Donnerstag, 10. Dezember 2009
She is born at the beginning of May 2009 in an old barn in a small Hungarian village. As her mother stashes her away for a long time I meet her the first time when she is ten weeks old.
She is terribly shy and hardly dares to come out of the outbuilding where her mother has accommodated her and her four sisters. Still a huge personal curiosity arouses a strong interest in strange creatures like us.
Little Sun is out of the ordinary. Not only her coat looks quite different from the others, but also she is the first one getting in touch with her new housemates. Whenever we are working in the garden she soon comes hurrying along, sitting and watching us curiously. It takes a few weeks, and she approaches to be petted.
She turns out to be a passionate and successful huntress as well as a real tomboy.
Apart from that Little Sun is such a decent young lady. When waiting for breakfast or dinner she´s lying on the stair looking towards the door.
She likes to be with her sisters, and goes her own way nonetheless.
It often occurs that Little Sun is still roaming the neighborhood when her sisters have a rest already.
After her mother separates from her daughters Little Sun turns out to be a real companion. She is the first to welcome us when we arrive from Vienna. Her compelling bright and sensitive nature becomes more and more apparent. As a sign of agreement she is looking straight into your eyes and starts with slowly blinking.
To make their hard life easier all kittens are being spayed at the beginning of November. It´s quite an exhausting experience, and Little Sun defends herself like a real tiger. After the vet has removed the stiches two weeks later we recognize a significant change in the way Little Sun behaves. She doesn´t play with her sisters, she rejects food, she coughs, and her eyes start to water. I consult the vet at once, and we take her to Vienna to care for her.
She is incredible courageous on her first long trip by car, she takes her antibiotics twice every day, and hardly leaves her place to stay. Sometimes she approaches to lie on my desk behind the computer or sit under the desk light in my studio.
The antibiotics don´t help. Whatever we do she´s getting weaker from day to day. After one week it turns out to be a battle of life and death. Little Sun has lost the battle. She died on Sunday, five minutes after I called another vet, at the tender age of seven months.
There is just sadness, and a lot of questions remain.
P.S. Little Sun gets her last home in the garden where she used to be a bright young lady full of beans.
Freitag, 20. November 2009
I ask him what we have decided last evening. Are we going to lock her up or not? There is no answer. He is in bad mood. When plucking dried herbs I hear the crunching of a door that makes me feel like living in the middle ages. I realize that he is busy with preparing the dungeon. One hour ago I have furnished the box to put her in for transport.
Have you got scary? To be honest, I am! We finally decided to get our semi-feral cats being neutered. The mother cat at first, afterwards the kittens. It´s an awkward situation for both of us. Whereas my husband tends to go through with this as quick as possible without batting an eye, it is my turn to tackle things in a well thought-through manner. Unexperienced in how to deal with pets I am doubtful which kind of handling would be the best, and I change my mind several times. That drives him nuts. He is the one who has to remount the door of an outbuilding, and he is just about to finish the new jail for the poor mother cat.
We already have fixed the surgery, and the vet told us to take away food and water twelve hours before. Not an easy undertaking with a strawing animal! Not being used to stay indoor, we will have to lock her up the whole day. My thoughts are revolving around how she would behave in that situation. Maybe it´s better to find another way to manage it? ...
The next morning the cats are waiting for breakfast in front of the house as usual. My husband puts on his work gloves and approaches the unsuspecting mother. As I am watching the scenery with excitement, he crabs her neck carrying her to the newly-created prison. What a surprise, the cat doesn´t move at all! As soon as she gets locked up I feel guilty, and I have such a pity on her since I was the one who came up with the "neuter project". I am listening, she doesn´t even meow.
Two hours later I call the vet to tell him that we sucessfully caught the cat and locked her up, only to get informed that he will have to cancel the surgery today and doing it on another day next week!
I am really pissed off but also somewhat relieved. I run into the kitchen to prepare a big breakfast which she enjoys. But cats are not silly. The following days she visits us rarely, and whenever she sees my husband with his gloves on she is running away. This time I am not aware of the fact that this is just the beginning of an even bigger challenge.
Montag, 9. November 2009
My Miniatures Series has savely arrived in Seattle, WA. It will be on display at MINIATURE ART EXTRAVAGANZA VI exhibit from Nov. 13th, 2009 until Jan. 3rd 2010.
Laurie Kearney from Gossamer Collective has been organizing mini-shows over the past several years. In her own words she is obsessed with Miniatures, and making art so accessible to people is her passion as well. Every piece of artwork to be hung from artists all over the world is limited in size 4"x4"x4". What a brilliant idea!
The show will be spread out over 3 venues (Stylus Salon, Gossamer Collective and Solo Bar). If you happen to be in the Seattle area check out some more info here.
Thanks for inviting me and good luck!
Freitag, 6. November 2009
I am kind of agitated and satisfied as well. The first part of my new mannequin series is in the can! I take a short look at the pictures after uploading to the computer and leave them on the back burner for a while to step back. During this time of "breeding" I´m open to particular images flashing automatically upon my inward eye. Before clicking the file two weeks later I get pretty nervous with a queasy feeling, just realizing a few minutes later that I am actually pretty confident which pictures are most captivating and worth to work on further.
I´ve been fascinated by capturing mannequins since years. Provided they are realistic, well done and a bit shabby already, they draw my attention. Made to give to a shop window credibility and humanity in the stage setting of its products, mannequins have always been considered as the reflection of the "ideal beauty" during the time that they were manufactured.
Especially when damaged, their humanoid appearance emerges even more, and I try to emphasize this effect in my images. I make my mind a blank and forget everything I know or associate with the object and try to see it with new eyes. I somehow communicate with the models, looking at them from different angles and lighting conditions.
At the end you can find one single model in a variety of moodes. She may look like being sad or pensive,
showing confidence by throwing a piercing glance at the viewer,
or "behave" like a shy deer.
Being amazed at the images being as different as day and night, I am seeking to boost even more the specific atmospheres at post processing. When watching the faces it also may occure that an utterly artificial picture comes to my mind that I want to turn into reality.
Donnerstag, 29. Oktober 2009
We have to remove a vast number of walnut leaves from the grassland. It´s getting rather cold for this time of the year. Even lemons are watching out for cozy little places to warm themselves.
My back hurts, and I hardly can move. I have been running into this situation through my own fault. A lot of stooping, kneeling and photographing in bad posture without going in for sports ... winter is just around the corner. Two new pictures I just have finished somehow correspond to that certain kind of seasonal mood:
Freitag, 23. Oktober 2009
The last warm und sunny days. Leaves just started to turn into red brown and yellow. Jars full of collected seeds from withered flowers and blooming herbs everywhere.
Sunflower seeds expected to be fed to birds in winter. Which probably won´t come anymore since four young cats, masters of climbing up trees, are populating our backyard.
Calyxes of marigold which gave the vegetable patch a vibrant touch of orange and yellow for a long time.
Green beans got dry too soon in a hot summer with little rain.
And I´m lucky to start off with a new series of mannequin photographs. I use a slightly damaged torso of a vintage mannequin as a subject. Unlike my "Secret Society" collection of black and white mannequins which I shot in a storeroom in a more documentary way, I`m now experiencing with a single body put on stage. I´ll write more about the new series in the next couple of weeks when work will be progressed quite a bit.
Freitag, 16. Oktober 2009
After two years of random planting and yielding a large crop however, this summer and autumn our garden provides some surprising new experiences. I shall learn more about unpredictable circumstances, preferences of little animals, cryptic processes of nature and first of all, my own greenness.
These carrots look quite different to those you get in a supermarket, don´t they? If you watch them closely you can notice a lot of grooves and swellings caused by every single hard step they take to permeate the soil. We are lucky to lift only a few like the short one in the middle this year. It takes some time until the compact soil gets more crumbly.
I love beetroots, especially beetroot salad in winter. Maybe that´s why I couldn´t wait to seed them as early as possible. Now we´ve got quite a number of them at the beginning of august instead of autumn as expected.
Tomatoes actually have been playing a joke on me. Growing like crazy last summer, I decided to plant only two bushes this year. At the end there were eight growing in the vegetable patch like by an invisible hand. Since our compost heap originated insufficient heat, this spring unsuspectingly with the garden mold we brought onto the patch a lot of tomatoe seeds still as fresh as daisies. At lower temperatures I cut the fruits still unripe together with the stems and hang them on nails in front of the south-facing hayrick wall where they get red or yellow mostly within a week.
Chili peppers are drying in the sun. Unfortunately we mixed up sweet and chili pepper seeds. Now we enjoy the sweet ones like a rare delicacy and will be able to cook hot dishes for ages. Anyway, I love them!
We really have been looking forward to pick these delicious grapes in September and decided to purchase a grape press. The juice tasted good, somewhat sour as we tried hard to beat the wasps and birds to the draw which devoured the fruits for the most part.
I am an accurate person and know my own mind. I´m sure that natural gardening is a good exercise program to learn to let things rip.
Dienstag, 22. September 2009
The last days I have been working on a double portrait of a black and a white kitten featuring The Investigator and The Inapproachable. I took the photographs when they were looking through the window from outside awaiting their breakfast.
I like the dust and scratches of the window which let the portrait of the black one look very picturesque. The white one is looking through a fly screen which I used to boost the soft tone of the image.
Montag, 14. September 2009
I couldn´t have imagined to write about cats one day even in my wildest dreams. Formative experiences with yowling and wounded cats in my childhood got me to forgo this particularly popular species.
Later on I often noticed people adopting cats or dogs in case the partner refused to start a family. Furthermore, watching lonely cats looking out of appartment windows almost bring me to burst into tears. No desirable examples to emulate as well.
At the moment I am watching a female person studying diet plans and social behaviour of feral domestic cats, lurking around in the backyard to check the stools of four kittens and getting annoyed when being attacked by a bunch of hungry wannabee tigers.
Being fed about three days a week, and being left to their own resources the remaining days, they decided to stay anyway and to reside in front of our door.
They love the warmed-up stairs and have learned that food comes out of that green door.
Now the kittens are about four month old and have grown distinctive characters.
She is the most experienced one especially in climbing up high trees and hunting. She loves to be on her own and seems to look down on human beings.
In the morning she enjoys sunbathing at the top of our shortened apricot tree.
You never know what this calm little black one is thinking about. He behaves like an odd man out and mostly surprises us with a ruminant look.
This little tabby seems to be full of sunshine and was the first one who sometimes allowed us to touch her. Being convinced that she is a tomcat, I had to learn that I was wrong with that. But I am still not sure.
For some month he was the smallest and the most shy one of the kittens. Maybe being a good eater encouraged him to act in the line of fire at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. Jumping on the door, pacing up and down in front of the window together with striking meowing and a piercing glance let him stand out in the meantime.
The kittens couldn´t have asked for a better mother. Waiting next to the feeding bowl until the babies have finished their meal, she is satisfied with what they have left. Or speeding them up to go on excursions by jumping and behaving like a kitten herself, are just a few qualities of that mysterious creature. Looking after them for such a long time she now disappears more frequently. At the moment we see her rarely - will she leave us alone with the kittens?
Primarily the four kittens have got another brother or sister which is unfortunately lost since a month. She was so cute and extremely shy, watching us all the time, whatever she did. Can´t think of what might have happened to her. In the picture above she´s playing with her brothers and sisters.
We still aren´t sure about the sex of "our" kittens. As they are not used to get handled or touched, we found out a feasible manner to inspect them: when fed by their mother you can do whatever you want, they don´t care, even if a human being is lying on the floor to lift their tails. Not experienced with investigations like that, we consistently mistrust our results : - )