The Lord of the Rings mania has hit the schools!

BBC has an amusing article “Do you speak Elf?”, about Birmingham schoolboys who have volunteered for lessons in Sindarin, the “conversational” form of Elvish, invented by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.

Tolkien, an Oxford academic who was expert in ancient languages, developed two forms of Elvish: Sindarin – based on the sounds of Welsh – is the more commonly used, and Quenya – related to Finnish – is largely a ceremonial language. To me, the word “Elvish” sounds like a cross of Welsh and Finnish – what fun!

In another post, I wrote about the Finnish connection to Tolkien:

“In the National Geographic News, we learn that a native of British Columbia, Canada, anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis traveled to a remote corner of Finland to uncover Tolkien influences among the ancient rune-singers of the Kalevala. It’s a fascinating story, worth reading!”

Later: More about Elvish

Mohsen Khalili’s monoprints

Today I happened to meet Mohsen at the studio and we showed each other our websites. I have seen him at work on his monoprints but he also does paintings and sculpture. To me, his monoprints are very moving, sometimes deeply disturbing yet always beautiful with a bittersweet quality. So, I am thrilled to see his work online and suggest you have a look. Do read his artist’s statement, it is poetry in prose.

Horkay’s digital collages

mr.h at Giornale Nuovo writes a fascinating blog with numerous entries about unusual art.

Recently he wrote about Istvan Horkay’s work and posted several of his images. Lee Spiro was quoted as saying: [his work] combines original drawn and painted images, appropriated masterpieces, photographs, artists’ signatures and commercial logos. These elements are digitally assembled, i.e., collaged, to create a single, layered moment reflecting different places and times.

I am always interested in how other artists do their work, particularly in the still new area of digital printmaking that I am exploring myself, and Horkay’s work is certainly inspiring! Thanks, mr.h.

Nexus VI


Nexus VI
Etching 75 x 56.5 cm.

Toni Onley

Toni Onley, the famed flying artist of BC, died on February 29, 2004 when his plane crashed into the Fraser River near Maple Ridge, east of Vancouver. At the age of 75, he had achieved international recognition mostly for his moody watercolours of remote regions of BC that he was able to access with his own plane. He died doing what he loved the most. Another major loss in BC’s art community in recent years.
Read more in CBC and Globe and Mail

Nexus IV


Nexus IV
Etching 57 x 67 cm.

Event: Kalevala Runos

Is this synchronicity? I have just received an email notice about an event this weekend called Vancouver Society of Storytelling. Their link is for last year’s event and because there is no current event listing, I will enter brief details below.

The Vancouver Society of Storytelling introduces and tells the Kalevala Epic of Finland with over 30 participants from across Canada. It begins on Thursday Feb. 26th 7pm with an Introduction at The Cheesecake Etcetera Coffee House, 2133 Granville Street, Vancouver. Janet Hudgins talks with Henry Lahti about Finnish Literature and with Kira Van Deusen about shamanism and about the VSOS 3-day telling by 30 presenters of Finland’s Kalevala Epic.

Presentations continue Friday evening, February 27th, all day Saturday 28th, and half-day Sunday 29th in various locations in Burnaby. For more information contact: Vancouver Society of Storytellers. (edited much later to remove personal contact info.)

Exhibition: Bob Steele – 50 years of Printmaking

Burnaby Art Gallery has an exhibition of prints by Bob Steele, a major Canadian printmaker. He is Professor Emeritus in Art Education in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Steele’s work has won awards and been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
View images of Bob Steele’s work** and read his very interesting and informative statement “The Pleasures of Printmaking”.
Reception: Sunday, February 29, 1:30-3:30pm
The exhibition continues to March 21, 2004

** Update May 2014: Expired link has been removed.

The Telling of Tales

At Pericat, a blog that I enjoy looking at as well as reading, I noticed a link for the Kalevala. My curiosity made me write in and inquire “how come?”

Pericat wrote a beautiful and moving response as an entry on her blog: Of the Folk about how she loves story – “That is folk song, and folk tale. The story born of fancy and memory blended, with the rhythm of the triad, the journey, the discovery, the rebirth…”

Do read the whole entry for yourself as she has captured the mood and spirit of the ancient singing of the runes, as described in my entry on the Kalevala and the Lord of the Rings.

Nexus VII


Nexus VII
Etching 71 x 101 cm.