Sometimes

Sometimes you take a picture and it encapsulates a dilemma compressing several issues and thoughts into one moment. This is a picture like that. The young man stands just outside a water inlet that is syphoning water away from it’s natural flow into the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea is drying up at an alarming speed due to the increased need for water of growing populations, industrial and the agricultural demands of the countries which surround it.

Environmental awareness is low amongst the people in this part of the world so a key step towards a resolution of the environmental challenges facing the region must be education combined with strategic planning of the water infrastructure by all the countries surrounding the Dead Sea to ensure it’s long term survival as a unique wonder of the world.
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EXTREME JORDANIAN LANDSCAPES

First stop Wadi Zarkee Main.

For those not yet in the know a wadi is a valley, ravine, or channel that is dry except in the rainy season. From miniature oasis to raging torrent each wadi has multiple personalities depending upon the rainfall and the season. The artists made their way up the Wadi to find great places to paint. Some were drawn to the natural and some were drawn to the man-made.

 

Species studied include: Fan Tailed Raven; Barbary Falcon; Tristam’s Grackle; Crack Martin and the delicate Tamarisks and Acacia trees.

The tempting turquoise water in this wadi arises from 3 hot springs and proves a great place for family gatherings.

In the afternoon we trekked up the mountain to almost sea level! Our destination was the Dead Sea Research Venue (DESERVE) which focuses on the unique Dead Sea environment, one of the most inspiring natural laboratories on earth.

 

The spectacular panoramic views over the Dead Sea and the Holy Land presented the artists with a challenge of biblical proportions.

Artists for Nature Dead Sea Project Day 1

March 16th 2017 – Day 1

I’m working on an international project in Israel, Palestine and Jordan – looking at the ecological crisis facing the Dead Sea with 25 other international artists.

Please find a link to a downloadable catalogue of the Dead Sea project here.

The rest of the artists arrive in Ben Gurion Airport after travelling from many corners of the globe. The first stop for them in a packed schedule is the Israeli Bird Ringing Center (IBRC) which is part of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and based in the Jerusalem Bird Observatory . A Blackcap (the commonest migrant in Israel) and a Blue throat amongst other species obliged us all with their presence in the nets. Apparently, according to IRBC manager, Dr Gideon Perlman, this little chap is a bit of a celebrity with local birders and must enjoy the attention, as he regularly flies in for a visit! You should pop and see him and the excellent gallery exhibitions and feather collections.

After a very welcome supper, next stop Jerusalem International YMCA for the launch of the project followed by a concert by Paul Winter (seven times Grammy Award recipient) and his consort. This was a sell-out evening, and deservedly so, with 620 people attending.

Greetings and speeches were given by project organisers and partners:
Opening movie:
Treasures of the Dead Sea, filmed and edited by Yuval Dax

Greetings:
Professor Yossi Leshem introduced the project and welcomed inspirational speeches from:
MK Tzachi Hanegbi
– Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation and Minister of Communications General (Ret.) Mansour Abu Rashid – Chairman of the Amman Center for Peace and Development (ACPD), Jordan
Dov Litvinoff – Mayor of the Tamar Regional Council
Maj. Gen. (Res.) Doron Almog – Chairman of the Hoopoe Foundation
Iris Hahn – CEO, Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI)
Ysbrand Brouwers – Director, Artists for Nature Foundation

Common threads running through the opening speeches, gained through research, conservational experience, experimentation and innovation were the need for swift, collaborative action between the Dead sea countries to find a solution or a range of solutions to the water-based threats the Dead Sea and the Jordan River face, and resultant threats to the environment, nature and people.

Doron Almog summed up with a thought that: “As human beings we need to be humble in front of nature, we do not rule it. We need to be inspired by it and protect it through finding this balance.” General Mansour added that the project’s “artists are here to remind our people, our authorities and the world of the great resources and beauty of the region. They are also here to pass this on to school children … our futures.”

‘The Music of the Birds’ concert followed, (with music written by Paul Winter) in a new program inspired by beautiful bird songs from the extensive archives of bird recordings gathered since beginning to work on Paul’s new composition “Flyways” in 2005, celebrating bird migration and music of the countries along the Great Rift Valley.

Paul talked about his experience of being invited by Yossi Leshem to take an unforgettable soaring flight in a plane amidst the migrating birds of the Great Rift Valley.

The music in a series of movements, was a response to recorded and birds’ calls. These calls from the ‘avian vocalists’ took the lead in each movement almost as a dawn chorus to the rising theatre lights which faded as the movement/daily cycle ended and returned to darkness. The musicians then entered the conversation with rejoinders from varying instruments bearing sonic relationships to the ongoing avian repertoire – arguing with, complementing or cajoling each other. The sometimes plaintive, melodious, chirruping, cackling or plaintive score was beautifully delivered by:

Paul Winter, USA (on the soprano saxophone), and his consort:
David Haughey, USA (cello)
Paul McCandless, USA (oboe)
Eren Bas ¸burg ˇ , Turkey (keyboards)
Zohar Fresco, Israel (percussion

Diverse-city Moth

Here I am pictured with Diverse-city Moth which is positioned opposite the Open Doors Project which supports refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. The moth is situated on the wall of Fudge just off Prince’s Avenue on Blenheim street so that all the members of the Open Doors Community can get to see their moth. You can find out more about Open Doors herehttps://thestrangerstale.com/

A little bit of information about the process of creating the moth I initially pitched the idea of creating the moth to Bashir Shiraj the project co-ordinator for the Open Doors Project who thought it was a great idea. So I approached Rick to see if the Amy Johnson Festival would like an Open Doors Moth, he was very receptive to the idea and helped to find a sponsor for the art work.

Then came the tricky business of embodying the spirit of a community in a visual way …

Asking people from Open Doors to draw and write on the figure templates at Open Doors and turning them into the graphic designs on each figure.

Artist and Open Doors volunteer Jean Rippon giving me a hand to paint Diverse-city moth

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To find out more about the Open Doors Community visit https://thestrangerstale.com/

location: Fudge, Princes Avenue, HU5 3QP

About the Design:
The design concept was developed through a period of consultation with the Open Doors Community during which the idea of linked hands emerged as a key motif. The group wanted to celebrate and show respect for differences in the community members.

The idea of sunshine, clear skies and freedom influenced the design, leading to the idea of the linked hands of paper chain people. Each paper chain person has their own symbol and colour, representing what Open Doors means to them. The clear blue skies can be seen symbolising freedom in the background, and the sunrise orange in the moth’s orange head symbolises eternally renewing hope.

About the Artists:
Quentin Budworth is a Bridlington based artist, primarily working with photography and music. He is interested in storytelling, perception and imagination, and seeing his work displayed in places where interesting things can happen. Jean is a member of the Open Doors community.

About the Sponsor:
The Open Doors project is a community led organisation which aims to help asylum seekers and refugees in Hull, by integrating them into local society to live independently and confidently. Its members contribute by becoming part of the project to help others as well as accessing its service and maintaining the Open Doors community approach.

The project works to provide resources and classes, as well as advice and support for migrant workers. The project hosts coffee mornings and helps to provide clothes and food for those in need. http://opendoors-hull.org.uk/

 

Big Painting – Decorative panels at Musicport

Great excitement this weekend as Musicport Festival sprung into life at The Pavillion in Whitby – musicians from all over the world came to play their music to excited crowds. As part of the festival a series of visual arts workshops took place with Primary School children from Whitby notably West Cliff School Primary and Airy Hill Primary – The giant boards had to be prepared and drawn up from elements of the children’s designs prior to the saturday and sunday painting workshops led by Whitby based fine artist Bridget Wilkinson and myself.

A fine time was had by all with the children showing remarkable levels of concentration throughout the workshops The children from West Cliff worked on the Jelly Fish with Bridget and I worked with the Airy Hill Children on the giant octopus.

The panels will join the 6 other panels completed by Whitby school children last year on permanent display at Whitby Pavillion.

Big Drawing – Mapping A City

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‘I love drawing and co-authored artworks  ‘Big Drawing’ is a logical development of these two passions- I really enjoy the challenge of devising and facilitating ‘Big Drawing’ projects they are a great way to promote drawing as an activity, encourage co-operation, have fun, participate in an arts activity, and with a little thought they can help develop and encourage a community to work think, talk and reflect together’.
Quentin Budworth – Champion for Drawing 

Early in September 2011 I was asked to create a Big Drawing at Artlink in Hull to launch their ‘ Making Marks Exhibition. I asked the public to create a drawing  of Hull’s best bits the most beautiful, quirky, naughty, nice and memorable parts of the city.

The finished drawing was a very human map of  Hull and people’s feelings about their City – contributors used chalks and charcoal to make a large scale drawing on a wall in the gallery so there was no need to feel nervous about drawing directly onto the wall as they could rub out and re-draw any bits they were unhappy with. Participants were also are invited to add to the drawing throughout the course of the exhibition through the local press and radio.

What was really surprising and delightful was the enthusiasm of the participants, the excitement and creativity in the room – everyone looked at the Making Marks exhibition and contributed to the Map of Hull.

In September 2011, Artlink did a call out for an artist to use a wall within the gallery to begin a drawing relating to the theme of the ’Making Marks’ exhibition which visitors would be encouraged to continue. Quentin took up this task and developed a project to encourage the public to assist in a drawing of Hull’s best bits; creating a human map of Hull, using chalk and charcoal. The response to this project has been fantastic, and as such the wall used was completely filled with individual drawings from people aged 3 – 80. Artlink would definitely support Quentin if he were to propose a similar project, as his enthusiasm and encouragement on the preview night was highly commendable.

Emma Dolman – Gallery Development Worker – Artlink, Hull