Mori Art Museum and Tokyo City View Observation Deck, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan (2019)

The view of the Shiodome, Odaiba, and Chiba districts of Tokyo, Japan, from the Observation Deck on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development

The view of the Shiodome, Odaiba, and Chiba districts of Tokyo, Japan, from the Observation Deck on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development

 

Our first afternoon in Tokyo, Japan, we took a shuttle bus from the Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal south of the Ginza district to the western district of Roppongi Hills.  Our afternoon was spent shopping, having lunch and then exploring the Mori Art Museum and walking around the exterior of the museum on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower to take in the “Tokyo City View” from the windows around the circular Mori Art Museum that occupies the interior spaces of the 52nd floor.  The Mori Art Museum is a contemporary art museum founded by the real estate developer Minoru Mori in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills complex both of which he built in Tokyo.  The contemporary art museum primarily displays Asian artists, and, instead of a permanent exhibit, showcases a constantly changing lineup of exhibitions, research projects, public programs, and more.  It is regarded as one of Tokyo’s not-so-hidden gems and the cultural jewel of the upscale Roppongi Hills development.

 

Tokyo Tower viewed from the Observation Deck on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

Tokyo Tower viewed from the Observation Deck on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Tokyo Tower viewed from the street in the Roppongi Hills district of Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

Tokyo Tower viewed from the street in the Roppongi Hills district of Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

 

The view of the Shinagawa and Haneda districts of Tokyo, Japan, from the Observation Deck on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development

The view of the Shinagawa and Haneda districts of Tokyo, Japan, from the Observation Deck on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development

 

Two of the apartment buildings adjacent to the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

Two of the apartment buildings adjacent to the Mori Tower in the upscale Roppongi Hills development, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Shiota Chiharu, In the Hand, 2017, Bronze, brass, key, wire, lacquer--38 x 31 x 42 cm (15 x 12 x 16.5 inches), at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan. “Threads become tangled, intertwined, broken off, unraveled."

Shiota Chiharu, In the Hand, 2017, Bronze, brass, key, wire, lacquer, 38 x 31 x 42 cm (15 x 12 x 16.5 inches), at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan. “Threads become tangled, intertwined, broken off, unraveled. They constantly reflect part of my mental state, as if they were expressing the state of human relationships.” – Shiota Chiharu

 

In the Hand by Shiota Chiharu: An evanescent, fragile-looking object is protected in the palms of a child’s hands.  Through her thread installations covering entire galleries, Shiota renders visible the invisible presences concealed within spaces, but this abstract motif, captured neatly between the palms, seems to represent the inherent life of her body, or spirit.  It also calls to mind the “trembling soul,” the exhibition’s subtitle. — www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/shiotachiharu/

 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: Berlin-based international artist Shiota Chiharu is known for performances and installations that express the intangible: memories, anxiety, dreams, silence and more.  Often arising out of personal experience, her works have enthralled people all over the world and from all walks of life by questioning universal concepts such as identity, boundaries, and existence.  Particularly well-known is her series of powerful installations consisting of threads primarily in red and black strung across entire spaces.  This will be the largest-ever solo exhibition by Shiota Chiharu.  The subtitle “The Soul Trembles” references the artist’s earnest hope to deliver to others soul-trembling experiences derived from nameless emotions.  This will be the first opportunity to experience in detail twenty-five years of Shiota’s oeuvre; primarily in large installations, plus sculptural works, video footage of performances, photographs, drawings, performing arts-related material, etc.  Through this exhibition epitomizing the “presence in absence” that Shiota has explored throughout her career, visitors will doubtless gain a sense for themselves of the meaning of living and journey of life, and the inner workings of the soul. — www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/shiotachiharu/

 

Shiota Chiharu, Uncertain Journey, 2016, metal frame, red wool at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan, photo #1

Shiota Chiharu, Uncertain Journey, 2016, metal frame, red wool at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan, photo #1

 

Uncertain Journey by Shiota Chiharu: The first installation encountered upon entering the galleries, Uncertain Journey consists of the bare frames of boats arranged in a space covered in bright red threads.  In her work for the Japanese Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, Shiota hung a mass of keys from the top of an old traditional Venetian boat, but in Uncertain Journey, the boats are more abstract, and the space filled with red thread seems to suggest the many encounters awaiting at the end of this uncertain journey. — www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/shiotachiharu/

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Born 1972 in Osaka Prefecture, currently based in Berlin.  In 2008, Shiota Chiharu received the Art Encouragement Prize from the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.  In addition to solo exhibitions held across the world including Art Gallery of South Australia (2018), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2018), Smithsonian Institution Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (2014), the Museum of Art, Kochi (2013), MIMOCA Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (2012), and the National Museum of Art, Osaka (2008), she has participated in numerous international exhibitions such as the Biennale of Sydney (2016), the Kiev Biennale (2012), and the Yokohama Triennale (2001).  In 2015, she represented Japan at the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. — www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/shiotachiharu/

 

Shiota Chiharu, Uncertain Journey, 2016, Metal frame, red wool at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan, photo #2

Shiota Chiharu, Uncertain Journey, 2016, Metal frame, red wool at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan, photo #2

 

FROM THE ARTIST: “I have always been creating works out of my passion and love for exhibitions, and it was the only thing that I could live for. Helpless conflicts of minds, uncommunicable emotions and my inexplicable existence; these feelings give all my works form and shape. The year before last, I was diagnosed with cancer again after twelve years, but it struck me that perhaps the painful treatment along with the confrontation with death is a tribulation to create honest works. This exhibition will present works from the past twenty-five years. It is a dialogue with my unveiled, naked soul.” – Shiota Chiharu, www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/shiotachiharu/

 

Shiota Chiharu, Collecting Small Memories, 2019, mixed media, at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

Shiota Chiharu, Collecting Small Memories, 2019, mixed media, at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan. “To have a secret place all one’s own: old weighing scales, rusty wheels, old dolls, stones, nuts, model houses from the old East Germany, and some seventy or so small bottles that I picked up the other day.  This is the sort of junk that fills my atelier.  These objects coexist with me, in my atelier.  Quite by accident, in the midst of the everyday, they continue to move me.” – Shiota Chiharu

 

A view of Tokyo from the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills with the “Heart” (Kin no Kokoro) by Jean-Michel Othoniel, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

A view of Tokyo from the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills with the “Heart” (Kin no Kokoro) by Jean-Michel Othoniel, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

 

A ground level view of one of the apartment tower buildings at the Mori Center in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

A ground level view of one of the apartment tower buildings at the Mori Center in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

 

New construction (reflecting an older building) in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

New construction (reflecting an older building) in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Honshu Island, Japan

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Shimane Art Museum, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan

The Shimane Art Museum is known for its futuristic architecture (located on the banks of Lake Shinji), its eclectic collection of Western and Japanese art (many works incorporate water as a theme), and outstanding sunset views

The Shimane Art Museum is known for its futuristic architecture (located on the banks of Lake Shinji), its eclectic collection of Western and Japanese art (many works incorporate water as a theme), and outstanding sunset views from the first floor and outdoor terrace, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan

 

The Shimane Art Museum, located in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, is the largest art museum in the San-in area.  It is located on the banks of Lake Shinji.  Many of the works in the museum incorporate water as a theme (“harmony with water”), including sculptures, crafts, photographs, and paintings.  The museum opened in 1999 and was designed by Kiyonori Kikutake, a well-known Japanese architect.  With a total floor area of 12,500 square meters (134,500 square feet), it houses a collection of Japanese and Western art, including Momoyama folding screens and paintings by Corot, Sisley, Monet, and Gauguin.

In addition to the beautiful art, visitors can watch the sunset from the museum, an evening that is popular among tourists year round.  Visitors can watch the sun slowly sink into Lake Shinji from within the beautiful first floor lobby.  The sunset viewing lobby on the first floor is free of admission, open to the public and exhibits a number of objects.  The shades of the sky and sun change with each passing moment of sunset; Lake Shinji’s sunset is known as one of the best 100 sunset locations in Japan.  Unfortunately, the day we visited, it was totally overcast and raining on and off, so we did not get to view the sunset.

 

Shimane Art Museum #2, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – the mezzanine art library is open to the public

Shimane Art Museum #2, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – the mezzanine art library is open to the public

 

Shimane Art Museum #3, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – a large Rodin sculpture graces the second floor foyer that opens up to the art exhibition galleries

Shimane Art Museum #3, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – a large Rodin sculpture graces the second floor foyer that opens up to the art exhibition galleries

 

Shimane Art Museum #4, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – in the photography gallery, our favorite of the mid 1920’s photographs on display was this silver gelatin print titled “Coastal Scenery”

Shimane Art Museum #4, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – in the photography gallery, our favorite of the mid 1920’s photographs on display was this silver gelatin print titled “Coastal Scenery”, reminding us of the Pictorialist’s work at the beginning of the 20th century

 

Shimane Art Museum #5, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji

Shimane Art Museum #5, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji

 

Shimane Art Museum #6, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji

Shimane Art Museum #6, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji

 

Shimane Art Museum #7, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji

Shimane Art Museum #7, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji

 

Shimane Art Museum #8, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – nine hares outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji (note that the hare has special significance in Japan -- a symbol of cleverness and self-devotion)

Shimane Art Museum #8, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – nine hares outdoor sculpture overlooking Lake Shinji (note that the hare has special significance in Japan — a symbol of cleverness and self-devotion)

 

Shimane Art Museum #9, Matuse, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – a wedding couple is preparing for a photography session on the shore of Lake Shinji by the museum

Shimane Art Museum #9, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan – a wedding couple is preparing for a photography session on the shore of Lake Shinji by the museum

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

 

Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

Before going into the town of Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island in the central high Arctic region of Canada, we took a long hike along the stone beach waterfront with an Inuit expedition guide from Pond Inlet, Baffin Island

Before going into the town of Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island in the central high Arctic region of Canada, we took a long hike along the stone beach waterfront with an Inuit expedition guide from Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, who gave us excellent insights into the Inuit hunting and fishing traditions

 

Cambridge Bay is located on the southeast coast of Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada.  The traditional name for the community is Iqaluktuuttiaq, which means “a good place with lots of fish.”  Archaeological sites in and close to the community show that people have lived in this area for at least 4,000 years.  In the 1920s the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police established posts at Cambridge Bay, attracting local Inuit who settled nearby.  The construction of a Distant Early Warning Site in Cambridge Bay in 1955 attracted more people to the area, and it has since grown in size.  Cambridge Bay is currently the administrative center for the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut.  The May Hakongak Community Library and Cultural Centre and the Arctic Coast Visitors Centre feature displays on the local culture and history.=

This protected harbor on the south coast of Victoria Island was historically a convenient meeting place before crossing the Dease Strait.  Now the largest community in the region, it is home to about 1,766 residents and is the logistical hub for the central Arctic.

Cambridge Bay is also home to the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), illustrating how traditional Inuit life and the modern scientific age meet in this bustling Arctic community.

 

Vacation fishing shacks on the beach at Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada, built from plywood shipped in from southern Canada, as there are no trees in the tundra regions of the northern central Arctic region of Canada

Vacation fishing shacks on the beach at Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada, built from plywood shipped in from southern Canada, as there are no trees in the tundra regions of the northern central Arctic region of Canada

 

A traditional Inuit fish drying rack on the beach – here the Arctic Char is being air dried (a local delicacy) in the wind with temperatures around freezing as we walked by, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

A traditional Inuit fish drying rack on the beach – here the Arctic Char is being air dried (a local delicacy) in the wind with temperatures around freezing as we walked by, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

Also on the drying racks were caribou meat on ribs and other bones that is eaten like American beef jerky and fish on the lower racks; Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada – all traditional Inuit techniques

Also on the drying racks were caribou meat on ribs and other bones that is eaten like American beef jerky and fish on the lower racks; Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada – all traditional Inuit techniques

 

The signage is universal – a beach outhouse shack, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

The signage is universal – a beach outhouse shack, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

This is a special Inuit food – air dried reindeer hoofs (a tradition in our guide’s family, although she had not personally eaten it), Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

This is a special Inuit food – air dried reindeer hoofs (a tradition in our guide’s family, although she had not personally eaten it), Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

One-half of a caribou antler in the front yard of one of the beach fishing shacks, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

One-half of a caribou antler in the front yard of one of the beach fishing shacks, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

“Downtown” Cambridge Bay has many large public facilities on the main street such as the arena and curling rink pictured here, along with the public health center, one of the two town grocery stores, and the town government offices

“Downtown” Cambridge Bay has many large public facilities on the main street such as the arena and curling rink pictured here, along with the public health center, one of the two town grocery stores, and the town government offices, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The Canadian communications company’s office in town has quite a bit of modern equipment and antennae on the property, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

The Canadian communications company’s office in town has quite a bit of modern equipment and antennae on the property, Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The copper clad exterior of the main research facility of CHARS, the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, that opened in late 2017 after very ecologically-minded construction for the whole complex that cost about $250 million Canadian

The copper clad exterior of the main research facility of CHARS, the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, that opened in late 2017 after very ecologically-minded construction for the whole complex that cost about $250 million Canadian ($188 million US), Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The state-of-the-art research facility at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) is designed to optimize innovation in the field of Arctic science and technology from ecosystem monitoring to DNA analysis with, at its core, a focus on Indigenous knowledge.  We had an opportunity to visit the knowledge sharing center modeled after a traditional tupiq (Inuit sealskin tent) ringed by glulam columns and the large-scale floor art by Inuit artists.  We met with one of the lab managers to learn about the genesis of CHARS and insights into the research projects underway in its first years (the center opened in late 2017).

 

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) main research facility has an excellent collection of local Inuit art; pictured here is a duffel and felt quilt by local artist Mabel Pongok ETEGIK (born 1943) titled “Present Day Cambridge Bay”

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) main research facility has an excellent collection of local Inuit art; pictured here is a duffel and felt quilt by local artist Mabel Pongok ETEGIK (born 1943) titled “Present Day Cambridge Bay”; Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

The CHARS main research facility is open to the public with an excellent art collection, focused on local Inuit artists, and quite a bit of information about the environmentally-friendly and conservation-minded construction of the center in a sensitive tundra region.  One of the placards was educational for both children and adults:

DID YOU KNOW?  Daylight is precious in the High Arctic.  Depending on the season, there can be 0 to 24 hours of sunlight in a day.  The total yearly daylight time in the High Arctic is approximately 1,730 hours/year, compared to Ottowa, Canada at 2,084 hours/year.  In Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay), the sun stays below the horizon for 40 continuous days during the winter months.  During the summer months, the sun does not set for approximately 62 days.

 

Instead of a selfie with the polar bear, your blogger figured you’d just rather see this fine local resident of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

Instead of a selfie with the polar bear, your blogger figured you’d just rather see this fine local resident of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Nuuk, Greenland

In addition to the celebration of Greenlandic art at the Nuuk Art Museum, there are many outdoor displays of art, such as this sculpture in the capital city’s pedestrian shopping mall

In addition to the celebration of Greenlandic art at the Nuuk Art Museum, there are many outdoor displays of art, such as this sculpture in the capital city’s pedestrian shopping mall

 

Nuuk, the capital and largest city of Greenland, is a stylish Arctic metropolis characterized by Greenlandic culture and international influence.  It’s a little known fact that although it is Greenland’s largest and capital city, Nuuk is actually one of the world’s smallest capital cities based on population (16,800), despite that approximately one-quarter of the country’s total population lives in Nuuk.  Summertime activities range from fishing and kayaking among fjords to spotting humpback whales off the shore.  This summer’s activities also included the guessing game of how serious U.S. President Donald Trump is about his real estate offer to Denmark to purchase the whole of Greenland (mostly covered in ice).

 

The pedestrian shopping mall in the center of downtown Nuuk (population 16,800), Greenland

The pedestrian shopping mall in the center of downtown Nuuk (population 16,800), Greenland

 

These beautiful colored musk ox wool sweaters stood out from most of the local plain grey, soft and extremely warm musk ox wool products available for sale in Nuuk, Greenland

These beautiful colored musk ox wool sweaters stood out from most of the local plain grey, soft and extremely warm musk ox wool products available for sale in Nuuk, Greenland

 

The Katuaq Cultural Center’s (Grønlands Kulturhus) distinctive architecture and undulating wooden screen is inspired by Greenland’s landscape of icebergs and mountains, Nuuk, Greenland

The Katuaq Cultural Center’s (Grønlands Kulturhus) distinctive architecture and undulating wooden screen is inspired by Greenland’s landscape of icebergs and mountains, Nuuk, Greenland; the multipurpose building hosts theatre, concerts, exhibitions, cinema, conferences and a café

 

A beautifully carved small statue of a polar bear and whale, Nuuk, Geenland

A beautifully carved small statue of a polar bear and whale, Nuuk, Greenland

 

A modern apartment complex in downtown Nuuk, Geenland

A modern apartment complex in downtown Nuuk, Greenland

 

Typical brightly colored homes and apartments in Nuuk, Geenland

Typical brightly colored homes and apartments in Nuuk, Geenland

 

An older church in the Colonial harbor section of Nuuk, Geenland

An older church in the Colonial harbor section of Nuuk, Greenland

 

Historic whale blubber presses (to extract whale oil), Nuuk, Geenland

Historic whale blubber presses (to extract whale oil), Nuuk, Greenland

 

Our ship is visible in the main harbor-port of Nuuk, Geenland; note that outside of the main part of town, there is a new container port which is critical for commerce and supply in Greenland

Our ship is visible in the main harbor/port of Nuuk, Greenland; note that outside of the main part of town, there is a new container port which is critical for commerce and supply in Greenland

 

Across the bay from the harbor, a whole new residential “suburb” has been constructed, with schools, a grocery store, etc., with another section under way; Nuuk, Geenland

Across the bay from the harbor, a whole new residential “suburb” has been constructed, with schools, a grocery store, etc., with another section under way; Nuuk, Greenland

 

The relatively new local college, Nuuk, Geenland

The relatively new local college, Nuuk, Greenland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Hillsborough Castle, a Georgian mansion dating back to the 1750s, has been a grand family home and is now the official home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and a royal residence, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland

Hillsborough Castle, a Georgian mansion dating back to the 1750s, has been a grand family home and is now the official home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and a royal residence, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

Hillsborough Castle, an elegant “Irish Big House”, was built by Willis Hill, the 1st Marquis of Downshire, in the 1750s.  The Georgian mansion has been a grand family home and is now the official home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and a royal residence.  Her Majesty The Queen stays at Hillsborough, as do other members of the Royal Family when visiting Northern Ireland.  Viewed by some as a politically neutral venue, Hillsborough has played an important role in the Peace Process in Northern Ireland since the 1980s.  In 2014, Historic Royal Palaces (of the U.K.) took over the running of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and began an ambitious project to restore the house and gardens to its former glory.  Following a five-year, 20 million British pound restoration, the palace and its exceptional gardens were officially reopened by the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla), in April of this year.

 

The State Entrance Hall has always been the entrance to the mansion and a space in which to welcome visitors from HM The Queen to pop star Gary Barlow

The State Entrance Hall has always been the entrance to the mansion and a space in which to welcome visitors from HM The Queen to pop star Gary Barlow; the portraits in the Hall portray all the main protagonists involved in the history of the house, including Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

Paintings in an Irish ‘Big House’, as these aristocratic private homes were known, were usually created by minor jobbing artists.  These painters travelled around the country to paint for wealthy clients.  However, it is known that Hillsborough originally displayed work by one prominent artist, George Romney (1734-1802).  The house inventories going back as far as 1747 reveal that family portraits hung in the Dining Room, as was traditional.  Satirists were also popular, and these early inventories showed that the family owned many prints by William Hogarth.

 

The display of art at Hillsborough Castle was selected to represent both the history and the contemporary use of the house as a royal and government residence, drawing from several sources, including The Royal Collection

The display of art at Hillsborough Castle was selected to represent both the history and the contemporary use of the house as a royal and government residence, drawing from several sources, including The Royal Collection, The Schorr Collection and collections featuring contemporary Irish artists; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

Over the years, numerous politicians and other dignitaries have spent time at Hillsborough Castle, from Eleanor Roosevelt, Japan’s Crown Prince, and the Dali Lama to Princess Diana, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blain, and Hillary Clinton.

 

The Throne Room, a splendid space that is the ceremonial heart of the castle, was created in the early 19th century as a Saloon and was the picture gallery of the house

The Throne Room, a splendid space that is the ceremonial heart of the castle, was created in the early 19th century as a Saloon and was the picture gallery of the house; traditionally, that was where the Downshire family, like other aristocrats, would hang their most prized ‘history’ paintings, featuring stories from the Bible, mythology and ancient history, to reflect an aristocratic classical education; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

In the Red Room the paintings appear as a “cabinet hang”, typical of the type where many small, highly-decorative paintings are densely displayed – a cabinet was usually a private room in which intimate discussion took place

In the Red Room the paintings appear as a “cabinet hang”, typical of the type where many small, highly-decorative paintings are densely displayed – a cabinet was usually a private room in which intimate discussion took place; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

During the 1980s and 1990s, many of the delicate negotiations of the Peace Process were held in the Red Room of Hillsborough Castle.  It was in the Red Room that HM The Queen met Irish President Mary McAleese in 2005, for what was described at the time as “a historic event”.

 

Around the chair rail in the Red Room are a series of numbered miniature painted portraits of English Royalty

Around the chair rail in the Red Room are a series of numbered miniature painted portraits of English Royalty; this photograph captured #24, King Charles II; #23, Queen Catherine of England, wife of Charles II; #26, King James II; and #25, Ann Hyde (Duchess of York), wife of James II; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

Around the Red Room at Hillsborough Castle are 40 miniature portraits of English sovereigns, and several of their consorts, which span the walls.  Prince Albert commissioned this collection, named the Bone Miniatures, in 1843.  Albert and Queen Victoria used to place the portraits on the floor to test each other’s knowledge of the family tree.  The collection is named after its creators, Henry Bone and his son Henry Pierce Bone.

 

One hallway in Hillsborough Castle was filled with satirical cartoons from the 19th century publications; pictured here is- St. Stephens Review Presentation Cartoon (Tom Merry) June 23rd, 1888. GEOGRAPHY BEWITCHED

One hallway in Hillsborough Castle was filled with satirical cartoons from the 19th century publications; pictured here is: St. Stephens Review Presentation Cartoon (Tom Merry) June 23rd, 1888. GEOGRAPHY BEWITCHED: The false Ireland & the True. Erin strangling the hag of Hawarden. Ireland strangles Home Rule advocate GLADSTONE, who is presented as the ‘hag’ of Hawarden Castle, his Flintshire home. The beautiful, youthful ERIN tries to stifle his manipulation of true Ireland

 

 

A second satirical cartoon caught our attention- Supplement given away with the WEEKLY FREEMAN 22nd May 1886 SUSPENSE!!! ERIN, the personification of IRELAND, stands outside the door of the House of Commons

A second satirical cartoon caught our attention: Supplement given away with the WEEKLY FREEMAN 22nd May 1886 SUSPENSE!!! ERIN, the personification of IRELAND, stands outside the door of the House of Commons as MPs debate the fate of the first Home Rule Bill

 

The formal and picturesque gardens at Hillsborough Castle cover 100 acres, including the newly restored Walled Garden that we walked to on the edge of the estate; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland

The formal and picturesque gardens at Hillsborough Castle cover 100 acres, including the newly restored Walled Garden that we walked to on the edge of the estate; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

A view of the Castle from the gardens, including a beautiful fountain in the formal garden; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

A view of the Castle from the gardens, including a beautiful fountain in the formal garden; Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

The entry and exit gate at Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

The entry and exit gate at Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Contemporary Art in Cape Town, South Africa (2018)

Walking over from the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, we got our first glimpse of the Silo Hotel, adjacent to the renovated concrete grain silo structure that is now the Zeitz Museum of Conte

Walking over from the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, at the end of a street of new shops in the Silo District, we got our first glimpse of the Silo Hotel, adjacent to the renovated and redesigned concrete grain silo structure that is now the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

As noted in our previous blog post [“Cape Town, South Africa (2018)”], Cape Town is well known as a center of human creativity – “it’s one of the things that made the city a World Design Capital in 2014”.  Over the past decade there has been a burst of new construction with some really innovative architectural designs.  One of the most interesting renovation/repurposing projects occurred adjacent to the V&A Harbor (where we were docked) – the combined Silo Hotel and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.  The two buildings arose out of an abandoned old concrete Grain Silo, dating back to 1921 (decommissioned in 2001) at the waterfront.  The “carving” away of the interior of some of the vertical, cylindrical concrete silos to open up most of the center of the structure for the museum is an act of architectural genius, as you’ll see in the photographs, below.  The Silo Hotel was reconstructed with glass façades on the upper floors, matching the new upper story of the new museum building.  It was a thrill touring the building, before even getting into the Museum’s permanent collection exhibitions and temporary exhibition (of art from young artists from Zimbabwe) where we were absorbed for several hours.

 

Water sports in the canal adjacent to the Silo District in the shadow of contemporary new office buildikngs, Cape Town, South Africa

Water sports in the canal adjacent to the Silo District in the shadow of contemporary new office buildiings, Cape Town, South Africa

 

Two modern sculptures of contrasting materials and completely different designs in the Silo District, Cape Town, South Africa

Two modern sculptures of contrasting materials and completely different designs in the Silo District, Cape Town, South Africa

 

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa makes up the left portion of the former Grain Silo with the Silo Hotel having been constructed in the rectangular section on the right, with strik

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa makes up the left portion of the former Grain Silo with the Silo Hotel having been constructed in the rectangular section on the right, with striking, all new glass enclosures on the upper floors (matching the upper floor of the museum), Cape Town, South Africa

 

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is a contemporary art museum located at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.  It is the largest art museum in Africa and the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world.  The museum opened on September 22, 2017.  According to their web site, “Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum which collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits twenty-first century art from Africa and its Diaspora; hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding; and guarantees access for all.  Over one hundred galleries, spread over nine floors, are dedicated to a large cutting edge permanent collection; temporary exhibitions; and Centres for Art Education, Curatorial Excellence, Performative Practice, Photography, the Moving Image, and the Costume Institute.”

 

An interior view of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa showing how the vertical cylindrical concrete grain silos were “sliced” to create spectacular skylights for the museum ent

An interior view of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa showing how the vertical cylindrical concrete grain silos were “sliced” to create spectacular skylights for the museum entry and lobby, Cape Town, South Africa

 

The upper sections of three old concrete grain silos visible across the patio of the rooftop sculpture garden at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

The upper sections of three old concrete grain silos visible across the patio of the rooftop sculpture garden at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

A partial reflection of one of the old concrete grain silos on the patio of the rooftop sculpture garden at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

A partial reflection of one of the old concrete grain silos on the patio of the rooftop sculpture garden at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

New glass enclosures on the Silo Hotel, adjacent to (and photographed from) Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

New glass enclosures on the Silo Hotel, adjacent to (and photographed from) Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

Looking straight up to the rooftop sculpture garden and the “skylight” sections of carved out former concrete grain silos at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South

Looking straight up to the rooftop sculpture garden and the “skylight” sections of carved out former concrete grain silos at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

Two elevators and a spiral staircase were installed in three partially carved out old concrete grain silos at the edge of the lobby of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town,

Two elevators and a spiral staircase were installed in three partially carved out old concrete grain silos at the edge of the lobby of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

A close-up of the rooftop skylight” sections of carved out former concrete grain silos at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

A close-up of the rooftop skylight” sections of carved out former concrete grain silos at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

Silo grain chutes and control valves dating back to the construction of the old Grain Silo in 1921 are preserved in the basement of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, Sou

Silo grain chutes and control valves dating back to the construction of the old Grain Silo in 1921 are preserved in the basement of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

 

Moët & Chandon erected an advertising “Merry Christmas” tree out of empty Champagne bottles just outside Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in the Silo District of Cape Town,

Moët & Chandon (one of the world’s largest Champagne producers and a prominent Champagne house from France) erected an advertising “Merry Christmas” tree out of empty Champagne bottles just outside Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in the Silo District of Cape Town, South Africa

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Local Art: Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

The Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center) has a collection of typical Cape Verdean art and crafts; Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

The Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center) has a collection of typical Cape Verdean art and crafts — this creative space is part museum and part gallery with a permanent exhibit on the art of weaving; Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

The culture in Cape Cerde (Cabo Verde) reflects the diversity of the ethnic and cultural backgounds of the islands’ inhabitants – African slaves, Portuguese, Jews (from Iberia), Carribeans, and the melting pot that resulted from mixed marriages over the past several centuries.  “Above all, pottery and weaving products are manufactured on Cape Verde.  But you can also find paintings (by Manuel Figueira, Barros-Gizzi and Maria-Luisa Queirós, for example), crocheted blankets, which is a tradition from Portugal, woodworking, batik, embroidery and woven baskets (balai).  The woven tapestries in the traditional colours of white, indigo blue and black are also very common.  The panos, square cloths that are used as pieces of clothing, are dyed in indigo blue.  Above all, the art of pottery can be found on Maio, Santiago, Sal Boa Vista and São Vicente.  Large water containers (potes), sculptures and vases are made here.” — www.capeverde.com/art-and-culture.html

 

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #1

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #1

 

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #2

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #2

 

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #3

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #3

 

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #4

Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design (National Artisan and Design Center); Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – weaving #4

 

Verde (Cabo Verde), are decorated with large blue-and–white ceramic azulejos tiles painted and “fired” in Portugal and shipped over to Mindelo

The walls of the African Market in downtown Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), are decorated with large blue-and–white ceramic azulejos tiles painted and “fired” in Portugal and shipped over to Mindelo [“offered by the municipal chamber of the port”]; historic mural #1 – a view of the bay (later, the port of) of Mindelo from the late 1790s when the city was first being settled

Local Art in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) -- blue-and–white ceramic azulejos historic mural #2 – a general view of Mindelo from the early 1800s

Local Art in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) — blue-and–white ceramic azulejos historic mural #2 – a general view of Mindelo from the early 1800s

 

Local Art in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) -- blue-and–white ceramic azulejos historic mural #3 – an historical depiction of barefoot women slaves carrying 100 poun

Local Art in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) — blue-and–white ceramic azulejos historic mural #3 – an historical depiction of barefoot women slaves carrying 100 pound (45.4 kg) bags of salt on their heads; contrast that with the shoed men in the image

 

Local Art in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) -- blue-and–white ceramic azulejos historic mural #4 – a view of the port (Ponte Novo) from the end of the 1800s

Local Art in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) — blue-and–white ceramic azulejos historic mural #4 – a view of the port (Ponte Novo) from the end of the 1800s

 

These colorful fabric were for sale in one of the stalls of the Africa Market in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

These colorful fabric were for sale in one of the stalls of the Africa Market in Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)

 

The Cap Vert Design store is popular hangout for young designers and artisans -- the shop sells traditional jewelry, handmade baskets, ceramics, and locally made clothing; Mindelo, São

The Cap Vert Design store is popular hangout for young designers and artisans — the shop sells traditional jewelry, handmade baskets, ceramics, and locally made clothing; Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – painted jugs (for sale) decorated the stairs to the upper gallery

 

Cap Vert Design store, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – a very brightly woven sea-life wall hanging

Cap Vert Design store – Design e Artesanato do Cabo Verde, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – a very brightly woven sea-life wall hanging

 

Cap Vert Design store, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – a ceramic figurine wearing woven clothes and cap

Cap Vert Design store, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – a ceramic figurine wearing woven clothes and cap

 

Cap Vert Design store, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – a wooden model of the Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Municipal Market)

Cap Vert Design store, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) – a wooden model of the Mercado Municipal Mindelo (Municipal Market)

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2018 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.