Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What I'm Reading ...

As usual I have a few books open and face down around the house, ready to be picked up as the mood takes me.

The Wife Drought: why women need wives and men need lives by Annabel Crabb (2014), non fiction, in which Crabb makes the case that both men and women miss out in the present struggle to combine paid work and having a family. In Australia it is usually the woman in a family partnership who takes the part time, lower paid work when family things need more time. Crabb argues that fathers miss out on quality time with their kids through the accepted custom that mothers do the part time shifts.

I'm not progressing with this book, I admit. I guess at the time when I thought it might be an interesting read, I was in a non-fictional, alert to society and how it operates frame of mind. Different to where I am now, in the depth of a week or two of creativity.

My second non fiction read this month is a fifty cents acquisition from the local library's cast-offs trolley:

This image from Pan McMillan's website

The Spike: how our lives are being transformed by rapidly advancing technologies by Damien Broderick, and reading it on and off for a couple of weeks now. Though this book was published in 2001 it is still very appropriate, probably because the technical developments mooted haven't happened as fast as the optimists thought they would, or global economic circumstances impinged on their advance, or the goals have been much more intricate and difficult to achieve.

Probably a combination of the three. Though we are probably a few years into the rise toward the spike without generally realising it. The Spike, to Broderick, is the exponential curve as charted that represents the rise of technologies that will change who and what humans are. A spike is what it looks like, Broderick argues. The end point, the head of the spike, is more generally known as the technological Singularity. 

I recommend this book for its success of taking me beyond the Singularity to places described by other writers as unknowable. I always thought that was a cop-out. Broderick has a go at guiding a reader to a way of thinking about that beyond place.

The Bone People by Keri Hulme (1985) Was very happy to come across it in a secondhand place in Cygnet, Tasmania. My favourite book for a while in the late 1980's. I lived in New Zealand for six years, 1970-75. Will review it at a later date.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, which I have read before and I am using as a pick up and put down, open anywhere book to read at breakfast and lunch when I need time out from the main two tasks this week. An Echo ... is number five in a fat-book series.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Embroideries: Tree of Life

Tree of Life by R de Heer
It's been a good few years since I did cross stitch work, in which one of the traditional motifs is the Tree of Life. This one is a freehand, almost doodled and certainly not a planned or designed work.

The strata/background is a piecework of badly joined bits of silk. They suggested something thrown in the ragbag. The tensions were wrong and the finished piece bulges uncomfortably though that isn't very noticeable in this format. The silks are as usual Colourstream's Exotic Lights. 

With one rather large difference, a hank of raw sheep wool to form the low relief structure of the tree trunk. What possessed me? I ended up covering almost all of the wool, it was so ugly!

The tree is surrounded by the elements it needs to grow and thrive. The sun. Water in all its forms ... snow, rain, mist, flowing rivers of it. A tree combines all elements and makes life, I thought. 

I made it before I knew the importance of fungi in the formula of life.