Tag Archives: Dublin 24

Tomatoes 2021 (1)

Walk through the townland. Gather what is left behind. Single use coffee cups. 

Stab a couple of holes in the base for drainage. Fill with compost. Pop a seed in the middle.

Lightly cover with compost. Leave in a warm spot. Add water, sometimes.

Anticipate growth and harvest.

 

Words: JesseJames. Image: JesseJames.

Night Lights

Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness. – Leonardo da Vinci

Just as the everyday world is periodically transformed by a fall of snow, so too the suburbs are transformed each and every night.

Alert in the dark, our senses are heightened, sensitive to movement and sound. From the shadowy darkness a fox ambles non chalantly across a road before disappearing behind a bush in someones front garden. The paper fan of moth wings beat against the plastic shell of a street lamp, one of hundreds of thousands all over the city, whose orange glow lights the cloudy underside of an overcast sky. At night as I walk, pondering the truth of things, the empty streets appear almost normal.

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Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. – Carl Jung

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

Night LightsDraft

Artificial light increase over Europe since the early 1990s. Photographs: European Space Agency/Nasa

Modern society depends on light in many forms; from high-intensity natural daylight and artificial lighting, to the glow of TV screens, computers, tablets, smartphones, and games. Light is so ubiquitous – and generally travels unseen (except, for instance, in fog) – that we often take it for granted.
We probably have more light than we need, while people are generally unaware of the amount of light they are exposed to, and of its economic and environmental costs.
Over recent decades…use of energy for lighting has been increasing and science has realized light has a significant influence on our health, he pointed out – think seasonal affective disorder, or SAD – as well as [how light is] affecting plants, animals, and insects.
A citizen science survey has been designed to obtain the first national data on the amount of night light, its influence on our sleeping patterns and local ecology, and also the general public’s perceptions of the night-time sky.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/only-5-per-cent-of-ireland-s-night-skies-are-free-from-artificial-light-says-expert-1.3419673

Words: Professor Brian Espey, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, JesseJames. Image: JesseJames, European Space Agency/Nasa.

these things themselves run through time

A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney

Any drawing or painting contains time because you know it took time to do. You know it wasn’t made with a glance. If it’s honest work, you know it must be a genuine scrutiny of the experience of seeing.

The Japanese and the Chinese did not have the camera until the nineteenth century. I assume they didn’t because there’s no evidence of their art being one-eyed.

Here was an art that dealt with essences, not with verisimilitude, which is about surfaces.

After A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney by Jessica Peel-Yates

The late theorizers of Cubism never say it’s about abstraction. They know it’s about perceiving the physical. Cubism is about how we see what we see.

We see everything in focus, everything, but we don’t see it all at once, that’s the point. We take time. The camera, the one-eyed camera, can be arranged so that it sees a lot in focus, but it’s difficult if there’s something very close to it and there’s something else thirty feet away.

I began to realize that I was making pictures in a very strange way, in that when I began I did not know where the edge was going to be.

An Eye’s Walk around Bray Head by Jessica Peel-Yates

Perspective makes you think of deep space on a flat surface. But the trouble with perspective is that is has no movement at all. The one vanishing point exists only for a fraction of a second to us. The moment your eyes moves slightly, it’s gone, and it’s somewhere else. In a painting, the hand is moving, the mark is being made: these things themselves run through time.

Any drawn image is moving through time because of the hand at work.

Words: Hockney on Art, conversations with Paul Joyce.

Images: A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney, After A Walk around the Hotel Courtyard, Acatlan, 1985 by David Hockney by Jessica Peel-Yates and An Eye’s Walk around Bray Head by Jessica Peel-Yates

Moonlit Gardening

The Distance of the Moon – Ink on Paper by James Moore

“The moon looks upon many night flowers; the night flowers see but one moon.”- Jean Ingelow

One of the more fascinating things that we discovered lately is that for hundreds of years people have been planting their plants and vegetables depending on where the moon is in its cycle.

For example, they would plant annual flowers and fruit and vegetables that bear crops above ground (such as tomatoes, and courgettes, peas) during the waxing of the Moon, that is from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full. As the moonlight increases each night, they believe plants are encouraged to grow leaves and stems.

During the waning of the Moon – from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again – gardeners would plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground (such as onions, carrots, and potatoes – the kind of plants known as the nightshade family). As the moonlight decreases night by night, it was believed that plants are encouraged to grow roots, tubers, and bulbs.

The thinking behind Gardening by the Moon is that …just as the Moon’s gravitational pull causes tides to rise and fall, it also affects moisture in the soil – drawing it up to the top of the soil when it is a waxing moon. This causes seeds to swell, resulting in greater germination and better-established plants. When it is a waning moon the gravitational pull of the moon is lessened. The Earth’s gravity has a slightly stronger pull on the roots of plants which helps their downward growth.

Although little scientific evidence has been found to verify such claims, it is known that moonlight affects the leaf orientation of certain plants at night. Scientist Isabella Guerrini who works in the department of agriculture at the University of Perugia in Italy, has observed that sap flow in plants confirm that, indeed, fluid flows are …fuller, faster… as the moon becomes full, slowing down as the moon wanes. This, she explains, has important consequences for plant growth and pruning.

Making Land

On Inis Oírr,  islanders cleared stones and use them to fill crevices in the limestone pavement and to build walls to create enclosed areas. Sand and seaweed were harvested and spread to make land in these fields.

JesseJames make land by composting kitchen and garden waste, enhancing it with diluted human liquid waste, forking in air and water and leaving it to mature for around six months. JesseJames use the resulting compost to enhance the soil.

My whole life had been spent waiting for an epiphany, a manifestation of God’s presence, the kind of transcendent, magical experience that lets you see your place in the big picture. And that is what I had with my first [compost] heap – Bette Midler.

Image: JesseJames. Words: JesseJames.

Snow in Firhouse

Snow was due today. However, we only got a light smattering of sleet around midday which melted straightaway on the wet ground. Snow is rare enough in Ireland that we still look forward to it as a magical event. The last decent snow fall we had in Firhouse was about two years ago. So this snow filled post is James’s way of compensating for today’s disappointment.

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Snow Flakes – Dodder Valley Park, Firhouse
Snow Garden

Calligraphic Marks
Ink Well

The higher contrast  of objects in snow is often very calligraphic, like a chinese water-ink painting on a white background. People trees, bushes and rivers appear almost black against snow. With this in mind I did the following mixed media painting.

Firhouse Bridge under Snow

Hunters in the Snow (below) is one of those paintings that has captivated James from the first time he saw it as a teenager. It is such a vivid scene, more of a cast spell than a mere painting.

Hunters in the Snow – Pieter Breugel the Elder

When commissioned to create a mural for a child’s bedroom, James was given carte blanche to paint whatever he wished. Very quickly he came up with the idea of recreating the Hunter’s in the Snow scene. It was a fairly faithful rendering, but with one big exception – the human characters were replaced with animal ones. The dog in the foreground collecting the stick was a portrait of Jack, the family dog.

Full Mural
Detail
Mural Detail
Mural in context

Images: JesseJames. Words: JesseJames.

This Shortest Day

So the Shortest day came, and the year died,

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive,

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us – listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,

This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!

 

Image: JesseJames. Words: Susan Cooper.