Monday, 29 March 2010

Nonja | Borneo Photographer

Name: Nonja
Title: "Companions"
Sex: Female
Age: 33 (b.1977-Present)
Country of Origin: Borneo but now lives and works in Vienna, Austria
Material: Photograph on Canvas
Signed, numbered and dated: (signed with Nonja's Fingerprint on the back) 2009

Nonja is a VIP resident at the Viennese zoo and she has been making numerous friends through Facebook |

Now, aged 33-year-old, she has decided to up-sticks and take her artistic talents to Austria and lives full-time in the centre of the Capital, Vienna.

Nonja has been greatly supported by Samsung who have assisted her with her technical problems and issues. Recently, they gave her a Samsung ST 1000 camera, which automatically uploads any photos she takes to her official Facebook page. There, fans can look at her many self-portraits, as well as photographs of her fellow orangutan companions. On Nonja's request the camera was modified so that every time she takes a photograph the camera dispenses a raisin. Whether she is more interested in portrait photography or snacks may never be known, but her fans are delighted she has such a good eye and a talent for photography. She has inspired a generation to do more and be more.









Saturday, 27 March 2010

Mona | The Domestic Goddess

Mona | The Domestic Goddess

Unique Artistic Watery Technique.

Here is a short essay that outlines a unique artistic and inventive process. Mixing household chores, domestic cleaning products, kitchen utensils, paint and plenty of water, Mona creates her unfinished Masterpieces.

Mona’s work is enlightening when made clear. Too often artist’s works are seen in isolation and their work is rarely appreciated and wholly understood. I would like to try and explain the significance of Mona’s work in the following paragraphs. Mona is a bi-racial, multicultural, International female artist. She was raised in the Medina in Tunis, Tunisia in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, at that time the Medina was a place, which harboured the cultured and the aristocratic. Today the Medina is filled with cheap clothes from Dubai and has become more of a marketplace. Like all major cities across the globe commerce is overriding culture but through her artworks Mona tries to empower women worldwide. Her work plays a pivotal role in how we perceive art, and attempts to define what art is all about. She has created works that are stimulating, inventive, imaginative and challenging.

Mona draws inspiration from the traditional feminine role in the Arabic world, that of hard familial work throughout the day and the control and the distribution of water in the arid Saharan countries of North Africa. Through her excessive use of water she makes an astonishing artistic statement; not only does she use excessive water but she also uses every household item normally found in any average kitchen. Her technique embraces all the conventional notions of being a domestic Goddess and applies daily household chores such as washing, ironing, cleaning and scrubbing into her artworks. She imaginatively uses numerous kitchen utensils as her artistic apparatus. Earlier this year Mona and her husband, Stéphane Masnet had graciously invited me to witness ‘Mona at work’.

I arrived nice and early on a brisk February morning       and was promptly introduced to Mona’s living room in her spacious apartment on the 12th floor of a high-rise block on the outskirts of Paris. The windows of her balcony were wide open, in anticipation for what was to come. The ritual of her work had begun in earnest as I shivered in the early morning breeze but was all too curious to understand her bizarre and exquisite practices. Having entirely cleared the front room the night before she set about marking out her chosen area, giving herself plenty of space to work within. She carefully put plastic sheets down on the floor and shuffled around the room on all fours securing the corners with duck tape to avoid watery messes later.  I watched with acute fascination and bewilderment as Mona made herself busy by eccentrically emptying all the draws in the kitchen and then placing all the utensils around the room. Mona convinced me that the constant flow of fresh air cleared her mind and gave her ample reasons to work doubly hard, if only to keep herself warm; I, on the other hand, had yet to remove my warm sheepskin coat. Art, she enthusiastically explained, should be like household chores: enjoyable, a stimulating workout as well as the rewarding satisfaction when completed. She asked for my assistance and we both laid out a large think greyish canvas squarely in the centre of the room. She then filled up two buckets with plastic household cleaning products and a third with water, which she then placed vigilantly around the canvas. Next she knelt down in the right hand corner of the greyish canvas and scored out random shapes. Charcoal sketches initially and she slowly took out various products from her buckets and applied them onto the canvas squirting washing-up liquid in various spots, smearing them in with a small washing-up brush. Next she added bleach and distributed the liquid with two plastic cards; one from her local video-store and the other a flashy plastic business card recently handed out by a Gallery owner, with both cards she applies the liquid equally in different directions in a similar approach to that of the Karate Kid: Wax-on, wax-off. Wax-on, wax-off and with the third bucket beside her left knee she added the essential water. Before the canvas had time to dry she rolled it up and went directly into the bathroom to wash. With a scrubbing brush in her right hand she vigorously scrubbed away at the various liquids and then hung to dry. Mona invited me into her galley kitchen and made us both fresh coffee and warmed up several croissants as we waited for the canvas to part dry. Twenty minutes later she was back with her canvas and laid it out on the ironing board and ironed out the creases and once again, made dry. Still visible were the initial charcoal shapes drawn earlier. She placed the canvas back on the floor and started the process over. Drawing more shapes on the canvas with charcoal and a heavy HB pencil strokes. She started the process over using more bleach, upholstery stain remover, fabric conditioner and she even broke into a biological liquid capsule. Using various scourers and wire brushes she applied the liquids to the canvas constantly adding water throughout the whole process. As like before she briskly took the canvas back into the bathroom to wash and hang to dry. She told me, with a cheeky smile on her face and a slight embarrassed laughter in her voice, that she has been known to take her canvases into the shower with her as she bathed and often used the loafer, shampoo and soaps to add a different effect to her work, especially if the work was of a personal nature. The shapes or stains that stayed on the canvas marked out the framework of her new work. This process can take up to a month or two months to finish after washing, ironing, scrubbing and painting.
The application of paint comes much later in the process. Mona uses few colours in her works; deep reds, greens, purples and gold. The movement of paint should be viewed as if watching a performance; moving from left to right, right to left, up to down and down to up. This, she explained, enables the voyeur to read her work as if from a musical score or an Orchestra of musical instruments playing or better still, seen as a rhythmical dance; a ballet put to canvas.  In the work ‘Le Couple’, this ingenious process is clear for all to see. The movement of paint, at times vigorous and simple but bold: fast and slow as if physically enjoying and playing out her joy of sex and exploding her vision onto the canvas. Distinctly visible are the couple on the right hand side of the canvas, as seen by the voyeur. The two intertwined figures are caught in the act of lovemaking. The physicality and difficulty of having sex standing upright, the audience are immediately engaged in the memory of performing such an act. The laughter and ecstasy remembered and the acceptance of partnership understood. The act of lovemaking viewed with the generosity of spirit, kindly observed regardless of dexterity and skill. The viewer can quickly see the love that can be found in companionship and the mutual act of giving and receiving. The movement throughout the work is intense but big-hearted and warm in every way. At first sight the work seems unfinished but these white spaces are Mona’s trademark as they are gaps within the conversation to be filled by the audience, for the audience to participate and finish as they wish. Many regard her works as unfinished Masterpieces, ideas shared and irrevocably finished by the onlooker.

I sincerely hope that I have been able to paint a clearer insight into Mona’s work and her unique process, in which she battles to create her unfinished Masterpieces. Through her ability to take elements of the abstract and make them her own has earned her the reputation as one the greatest Arabic artists of all time.
© Joe Pollitt, 2010

Friday, 12 March 2010


World Cup South Africa | Glass Act by Lothar Bottcher.
Vuvu Africa - Hand blown Glass Vuvuzela
It is almost here, the first African showcase of the largest international football event.
Obsidian Glass has created a hand blown glass Vuvuzela for you ardent fans!
The Vuvuzela is a truly South African icon of home grown Soccer Enthusiasts. It has become the trademark of local soccer games and is renowned internationally with the amount of press this “noisy” emblem has been receiving.
Obsidian Glass would like to introduce the concept of a Hand Blown Glass Vuvuzela.
Ngwenya Glass in Swaziland has been most instrumental for the development of this glass version. Under the direction of Lothar Böttcher the glass was shaped and blown by the skilled hands of master blower, James Magagula. (This collaborative environment is encouraged by Ngwenya Glass through their annual Glass Design Workshops.)
All glass Vuvuzelas are made of 100% recycled glass.
Swaziland is one of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) members. This makes the product a truly and purely African one – developed and manufactured locally, using local skills and facilities.
Why a glass Vuvuzela? Glass is fragile yet durable. Its qualities are unique. It can be transparent or opaque. The surface can be decorated and branded. A multitude of techniques can be used to accentuate its once-off-hand-madeness . No two Vuvuzelas will be the same.
Blowing a glass Vuvuzela and hearing the sound emanate from it is an experience. The resonance of the glass gives the Vuvuzela a perfect sound.Who would have thought that glass could do this, to become an instrument gauging your excitement for your favourite team?
Combining the traditional with the unconventional an inimitable artwork is created…

Author: Lothar Bottcher

Thursday, 11 March 2010



We, the Kids of the world, saw God and she looked just like us.
So we have been thinking. Should we tell the Adults?
We have been sworn to keep her secret sacred in our naivety.
God is Santa for the grown ups, shall we squeal?
We are so scared that if we tell, they will smack us.

We had a dream that we were having nightmares.

Our local churches are abusing us.
Stealing our pocket money every Sunday.
Robbing us of our sweets and games.
Should we spill the beans to the Adults?
We are so scared that if we tell, they will smack us.

We had a dream that we were having nightmares.

The Power of God is with us, the Children.
She is the fear and the glue that binds.
The church is a place where the Adults adore.
How do we tell our secret of what we have seen?
We are so scared that if we tell, they will smack us.

We had a dream that we were having nightmares.

The church makes them feel safe: theatre of the mind.
Being betrayed and robbed makes them feel safe.
Kids Against Church Abuse, maybe that will work?
But we, the Kids, are worried we might offend those
less thoughtless than ourselves so we hold back.

We will be having nightmares forever and ever Amen.

© Joe Pollitt, 2010

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


A parting of knowledge found.

An idea gently shared with others.

A secret told to all who would listen.

A love that touches the souls of others.

A confidence in ourselves and all that we are.

A question raised and a question answered.

A giving away of ourself.

Our way of giving to others.

A value placed on our thoughts.

A puzzle struggled with and a problem solved.

Anything less would be prostitution.

Art is an exclusive Club; Union; Association; Society; Guild; Alliance, Fellowship.

Art is diminished, reduced, lessened, cheapened, undervalued, devalued and brought down.


This poem is far from over. Over to you....

Monday, 8 March 2010


Let us pray and hear what the world has to say today.
Let us see what's on TV and listen to what we truly need.
Let us jumble every word and make up our pristine news.

Let us create a brand new vision for our brave new world.

Nations enforce false superiority forcing us to drink.
We are gathering strength. Seeing clearly, rising slowly.
We have bestowed upon ourselves the luxury of thinking.
Witnessing how Nations inflict their vulgar Will upon us.

Nobody reads today or do they? We do and we are thinking.
Granting those deficient of Will the strength that is within us all.
The Will of the world is now armed with the power of the word.
In the beginning was the word. We now know what that means.

And the word has been asleep while our Will zealously dreaming.
We live in a Godless world but our dreams would suggest otherwise.
The Will of the world is awakening to find the word is with us.
We dreamt we overcame. We are now strong enough to conquer.

Look how giving we can be with these our enchanting words.
Written and spoken out loud. See how magnificent we are together.
These words are our artillery; our complex strength lies in our Will.
Words are our weapons and love our incessant unconquerable shield.

Look how we use our words to heal; our wounded are ascending.
The word has been written, uttered and our Will is now triumphant.
The Will of the world stands full abreast with dazzling glorious might.
Beset with evocative words we anticipate our inevitable bloody fight.

© Joe Pollitt, 2010