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> > Gini

Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

Nissen's guest blog...

29 December 2012

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A family of three Julenisser, sitting together. Nisser are small figures featuring in Scandinavian folk history, and surviving into modern fairytale

So that was Christmas. It'll soon be time to go back in the box. Mum, Dad, me - we get stuffed into an old Crock box with, I dunno, about 20 others. It's a nice box and she thinks we stay there 350 odd days of the year, yeah well... She thinks she made most of us, put together from wool and felt, bits and bobs, stuff you can see and touch, but like most good ideas we don't confine ourselves to the expected; or even the good. We come out every year to watch over the end and the beginning; we...

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London 2012: 3

23 July 2012

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The very flat, mummified body of a splayed rat, pale against dark grey paving

Cultural Exhaustion eventually overpowered our group and a relaxing trip down Regent Street was prescribed to restore our energy. Out in the commercial world Chinese texts popped up here and there, 'made in China' clothes and objects brought soothing familiarity and the stress of strangeness receded somewhat. Unable to help with the search for typically English food, I accompanied my friends into PizzaHut, where we battled our way through the complexities of ordering food we might recognise and...

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London 2012: 2

22 July 2012

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Two shiny bluebottle flies and one other larger black unidentified specimen sitting on the paving, in the sun, after feasting on dead mouse.

Via Westminster Bridge and a complex of old buildings with a clock tower, we attempted to reach Trafalgar Square. Olympic Detours and fenced off areas took us through Whitehall and a photo opportunity with some gentle, patient horses standing beside a big label warning that they might kick or bite. Along our route, a long, long queue of London taxis, progressing slowly and very noisily with much horn honking, was the cause of much laughter. The prominent Olympic Countdown caused mild amusement,...

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London 2012 warts and all: 1

21 July 2012

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a rather monochrome photograph of some London street pigeons

Visiting London with Chinese friends seemed like the perfect opportunity to see the place as a visitor with almost no English; apparently it's supposed to be especially well geared-up for visitors right now. Approaching the Capital by train, I was a little shocked to discover that my ticket was the most expensive of our party since I did not seem eligible for any of the offers available to the ambulant travellers. Buying a ticket for a wheelborne traveller, did not alert station staff to the...

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Proof of Existence

6 June 2012

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Bronze sculpture of a naked woman lying on her side amide greenery.

I traveled part of the way to Hakone under a poster with an image in grey, of cracks in a pavement - Proof of Existence. The Hakone area seems stuffed with museums and galleries that will tempt me back; this poster was for Shinji Omaki's Proof of Existence.   Passing the Hakone Open-Air Museum I saw evidence of artworks that will need to be explored. Plentiful signs and posters pointed to other inviting destinations; Hakone brought itself to my attention and certainly has something to...

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Mutilated tans and a duck cenotaph.

5 June 2012

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A view across the pond to the island Tea House with Sky-scapers in the background

I seek Japanese fabric. Something on a roll, where I could ask for a metre or two. I love the colour aesthetic here, and the use of texture. I feel the need to take some of it home with me. This fabric lives in the past. It comes in one narrow width, one long length - it comes in a Kimono quantity - a 'tan' - ca 35 cms wide and twelve metres long. Linen or silk, sometimes cotton, each with it's own tradition of weave and colour. And each weave or colour has it's own traditional application: the...

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Soldier marigolds, pots and recycling.

4 June 2012

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Tokyo Tower seen from the Walkway that extends over the top of Midtown Garden, on the right is a skyscraper.

I have made contact with a potter, Yoko Terai, who has an exhibition of beautiful pots and a friend who speaks some English. The pots, elegant forms in calm shades of white, have a gentle, sensuous beauty, but also the imposing authority of Mount Fuji; I had difficulty restraining myself from picking them up. I can imagine living with them. I could also live with a regular delivery of flowers - the most beautiful arrangements of cut flowers; exquisite mini-bonsai in round balls of moss or tiny...

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Chopstick impressions, access and flying solo.

1 June 2012

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Semi abstract picture of a woman drawn with Chinese ink and pigments, in a slim wooden frame, seen with reflected city-scape in shop-window..

I've had a disagreement with a woman in an art gallery. We were discussing; I was talking about the visitors to galleries, she was talking about the exhibitors in general and the artist exhibiting there in particular. I said that Japanese took art very seriously. She declared that he had a free and easy style and Japanese art was very varied. We politely agreed to disagree when suddenly she realised what I was trying to say, looked discreetly around, and then totally agreed with me. We...

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Symbolic clothes, Kimono and Peter Pan

31 May 2012

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poster showing a yellow Japanese Kimono with red trim and red and blue print of sea and birds, clouds and flowers. four squares of japanese fabric border the top of the poster and exhibition details in Japanese characters, sit in a red border along the bo

Discovering the imposing bronze statue behind Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa reminded me that I really do wish to attend a Kabuki performance. The traditional Japanese building of our local Kabuki theatre is controversially being replaced by a modern brick box and not due to reopen until next year. I'm hoping it will be amazingly accessible. I checked out the alternative theatres and discovered that I had missed the May season. I had hoped to go to a morning performance as the event usually lasts...

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Crowds, cat cafes and Teleporting.

30 May 2012

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A view of the entrance to the excitingly named Tokyo Teleport Station.

Tokyu Hands (pronounced Tokyo Hanz) was reviewed by the New York Times as 'the' department store for the serious home owner and hobbyist, it has also been described as a 'makers paradise'. Floors of fascinating items, many only available in Japan, tempt me.  Countless arts possibilities reawaken as shelves full of curious and useful items demand attention. I want to take one of the stores home with me. We visited the flagship store at Shibuya, but at Ikebukuro they also have a cat cafe,...

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Onsen, Na'vi and black eggs.

28 May 2012

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view from the Hakone mountain cable car looking down on earth workings in the midst of tree covered slopes and peaks.

The journey to Hakone involves platform-lifts, chair-lifts, elevators,  trains, metro, cable train and cable car (ropeway) as well as some energetic pushing and pulling up and down very steep hills. Mount Hakone is famous for it's hot springs, peaceful lake and eggs boiled in simmering hot pools. These eggs, their shells turned black by sulphur, are said to prolong life. The 'boiling valley' is 1044 metres above sea level, and contains a lake created by volcanic activity; this...

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Tema Hema - Effort Time.

26 May 2012

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colourful image of a woman clutching a book title Art School 2012. She stands feet together on a pathway in a patchwork costume of warm colours.

Today I revisited Design Sight 21_21, the design exhibition space of the Issey Miyake Foundation, created by Issey Miyake and Tadeo Ando. Tema Hima - the Art of Living in Tohoku, was exactly that. Film and exhibited objects described the traditional ways of sourcing food and tools that are being practiced in Tohoku, site of The Great East Japan Earthquake. Visually fascinating, informative and an advocate for the inspirational quality of this way of living holding a key to future survival,...

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Semicyber

25 May 2012

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Low branches of an old pine tree held in place with sturdy T-shaped wooden support poles

Lying in bed without my wheels, it occurs to me that I am semicyber, but being without them does not free me from their impact. And these times, out of the public gaze, have no impact on the way society views me. Cyborg or cyberbodied, in the public consciousness a chairborne entity is 'bound' to it's wheels. Here in Japan where I have almost no Japanese, I am freed from any negative feedback regarding my wheelborne presence, by my own lack of understanding. In that way I am freer to create and...

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Greenroom Festival. 2012

24 May 2012

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Bronze sculpture of two figures sitting on a park bench. the fgures are long and thin with the upper body of one being partially hidden by a cloak

Yokohama's Greenroom Festival of music, art and film (www.greenroom.jp/ ) was this year held in the historical Red Brick Warehouse, close to the futuristic Odaibashi ferry terminal: "Never has architecture been so clearly at the forefront of the festival experience as it is at Yokohama's Greenroom Festival, the annual jazz, ska, lounge and surf-rock celebration that takes place at the Odaibashi International Ferry Terminal at Yokohama port"...

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Creative Asia

22 May 2012

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Close-up view of one of the Tian Tian figures, this one decorated in black and white images and text. There is a small aeroplane drawn one its face and crystal bling on one trouser-leg

Ok. I've been here 6 days, this is blog number 5, they all sat frustrated, unposted, on my iPad while I attempted to master the technology using unfamiliar tools. How do I monitor the size of my images? Resize? Crop? How do I convert .png to .jpg? I guess I will have figured it when I post this, but the Greenroom blog will be out of sync with my tweet... I may use wheels to augment my body; I may long for a cybersuit, or an avatar, so that I can run and climb and swish a skirt, I enjoy using...

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Roaming

20 May 2012

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The manual wheelchair covered in crystal sparkle. It has a bright red cushion and sits on a black and white tiled floor.

Today I spent roaming in the sunshine, getting my bearings. I rolled alongside Sumida and headed for Ginza. There are more cyclists weaving along the pavements, more mobil-phonists standing in awkward places and I do believe more wheelchairs in evidence. I have discovered that Japanese department stores regularly host art exhibitions, and just past Ginza I did indeed see evidence of a Japanese artist, possibly inflenced by Klimt and Picasso, exhibiting on the sixth floor; what a great idea. The...

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Triptychos, Crow, dammit, Crow

30 April 2012

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The box in this blog is open, the colourful peacocks are on view, so the text in a heart shaped frame has been added in the bottom right hand corner.

Crow, dammit, Crow. Box 3 and the final part of Triptychos  is heart-shaped and Schiaparelli pink, except for the outside of the lid. The box, 21 cms across and 4 cms deep, has a teal coloured lid decorated with colourful peacocks adorned with hearts instead of eyes. When you open the box you will find, not a love letter, but a Christmas card. Mary and Joseph hold each other anxiously as the baby in the wheelchair peers up at them. The angel is of course, adoring; the sheep proprietorial...

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Triptychos, Schrodinger's Cat

29 April 2012

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This is the black box with the lid removed so that you can see both the wording at the bottom of the box and the words inside the lid.

Schrodinger's Cat. Box 2 of Triptychos, is black and 15 cms deep. It has six sides, each 7.5 cms. The outside has a texture like fine grosgrain which gives it a silk-like finish. The lid has a 3 cm lip and both box and lid are a smooth black inside. When you remove the lid to peer into the darkness you will see the words read read read read read read read read & read in sky-blue printed around the edges of the floor of the box. There is also a black square in the centre of the floor of the...

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The creative case for … visibility.

22 February 2012

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Empty blue wheelchair on a black background

I’m finding communication hard at the moment; a familiar phrase that I read recently has rattled around in my head until I googled it: I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. This is Ralf Ellison writing about Negroness, but could just as well be me. Or could it? Because my own visibility is invariably surrounded by the negative visibility of my wheelchair I do often forget that when using it, I am invisible. We share my personal space and its easy to forget...

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