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 🙂

MOTHERS NOT HAPPY

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

crowcries

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The gift of the cat … Chet Phillips Vintage Travel Posters!

The editor and office cat of TVTA in rare moment of relaxation.

How lovely! Yesterday morning in the TVTA mail room, while opening envelopes containing our usual assortment of comics, catalogues, adverts and, erm, bills, I managed to find a surprise gift just for little old me!

Wow, thanks Wooof! I can’t believe you ordered me a set of Chet Phillips Vintage-style Travel Poster Postcards!

Chet Phillips is a digital artist, and you can check out his work here

In the meantime, feast your peepers on the the cool pressie Wooof got me – six vintage-style British and Scottish Tourism posters, upon which not just a splendid tour of Britain is promised, but something else lurking in the scenery!

Enjoy 🙂


As always, thanks for looking 🙂 Thanks Chet for making some wonderful art! And thanks Wooof for the cool gift 🙂

19th and 20th century lithographs + angels, art and advertising

American Crescent Cycles par Winthrop Ramsdell 1899

La Tournée du Chat Noir par Thoéphile Steinlen. 1896. Tin plate.


Cats That Come Back. At a poster store in Montmartre you spent your final few euros on cards depicting the lithographic advertising styles of the late 19th and early 20th century. You took photos of the outside of the poster store, and had one taken of yourself and your youngest son, a part of you indulging in some late-afternoon fantasy that you were the proprietors of said store. What fun, surrounded by art originally intended to part one from one’s cash – and a hundred years later it’s still doing the same, only selling itself this time around. What a sale, what a fine boutique did those Parisian streets make for you. For it’s easy to get lost in the culture, art and spirit of expression when it surrounds you in all its breath-taking vibrancy. There is a deep yearning. A searching back through history to find a part of yourself you may recognise. Print advertising is consumerism’s cocky high art. A brassy exhibition of wonders. A sly yet alluring gallery that invites you inside. It’s everything you love and loathe in the same moment. You pitch these paper testimonials to commercialism with all the integrity and enthusiasm of a loving archivist. But you are also an artist. Those Paris streets and galleries and windows and walls whispered to your heart. Hell, sometimes they yelled at you, told you they remembered, recalled your angels & fey (born from the snippets and slivers of glossy ads in magazines in case you didn’t know), the exhibitions, the foreign shores, the hours spent holding brushes and conjuring colours. You sold it well, they said. You made an impression. You left a mark. People were happy. Sometimes that’s the least you have to do. From: The Artist and the Four Hats




Job par Alfons Mucha 1896

Job done?

For a bit

Too busy writing

To try and score another hit

It’s a circle you see

A merry go round

You jump on and off at certain points

feet touch the ground

Back up again

Always looking for those special connections


Palooka N° 5


Words, Angel & Fey artwork by the editor.
Colour Angels & Fey scans taken from Palooka issue 5.
Lithograph adverts scanned from commercial postcards and tin plates are shown for illustrative purposes only. No infringement of copyright is intended.
Cat count: we spotted at least 26 images of cats in this blog post. A new TVTA record!