Αεί Έλλην Μαχόμενος ( SPIRA – FORD P WAIGHT collaboration )

Friends, I am so happy to present via the blog of my good friend and collaboration partner – Spira – the fruits of our artistic endeavour to mark the 2500th anniversary of the battles for freedom at Thermopylae and Salamis which took place in 480 BC. Please add your thoughts and feelings over at Spira’s place, and join us in this celebration of one of the greatest gifts we can enjoy – freedom.

inSPIRAtion

This year marks the 2500 years anniversary from the battles of Thermopylae (August ) & Salamis (late September) in 480 BC during the Hellenic – Persian wars.

I am truly excited to honor the occasion with a collaboration with my good friend
                                                         Ford P.  Waight.

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Coming this weekend: a SPIRA-TVTA collaboration honouring the 480 BC battles of Thermopylae and Salamis

Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting. Ancient kylix, 5th century BC.

An introduction to a virtual collaboration

My good WP blogging friend Spira invited me earlier in the year to join an art collaboration to mark the 2500th anniversary of the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis which took place in 480 BC during the Greco-Persian Wars.

The collaboration will consist of sculpture (by Spira) and poetry (by me).

Why?

The battles of Thermopylae and Salamis are regarded by many historians and scholars as two vital armed conflicts which not only saved Greece and shaped the advancement of its democracy, political and social systems – but helped shape the development of Western civilisation. Both ancient and modern writers point to the two battles as an example of courage shown by a nation defending itself against a powerful invader and overwhelming odds.

DVD edition of Zack Snyder’s 300. TVTA.

In popular culture, many will be aware of the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis thanks to the 1962 film The 300 Spartans; and Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300. The novel was given an operatic and stylistic film adaptation in 2007 with Zack Snyder’s 300, and a 2014 sequel 300: Rise of an Empire.

French and Japanese movie posters for 300, and 300: Rise of an Empire. TVTA.

The Battles

Thermopylae

Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David, 1814. Image by © The Gallery Collection/Corbis

19th-century painting by John Steeple Davis, depicting combat during the battle.

In the battle of Thermopylae, the outnumbered alliance of Greek city-states led by King Leonidas of Sparta lost to the invading Persian forces led by King Xerxes I. Although a defeat, the battle is referenced as an example of resistance and courage against an overwhelming force.

The site of the battle today. Mount Kallidromon on the left, and the wide coastal plain formed by accretion of fluvial deposits over the centuries; the road to the right approximates the 480 BC shoreline.

Salamis

A romantic style painting of the battle of Salamis by artist Wilhelm von Kaulbach. Image: public domain.

In the naval battle of Salamis, the outnumbered alliance of Greek city-states led by Athenian politician and general Themistocles resulted in a decisive Greek victory against the fleet of Xerxes. The victory marked a crucial turning point in the course of the Greco-Persian wars, leading to the abandonment of the invasion of Greek lands by Persian forces.

Monument for the Battle of Salamis, Kynosoura peninsula, Salamis Island, Greece, by sculptor Achilleas Vasileiou

The poem:

Will not celebrate war – rather freedom from it. By looking back on history we have valuable learning opportunities to build bridges, communication, respect, friendship and peace. The young poet and protagonist of the poem is an idealist and advocate for peace, yet he is also a realist who will defend his land if the hand of friendship is attacked.

The sculpture:

Created by Spira a Greek artist with a passion for reimagining found natural objects into artworks invoking ideas of nature and spirituality, and exploring the boundaries of consciousness.

I will reblog Spira’s post this weekend – when you can see the fruits of our ‘virtual collaboration’ which has crossed the waters between Greece and France to honour a moment in history when the freedom of a nation was at stake. Indeed, perhaps without those battles 2500 years ago, we may not today be in a position to exercise the pleasure and freedom of such a simple thing as artistic collaboration.

Watch this space this weekend!

Ford, TVTA

Street art – a Sunday morning walk through an old town in Provence

When the Ice Melts, the Polar Bear is Grumpy. By Jean-Marc Navello.

This Sunday morn, I was making my way to get a baguette and croissants in a part of town I seldom travel, when I came across this polar bear and other street art to make you stop and stare. In truth, I’d seen this the week before, but didn’t have my camera on me. This morning I did 🙂

Below: also by Jean-Marc Navello.


Below: The Kid… (artist unknown)


Below: the town mural. Many French towns and villages have huge murals like this one painted on a side of a building. This scene depicts the town in older and more rural days.


Magic!

Then there is the local primary school… and a huge, magnificent fantasy scene based on the town in magical days before us humans went trudging about early in the morn in search of a baguette and croissants…


The artist: Loïko


Le Rocher of La Garde. The 11th century castle and chapel depicted from alternative views…

Le Rocher. La Garde. photo par TVTA.


Below: perpetuating the myth of certain creatures which inhabit the New York sewer system (and we’re not talking about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).


Woof! (not Wooof)


Meow! (not Wooof)


And finally, a retro poster found about town… and another polar bear to end a post which began with a polar bear.

If you would like to learn more about polar bears, then check out TVTA’s polar-bear-in-a-fridge!!!

For now, that’s all folks. Thanks for taking an early morning stroll with us 🙂

In praise of trees

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”

Chinese Proverb

The How and Why Wonder Book of Trees. Written by Geoffrey Coe. Illustrated by Cynthia Iliff Koehler and Alvin Koehler. Grosset and Dunlap. New York. 1973.

This was one of the books included in my recent free lot of novels, and is not a novel but The How and Why Wonder Book of Trees, originally published in 1964. My copy is from 1973, and I’m featuring selected images illustrated by Cynthia Iliff Koehler and Alvin Koelher.

Enjoy 🌲🌳🍀🍂🍃🌿🌱🌱🌱

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More random book cover designs, and a spotlight on British Salvationist illustrator Jim Moss

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. 1999 Harper Collins. Cover by J.R.R. Tolkien.

We have you covered… again!  (See part one here)

Today’s book post features design covers and illustrations published between the 1920s and 2010s, courtesy of a generous donation of old books to TVTA!

What happened was this… an English teacher working in France was moving home and job, and before leaving she decided to give away a number of her old books. Finally, after a Pandemic-lockdown-observed-meeting outside the local park gates, two bags of wonderful books were handed over for the reading and scanning pleasure of those inside TVTA Towers – cue happiness 🙂

Some of the titles will be instantly recognisable, others obscure, some have been adapted for stage, film or television, but all are equal here in having interesting covers to bind their tales.

Enjoy your donated book!

1920 William Heinemann.

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MOTHERS NOT HAPPY

Powerful. Bleak. Tragic.
Please check out more environmental art at fellow WP blogger crowcries

crowcries

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