Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guerilla Knitting in Colonia Roma, DF

There seems an inherent contradiction in the term "Guerilla Knitting", used to describe the latest art intervention by Houston artist Magda Sayeg, which is currently parked at the Plaza Luis Cabrera in Colonia Roma, DF at the corner of Orizaba and Guanajuato.Perhaps inspired by Bulgarian wrap artist Christo, famous for wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf in Paris, the art work takes the form of a DF city collectivo covered completely in crochet in clashing colours - not even the wheels escape. More details can be found at The Knitta crew was formed in August 2005 and in their own words they are "a tag crew of knitters bombing the inner city with vibrant, stitched works of art wrapped around everything from beer bottles on an easy night to public monuments on more ambitious outings". Indeed their work has stretched from wrapping the Golden Gate Bridge to the Great Wall of China!

Close up photos show the vibrancy of the choice of colours, patterns, stripes, designs, and combinations.
Minerva, her representative in DF for this particular installation, is shown here with a friend putting the finishing touches to covering the door of the bus in a strip of brightly-hued floral crochet.They were unsure how long it would be parked here, so if you are interested in quirky contemporary art installations, don't miss this particular bus!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day of the Dead in Patzcuaro - Sugar Skulls

The vast array of sugar skulls for sale on the Day of the Dead never ceases to amaze me, even though I have now witnessed this Festival four years in a row in different locations in Mexico. What struck me most, however, this year in Patzcuaro as I perused the latest wares on offer in the Zocalo, was the wide choice of personalities and expressions created.

From the dopily doleful........

To the daintily demure.........

To the disarmingly delightful......

To finally the downright deranged... and disturbingly dangerous!

Photographs-Patzcuaro-Portal Hidalgo-Venta de Calaveritas de Azucar.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Colours of Mexico

Whether it be buildings, textiles, flowers, food, streetlife or markets, probably the first thing that always strikes visitors new to Mexico is the intoxicating assault on the senses....led by colour and followed by light. It is usually the dominant memory that is taken home; even more so if you happen to be an artist, writer or photographer... or like me just a mere dabbler......

These photographs were all taken recently in Patzcuaro, and even when you live here in Mexico it is almost impossible to become so hardened or blase to the colours that you fail to notice them any more.....

How can anyone fail to be inspired??? Or not wish to try their luck creatively or artistically???

Photographs - Patzcuaro markets - PATZCUARO -Michoacan State.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Paricutin Volcano

It is a treasured story remembered from childhood graders about the Purepecha farmer who was ploughing his field on the afternoon of February 20th 1943, only to have to beat a hasty retreat from the smoking steam and sparks that shook the earth beneath his feet, as the volcano emerged.

A year later the volcano had risen 410m and buried the two Purepecha villages of San Salvador Paricutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro. The only trace of these villages today is the tower of the church set amidst a 20km solidified black lava field. Clambering precariously over the lumpy black boulders away from the tower, it is possible to reach the altar of the church still very well preserved amongst the lava.

It is even more fascinating when you manage to find a local who not only remembers the eruption of the volcano and speaks of the day from living memory, but also clutches an old, plastic bag of tattered, fading photographs of the villages and the church before they were engulfed and swallowed up forever.

This makes a wonderful day trip out from Uruapan, via the turn-back-the-clock village of Angahuan with its medieval wooden houses, cobbled streets and beautiful church. The site of the buried village and church tower is a very pleasant 90 minute walk from Angahuan, along a winding trail that wends its way through cool, pine forests and the lava field itself. Uruapan is a town in the state of Michoacan, six and a half hours by bus North-West of Mexico City.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Breakfast at the Condesa DF Hotel

There are so many wonderful places to indulge in a leisurely breakfast in DF, but one of my favourite locations has to be the cool, designer hotel - Condesa DF. Located on the edge of Parque Espana in Colonia Condesa, one can partake of a gourmet buffet of smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, berries with granola, honey and yoghurt, plus a wide array of homemade breads, cakes and muffins.

Serving on a Sunday up until 1pm, there is plenty of time to glance around to see which celebrities are in town this weekend, and the gorgeous roof terrace where a leisurely afternoon can be whiled away sipping chilled wine at the treeline, is only one short elevator ride away.

The buffet costs 150 pesos (15 USD). Find the hotel at the corner of Veracruz and Parque Espana. Look for the antique car parked outside with the dummy chauffeur and the large wind-up key!!