsy because it’s not elitist and encourages everyday creativity, and also sells funky vintage stuff. I don’t aspire to climb any art world ladder – like so many others everyday creativity is what I do. And of course as an avid charity-shopper I love the funky vintage stuff 😉

If you haven’t checked out Etsy before, it’s an inspiring place, if you can steer clear of the kitsch (hey, I know some people LOVE kitsch). You can find my shop, sacred sites, here, or linked from my Sales page.

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