Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fast Company #1 Bonsai

It's not too much of a surprise that Seattle was just named Fast Companies #1 city of the year. The article goes on and on about how clever and creative we are and the broad depth of our industry and that we are the kind of city that is going to lead America out of this recession. blah blah know the drill.

But perhaps the coolest thing about the whole story is that the main photo that they used (photo by Alessandra Petlin) prominently displays a iconic Bonsai almost as a cultural symbol of our region. Does this mean the rest of Seattle is finally catching up to Beacon Hill? I don't actually know where that bush is, but let's face it, there is a good chance that it is on Beacon Hill! Does anyone recognize it?!?!

Oh...and I guess you should read the rest of the story about how cool we are.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Earth Art on Beacon Hill

The Earth Art movement was born in the US in the late 1960's. Championed by such artists as Robert Smithson the movement could 'be understood as a protest against the perceived artificiality, plastic aesthetics and ruthless commercialization of art at the end of the 1960's". This has always been one of my favorite art movements because it took art out of the museum and into the natural world where it was meant to be part of the landscape and maybe more than any other art movement (yes, even Dadaism) I think it challenged us to look at art in new ways.

I doubt that this is what this person was thinking of when they made their entire yard into a bulbous contorted mass of bonsai-ism but I can't help but thinking of the words of Robert Smithson when he said "A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world."

The gardener that lives in this house (and many others on Beacon Hill) has created sort of a public folk art sculpture that reminds me of how lucky we are to live in this area of Seattle.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Matching House

I like this one just because it matches the house so well. I like to think that they bought the tree first and then painted the house to match.

Located on central Beacon Hill west of Beacon Ave.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What is hiding in that bush?

I spotted this one just off Beacon Ave on the south end of Beacon Hill. This is one of my most entertaining things when people actually take the time to shape their bushes into recognizable imagery. Truly this is a labor of love that goes unappreciated like this butterfly.

I have had to train my eye to look for these things and there have been a few that I have passed by regularly and never noticed until someone pointed them out to me. I've now become a little bonsai paranoid and am starting to see all sorts of things that probably don't exist, but it's fun. Like lying on your back on a summers day and looking up and the clouds and seeing what they have to offer. Topiary can be like Rorschach tests so please let me know if you see any on the hill and I would be happy to add them to the list!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bonsai Moon-Scape

Pointillism is not my favorite art movement. Championed by artists such as George Seurat, this neo-impressionistic movement took root in late 1800s Paris and perhaps its most famous painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, has become an icon of post impressionistic art and it obviously deserves its place in the history books. The basic tenants of this movement is that the eye naturally blends differentpoints of light in order to recognize imagery.

This is not my favorite art movement because I find it a little stiff and boring. Or at least I used to find it stiff and boring until I ran across this Bonsai treasure yard. I cant say exactly where I was because truthfully I was a little lost, somewhere in central Beacon Hill west of Beacon Ave.

This is actually someones back yard at it looks more like a moon-scape as they have lovingly draped their yard in different shapes and shades of well trimmed bushes. Who needs a lawn when you could cover your whole yard with living sculpture reminiscent of Pointillism?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Best Bonsai, bush as modern art

Truthfully, even after walking all day I really only saw a small slice of Beacon Hill so it's not really fair to say who had 'the best bonsai', but I none the less wanted to honor one particular bush that I ran across. This one is located on the north side of Graham st somewhere between Beacon and MLK.

I couldn't find the quote, but Michelangelo said something to the effect of 'I don't actually sculpt, I find the sculptures that are already hidden within the stone', I kept thinking about this when I ran across this bush. Someone had found the sculpture that was hidden within this shrub and lovingly and carefully brought it to life. It is a painstaking masterpiece that recalls Henry Moore on his best days. Good job whomever made this! It is a work of modern art that defies gravity.