Kalila wa Dimna
Practice for limners
London Private View 12th of May
Models of cities
Painted girls that are pretty
In classes I'll show you the way
London and Lilliput
Fun rhymes and deer silly foots
Gulliver's mini men all in a tray
Boys that like sweet treats
The circus and high seats
And Easter eggs all on display...
...Turtle bum on copper. Actually I am still not clear on the true differences between turtles, tortoises and terrapins so this is something to investigate further through both art and homeschool. I do know that my youngest son, now officially a toddler, adores all three. The tortoise is one of the Four Friends, part of a Kalila wa Dimna tale...
...the Kalila wa Dimna is a series of nested tales - just like the 1001 Nights. The Kalila wa Dimna is one of the main stories famously illustrated by miniature painters and is a kind of 'Aesop's Fables' from the East. In the spirit of nested tales, now follows a newsletter-within-a-newsletter...
…P21 Gallery is proud to present Kalila wa Dimna: Ancient Tales for Troubled Times, a collaborative art exhibition and events programme that brings together academic researchers, artists, curators, and community organizations.
The exhibition is inspired by the global journeys of Kalila wa Dimna, an ancient collection of moral fables that travelled across time and space, language, religion, and culture. Through diverse creative practices from painting to digitals arts, textile and music, experienced and emerging artists and community organisations reinterpret Kalila wa Dimna chapter of ‘The Four Friends’ to address social, cultural and political issues of our times. Participants showcase pieces about finding communities of sanctuary through music and participatory art, about restoring ‘lost’ personal and collective histories through creative practice and addressing the destructive role of human actions on society and the natural ecosystem.
Join us for the opening night on 12 May, from 6pm to 9pm at P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton St, London NW1 1JD.
And whether in London or away check the exciting list of online and live events! https://www.kalilawadimnaexhibit.com/exhibition-events - I'll be in conversation with some other amazing artists and there are more events to come, including a live miniature painting demonstration which I'll be giving online. Details to follow!
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…and my limning is getting better through practice and meditation beforehand. Limners - or jadvalkesh - were the people who spent their lives drawing lines and margins (not me). I wonder what their personalities were like? They certainly weren't in a rush like my animals on the run...
...or my birds on the fly. I love images of things running. One image I've always wanted to capture on camera is nuns or monks on the run. Where are they going? Surely if they've dedicated themselves to a life of service and solitude they... would never need to run? I've come close to taking these photos, once in Barcelona (nuns) and once in Thailand (monks) but never actually managed it (they were too fast!) If anyone has taken any photos of our cloistered counterparts I'd love to see and hear about your experience so I can lurk on the same street corners as you (just kidding!). I've also never seen my husband run. I think he's keeping it from me on purpose; maybe he runs like a duck and is secretly embarrassed. He doesn't take the bus. I run like a duck and am not ashamed. I feel like I am constantly on the run, on the move (apart from when I'm limning)... movement is life and life is a little chaotic...
...and my painter hands are behind the Painted Ladies series coming up. I'm really excited about these, finally honouring women in miniature manuscript painting. After the fiery Kali, we'll cover all the standard tropes - swings, toilettes, stars, sighings, longings, music, love, fireworks... First up is a gentle lady and a lady with a lamp. I had the pleasure of seeing the former in a Sotheby's auction close up. The shadow behind the lady with the lamp is an unusual shadow contrast and the practice of minimalist, spare backgrounds throws the portrait - in these cases our ladies - into sharp focus as the centrepiece. Time to recentre women:
...Miniature ladies, miniature cities in the continuing Architecture series and a miniature model city map we saw in London. Very useful to teach children about where things are in relation to where we are! Appropriately, we used it to find our way to the theatre to see Gulliver's Travels (absolutely loved it!!). We talk about miniatures and more in our continuing monthly meetings. The Zoom link is via the Forum https://www.miniaturepaintingforum.com or here's the direct link:
Vaishali Prazmari is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Vaishali Prazmari's Monthly Miniature Meeting 19.4.22 5-6pm London time
Time: Apr 19, 2022 17:00 London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 889 7343 4687
Join by Skype for Business
...and the city itself looks like a miniature when seen from high up. These views are from the top of London's ugliest building aka the Walkie Talkie aka the Sky Garden (really a series of staggered pot plants but still... nice enough). (I was all for the Garden Bridge! What a brilliant idea!) Cars and people really do look Lilliputian from this distance...
… and another mini this month was, of course, my Easter staple, Cadbury's mini eggs. I remember in lockdown I couldn't get hold of them. My mother put them on top of her tall 6-tier cake. In the spirit of Brobdingnag I'm also waiting for someone to make a giant white chocolate ostrich egg (and it has to be white chocolate for realism). Preferably with lots of other mini eggs inside them. Pictured here are medium-sized, 'normal' eggs that my mother decorated her Easter tree with. Below is another theatre we visited...
...and lastly, Zippo's Circus. What a fantastic entertainment the circus truly is, for all ages. Just humans pushing their abilities to the limits to astound us all merrily. Candyfloss to try once (and hopefully never again), and popcorn mandatory (ok). It's not enough to be holding candyfloss in one hand; you have to be grabbing popcorn with the other. The seats in the big top were cinema or theatre auditorium seats, the ones that flip up when you stand up. We all love these, we have some vintage ones at home and it reminds me of old cinemas which I love (and used to paint a lot). When we sat down it was dark and we were all engrossed in the amazing show. When it finished the lights went on, we stood up, and there was a LOT of popcorn on the floor.