issue 20

Transcription

issue 20
Isolation
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20
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twohundredby200
June 2006
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Copyright Sean D Makin twohundredby200 2006 Copyright for submissions belong to the contributor unless otherwise specified.
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Beautiful Isolation
After two days of ferries and coaches, rough roads, calm
seas, sights of mountains and tourist crowded hostels, I have
arrived at last. Two days of traveling, longer than some take
to cross the Atlantic. Has it been worth the time to get here?
Yes. My muscles ache from the long days looking into this
people’s past, a past I share in some sort of way, the past that
includes the people who reached this land to settle here and
to use this place as base to head further north in their clinker
built boats.
boring too familiar places and free to take in all this, once of it is the best feeling as it means not only am I physically
the few pieces of land not even touched by telegraph poles. alone but my thoughts are uncluttered by news of places I
do not know, of people I do not know or need to know about,
The heather stretches over, touching the middens that go of a bigger world which society makes me think about
back many ages and vanish with every hard winter. These unnecessarily.
show me how cold it was thousands of years ago and what
the diet of these people were, the diet of fish and whatever I think of the past, the tons of exams I have worked hard at
else gathered up from the coast. It is one of the only to pass that have meant I have managed to get three paid
perfect records in the world today as there is no pollution weeks in such an amazing place learning about a people I
here, nothing to change it or affect it or alter the valuable never knew and seeing for real the past I have studied is my
information (or stratigraphy to use the “proper” term). The great reward.
middens are as perfect now as they were thousands of years
ago, apart from where nature has decided to strip them here I think of the now, the respect, the welcome we have received
in the one pub on the island by these people due to the light
and there through a few heavy winters.
we shine on their past, the heavy work occupying my days,
Not far from where I am is the Knap of Howar, a risky boat the beer well deserved bought at the end of the day, the
ride way with a fisherman that can’t swim, that you can smiles when we find something, the disappointments when
explore and is not surrounded by fences or camera flashes. all we have done it move soil.
After a long day of lazy winds (so called because the wind
goes through you as it too lazy to go around you) and soil
hitting my face with every shovelful, I am finished for the
day to walk out here on to the sand littered with pieces of
boats from long ago. It is cold but in a good way. The sand
here is littered with the driftwood, with pallets from places I
That too is not touched as it is too far from the planners
have never been to and hope to go to: Russia, Canada.
and builders. They say in a sand storm could easily reveal
Not far from here, I have packed a few things carved from another Skara Brae like it did two decades or so ago. The
this to perfection by a lone turner on a lone island, with a Knap is just that, revealed by a storm and too off the beaten
wife for company, who uses all this to make a few pennies. track giving me the peace to contemplate it all.
As I check the time on my phone, something hits me then.
I know as I stand here that the place not touched will haunt
For the first time ever, I am completely alone. No one, no me forever. Just the way the animals live by humans without
noise of the cities, no gossip or chat behind me, no cars, no the risk of pellet shot or hunts. This is where crofts so small
machines, no annoying buzz of a mobile phone to interrupt suffer when cattle prices fall as it literally means a loaf of
me and my thoughts. On this island, I am alone far from the bread. I have no access to email, to even a newspaper, and
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I think of the future, unsure what it will hold but hoping it
will take me away to many more places where man has not
yet extended its reach. I am unsure of where I am going but
know it should be interesting if this is where I am now. From
the now the future holds many uncertainties to look forward
to.
But deep down, I feel alive as I see the beach, sea, scrub,
history of my ancestors around me and of the people quite
far from me, and feel isolated in a good way. I am isolated
and feel happy, happy in my beautiful isolation.
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200 book review
UN Studio
Design models
Architecture Urbanism
Infrastructure
Ben van Berkel - Caroline Bos
ISBN 0500342229
ISBN-13 978-0500342220
27.0 x 21.5 cm
400pp
£36
www.thamesandhudson.com
UN Studio is the studio of the extremely talented
Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos. Based in Amsterdam
the duo work across the world creating stunning and
functional buildings whilst pushing the boundaries of
contemporary architectural practices.
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As well continuing to run UN Studio both Ben and
Caroline have been visiting lecturers at Princeton
University, UCLA, Columbia University, the
Architectural Association, London, the Academy of
Fine Arts,Vienna and the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam.
Van Berkel is dean of the post-graduate programme
of architecture at the Städelschule, in Frankfurt. A
busy pair indeed.
UN Studio have become very well respected for
their innovative additions to the world of modern
architecture which will be further uplifted with the
opening of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
The massive double helix building (shown left)
contains 16,500 square meters of exhibition space
with over 160 vehicles on display You can see more of
the museum online at
www.mercedes-benz.com
It is only fitting that Thames & Hudson have chosen
now to publish a complete monograph of UN Studio’s
output from the past seventeen years to coincide
with what could well be the pinnacle of their career.
The heavyweight 400 page hard-backed book is
stuffed full of great imagery of the various projects
from the studio. Opening the book you are presented
with an essay that examines the concept of ‘design
models’ and how architects can carry these ‘models’
from one project to another. It provides a rare insight
into the thought process behind their work especially
the more radical projects. The book ends with a
second essay examining the function of contemporary
architecture in today’s society as well as offering new
ways to generate interesting and meaningful forms of
architecture.
With over 700 colour illustrations made up from
concepts, digital models and detailed photography
of completed buildings architects and students of
architecture and design will find the images a great
source of inspiration.
9/10
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200 book review
New Art From London
Chris Townsend
ISBN 050028606X
Paperback
£14.95
www.thamesandhudson.com
Chris Townsend
London has always drawn in artists due to it being a
central node in the cultural and cosmopolitan world
of art. New Art from London features a selection of
artists currently working in the metropolis.
The majority of the artists included are still in their
mid to late thirties and have taken a more mature
and driven approach to the creation of their work.
Gone is the brash Brit-art ‘slap it together and name
it’ method instead these artists concentrate on their
techniques and general aesthetics involved in getting
their message across to their audience. Their work
is intelligent and witty as well as being ironic and
serious which is typical of the work that has come
out London in the past 5 years.
Some of the artists featured include George Shaw,
Ryan Gander, Davis Burrows, Tania Kovats, Layla
Curtis as well as sculptor Eva Rothschild whose use
of materials in her work is fantastic. This selection of
artists provides a good cross section from which to
gauge the culture and direction of new British art.
New Art from London features 148 colour images
and is laid out in a very clean and well balanced style
to provide the reader with an easy journey through
the heart of the contemporary art visual scene. A
good source and read for those interested in art and
its standing in the UK and international scene today.
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7/10
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200
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