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Mads Nissen: Brazil in the time of Covid PANOS PICTURES WORLD PRESS WINNER April 27, 2021

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Mads Nissen PANOS PICTURES WORLD PRESS WINNER

Mads Nissen’s series on the Covid 19 crisis in Brazil from which the World Press Photo of the Year 2021 was selected. Mads talked to us about how he came to take the winning image.

In March 2020, care homes across Brazil closed their doors to all visitors, preventing millions of Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives, while the home’s carers were ordered to keep all physical contact with their vulnerable residents to an absolute minimum. However, at Viva Bem, an elderly people’s home outside São Paulo, a simple new invention ‘The Hug Curtain’ has enabled families and their elderly relatives to see and hug each other without risking lives. For residents who do not have visitors, volunteers and staff are ready to step in, because, as they say at Viva Bem, “Everyone deserves a good hug”.

Brazil has one of the the world’s highest rates of COVID-19 infections, at over 13,5 million, and a staggering death toll of nearly 355,000 people (by April 2021).

Q: How did you end up covering the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil?

MN:
I saw a beautiful people devastated by, not only this horrible virus, but also by the failed and irresponsible policies of their own President. The death toll in Brazil is staggering, more than 355,000 dead by April 2021, which is among the highest for any country in the world. President Bolsonaro has continued to neglect the pandemic which he has described it as a ‘small flu’. He has refused to apply any of the internationally recognised measures to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19 and protect his own population.

I lived in neighbouring Venezuela when I was 18 years old, I’m married to a Colombian and have made two photographic books on the region, so I felt a really strong urge to go and document the crisis at eye level. From the graveyards to the favelas, the suffering and grief, but also the endurance, hope and warmth that is so vivid in the Brazilian culture. These are some of the emotions I hope my image ‘The First Embrace’ will pass on.

Lockdown Sunday Morning Perth Photos Bohdan Warchomij April 25, 2021

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A house in North Street in Mt Lawley with a tribute to fallen Anzacs Photo Bohdan Warchomij

This morning I was at the end of my driveway listening to the Last Post playing from my neighbours’ radios at 6 am  with the shadow of a lockdown hanging over me and Perth and Peel created by an outbreak of covid19.

I photographed my father’s photograph in a commemorative act  to mark victims of the wars that plague our planet.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Perth had an outbreak on the sixth floor of the Mercure hotel, which was being used to quarantine travellers to WA from overseas.

One man was released after 14 days of quarantine in the Mercure and spent five days in Perth, before flying to Melbourne, where he tested positive for COVID-19.

His travels around Perth are listed  on the government website: www.healthywa.wa.gove.au .

If people have been to any of the hotspots listed it is a good idea to get tested and to quarantine oneself for 14 days until an all clear is pronounced by the testing.

Community transmission has been recorded in people he came into contact with in Perth.

Oliver with the red ensign in Kings Park Photo Bohdan Warchomij

In Kings Park I photographed a young man called Oliver with a Red Ensign who told me the following “The 1901 Federal Australian Flag originated from a competition held where 5 similar designs were chosen by the people. It was used unofficially by the people on land, and at war from 1901-1954.
Civil and Merchant use was to be the flag with a  red background, as well as the public generally.
The  blue background flag was used for Government buildings and a White background was for Naval use for commissioned war ships and naval bases.
A version of the red ensign was later brought in to be used by merchant marine fleets complying with admiralty guidelines for ships at sea in 2:1 ratio.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

In 1954 Prime Minister Robert Menzies adopted the blue background version as the official flag of Australia.”

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

With a mask on and a camera I visited the Kings Park War Memorial travelling through Mt Lawley and then Northbridge where I photographed a homeless woman from the safety of my car.

A woman from Armadale sleeps homeless in Perth. She has been on the street for over a year Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The next location was Cottesloe Beach where I photographed people with and without masks enjoying the sunshine.

In the water at Cotteloe Beach Photo Bohdan Warchomij

 

The Patti’s Manifesto and Art PERTH CENTRE OF PHOTOGRAPHY April 23, 2021

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THE PATTI SMITHS MANIFESTO

Patti Smith
concerned more about bees than terrorists
prototypical
contemporary artist;
bibliophile,
poet,
pilgrim;
mother,
writer,
rock star,
polaroid shooter,
paper napkin journal jotter;
Patti’s everyday
imbued with the cosmic
coupled with the Universe;
but why does she watch
all that crap television?

Perth’s disparate and famously
non – conforming;
Patti Smiths Art Collective;
describe their work
loosely as
neo-modernist,
post / retro-punk
with ironic dollops of pomo kitsch.

Starring – Kevin Ballantine, Emma Dowdell, Mike Gray, Joe Landro, Sarah Landro, Nicole Lobry de Bruyn, Graham Miller, Harry Reid-Sadler, Duncan Wright.

Kiteboarding at Woodman Point Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 24, 2021

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Airborne Folkert Bosma Woodman Point West Australia Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Bran Bieleny Slovakia heads to the beach at Woodman Point Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Kiteboarding or kitesurfing, is an extreme sport where the kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow. It combines aspects of sailingsurfingwindsurfingskateboardingsnowboardingwakeboarding and

paragliding.

Airborne Folkert Bosma Woodman Point West Australia Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Had an opportunity to photograph Bran Bieleny from Slovakia and Folkert Bosma from Holland showing

Bran Bieleny Slovakia Photo Bohdan Warchomij

off their incredible skills at Woodman Point, Indian Ocean.

Bran Bieleny Slovakia Photo Bohdan Warchomij

 

Shadows of Hope March 17, 2021

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Robert Hoey Leader Shadows of Hope

Shadows of Hope is an officially registered 501(c)(3) charity currently operating in 4 global theatres spanning more than a dozen countries.

It  is also suddenly in the mainstream over news of the arrest of a Perth man over  a sniper murder of biker chief Nick Martin at the Kwinana Multiplex. The uncharged sniper engaged with Shadows of Hope in Myanmar and  with organiser Robert Hoey working on an ethnic operation. The organisation labels itself as the ‘world’s most dangerous and fearless charity.’

In a Facebook post, the former SAS soldier said of the meeting: “It was love at first sight. I tracked them down and offered my skills. They accepted me into my ranks. And now here I am, surrounded by sacred kin, those willing to put everything on the line for others.

Robert Hoey, leader of Shadows of Hope, defended the alleged killer, and claimed that he had “suffered and bled for those who were most vulnerable.”

“The actions of one of our members who is being questioned for the alleged murder of an Australian gang leader was not a Shadows of Hope operation, ” the American said.

“we have no knowledge of the alleged crime and offer no support or judgement of this crime.”

“Our members have earned their right to privacy and their actions off duty do not reflect our organisation,”

Shadows of Hope

With a uniquely skilled core of volunteers that fluctuates between just a few to over a hundred members, Shadows of Hope draws its labor pool not from overseas specialists, but from local experts. This allows for rapid deployment and a broader view for the past, present, and future impact of operations. This also helps cut down massively on costs as well as communication times.

Using local resources and expertise allows for the continuation of operations beyond what any one organization could hope to accomplish using so few people in such an austere environment. It also grants Shadows of Hope unheard of connections, from authorities in the highest government office to lowly pirates and thieves, securing friendships for prospective operations in the future and a way to avoid red-tape when lives are hanging in the balance.

Shadows of Hope currently has more than 500+ contacts in almost 30 countries employed in countless professions, ready to act when an official field operative hits the ground.  Shadows of Hope is nevertheless in the limelight because of the arrest and a household word in West Australia.

Catching the Light JACK LOVEL: The architecture of Iwan Iwanoff March 16, 2021

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“Catching the Light” Jack Lovel Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Jack Lovel’s book launch, namely “Catching The Light” at the Mobilia Studio in 888 Hay Street Perth was a special occasion.

Jack Lovel Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Featuring the work of Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff in Perth it captured more than light. It captured the genesis and the spirit of and the technology of Iwanoff’s powerful work. And sensitively it showed respect for the landscape in which these works were made. The light in Perth is astonishing and Jack’s work through his lens has made the work stand out palpably. It attracted architects. Neil Appleton from Lyons Architecture,  Adrian Iredale from Iredale Pedersen Hook, who gave the keynote opening address,  and Kayisha Iwanoff, the niece of Iwanoff, who is an interior designer.

Kayisha Iwanoff Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Kayisha Iwanoff Interior Designer

There were numerous other guests revelling in the work and the beautiful backdrop of the Mobilia showroom. Miles Openshaw from the Globetown Project with his wife Amanda and son Xavier. Owner of Mobilia Sam Fazzari was at the opening although owner Mirella Scaramella was unable to attend.

Owners of  Iwanoff properties Matthew and Merja Shield, Mark Baxter and Karen Featherby were in attendance.

Neil Appleton and Adrian Iredale Architects Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Adrian Iredale in his address mentioned Jack Lovel from a recent conversation
and ‘his obsession with the work of Iwanoff’.
“This is a healthy obsession, it is productive and focused. Over the last decade I have
heard of numerous attempts to produce dedicated books or catalogues on Iwan’s
work. Such attempts to create a meaningful focus fail to materialise in the intended
manner, we are generally left with project articles in magazines or more recently,
detailed descriptions and photographic portrayals on real estate agents websites.
Here the ‘weight’ of Iwanoff seems to manifest as a curse.
As noted earlier, the Iwan Iwanoff catalogue from 1991 focused on the art of
architecture. Here Jack has adopted a specific and focused approach, the title
‘Catching Light’ immediately identifies his approach. The front cover embraces the
scale of the block, the block texture can be seen and almost felt, reinforced by the
textured paper. The back cover contrasts the grey natural block front cover with
painted block, here the texture is reduced and the shadow pronounced (Iwanoff was
critical of owners later painting his blocks). There is an honesty and authenticity in
these photos, Jack captures qualities of light against an evolving approach of Iwan
Iwanoff from the Californian modernists inspired houses of the 50’s to the very
personal approach with the concrete block. What remains consistent is Jack’s
approach to capturing the diversity of approach of Iwanoff to light.”

Jack Lovel is an architectural photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. With ten years worth of experience, Jack has worked with some of the leading architects and design practices in the field including Splinter Society, Carr Design, Christopher Elliott and Biasol. His editorial work has featured in global publications like Dwell, Elle Decoration, Houses and Habitus.

Alongside his freelance practice, Jack has spent the past three years documenting Iwan Iwannoff’s architectural legacy in Western Australia, culminating in a 2019 exhibition entitled The Architecture of Iwan Iwanoff – Through the lens of Jack Lovel at Perth’s There Is Studio. This body of work was initially inspired by the Iwanoff-designed Jordanoff house that Jack grew up in, and is a testament to his long fascination with – and passion for – contemporary architecture.

The closing words by Adrian Iredale at the opening  were from a well known quote by Iwan Iwanoff: “Architecture without Art is like life without a pulse .”Here Jack Lovel maitains the pulse through the frozen art of capturing light.” Adrian Iredale Architect.

 

www.jacklovel.com

Jack Lovel Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The Beeple has landed: A digital work by digital artist Mike Winkelmann has been sold by Christies New York for a record price March 15, 2021

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A frame from 5000 Days artist Mike Winkelmann BEEPLE

People have really just scratched the surface when it comes to non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, Mike Winkelmann, a digital artist who goes by the name Beeple and recently sold a piece for $69 million, told CNBC on Friday.

“I really think this is a technology that has just so many use cases,” Winkelmann said in a “Squawk Alley” interview. “I look at NFTs as being such a blank slate, even beyond digital art.”

 People could start minting NFTs for things as common as buying a car, replacing the deed to a house or even a college diploma, Winkelmann said. Ownership of these assets is recorded on a blockchain — a digital ledger similar to the networks that underpin bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Each NFT is unique and can’t be duplicated, making them rare by design.

“There’s so many different things,” he added. “Anytime you want to prove ownership, I think there’s a use case there.”

The bulk of the focus around NFTs so far has centered on things like digital art, sports plays, memes and music. Several high-profile pieces have been sold recently or are in the works to be auctioned off. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is on track to sell an NFT of his very first tweet for $2.5 million and said he will donate the proceeds to charity. Musician and artist Grimes has sold more than $6 million in videos and music. Winkelmann’s latest NFT, titled “Everydays: The First 5,000 days,” sold at Christie’s for $69,346,250 on Thursday. The price propelled it to become the most expensive NFT ever sold at auction.

The record-breaking deal comes amid a surge in popularity of the digital collectible over the past few weeks.

Some believe that the craze around NFTs will die down, making the assets less desirable and causing valuations to plummet. That could be the case for some works, Winkelmann said. But he’s confident in the technology overall, believing it isn’t going anywhere.

Consumers of internet culture will already be familiar with the South Carolina-based graphic designer and motion artist known as Beeple.

His visionary and often irreverent digital pictures have propelled him to the top of the digital art world, winning him 1.8 million followers on Instagram and high-profile collaborations with global brands ranging from Louis Vuitton to Nike, as well as performing artists from Katy Perry to Childish Gambino.

Beeple Image CHRISTIES

In EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, the artist has stitched together recurring themes and colour schemes into an aesthetic whole. The individual pieces are organised in loose chronological order: zooming in reveals pictures by turn abstract, fantastical, grotesque or absurd, deeply personal or representative of current events. Recurring themes include society’s obsession with and fear of technology; the desire for and resentment of wealth; and America’s recent political turbulence.

‘Beeple is looking at his whole body of work as it’s presented on Instagram as a kind of Duchampian readymade’ — specialist Noah Davis

The notable differences between the early and later pictures reveal Beeple’s enormous evolution as an artist. At the project’s inception, ‘everydays’ were basic drawings. When Beeple started working in 3D, however, they took on abstract themes, colour, form and repetition. Over the past five years, they have became increasingly timely, reacting to current events.

‘I almost look at it now as though I’m a political cartoonist,’ Beeple explains. ‘Except instead of doing sketches, I’m using the most advanced 3D tools to make comments on current events, almost in real time.’

A frame from 5000 Days artist Mike Winkelmann BEEPLE

The WA Election shapes as the status quo repeated. ALP Premier Mark McGowan set to control the agenda for four years March 12, 2021

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Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The 2017 state election saw Labor win one of the most comprehensive victories on record at the state or territory level in Australia. Labor won 41 of the 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly—a 23-seat majority—both WA Labor’s strongest result ever, and the largest government seat tally and largest government majority in Western Australian parliamentary history. Additionally, Labor exceeded all published opinion polling, winning 55.5 percent of the two-party-preferred vote from a state record landslide 12.8 percent two-party swing.The Liberals were hit by a 15.8% swing against them on the primary vote and lost 18 seats to Labor, finishing with just 13 seats, the lowest share of seats the party has won in any election. The Nationals won the remaining five seats. Labor also became the largest party in the Legislative Council with 14 of the 36 seats, ensuring it required at least five additional votes from non-government members to pass legislation.

Two by-elections were held during the term of parliament, both in 2018. The Liberal Party held the seat of Cottesloe and picked up the seat Darling Range, increasing the Liberal/National bloc in the Assembly to 19 and decreasing the Labor Party to 40. In July/August 2019, Liberal MP Ian Blayney resigned from the party and joined the Nationals, thus returning the Liberal vote bloc to 13 and increasing the National vote block to 6.

On February 25, 2021, Leader of the Opposition Zak Kirkup admitted that he could not win the election 16 days before election day.

The imbalance between the major parties has led to a string of minor parties and independents coming from the woodwork.

Premier Mark McGowan’s popularity rating following his handling of the covid pandemic assures him another four years at the helm.

 

Commemoration of Edith Cowan’s Achievements: 100 Years since her Election to Parliament Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 11, 2021

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Story: Hilary Silbert

Now why would a memorial committee fight for two years to commemorate someone, and even face litigation and court to achieve their goal? Well, the answer is, that they thought that the person at the centre of the controversy was amazing, worthwhile and had a lifetime of achievement. That person was the woman on the $50 banknote……….Edith Dircksey Cowan.

The memorial that caused such division is the Edith Cowan Clock Tower, at the entrance to King’s Park, West Perth. It is the most significant memorial to a woman in Australia and was unveiled two years after Edith died, on June 9th, 1934.

March 12th, 1921 was the day Edith changed the face of society,  forever. A hundred years ago, she stood for election along with three other women. It was the first election women could legally stand, and twenty two years after women had the vote. For Edith it was entirely natural: you achieve the right to vote, so, of course you stand for parliament. Edith Dircksey Cowan, OBE., JP., became Australia’s first woman parliamentarian, and was right up there, in the early days of woman in Parliament, in the world. She only decided to stand four weeks before Election Day, she stood against another member of her own party, and to the shock of everyone, she was successful. She knew it was a tough nut to crack, so she even designed a brooch that she gave to her supporters. It was made of a cracked gum nut, and two gum leaves, with the words ‘the nut’ written on the leaves.

 

Edith,  who came from a property outside Geraldton and was an orphan by aged 15, managed to quietly build a track record of achievements that few could hope to emulate. She was founding organisations such as Women’s Service Guild, RSPCA, Karrakatta Club, Ngala, to fight for our first maternity hospitals with trained midwives, advocate for women officers in court and become one of the first women justices. She wanted married and unmarried mothers treated equally, sex education be taught in schools, and believed men and women could work collaboratively.

 

At 59 years of age, married and with five adult children, Edith rewrote history. As Australia’s first woman in any parliament, she just happened to live across the road from the West Australian Parliament. She was the elected member for West Perth, and even beat the Attorney General. She walked across the road to attend. Fortunate that, because there were no female facilities, so she came home to use the bathroom. That did not stop her having the Speaker’s Gallery open to women for the first time, and achieving two private members bills. Quite an achievement for a first term parliamentarian. Society changed again, thanks to Edith being responsible for the Women’s Legal Status Bill, in 1923. Only ninety eight years ago, could women enter the professions, for the very first time. This affected all the society of the day: men, women, daughters, sons, husbands, wives.

 

Edith came from pioneering background: one grandfather was the first Colonial Chaplain, Reverend John Wittenoom. Her belief in the necessity for education for all was inherited from family. She was well read, well travelled and believed that organisations were greater than the individual. She was an excellent speaker, and served her community all her life. Her home in Malcolm Street, was the location of many meetings, and was a place to gather. She and her daughter, Dircksey, were founders of the Royal WA Historical Society.

 

If you visit the Edith Cowan Clock Tower, it is a short walk to see the tree Edith planted because she was on the 1929 Centenary Committee, when WA celebrated one hundred years. Down the hill, in Malcolm Street , is the site of her two homes: number 31 and 71.

 

So, here is to Edith Dircksey Cowan , née Brown. Thank you for changing our lives in a thoughtful and positive way. May we all recognise and acknowledge your contribution.

 

Hilary Silbert

Founder

Edith Dircksey Cowan Commemoration

Immediately after World War 1 women’s organizations renewed their efforts for civic rights, as part of ‘the full democratic re-generation of the world’, and in 1920 legislation ended the legal bar to women entering parliament. In the 1921 elections Cowan was one of four women candidates. As an endorsed Nationalist for the Legislative Assembly seat of West Perth, she opposed an independent Nationalist and T. P. Draper, the sitting Nationalist attorney-general in Sir James Mitchell‘s government. The electorate had a majority of women on the roll, but was solidly wealthy with a few potential Labor voters. She campaigned on her community service record, the need for law and order, and for women in parliament ‘to nag a little’ on social issues. She narrowly defeated Draper to become the first woman member of an Australian parliament.

There are tributes to her achievement in  Australian politics. Cowan was a founder of the (Royal) Western Australian Historical Society in 1926 and contributed to its journal—her daughter Dircksey was its first keeper of records. She was active in planning the State’s 1929 centenary celebrations. Until her last illness she maintained her committee and social work. Survived by her husband (d.18 October 1937), she died on 9 June 1932 and was buried in the Anglican section of Karrakatta cemetery. She left an estate of £161. Colleagues erected a clock tower memorial at the King’s Park gates to indicate her place as ‘one of Australia’s greatest women’.

She had led a group of forceful articulate women who made the Western Australian women’s movement a model; while she shared its concern with purity, temperance and ameliorative social work, she gave it her own rational analysis of issues and an austere dedication. Her portrait is in Parliament House, and her likeness adorns the Australian 50 dollar note. Edith Cowan University, Western Australia’s fourth, gained the status in 1991 with the amalgamation of various teachers’ colleges and colleges of advanced education.

 

Sculpture by the Sea 2021 Photos Bohdan Warchomij March 8, 2021

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Sculpture by the Sea has returned to Cottesloe Beach despite uncertainty surrounding  the exhibition that has survived 17 years of success and crisis.

The exhibition is open all hours for 18 days between Mar 5-22, which leaves plenty of opportunity to visit, especially alongside a casual swim or fish & chips down by the beach. Artworks from previous exhibitions have ranged from the quirky, to the quizzical, the bold and the beautiful: there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea, David Handley said, “The support of the people of Perth and WA saved the exhibition last year, with 20,000 people making a $5 donation – even though only 80,000 people visited because of concerns over COVID. This year it’s just as important for everyone to donate to save the exhibition and to cover much of the artists’ installation costs, which used to be funded by the Australia Council. If, like last year, one in four visitors donates $5 we will reach the goal.”

This years Bendat Family Foundation WA Invited Artists Program Recipients are Paul Caporn, Jennifer Cochrane and Tarryn Gill.

Ross Drinnan Chairman of Sculpture by the Sea Inc expressed gratitude for the private donors, especially the Bendat Family Foundation and Crown Resorts Foundations, Tourism Western Australia and Alcoa. and the Packer Family Foundation.