Evaelena Vintage

Monsters and Glaciers April 17, 2017 09:56

Ilulissat is a major town on the western coast of Greenland and an entry point for visitors to the spectacular Disko Bay where huge glaciers carve. It was different to my imagination of what Greenland would be like. Eerily beautiful and ancient- no roads linking the settlements huddled on the coast. We were there in Summer and the number of large European cruise ships arriving was disconcerting.

There are more sled dogs than people in the town.

I took way too many pictures of this spectacular landscape to include them here, but the town itself provided a small glimpse into the rich Greenlandic culture. 

In Greenlandic the word 'tupilak' means an ancestor's soul or spirit, and previously it referred to mysterious, sinister spirits. They have a long history in the Greenlandic culture and are based on mythical creatures in Greenlandic Inuit mythology. In their original forms - they were considered magical and dangerous and had very specific uses. Once foreigners arrived, locals began producing 'copies' of tupilaks for the curious outsiders. to reveal a real tupilak totem was considered too dangerous. Now, carved tupilak "monsters" are a very popular tourist purchase and can be made of bone, stone, wood.

A small museum and art gallery provided more glimpses into a fascinating and rich culture. Of course, Greenlandic inuits only wear traditional clothes for special occasions.

Something very beautiful about seal skins- every one is different of course. This is a banquet in the art gallery made from three furs.

Next to Ilulissat harbour is the Jakobshavn Glacier, also known as Sermeq Kujalleq in Greenlandic. It produces 10% of all of Greenland's icebergs- and they are usually huge. The largest one was 12.5 kilometres across and carved in 2015.  Some can drift up to 4,000kms before they finally melt. Scientists believe the Titanic's iceberg came from here. The pic above are two glaciers freshly carved hanging around Ilulissat harbour and below the glacier itself. 

Above a section of Disko Bay glacier further up the Greenland coast. For scale - it is about 1000metres high.

19th century painting depicting Illulissat locals watching the arrival of a foreign ship and things are never going to be the same again.

Ring Road of Iceland April 08, 2017 18:08



Starting in Reykjavik, we drove around the magnificent island of Iceland late last year. It was very easy to do in a 4WD with a GPS (although its impossible to get lost anyway) and I could go back and do it more slowly over several months- there is so much to see and think about. Did I mention charming people, and wonderful food? In spring the weather was sunny and crisp and perfect to sit in a warm thermal pool and watch the sunset over mountains.

It is the home of the sagas and norsemen- steeped in a heady mix of folklore and a remarkable and dramatic landscape- there is too much to tell here in this blog.

So I will post some of my favourite pics and let your eyes do the exploring. What is exciting is that it is one of the few places left on earth that is visibly undergoing physical changes- the sorts of changes like volcanoes erupting, huge glaciers grinding away mountains, rivers carving deep furrows into the mossy landscape and giant iceberg pieces bobbing up and down in the surf of your favourite black sand beach.

You can see the actual edges of tectonic plates and swim between continents, watch water gushing from underneath a glacier and know it has been frozen for thousands of years. Step around geysers which feed directly from deep inside the earth's crust. A big romantic place of places!

Power for the whole island comes from harnessing the thermal resources under the ground and in certain areas there are lots of boiling bubbling pools - and active volcanoes to tip toe around.

So many glaciers! For scale purposes- those weeny boulders in the foreground of the picture on the right? they are human height.

Fishskin leather- totally odourless and light weight but strong. Beautiful patterns and textures.

Traditional Icelandic knitwear is lightweight and incredibly warm. An entire community of knitters went to work in a small village called Vik to make wool garments for the tourist industry and now they have a very successful  machine and hand made woollen industry and Vik now is very much a thriving town.

I wish I had a pet polar bear.


Prop Sales and Auctions March 22, 2017 18:49

This week I made my way to two interesting places- the first was a prop specialist
in Sydney who was having a garage sale. Our film industry is picking up so I was excited to see what they had to offer. But, I arrived a bit late and there was not much left to buy unless you are in the market for life sized gold dancers, dentist chair, charlie chaplin figure and horses although the penguins did tempt me- but what am I going to do with papier mache penguins? (Although, I did manage to buy two plastic owls which will frighten off the birds from pooping on my new verandah - a life sized horse may have done the job too I guess)
I snuck around the corner to check out the huge warehouse and found an entire zoo in the corner...
One of my favourite auction houses was nearby so I dropped in to check out what was on this week- I did buy a few things (naturally) which will be listed in the coming weeks. But here are a few of the items - weird and wonderful on sale...like hand carved marble lotus bookends, and a big box of barbie furniture.
A beautiful collection of hand stitched cross stitch Australian birds- very finely done- obviously someone's wonderful project.
My favourite (which I did not bid for) were a pair of very old musk ox or fur sea leather inuit snow shoes which were so beautifully made. I recently visited Greenland and Iceland and so these shoes were particularly interesting. Next time I will tell you about my trip to 66N- I hope you like waterfalls!

Fashion as Art March 13, 2017 15:03

I recently travelled to Melbourne and besides visiting my favourite flea market at Camberwell I also saw Fashion Artists at the National Gallery. It explored two Dutch fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren and their concept of 'Wearable Art'. 

Since forming their creative partnership in 1992, Viktor and Rolf have gained critical acclaim for their cerebral and witty approach to couture. The exhibition, which coincides with the luxury fashion label’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 2017, explores the elements that make Viktor & Rolf designs unique in the contemporary fashion world. 

In a recent interview, when asked if there are conflicts between being commercially successful in the fashion world and making art both designers said they want to do both and what seems like a contradiction is for them just a creative challenge. 

This makes for both interesting fashion and interesting art- giving art an actual function besides an artistic one. Although wearing these extraordinary theatrical clothes may not be for those of us who are a bit shy or indeed cash poor. Would you wear these clothes?

Welcome to Evaelena March 02, 2017 18:46 2 Comments

Welcome to my new blog. I spend a lot of time in my studio gazing at new finds, researching them, photographing them, using them for my artwork and arguing with myself about whether to sell or not! The not's go on my display table which is at the end of my kitchen so I can enjoy them some more- its a simple technique and works for me, because in time, I become less (or more) attached to them and then they get moved around then replaced and onto my shop's pages for you to buy and love! Looking at that pic above- taken a few months ago, I can see six things that are already in their new homes somewhere in the world.
As children we develop attachments to things which help us navigate and explore the world as well as draw comfort from them. As our lives continue, our stuff embody our sense of self-hood and identity still further, becoming external receptacles for our memories, relationships and travels.
Vintage objects in particular for me are souvenirs of loved places, times and people. Here are three of my current favourite pieces- a 1902 still life painting bought in a Paris flea market about a year ago, a spiral glass chemistry pipette, bought 20 years ago in a garage sale in Sydney- still can't part with it!- something about spirals and glass, and finally a turn of the century metal wall plaque of a stag- a little bit of old England and a link to my Yorkshire ancestors.
I love to see what you love! and why!