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This is the creative home of Natalija Brunovs.
Designer, photographer, film maker, artist, teacher, deep thinker, drawer, spiritual seeker and one crafty lady.

I blog therefore I am!

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    Why People Photograph
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Entries in travel (40)

Saturday
Jun012013

Indian Doorways

I love doorways.

I love people.

So imagine how I feel about people in doorways...

Here are some photographs from Rajastan, India of people in doorways.

 

Tuesday
Feb262013

Instagratification

I got a coffee the other day and the guy said 'the soy is the angry one' and I thought, too right!

So I turned my frown upside down. And the segue to the subject of this blog is... missing...

(Hang on, I worked one out, this is a photo I instantly put on instagram instead of my blog.)

I've had a blog since the days they were called "web logs". A geek friend coded me one in 2002.
I loved this outlet, I could get my pics and dorky poems out to the world!

10 years later... with a bucket more wrinkles and cynicism... ;-)
I'm weathered by the changes of the interweb world! 

There are now countless ways to get the pics and poems out there. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter... I am a mere dot in an ocean of voices.

It's mostly pics and a handful of characters... you don't see so many essays online these days! or if they are there, not sure who's making the time to read them.

Social media has come and met me with all its tools and everyone's joined in!

However my blog suffers because it's like getting on a dinosaur with a message in a bottle to throw into the milky way... cooooeeeee??

Yes, anyone, anywhere can see it without being a 'friend' on my various social media channels... but is that more valuable than me speaking with my 600 friends (some long lost) on facebook?

Or the 150 followers on my instagram?

And then there's the feedback, the instagratification! Yep, I just coined that (and I'm not going to google it to discover I wasn't the first!) I know that mostly someone is gonna say hi when I put up a pic.

Just one pic or one sentence can mean a whole dialogue.

Here I can write paragraphs and it meets silence.

So what to do? I am learning to accept that the blog is less populated, quieter, it is still read by some.
And that this is just the way its evolved. Can't fight it or myself actually.

So today, which just so happens to see me sitting on a comfy bed in Melbourne celebrating my birthday with the company of tiny tweets from birds in a fig tree, I will blog some instagram pics that if you are following me will be "old news" but if not will be seemingly fresh.

I have decided to be okay about blogging my social media activities because I'd like to curate some of it.

 

Travels in Instagram - a wonderful tool and reason to pause and frame

In my own community of Fremantle we share the excitement of what goes on.

Like when we're having a glitter themed party, we tease people with what's to come!

And I joke about the sign that the party was well and truly over.

When I travel then things seem far more visually interesting. Like my Adelaide backyard.

And Melbourne in all it's cruddy imperfect perfectness with countless vivid stories.

One of the keys to photography is showcasing a view that might be overlooked

And framing a contrast in colour, texture and meaning

But it's mostly about laughs!

A sea of grugs? or A bon jovi wig burial site?

[current mood] Cocoa, Date & Nut treats & Sufjan Stevens again

 

Wednesday
Jan092013

I just can't get enough

I was in Turkey some years ago and made this little video at some markets in Istanbul.

I think I'm going to do more 'spontaneous acting' as this still delights me.

[current mood] Figs with Prosciutto and Goats Cheese & The Cure

Wednesday
Oct242012

Making Mojitos in Mae Sot

It was dusk. We were cycling along the wonky streets of the border town Mae Sot in Thailand and chanced upon a little bar.

Mestizo Barr.

As the sky got duskier and we finished our Leo beers, I decided to wander off drinking course and try their Mojito.

It was so awful I took a photo of it on my phone. It seemed as though they had pulverised mint in a blender and added flat soda. I couldn't get it down - and I'm normally a tough cookie when it comes to drinks...

I felt it would be right to tell them how undrinkable it was and I offered to show them how to make a good mojito tomorow.

The manager, Lah said 'yes please!'

I did my mojito research and brought some recipes along on the laptop.

And off we went...

Get your ingredients - which are going to be paradise fresh in Thailand. Good start!

Take a glass and a big smile.

And you'll need the dregs of that bottle of white rum on the shelf.

Add a teaspoon of sugar to your squeezed lime

Add your mint and a bit of soda...

Muddle it together with the back of the spoon. Don't be shy! 

Use a good shot or two of white rum (or whatever is left in the bottle)

And Wah Lah! We have a pretty delicious looking mojito!

Lah's verdict "very nice!"
 I think we need to have Mojito Monday's now.

I agree. This is fresh!

I think Lah was very thankful ;-)

say hello if you are in Mae Sot!

[current mood] Cut Copy & Walnuts

 

Thursday
Oct112012

Whispers from Burma

Anita always whispers to me when we talk about Burma. "You can never be too careful" she says.

I laugh but she warns me that people can be persecuted for giving us information... and we were, indeed, going in to seek information and document people and lives and needs.

Alas at the last moment the timing clashed with some other events that meant Anita and I could no longer go on our intended mission and it left us with two tickets and no purpose for our Thai/Burma trip!

I struggle without 'purpose' on a holiday so I brought my camera for the first time in a couple years and took the opportunity to rediscover my love of the documentary of new people and places. No real outcome, just shooting for the love of it.

I realise I mostly enjoy being playful with the locals and going places others don't because I have a camera and I'm not afraid to use it.

First stop: Myawaddy, Burma.

We walked across the border, handed over our money and passports and had one day to experience some of Burma.

Within seconds we were grabbed by a friendly, betelnut-stained toothed local who took us to a 'teashop' and around temples and markets in a friendly way. We stood out like the only whiteys in the village and it was confronting and fun. Here is that experience, in photographs...

I'm now burning up with ideas of ways to spend my mid-year holidays, with camera, cheeky-confidence and a wifi connection. It's unreal and I think I know my purpose!

[current mood] Waking up With Roosters & Papaya Salad

Wednesday
Aug012012

Does Facebook beat Blogging?

Weeks have gone by since my commitment to blog every day in June.

Here's how it went, visually…

 

And no activity in July.

So that's less blogging ever since I 'committed'!

But so much has happened since then. So much does happen, generally, in my life.
But in July more poignant things, more upheaving, more new starts. Yet I blogged none of it. 

My Facebook friends however did get a taste of that journey.

It's quite easy to put together a one sentance status update.
And to feel something and share it immediately.

Snatches and grabs, that's what Facebook is and what the people seem to want.

Perhaps also what I mostly feel I have time and energy to do!

If I track my blog readership alongside the use of Facebook it looks something like this:

Yet I still keep my blog. Without it I would just have Facebook. And that would limit my audience to 'friends'.

What if I want to just put something out there to the world, a greater idea, show off some artwork, be found by strangers? I'd have no where to do it without my blog!

So I still feel I need that space. I have also linked myself so much to my online presence that it feels like my voice would be taken away if it were. It's like I would disappear.

But Facebook would fill that odd void albeit to a limited group.

I contemplate detaching from the 'need' - but I won't, not yet.

However I will make no promises of quantity or quality - to you or to myself. (Seems to have the opposite effect!)
So whatever happens will be it!

And I've learned that I will always do exactly what I want, at the end of the day.

Here are my Facebook status updates with illustrations to fill the gap of time flown past… make of it what you will!

 

I have 24 weddings ahead of me. #lovefest

 

You cant make a wish on this frosted dandylion

I must now pack for 4 destinations of different climates!
Cairns sydney thailand perth home...

 

Gee I miss this. Sitting around in my undies cause it's too hot for clothes.
Hello Cairns!

 

I really really am grateful for my really really true friends!
Thank you for make life's journey all the more better.

 

You know you're addicted to good coffee when you ask the taxi to drive out of the way and wait 10mins.

 

It dawned on me that thai massage is enforced yoga.

In Thailand pink isn't a girl's colour. It's on cabs, boy school uniforms, everywhere.
We came to the conclusion that pink is simply 'happy red' in the land of smiles. 

Sunset over the ocean. Glad we have these in perth every evening!

 

 

Hello everyone in Perth. I am here to stay. xo

 

 

I do not accept winter.

 

I have to stop dressing like cat burgler #bringbackmyrainbows

 

Right, so I've been back in Perth for about 5 minutes and I'm already planning a trip to Tassie, a trip to Burma and a Sydney retreat. hmmm, guess you can't take the gypsy outta the girl!!!

 

[current mood] Personalised Coffee & Osho Doof Doof Shaking Music

Tuesday
Jun052012

A Personal Art Tour

I have the wonderful fortune of continuing to attract work that involves artists. It's becoming somewhat of a forté - photographing and filming artists. I love it because I am really quite the art critic deep down. I believe I know what is good art and a real artisté when I meet one. However what I enjoy most is the insight into different artist's lives, being inside the studio and work of an artist and connecting with their personal stories and drive. Artists are just people but the difference often is in how they engage with the world, more emotionally literate, more aesthetically alive and they often create homes and spaces that fulfil me.

I simply enjoy their company.

The Glen Innes Art Gallery received CASP funding (Country Arts Support!) with the support of Arts North West, with which they were able to engage me as a photographer to work across the New England regional to photograph artists, venues and galleries as part of the Country Arts Escapes website. The new site gives visitors a sense of who they can visit so they can map out an art escapes tour of their own.

I had to drive between places like Tamworth, Glen Innes, Inverell, Armidale and Tenterfield and for a couple of legs I had the lovely company of budding photographer Gemma Tann whom I mentored on the road and between pies.

Come and travel with me through some of my visits...

First stop, Tony Sevil.

I resonated with Tony very much. He loves collecting junk and holding it up as art. He showed me how a piece of burgundy suede sitting on a strip of red plastic was just oh so lovely and he felt there was nothing more he could do to make it any better. And I related to this! It provided the perfect contrast and naturalness and so why construct anything further?

Tony gave me eggs and offered tea as he showed me all the junky treats that lined his walls and floors. Below is the train made of junkyard parts. 

I then went to the old homestead Saumarez. I had full reign of the two floors full of old hand carved wood, antiques and wallpapered living rooms, all laid out as it were when it was occupied in the 1800s. Very ghostly, very real.

Now we go to David MacKay. His work is meticulous. He draws detailed illustrations of nature and when I asked if he had a background in botanical illustration, he told me he did. It made sense that his work was so near perfect yet also much better than perfect - if you know what I mean? That's the beauty of illustration over photography.

What I like most about artist's studios in the unintentional arty pieces that lie around that tell more of the story. I like to create my own art in a photography - like watercolour squares against gum leaves. Perfectly edible I think!

To another very physical-artist... we go to Francois Jaggi, a French sculptor in Armidale.
We wandered around his property like a treasure hunt, finding artworks in the misty recesses of hedges and garden beds. I loved the contrast of metal and foilage.

Next stop Tamworth to drop into Andrea Bruno's studio. It was both an artist studio and a workshop space where people could converse over art and cigarettes. Paint everywhere and it felt very European.

Further out of town lies Edelweiss Gallery where their specialty is glass - vases and lamps.
I've always found glass fascinating in itself and I admired how this gallery could exist in an otherwise farmland-scape and have an array of unique arts and crafts for visitors to explore.

The sweet Annabel Hoskins art is on the wall at Edelweiss and so we headed to her house to check out her paintings.
I took a few photographs and she gave me a hundred old records she was going to get rid of anyway. Exchange always thrills me!

Way off the beaten track was Forest to Furniture. It is a gallery in Tenterfield that features wood works, painting and ceramics. This was my favourite piece - however I do have a penchant for original, organic, phallic kind of things.

I loved dropping into Glen Innes' regional art gallery and spending time with the folks there. I thought they made wonderful sculpture in themselves as they posed in the shafts of light coming through the window.

My time with artists and venues is as much about our interaction as it is the images. I love to understand the places, what is important to them, what typifies them and thus was truly represents...

Here is Inverell's regional gallery - not so far away...

And a close up of Nicci Jones working on a pot.

Then I drove down a sweet country lane near Armidale to discover The Orchard Studio.

I do like the non-traditional representation of artists. Here is Julia taking her artwork back inside.

And Studio 91 in Manilla was a shop front and studio in one. I love seeing funky shop windows in old country towns. It gives me hope that fresh ideas can grow in old places.

And last stop, Rhonda. And her home based gallery. Rhonda moved me! She opened up about her life story of personal trauma turned into the discovery of herself as an artist late in life - and her genuine contentness with living alone and managing her life as she does without the need for others. She was very very kind and trusting towards me and spoke with such golden words and stories I wanted to record them into a film! And perhaps perhaps I will.

Thank you for such a brilliant journey with my camera. I hope you enjoyed it too.

Country Art Escapes is proudly funded by The Country Arts Support Program. CASP is  is funded by the NSW Government through Arts NSW and jointly delivered by Regional Arts NSW and Regional Arts Boards throughout NSW.

[current mood] Pictionary Pants-Peeing & Burnt Fig, Honeycomb and Caramel Ice Cream

Sunday
Dec182011

An Instagram Love Story

 

I discovered Instagram a week ago, in a park, in Armidale NSW.

For those that are at least a week behind me, Instagram is a free smart phone ap that takes photos that you can apply a range of funky filters to including colour and focus effects AND geo-locate them and then share them with friends, following any number of people and their beautiful views of life!

As a sometimes-slack-photographer, I love using my phone and clicking to create effects. It's far more versatile than Hipstamatic which you know was my camera of choice in India and the USA!

Looking back through my week of Instagram photos, I realised that they tell the love story that occured concurrently...

I sat outside at the NERAM gallery cafe where I'd get my morning coffee and it was here that I took my first Instagram photo of a man reflecting.

My coffee was delivered by the owner, Rowan, and I showed him my photograph and put it on the cafe's Facebook page. We struck up a friendship consisting of shared nerdiness, beatles lyric quotes and an identical cutlery collection.

It was raining a bit and very chilly for December, so I wandered into the Museum of Print under the gallery.

I played with the letterpress to create a christmas card I imagined giving to friends. I could spend a week down here!

But the next day, Rowan asked me out.
We only have a week but 'why not', we both thought.

So we ate brilliant food together as much as we could.

We drank martinis and margaritas together when we could.
And sometimes apart - him working and me playing with Instagram.

We discovered a tiny rabbit at the cafe and I made a dozen new friends.

I followed him on errands as any time was good time


I picked flowers from his garden for glass jars we bought at the tip shop

I immersed myself in fresh produce and his housewarming party

We didn't get much sleep

I never made any more of those letterpress cards but nothing seemed more right than to rest the one print I did make against a vase of flowers on Rowan's porch.

It's almost Christmas and now my poem makes perfect sense.

So I'm contemplating Armidale and continuing a love story...

[current mood] Artichoke Hearts & The Beatles

Saturday
Oct222011

USA Road Trip

I've spent the last 3 weeks on a road trip with a time-telling travelling-banana in the United States of America.

I started with my great friend Liz and then met my family for a road trip through Louisiana.

As per my nature, I didn't take any photographs with my pro camera. I prefer, when on holidays, just BEING.

I still think like a photographer and see the photos all around me, I just don't take them home with me.

Others choose to put an electronic device between themselves and the moment. I like to have direct connection to the experience.

There are a few moments that I just want to shoot though... my memory isn't good and a photo can be a trigger for a whole event. So I whip my pocket sized phone and snap.

Here are those VERY FEW moments...

America: The only place you'll find Spam Sushi. A rainbow over the bay in San Fran as we walk back from our trip to Alcatraz. Reminds me of our nights in San Fran with sailors, strippers, karaoke and, of course, our good friend, booze.

The beautiful Japanese garden in the heart of SF. A squirrel poses in a beam of light. The mossy bed around tree bases. Reminds me about the thrill of Japanese design: It's like perfect chaos. Everything is so rightly beautiful in it's inperfection.

Liz and I have a penchant for taking images of ourselves in the same environment I just realised.
Vegetarian Diner in Santa Barbara. Reminds me where I tried my first root beer and where we wasted hours of our road trip.

The morning after in pink robes at The Madonna Inn. A tastelessly designed motel on the road to Big Sur.
Each room is a different theme. It looked like a mini-Heidelberg. Reminds me where not to stay!

The curving coast road has these plants that look like massive feather darts all over the hills.
Reminds me how I majorly heart Big Sur, log cabins in the wood, fireside dining and American Indian everything.

Liz and I part. I meet my family and head to a Louisiana ranch. It's horse-everything. The guy has a full nightclub out the back, so are forced into family-fun-time, karaoke and line dancing. It reminds me of fun in the oddest of places.

If that didn't kill me, this nearly did. The state fair, healthiest choice was a Turkey Leg. It reminds me of torture.

Something came over me and I bought some genuine Texan cowboys boots (made in Mexico)
and we visited our long lost great-uncle who took us through every variety of Oak tree he planted 70 years ago. It reminds me of the grandfather I never had and where many of my traits come from.

The family then hit the road to NOLA (New Orleans). We ate at Slim Goodies Diner - best breaky out! We dropped by one of mum's old schools. It reminds me of what typifies America's deep south.

We stayed in a 1800's mansion and we all wanted to buy one. This idyllic life contrasted with the gentle crazyness that was New Orlean's Bourban St. Had a ball. I danced to the Cajun washboard in the middle of the day with freelancing hoolahoop artist and co-ordinated dance groups. It reminds me how a city that is based on music is a beautiful place to be in.

My favourite moments were joining a moving-street-party that roamed with a bicycle DJ and scooter bar. I took over a piano at 'the oldest bar in the state' and made a new friend bashing out some notes, looked up and the room was strangely cleared. I ate 3am pizzas, french donuts, burgers and fries, gumbo, fancy scallops, and drank some of the worst coffee known to man. I actually had FUN with my family.

 

America delivered! And I'll be back for more.

[current mood] Charlie Parker & Quinoa and Sprouts at home.

Tuesday
Apr192011

Stop Thinking & Write a Song

For the past month my brain has been getting incrementally more overpowering. It's actually become out of control. I have to stop mid brain-debate and shout 'shut the f*ck up!!'.

What started as a quiet conversation became louder and louder, soon enough it felt like a chorus of one hundred voices shouting at me with fears, anxieties, attempts to work things out.

If you let the mind just go forth unmanaged it becomes an unruly mess. You can barely hear your soul.

So, too long between meditations and time out was due. I booked a flight to Sydney a few weeks ago to do something arty with a friend and then he recommended I join an intuition workshop as part of the Magicians Way course.

As per usual, when it came to the day of departure, the timing seemed bad and I have so much shit to do I thought 'why did I book this trip?'...

I ended up staying in Heather's cottage, situated in a hidden garden. It's an adorable a-frame super-sized cubby complete with ladder-access attic bedroom. Alone for a day I read all manner of materials, ate super healthy, sat, lay, stretched... I just hung out.

I watched a wonderful DVD by Adyashanti whilst sitting cross legged on the couch.

We also went iceskating and watched the Sydney Dance Company.

I walked around my childhood suburbs and listened to the silence.

Slowly my mind was quietening.

And Heather's piano just had to be touched.
I'm no musician but I let myself muck about on it. With no one around it didn't matter and I recorded it for fun.

I then went to the course and discovered my access to intuition. I was read and I read.
There was transformation and new connections.

And now I'm back here and there is a beautiful beautiful silence in my mind.
I can finally hear my soul again.

Thank goodness I took flight!

Here is what I recorded on the piano with some added words. Listen with gentle non-critical ears please! :)


Singing was a course of its own in non-self-judgement and letting whatever wanted to arise, arise.

x

oh and I also made an elephant.

[current mood] Health Smoothies & The Movie 'Once'.