Friday, 19 August 2011

A White Dove has flown...

"Fehér galamb szállt a házra, édesanyám, Isten áldja!
Köszönöm, hogy felneveltél, most a halálnak engedtél."
Hungarian folk song, performed by Szalóki Ágnes at the Folk Arts Festival

Yesterday (August 18) was the Festival of Folk Arts, more specifically the "Mesterségek Ünnepe" at the Buda Castle.
It was heartwarming to see all the traditional Art forms of Hungary kept up by professionals, I was allowed to accompany our friends the Vajdas, the parents are both Folk Dance teachers, the mother is also a Folk Art teacher. Walking arund the booths  with Mrs Vajda is an amazing experience, she looks at a shirt or an outfit and can tell you which area it is from, how old it is, what are the significant motifs. It is absolutely stunning. She let me know that there is an ancient pomegrenate motif used in the embroidery of Kalotaszeg.

From the Museum of Folk Art
 I was greatly surprised as I never thought of the pomegrenate as a typical Hungarian fruit, it must have been imported from Italy... and then again figs grow here too (there is nothing better than picking a real, ripe fig from the tree with your own hands, now is there?).

There were a lot of things to buy, great many articles of beauty and talent... but I'm one to abstain from consumerist reactions (at least I do try); thus, as I did not buy anything I cannot take a picture of any goods for you my dear reader. I was quite angry with myself for that I had a doctor's appointment and had thought I would be able to return home to pick my camera, but alas I had no chance for this as too much time was wasted, waiting at the hospital.

Let me share a few artists we talked to and admired:
  • the Vajda's favourite jeweller: 

    Laták Zsuzsanna who also has a published book called Gyöngyös drótékszerek

  • Igéző, a group of fashion designers using ancient Hungarian motifs in modern wear. They make clothes that I always wished for, taking elements of our rich history and placing that into high class designs. Naturally this means that there goods are pricey, but it's comforting to know that this exists.
  • Enamel jeweller Paál Sándor. Unfortunately he does not have a site, but he is my favourite, I have seen his work at other festivals in Hungary, I especially love his works where he includes female figures as they have a true fairytale feel (I cannot find any pictures of these types of work). 

Paal Sandor's enamel work
  • Bomo Art, they had beautiful handmade journals, and beautiful wrapping papers, many with female fashion figures from the turn of the century (we all know which turn, don't we? ;D) I have a soft spot for stationery as I am sure all who dwelleth upon countries in the rich lands of Art.
  • Németh Gabriella of Mente Minta. They make traditional "Paszomány", decorative ribbons formed into shapes (something that has got popular in modern wear all over the world in the last few years).
Paszománt from the Liszt Ferenc Museum of Sopron 
Paszomány-típusok: Sarkantyús pozsonyi vitézkötés, nagy-pozsonyi vitézkötés, pozsonyi vitézkötés (2 darab), malomkerék vitézkötés (2 darab), kétszíves vitézkötés, vitézkötés, négyszíves vitézkötés, kissarkantyús vitézkötés, szerb vitézkötés, mente vitézkötés, csillag vitézkötés (2 darab) (19–20. sz.) Liszt Ferenc Múzeum, Sopron

This a version of the song "Fehér galamb szállt a házra", The Csík Zenekar has used on of my favourites in it as well: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

As an ending note, dear reader: who else is excited about the new Effie movie coming out next year (according to imdb)? The script was written by Emma Thompson and filming will begin this autumn. It is about Effie Gray, who after an unsuccessful marriage with Ruskin married the great Sir John Everett Millais.

Monday, 1 August 2011

There is no place like home...

Now "that is the OZ I remember".

I have just finished watching the Syfy mini-series Tin Man from 2007. Very interesting storyline, with some unexpected surprises.
There are some minor drawbacks in the plot, often related to the ease with which characters are able to escape from danger. However, the like-ability of the characters saves these situations. They are easy to relate to, we get aqcuainted to people/creatures who are humane and make choices that we too would make in their positions.

Gerardo de Gerard's design of Azkadellia's fortress

The designers have done some fantastic work with this series, they have created many worlds to explore, such as:

Andreas Rocha's design for Milltown

  • the dark evil-infested Tower of the sorceress Azkadellia
  • Milltown reminescent of the typical American "hardworker's" village
  • the cash-obsessed metropolitan area of Central City
  • the beautiful and ancient lakeland, Finaqua
  • the sinful nighttime circus of vagabonds, flesh and neon- the Realm of the Unwanted
  • the sacred tomb of the Floating Caskets
  • and the iconic Kansas farm

Phil McDarby's design for The Cave

these worlds can be journeyed through at your pleasure, dear travellers, by taking a stop at the surrealist artistic collaboration: Infinite Oz. This is a project by nine talented illustrators: (Philip Straub, Greg Petchkovsky, Martin Lisec, Andreas Rocha, Gerardo de Gerard, Geoffrey White, Raphael Lacoste, Phil Mc Darby, Rudolf Herczog)

Gerardo de Gerard's design for Finaqua

The costumes are made to match the differnt lifestyles the inhabitants are forced to live. I, for one, enjoyed the simplicity of the garments worn by the rebel vagabonds who live by a roadside in the third episode, we saw their leader in simple shirts, a red scarf, trousers, and brown leather boots- all of these distressed and worn out.

As one would expect, one of the most enjoyable characters was Azkadellia's, both with her acting and her wide array of costumes (in comparison to the other characters).
Her main costumes seems to be the gold armour corset, it is interesting that the chosen colour for the negative character is a warm gold instead of the cool silver, of course it represents riches, but without doubt is a reference to her being from the blood of the good-natured queen, Lavender Eyes.