Heading away to the beach? You should take a copy of Ryka Aoki’s He Mele A Hilo (A Hilo Song). It has everything you could want in a good holiday read: romance, beaches dancing, starlit nights and a cast of eccentric but ultimately loveable characters. All this, and also a trenchant critique of colonialism and international philanthropy, a disconcerting ability to use all your assumptions against you, and an ending that will reduce you to tears. He Mele A Hilo: smarter than your average summer read.
#rykaaoki #beachreading #morethanyoubargainedfor
This painting is called DIY Surgery. It was painted by Lily Butter. I like this painting very much. The reason I like it is that it is everything this painting, Picasso’s The Dream, is not:
Shall we compare the two? Picasso’s portrait of Marie-Thèrese Walter was painted in 1932. In it all is passivity. Picasso’s mistress is in somnolent repose, dreaming (some viewers think she is masturbating), content and submissive to whatever her lover wants to make her into.
This is in stark contrast to DIY Surgery, a self-portrait and an illustration for the artist’s recently published novel, I’ve Got A Time Bomb (Topside Press), which she wrote under a different name, Sybil Lamb. In this painting the subject stands alert and intensely focused within her world of objects; of instruments which can be used to act on her or which she can use to change herself and her world. She is above all aware, aware that she is part of. and the maker of, a world of mutability, danger and opportunity. As she takes up one of the tools arrayed around her and goes to work on herself she is both subject and object, engaged in a risky, self-defining act of transformation that is, at the same time, an act of creating a world in which she can live.