Lighthouse (red, Sanur)
Hello to the people in the future,
What follows are public telephones created in a time when phones did not roam freely and in pockets.
To make a call, one would either enter a specially-created booth (or box), or simply stand close by as the receivers were tethered to the phone unit by a short cord, then insert a variety of coins depending on the location called (local, domestic or international) or in some cases, use a purpose-made phone card, or even a credit card (though doing so often exposed one to fraudulent actors).
Perhaps you have already imagined the unsanitary nature of sharing a phone handset (placed next/close to ear and mouth of course) with strangers – though perhaps this increased “herd immunity” despite being rather unpleasant. Note that oftentimes the coin return slots were checked for forgotten change but the miner was surprised to find discarded chewing gum, or even-less-savoury items, instead.
This gallery is simply random examples, captured “in the wild” in various locations globally. Additional volumes of similar collections provide additional examples – both international and domestic (to Canada / USA), as well as hotel house phones.
Pondering the difference
Between letting go and giving up
When I need something
to hold onto
I get so wiped out
Waiting for the current
to drive me away
Check the expectations of others –
Where do I hide these feelings?
Why was she so mean?
So tired of being tired each day
Made a list of happy times
Things I’d like in past times
Is this useful or a trap?
So made a list of things to do
When feeling “this”
But find I’m bored
And reminisce simply that I’m blue
Acknowledgment of art and pain
Respect and fellowship
Simply to be loved and adored
“Is that too much to ask?”
Oh Mom, there are so many thing to tell you about this last year… the short is: for the first time in a loooong time, i have hope, optimism and a bit of peace.
Last year included a trip to Logan to deal with the rest of your items including the missing Agatha Christie books (still missing), green glass (duly distributed) and various bins of letters, treasures and papers. Long weeks at Anders’ place sorting it all as best as possible. Had hoped to scan, inventory etc everything but gave, as you’d say, “a lick and a promise”.
Assembled boxes for sons, brothers, and Lonnie Gee, Doug and Dan et al to spread memories around the world. Learned so many things about you! Flight attendant job applications, letters from Grandpa and Lorayne, records from your college days (so many colleges), oh made office supply kits for the Grandkids, and loaded up all your stationery/letterhead/letraset/postcards stash for me. And using it all too.
Also (almooooosssstttt) finished dealing with the conundrums with Service Canada (a true bureaucratic nightmare of nonsense) and your headstone should be arriving anyday from India (thans Uncle Bob) – i designed it and am so proud to do so. Also your ashes are well on their way around the world with stops in Pacifica, Logan, North Van, Pe ELL, Olympia, Nusa Ceningan, Sarpsborg and so on. Anders did a great job getting little vials filled up.
Big news: your wedding dress is getting altered and put into service for dear Ryoko (you’d love her) and, i ordered (finally!) my own kilt. Royal Stewart with Cape, formal sporran, Prince Charlie jacket and socks etc. April 20-21 will keep your ashes with me to feel your energy in some weird (totally not macabre way).
No doubt this week is tough every year as the anniversary of Dad’s death/funeral and your birthday all at once. So i write and make documentary art. So much more to tell you but must be careful of my energy and screen time.
So, in doing this all, i did photo-inventory many of your travel treasures. Sharing here to keep your story alive.
Speaking of “your story”, got your blog and Flickr and Ancestry all backed up. Learned a lot about impermanence of the internet. Frustrating as i want to be meticulous but also realize perfection is entirely overrated.
On to the treasures.
These ain’t cards for business, these are strictly pleasure for those i meet and/or call upon. It’s a club, or a confederation of associated renegades of sorts.
This batch are printed on water colour paper via inkjet, hand cut (lovingly) and inky stamped (stamps assorted).
The photos featured include: making cards, writing letters and postcards, materials used for making such – including watercolours, typewriters, postcards, scissors, pens, stamps and stationery. It’s all very recursive – or #meta – so to speak.
While i love sending postcards, i also love the postcards themselves – each has its own artist story behind and all of that. Yet postcards spending their infinity in a shoebox without fulfilling their destiny is rather sad. As such, i compromise by snapping a quick shot of the front before dropping into the time/space portal wormhole to intended (and thrilled no doubt) recipient.
This batch was scribbled upon in Feb. 2018 in Ubud, Indonesia upon postcards acquired from various Asian locales (including museums with European paintings). 1st in a series for archival purposes, as well as ephemeral amusement.
In 2005, i wandered Europa (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal) by train, car and tram. Along the way, i wrote an extensive cycle of poetry, and completed a solid dozen or so paintings (acrylic, watercolour and charcoal) – some of which you may have seen along the way.
I also started a load of other pieces which haven’t had a day in the easel yet — mostly because i like to let art ferment but also because i can never decide which medium to use to “finish” these. Acrylics were more exciting in the white hot moment of creating en plein, watercolour teases my rather clumsy and aggressive touch and i am tempted to use simple black ink and make something colour-able by kids and adults. Not sure how to go about this as its not a technique i am polished at (yet) but these do need a life beyond a shoebox.
Maybe you kind folks and artists can offer a word of advice or idea?
Regardless, they are nowhere near and as such, lonely and sad. So, here are rough drafts in ragged spontaneity and various forms and mediums.
This is Vol. 3 of a few (last one i think), pardon repeats and redundancies.
bonus: another version of Fishing Boats near cliffs in Salema, Portugal. copied and coloured
Analog loops, guitars, feedback and poetry about impossible alleys, 8 seat bars, villages with book shops, woolen scarves, Fado, Kathmandu mud, and umbrellas thwarting tactility.
Made by “Thorvald and Thurston” in a Provo basement, 2018
Read along: Rainy Mystery Alley poem.