Patagonia

I have had a fascination with Patagonia and Fireland – ‘Tierra del Fuego’ – for many years. My first encounter with South American culture was in Cuba, where I stayed for 6 months during my last semester of Architecture at University. I immediately fell in love with the culture as I never had experienced such human beauty…..and dance. I still recall this period as one of the best in my life.

Than back in Paris, I wrote my thesis about Art, Architecture and Geomancy and had choosen the Landscape Architect Gilles Clement (www.gillesclement.com/art-463-tit-The-PlanetaryGardenCached)  as one of my two tutors. He had travelled on his motor bike in ‘Tierra del Fuego’ earlier in his life and the name of this place had a magic effect on me. I had to wait another 20 years before I finally set foot onto this island, the southern tip of Patagonia. I arrived on my push bike…

I flew to Santiago de Chile, where I visited the 17th Biennale of Architecture: 8.8 Re-construction (http://www.bienaldearquitectura.cl/xvii/) ….after the earthquake which had hit Chile a few months earlier. Than I took a bus to Villarrica,an area famous for its beautiful lakes and vulcanoes and from there I continued on my bike, crossed over to Argentina and headed south via Bariloche. In Futaleufu I crossed back into Chile and cycled south on the Carretera Austral. At the end of it I crossed again into Argentina passed Fitz Roy, than the Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas and finally arrived in Tierra del Fuego and Uschuaia….el fin del Mundo. What an amazing trip it was…

This was my first bike trip, and now I am hooked on this simple way of travel. It is slow, but very rewarding and one got plenty of time to take in the immense beauty of the scenery. In a world where everything is getting faster by the minute it might soon be fashionable to travel slow….like slow foods.

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Architect – Artist – Athlete: what gets you moving and what motivates

This art work of a 8 year old in the children’s sculpture section of the ‘Art in a Garden’ exhibition in the Flaxmere Gardens, NZ appealed to me on an artistic, architectural and athletic level. Since I cycled solo 3000km through Patagonia last summer, I have a close attachment to any bike parts and got to know every link of my bike chain quite well. Working in the architect’s field and renovating houses I got to appreciate diggers and as an artist I always was drawn to scrap yards making art works out of old metal bits.

There was another sculpture in the children’s section which moved me. It’s a representation of the now destroyed Christchurch Cathedral. The child’s family used to go there for Christmas and he even put a tree inside….I guess he is concerned about what will happen this Christmas….

 

 

Why Do YOU Dance?

“Maybe you take yoga class or wiggle around when your foot is asleep, or perhaps you’re a former professional ballerina or a current hip-hop dancer, or maybe you burn up the floor at the club every weekend or dance alone in your room with the radio on…everyone dances in one way or another….”

I was sent to ballet when I was a young girl, because I used to walk pigeon toed. I wasn’t very flexible as a kid either, even a bit clumsy and chubby….and therefore had to stand in the rear row on any public performance. It wasn’t love on first sight! Not till some years later, during my last years of high school, I started taking dance classes in Contemporary and African style, and during my university years in Paris I spent more time at the dance school than at University. I got offered to join a group performance, but never committed to it. Than I spent six months in Cuba and discovered a whole new dimension of dance. In Cuba dance is part of daily life. When I moved to the countryside in New Zealand there was no dance at the time, and in my desperation I took up Yoga, which again broadened my horizon. I became quite obsessed with yoga and engaged teaching it for a short time. But I miss dancing and finally got the opportunity to join a 5 Rythms workshop in Christchurch with Julie Forsey: http://www.5rhythms.co.nz/teachers/julie-forsey/

This weekend was a great journey and I feel very liberated, full of positive energy and free like a butterfly. Dance is just another form of creative expression, another form of visual art. Dance is also art in space, three dimensional art, similar to sculpture or sculptural architecture.  As an Artitect I’m as much obsessed with space as an Artist with creative expression, and dance is a great way to play with both.

I dance because: I need to feel again and again like flying.

paintings I am working on at the moment

Words can not express why I dance. So, I dance- to express the words I can not speak. I don’t have a great verbal vernacular, however, my movement speaks for me. I dance because sometimes words just aren’t enough!

‘Dancing is not so much a choice to me as a need. When one is thirsty, one drinks water. When I hear music, my body naturally starts moving because this is what it needs to do to stay alive.’

I dance because it makes my entire body smile.

‘I’ve never felt anything so fulfilling on both a spiritual and physical level as dancing. Inside a framework of technique, there is absolute freedom of expression. What elevates dance above other art, to me, is its ability to engage viewers just as powerfully as performers on both levels. The best dance engages the mind and the imagination as well as the body.’

Because it makes me happy – it’s the expression of life!

‘I dance because there is something inside me that wants out – it wants to move and express and be beautiful and feel good. Dance allows me to be free and creative.’

‘I dance because dancing integrates, expands, challenges, and celebrates every aspect of my being – mental, physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.To dance is to breathe, it is therapeutic.  How fortunate I’ve been to dance! ”

‘Dance is magical it generates beauty, being beautiful because of dance is one of the things I most love being.’

‘Movement is life and part of the definition of life. When I do not move, I feel less alive, like my breath is stopped. I am compelled to move, it does not feel like a choice. Dancing is an expression of one’s physicality, ideas, and emotions, and extends energy into space.’
‘Or maybe you dance because the doctor’s told you you never would again…who wouldn’t take on that challenge!?’