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ISSUE #174

The background to the impressive Laura sculpture at the Pt Leo Estate
Mike's Pith & Wind - Laura
 I have a ritual when I’m looking blankly at a blank Word page with no idea what I’m going to write about in this month’s P&W. It rarely helps by the way, but in any event I go to the New Yorker website and consume as many cartoons as I can get for free, desperately looking for some cartoonish inspiration.
This time round I notice there’re even more anti-Trump cartoons, which is probably about a 50/50 ratio with the regulation off-the-wall New Yorker-style cartoons of which I’m particularly fond, and I’m disappointed with this Trump fetish because the Donald is intrinsically such an easy target. I’m inclined to believe the New Yorker is aligned with some of the other conservative American press in their incessant railing against Trump, principally because they all so comprehensively failed to see it coming.
Anyway, while casting about for some more cartoons I caught sight of a picture of a monument in an article about the Provincetown (Massachusetts) Aids Memorial, which is one of quite a few recently dedicated around the States apparently. I’m not sure there are any such memorials in Australia, but the subject matter wasn’t what caught my attention.
It was a picture heading the article of a skillfully hewn giant stone slab in memorial of the many Aids victims who gravitated to the town during the crisis years in the ‘80s and where many of whom subsequently died.
The top of the slab looks like the surface of a lake or sea, indeed the stone’s inscription reads ‘a unique moment in the living ocean.’ Because the nature of stone is so opposite to the fluidity of water it caught my attention, but on reflection I suppose it’s no different to the classical tradition of lifelike renderings of flesh and bone from marble first practised by Greek artists from 500 BC and perhaps perfected by Michelangelo and his contemporaries in the Renaissance.
Maria and I visited the Rodin exhibition while we were in Paris. Having never seen any work by Rodin previously I was astonished at his ability to transform inert stone into flesh and bone, adding character and movement to the equation. Anyway, it’s not often I have cause to admire the sheer craftsmanship in a sculpture these days – I’m much more likely to be simply unmoved or even slightly annoyed.
If you check July’s A Separate Reality page you’ll see that M and I visited the Sculpture Park at the Pt Leo Estate (that the Apple Maps’ woman on the GPS insisted was the P T Leo Estate) – but in fact we visited it twice within a couple of weeks! The second visit wasn’t entirely duplication – the first time around the sculpture park the wind was howling and it was very cold and we took some short cuts, meaning that on our second visit we discovered we’d missed a good third of the sculptures). read more
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