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On a recent trip to New Orleans I visited 2 unique museums along with other fabulous and spooky spots. The first was the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. What a strange and wonderful place….

library of herbs

Um, yea..women were pretty much drugged from puberty

Oh and, yes, folks, it's cocaine for your kids!

Lovely leeches...

Something stuck in your throat?..yikes!

So now that we’re all glad to be alive in this century….The next museum of interest was the Audubon Insectarium. This place has more bugs than any person, however interested, needs to see (my personal opinion). I did love the beautiful displays and the butterfly encounter. The “insect cooking demonstration and tastings” I leave to braver souls than I.


bee display

beetle display

Um, yea, beetle wing necklace...

another beetle display

butterfly coocoon

live butterflies

Onward…You can’t go to New Orleans without a cemetery visit and a walk down Magazine Street. First we visited St. Roch Cemeteries. They are beautiful cemeteries located near the upper 9th ward. Here’s some text from their site:

“At the height of the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, a German priest named Rev. Peter Leonard Thevis arrived in New Orleans. Faced with the severity of the yellow fever epidemic, he turned to God invoking the intercession of St. Roch, the patron of good health. He promised that if no one in his parish should die from the fever, he would erect a chapel in honor of the Saint. Amazingly, not one member of Holy Trinity died from yellow fever, either in the epidemic of 1867 or 1878.”

St. Roch Shrine


Room next to the shrine adorned with prosthetics from "healed" believers

Magazine street is one of my favorite shopping places. My husband and I filled our house with light fixtures on our last Magazine Street shopping spree. Here’s a few of my favorite finds from our stroll…

antique church banners

religious robes

awesome, antique, un-even bars

great leather chair


Borrowed From Wikipedia:

Born Marie Louise Fuller in the Chicago suburb of Fullersburg, now Hinsdale, Illinois, Fuller began her theatrical career as a professional child actress and later choreographed and performed dances in burlesque (as a skirt dancer), vaudeville, and circus shows. An early free dance practitioner, Fuller developed her own natural movement and improvisation techniques. Fuller combined her choreography with silk costumes illuminated by multi-coloured lighting of her own design.

Although Fuller became famous in America through works such as Serpentine Dance (1891), she felt that she was not taken seriously by the public who still thought of her as an actress. Her warm reception in Paris during a European tour persuaded Fuller to remain in France and continue her work. A regular performer at the Folies Bergère with works such as Fire Dance, Fuller became the embodiment of the Art Nouveau movement. An 1896 film of the Serpentine Dance by the pioneering film-makers Auguste and Louis Lumière gives a hint of what her performance was like. (The unknown dancer in the film is often mistakenly identified as Fuller herself.)

Fuller’s pioneering work attracted the attention, respect, and friendship of many French artists and scientists, including Jules Chéret, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, François-Raoul Larche, Henri-Pierre Roché, Auguste Rodin, Franz von Stuck, Maurice Denis, Thomas Theodor Heine, Koloman Moser, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Marie Curie. Fuller held many patents related to stage lighting including chemical compounds for creating color gel and the use of chemical salts for luminescent lighting and garments (stage costumes US Patent 518347). Fuller was also a member of the French Astronomical Society.

Fuller is responsible for the European tours of the early modern dancers (she was the first American modern dancer to perform in Europe), introducing Isadora Duncan to Parisian audiences and developing the acceptance of modern dance as a serious art form. Her ‘Chinese dancers’ were the subject of the second section of W.B. Yeats‘ poem ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’.

After the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, Fuller toured Europe with Sada Yacco and company, acting as manager and press agent for the Japanese performers.[1]

Fuller formed a close friendship with Queen Marie of Romania; their extensive correspondence has been published. Fuller, through a connection at the U.S. embassy in Paris played a role in arranging a U.S. loan for Romania during World War I. Later, during the period when the future Carol II of Romania was alienated from the Romanian royal family and living in Paris with his mistress Magda Lupescu, she befriended them; they were unaware of her connection to Carol’s mother Marie. Fuller initially advocated to Marie on behalf of the couple, but later schemed unsuccessfully with Marie to separate Carol from Lupescu.[2] With Queen Marie and American businessman Samuel Hill, Fuller helped found the Maryhill Museum of Art in rural Washington State, which has permanent exhibits about her career.

Fuller occasionally returned to America to stage performances by her students, the “Fullerets” or Muses, but spent the end of her life in Paris where she died of pneumonia on January, 2 aged 65. Cremated, her ashes are interred in the columbarium at Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris.

Aurora Robson‘s works are poetic. Whether using discarded plastic bottles or junk mail with ink and gouache her work seems to remind us of an important lesson:  it’s not what you use but how you execute that moves people. It takes a lot to impress me with ones use of materials. Aurora Robson’s pieces are simply exquisite.

From her site:

I am fascinated with the malleability of matter. The forms in my work are derivative of nightmares I had when I was a child. My fodder is junk mail, litter, waste & nightmares. My job is to transform these things into art. My work is a meditative practice in alchemy, enantiodromia, positive spin, acceptance & balance.

When there is a negative or downward trajectory of motion inherent to a material, I like to focus my energy on changing that direction. For example, the work I’ve been doing with plastic bottles — without intervention, used plastic bottles have basically 2 options: becoming landfill, or maybe getting recycled.  In the past year, I have intercepted approximately 30,000 bottles from the waste stream, turning them into art instead of allowing them to go into landfill, our oceans, or the environmentally costly recycling process.

Junk mail shares a similarly depressing fate with the bottles. I have transformed the activity of opening up the mail and finding a depressing mass of garbage and credit card applications into a pleasant experience wherein I am able to discover new batches of art supplies. The language, costly graphic devices and fancy printing used in junk mail also give it a persuasive, positive and personal flavor, which I prefer to use in my art. My practice is essentially about recognizing and embracing new possibilities while encouraging others to do the same.

Aurora is Canadian, but grew up in Hawaii & has lived in New York for 19 years.  She currently lives & works in Brooklyn.

Caroline Slotte’s ceramic pieces draw a strange curiosity. I found myself  imagining the story of the characters in her illustration, where they are going, what they’re circumstances are. I love storytellers and I’m in love with these works. I am particular to this series “Gone Fishing” maybe because my step-grandfather was a fisherman and I truly romanticized it as a child.

Her statement:

Objects in our private sphere stir feelings in us and connect us to our history. They are tangible reminders of the past, of our own life story, and that of the family. In this way the most humble object can function as a key to the past, as a key to our inner. The poetry of everyday objects, with all the memories and associations that these objects contain: that is the starting point for my artistic practise.

In my work I examine the memory-bearing aspect of second hand objects. What do remnants of lived lives – photographs, clothes, and other utility objects – have to say about us humans? What role do the objects in our surroundings play in the creation of continuity in our existence, and in the construction of a continuous life story?

The manipulation of existing material is central in my work. I rework found objects, mainly second hand ceramic items, so that they take on new meanings.

I’m interested in how the interventions direct or obstruct the associations of the viewer. The manipulated objects are characterised by a tension between the recognisable and the mysterious, the familiar and the unfamiliar. I rework the ceramics by cutting directly into it, by sculpting and sanding, and by combining elements from different objects. In this way, the work process becomes a way of questioning the material and highlighting stories contained in the objects.

Photo: Markus Åström

Eily O’Connell makes exquisite, tiny sculptures in the form of jewely. This jewelry while you may want to wear it you also my be prompted to lock it away in a shadow box. Each piece more interesting than the next. Eily has that eerie and natural mixture that I love in design. According to her own statement: “The process of casting has enabled me to cultivate new species or hybrid types by means of clever amalgamation. Selections of indigenous woods have been modified to incorporate insect claws, which often grasp a piece of coloured stone or glass”. All photos are courtesy of Eily’s website.

Mari Andrews is an artist after my own heart. Her beautiful and enchanting works remind me of things I see in dreams. I’m a big fan…and I want one of her pieces.

From Mari’s artist statement:

My work has evolved out of years of drawing and obsessive collecting. Through sculpture I weave these two actions together. Wire, pine needles, branches and other linear material carry on the drawing practice while moving the work into the sculptural realm.

Time spent gathering, cleaning and storing of collected objects, whether they are man-made or natural, allows for a kind of wonder and intimacy with each object. This gleaned information is crucial while combining materials to make new, hybrid forms.

Structures of all kinds from cellular and mineral to plant and skeletal, inform the work. The pieces become a collaboration of materials and intention, with the materials often altering my concept and practice of working. Various temporal and delicate objects I elect to work with often mirror our human sensitivities and vulnerabilities.

For the most part these three-dimensional drawings are presented on the wall. They are made as singular pieces and often come together in larger wall installations. The individual works relate to and play off of each other like words forming sentences or sentences telling a story.

I transform the materials used in these sculptural drawings to bring attention to fragile and often fugitive objects that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Photos courtesy of

"Sprinkling" 2009

"Monkey Mind" 2009

"Fin" 2006

"Radiate" 2006

British artist Antony Gormley’s works have moved me. Mr. Gormley is a career sculptor that I am sure has many followers world wide. I was recently moved by his works with wire and pin-steel. At first look from an image, you see an abstract, architectural arrangement of wires. As you circle the piece a human form appears, entrapped. I’m still exploring these works…it could take some time.

Courtesy of

“Gormley’s work has revivified the way in which the human form is appropriated. Frequently using his own body as the subject of his work, Gormley’s innovative use of the body, as a vessel for memory and transformation, explores the collective body and the relationship between self and other. His investigation into the human condition has been realised in highly acclaimed large-scale installations such as Critical Mass (1995), Allotment (1997), Inside Australia (2002), Domain Field (2003), Another Place (2005), and Blind Light (2007).”

"Flare" 2006-2007

Hive VII

Um…seriously, I’m probably behind the curve ball on this one but She’s amazing.  I am so inspired with how she tells a story in each installation. It’s eery and beautiful and everything I love…From Tessa’s website:

“Tessa’s miniscule sculptures reinvigorate a belief in fairies: not the sweet Tinkerbell image in popular conscience, but a biological, entomological, macabre species translating pastoral fable into nightmarish lore. Constructed from bits of organic material, such as roots, leaves, and dead insects, each of Tessa’s figures stand barely 1 cm tall, their painstakingly intricate detail visible only through a magnifying glass.

Hovering with rarefied, jewel-like beauty, Tessa’s tiny spectacles resound with a theurgist exotica: their specimen forms borrow from Victorian occultism to evolve as something alien and futuristic. Playing out apocalyptic narratives of a microscopic underworld, Tessa’s manikin wonders rule with baneful fervour: harnessing mayflies, battling honey bees, attacking spindly spiders. Presented as wee preternatural discoveries, Tessa’s sculptures conjure a superstitious premise, dismantling the mythos of fantasia with evidence of something much more gothic, sinister, and bewitching.”

from "The Swarm" 2004

from "the Swarm" 2004

"the Swarm" 2004

from "The Swarm" 2004

Azuma Makoto is a seriously amazing Japanese artist. He has used botanical elements in many of his installations which is how I found him but his art works go far beyond botanical. Looking through his site he looks like a pretty chill guy too. At least that’s my fantasy. I like imagining amazingly talented people as folks you want to sit down and share a glass of wine….or saki with. By the by, I’ve seen his name arranged 2 different ways so the big mystery is…first name Azuma or Makoto. If I get to meet him I can find out!

Shiki Formula (2005) courtesy of Spoon & Tamago

Shiki Formula Landscape 2005 courtesy of Spoon & Tomago

"time of moss" courtesy of designboom

makoto azuma courtesy of designboom

'my work for this exhibition shows the encounter and coexistence of two lifeforms with different origins. living things connect strongly and straightforwardly, and conceal unlimited possibilities.' -makoto azuma

This will be the first of many posts in this category. Crossing over and combining arts categories has opened a space I think everyone responds to. Fashion designers, painters, florists, sculptors, botanists, architects, scientists, photographers and other creatives seem to have been meeting secretly to create otherworldly works and products that make our hearts sing.

The following images were shot by photographer Sacha Van Dorssen. Each of the pieces were created by artist Emilie Faif for fashion designer Isabel Marant. What an incredible collaboration.

Thank you to Li Edelkoort for her endless vision and for showing us breathtaking examples of cross-polinating the arts….and thank you for BLOOM.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Native American ritual, spirituality and aesthetic lately. It’s hard to find images where you feel that strong essence coming through. David Michael Kennedy has won my heart! His portraits of dancers are…well, I’m speechless. See for your self. Photos courtesy of

San Juan Eagle Dancer #1

San Juan Eagle Dancer #2


I have been following Yuken Teruya’s work for years ever since I saw a piece  in a small gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. I am such a lover of paper art. Yuken has amazed me!

Yuken Teruya cuts trees out of paper bags and cardboard tubes, creating forests of delicate branches and the shadows they cast. Initially the trees were cut out of carrier bags turned on their sides. The paper cuts were made from the top and the resulting tree was popped out to form a diorama framed by its own shadowbox, the bag itself. These bags span the range from high-end designer shopping bags to the ubiquitous Macdonald’s takeout bags and the cardboard tubes can easily be identified as humble toilet paper rolls. But the work itself is extremely precise, with the artist basing the cuts on photographs of actual trees.


"Paper Rolls"

Photos and text courtesy of

OK, so she’s my sister but I’m also a huge fan.  Photographer Patricia Von Ah has an upcoming show at Sotheby’s in London called “Old Friends New Directions”. Patricia’s contribution to the show will be one of my favorite series, “Rabbit Holes”. These are the two I would like for my house…hint, hint. The first is titled “Quiet Place” and the second “By a Dreamer”. If you happen to be in London January 11-15 stop by the Colonnade Gallery-Sothebys, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA.

According to Patricia: “EVERYONE NEEDS THEIR VERY OWN RABBIT HOLE. The Rabbit Holes are about escape, fantasy and imagination. A place to go to where anything is possible. Worlds of burning, curling color and hidden doorways. Ten photographs of mountain woods alive in a mysterious locality of their own, composed as invitations to prolonged inward gazing.”

"Quiet Place"

"Built by a Dreamer"

I am constantly looking at ordinary objects and spaces as if they were in an imaginary world.  A public sculpture piece in Santa Monica, roots, vines and a strange fruit/pod I found on a hike up Runyon Canyon and the garden at the Getty Center are some of my favorite cell phone images from last month.

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