Painting with light- How the most exciting photography happens in the dark.

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Just look at this. The neon nighttime captured perfectly as one lone person walks illuminated. This and many photos by artist Marilyn Mugot are taken at night of a Shanghai and its surrounds mysterious to most, and magical to all.

 

Steeped in fluorescence, the images are reminiscent of a strange dystopia or a bladerunner-esque landscape, preserved in complete stillness.

Most of all, the colours are breath-taking and one can spend hours poring over her gallery immersed in the detail of a leaf or neon against the night sky, where many prints are for sale.

Even model shots are moody and shot in half-light or a mist, the breadth of attention to colour shows Mugot’s innate ability to run with a theme.

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A must-follow on instagram, Marilyn’s website is worth a visit if you want one on your wall.

All images kindly reproduced by permission from the artist.

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What I’d tell my 16 year-old self – Greta von Szabo

 

 

Sitting down with me aged 16 would start with a look; the kind that Al Pacino and Marlon Brando used to shoot across their mahogany desks in The Godfather.

I would hope that Me-16 would infer from the gaze that a shitstorm of epic proportions was a-coming.

 

‘Is that the wind?’

 

‘No, it’s a fuckstorm that lasts decades.’

 

‘Oh.’

 

I want to save Me-16 from my life, from the pain and disappointment, from the rejection and depression and anxiety. From all of it. Run fast, I might be tempted to scream; never look back.

 

But where could Me-16 run to away from herself?

 

I couldn’t break her heart by telling her what was to come. No. If I said anything I would have to be selective.

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I’d tell her she’d travel the world and dine with kings and princes.

I’d tell her she’d get a black belt and parachute wings.

I’d tell her that she’d write for radio and present on TV.

 

I’d tell her she’d own her own home with the garden she’d always wanted.

I’d tell her that the love of her family would never leave her.

I’d tell her that she would learn how to help people professionally.

I’d tell her she’d write novels and paint pictures.

I’d tell her that she was an empath, an artist and a teacher at heart.

 

Then I’d reach for her hand and put it in mine.

 

I’d tell her that I didn’t yet know how it would all end, but that I was sure there was a purpose to it all. Maybe not my purpose, but a greater purpose. And that I needed to grit my teeth and remember that faith is a seed that is planted in doubt.

 

Don’t have dead-people’s goals, I’d tell her, to be kind on her perfectionist, yet-to-understand-life brain. Only the dead aren’t disappointed, aren’t betrayed, aren’t alone, don’t fail.

 

Discomfort is the price of a meaningful life. Learn to fucking love it.

 

And while you’re doing that, blaze a trail across the sky, the likes of which this world has never seen before.

What would you tell your 16 year-old self? Leave your comments.

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What is The Blind Priestess – my story

There’s a moment in the outdoors, when the breeze is just right, the sun is there but not too terrifyingly hot, the air shifts and tickles the inside of your brain and you feel everything is lighter and more possible.

This only happens perhaps once a year in my life, but I cling to it. Usually experienced through an open window or back door ajar, because my family live in this neighbourhood and there’s not much to do here so I don’t go out. The pressure is always there to stay in this stale suburb where mums primp and drink their chai lattes with a steely alpha vibe. But when this breeze comes, I feel it nudges my spirit toward the possibilities of the future where I may go anywhere and be anyone, anyone aside from my stuck self. See the world and take everything in like the pollen on the breeze, inhaled and absorbed into my body.

pexels-photo-439857.jpegAs a woman there is a long history of struggle and suffrage attached to us. I envy most of all those of my sex who are fiercely free, despite the judgements of others. Those whose internal voices are silent other than to pronounce and proclaim the joys of existence – good food with no shame, good sex with no regrets and glorious laughter for days on end with interesting people. No-one told them it was wrong to make noise at home or that they must always be polite, no matter the cost. Or that they were stupid, ugly or hated for sometimes no reason at all. Those who act as men often do (but increasingly not always) vital and entitled to just “be”. I want to celebrate and picks the brains of those women who have burned off the shackles of opinion and history, in that I might somehow be blessed with a piece of the fairy dust they possess.

I am still very riddled with various levels of guilt, embarrassment and shame – mainly for existing, where I equate myself readily, almost gleefully to the wicked witch of the west, and therefore must be punished for being so unfortunately born even when I managed to survive a very tenuous situation at birth, one my twin brother did not. Why is it hard for me to see then, that I’ve always been strong? That I’ve always been so capable? A racially ambiguous adulthood and awareness of my face in the world now, has sprung out of the thing where you went to an Irish Catholic school most of your life – so everyone who was different was REALLY different but you felt as “normal” as the next girl and didn’t really notice because everyone was trying to survive school in the same way. Casual racism existed, and those that were not Irish or Catholic, generally stuck together a little to bolster ranks against the bullies.

I remember the fact that I was interested in so many different areas of culture and society, meant that I was often simply the observer in events at school. I was fascinated by drugs but never took them, but I remember making up a questionnaire and asking everyone I could to tell me their experiences. Not for any reason than just a pet project – word to the nerd yo! I loved the promise of new horizons and feelings slipping into the “otherness” and opposite of my life experience thus far gave me. Living vicariously was safe and I didn’t get yelled at by my worried parents or cause anyone else harm, and what it did was instil in me a love and respect for people’s stories. I don’t however remember much of my school days, I was miserable and wanted them to be over so I think this is why I seek to somehow put before you something of interest now. A way to curate my own memories, tastes and favourite things so you’ll think I’m cool and invite me to your party.

There was no one to tell you your weirdnesses or straight-laced-ness mattered back then. An angry decade of my teenage years went by in trying to mimik various musical idols, save the excesses mind, I did go to Catholic school after all. But boy did I want to be Jimi Hendrix, Slash…Courtney Love…someone exciting and successful and good. 

I write this as my virus-fever brain runs rampant over my body, but my mind finally fed up with meandering over this sense of purpose I’ve been wanting to put my finger on for a while, has finally spewed up some circumstance where I might try and do some good for others because it sure as shit wasn’t there for me growing up.

If I can provide anyone but especially women with one moment of sitting back and finding the interesting, affirming and wondrousin the midst of the vile and vulgar shit that is peddled by media today, then I could count myself a productive member of society. I am still “other” even now. Someone who was kindly called a renaissance woman by a few people which basically means, we women of the renaissance do a lot of things, not often all well but with gusto! I’m a functioning musician and photographer, and a culture vulture with a wicked memory of actor’s names and cool films, sometime gamer, traveller – but now I want to coalesce all the weird and cool shit that I like that lifts me up as a human, and make a safe place for you to come along for the ride.

This could be the biggest ego project ever, because up till now I didn’t think I had anything else to offer the world except songs nobody really listened to. That still might be true but I’ll take it as a success if even one person reads this and enjoys something.

Tripping, bumbling and clamouring my way forwards, as we all MUST if we want to get through this to some sort of peace, like a blind priestess, I invite you in.

Don’t be a dick but tell your friends x