Skip to main content

Noticing what you notice

detail from a gallery door

I have been away spending time in our favourite haunt ... along with goodness knows how many other tourists from around the place. However once settled into our room with balcony overlooking the jungle, incessant sounds of frogs and crickets and rushing stream, the tourists nowhere to be seen and plenty of time to relax and explore, it was a very inspiring place to be.

If ever there was a place to 'notice what you notice' (thanks Daph!) it's in Bali, such an incredible mixture of all things and so busily geared to the tourist that it sounds like such a ho-hum place to go. Except that I love it and keep going back. Why wouldn't one? There are so many other places to explore ... but we are so near, it's easy, relaxing and always interesting. There is always much more to see than immediately meets the eye and the more I come, the more I feel I know the place and the more I appreciate it. It fits with my own ideas about 'finding not seeking'(Picasso's je ne cherche pas je trouve) and approach to working with found objects, ideas and materials.

Being here is like playing pass the parcel, though the goal isn't necessarily to get to the present in the middle. The wrapping papers themselves are interesting and as if they were pages from a newspaper, I find myself stopping to read a little from each one, in no hurry to get to the middle, or end.

So what did I notice? Among other things, I found it curious that the signage at the airport now includes information in Russian (as well as English and Japanese). I noticed there were lots of Dutch tourists and we enjoyed spending time with a couple over coffee, hearing about their life, work and philosophy of travelling.

I noticed the Balinese at work and how clever they are at carrying things around on their head - piles of sheets, baskets of offerings, cement bricks, trays of building sand. And how they appear to live with such resilience and patience.

I noticed an article in an Air France magazine while drinking coffee in a cafe

I noticed these chairs made from sawn and painted planks of wood

Many more things of course ... but now that I am back at home it's time to get stuck into developing new ideas and products along the lines of minimalism, paring back, simplifying.

Preparation for the next Yuniko Studio show, which is planned for September 2010. Details to follow


  1. Thank you for sharing...
    I have enjoyed what you noticed.

    I haven't been to Bali for about 20 years or more and only saw it through the eyes of youth.

  2. I enjoyed the thought of noticing what you notice and I thank you for helping me notice. Loved the chairs too!

  3. Loved the chairs and the door... and great to read your musings on noticing...Bali...I must go there one day!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Doing the research

I am constantly amazed and humbled by the level of sophistication, not to mention dedication, inherent in the artisan traditions here in Bali. I know so little (I'm rather embarrassed to say) however I do know that I appreciate them very much! This is a place where it is the norm, rather than the exception, to spend one's time in making things by hand. 

indigo dyeing(before)

Recently I did some research on the use of natural dyeing in Bali (online, of course and from the comfort of my small but perfectly comfortable villa nestled in the rice fields ... nothing hard about this kind of research!) and discovered Tarum Natural Dye in Gianyar.

black dye vat

It is a small and seemingly very productive company, started by two brothers in 2001 who did the research, learning about the plants, the traditional techniques and processes of natural dyeing in order to create a viable business. Visitors are welcome and I gather they offer workshops (see their Facebook page). Spending time with An…

Foraging and gathering

Two months after having decamped to the tropics some 2000 km north (leaving all my art and clay supplies at home), I am at last settling back into working with clay. A 30kg bag, some basic tools and simple forms to get the ball rolling (unintended pun!)

I'm always happy to work with the bare minimum - fewer variables, less choices, more play! However, the other day, heading to Singapore on a day trip for a visa extension, I discovered a ceramics studio with all the supplies I could possibly need ... including some colour underglazes. 

laguna underglaze colours and a big soft brush

underglaze applied on greenware

the glaze-fired version

If you are in Singapore and curious to track down some ceramics supplies, you could check out Goodman Ceramics Studio. It's also a place to go and do ceramics as well as buy supplies. 

Meanwhile ... I will continue to battle with the pinch pot. Such a simple form and technique, but amazingly tricky to get the exact degree of imperfection that makes it…

Drawn to the abstract

It's hard to stay present and focused and performing and perfect at all times, I find (haha as if THAT would ever happen!). Actually I wouldn't even want to try. There is something very nice about being drawn away from the intensity of things. Withdrawal into a private space, with a paintbrush.