plep Archive

17th April
Derek Jarman's Garden. 'When the brilliant, controversial filmmaker Derek Jarman (whose works include Caravaggio, The Last of England, Edward II, Wittgenstein, and Blue) discovered in 1986 that he was HIV-positive, he decided to construct a garden at his cottage on the coast of Dungeness, Kent, a flat, bleak, often desolate expanse of land that faces a nuclear power plant ... '
Some images of Derek Jarman's garden.

Utopia Britannica. British Utopian experiments 1325-1945.
'Can there ever have been a land where so many people at so many times have tried to create their ideal community? '
'Explore the archaeology of our ancestors dreams. Follow the utopian threads that make up the fabric of our history to every corner of these islands. Enter a different world and find a wealth of places where contemporaries of our great-great-grandparents were dreaming all the same dreams as we are now! ... '
Utopian stories and histories.
Gazetteer of Utopia.

The Cottingley Fairies. 'Few things in the world of Arthur Conan Doyle raise the same amount of feeling as the 'Cottingley fairies' episode, which causes profound embarrassment in many people who otherwise admire both the man and his work. These people simply cannot understand how the creator of Sherlock Holmes - a detective who dealt in facts, not theories, and who refused to acknowledge that the supernatural could exist - could himself have believed in fairies, and could have been duped by two young girls into publicly declaring that their photographs of fairies were real ... '
The UnMuseum: The Case of the Cottingley Fairies. 'When Frances returned from the stream that day with wet feet, her mother persisted in asking her why she constantly returned to that forbidden place. The girl's answer precipitated a strange affair that lasted nearly 70 years and involved one of the greatest literary minds of the day. She told her mother she went to see the fairies ... '
The Cottingley photos.

Fairy Legends and Traditions, Thomas Crofton Croker, 1825.

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, W.Y. Evans-Wentz, 1911.

A Field Guide to Irish Fairies.

The Stolen Children - Their Stories. 'Marked by a cross drawn in ink at about the place where her navel would be, the child stands in the centre of the group of six tiny girls. Her companions look shyly, sadly, at the camera; but her eyes are downcast. She seems to be oblivious, or at least forgetful, of the photographer, concentrating on a ball that she cradles at shoulder level. This child, with her high-domed forehead and gently pouting upper lip, is an orphan among orphans, Australian children of mixed race ... '

The Stolen Generation - Aboriginal Art Online.
Art, Land and the Dreaming.

Treaty Now.

Four Luohans and Attendants, a hanging painting. Buddhist enlightened beings.

The Thirteenth Arhat, Ingada. 'Arhat is Sanskrit for an enlightened being (Chinese: luohan) who remained in the mortal world to defend Buddhist doctrine. Their religious authority is derived from a text which was translated into Chinese in AD 654. According to the scriptures, arhats appear to the world like ordinary persons to dispense blessings at a Buddhist celebration, or when good deeds are performed. Although arhats were known in India, it was only in China and Japan that they became a more important focus for worship. There were originally sixteen, but the Chinese expanded the luohan to eighteen.'

Stoneware Luohan.

Glossary of Cryptozoology. The dobhar-chu (a sort of hostile water hound), the Jersey devil, the olgoi-khorkhoi (or Mongolian death worm), the trunko, etc.

Masaryk: Independent Bohemia (1915). 'This memorandum, written by Tomas G. Masaryk for British friends and members of the British government in April 1915, is from R. W. Seton-Watson, Masaryk in England. (Cambridge: The University Press and Macmillian Company, New York, 1943.) The page numbers refer to the pagination in that book. '

The Memoirs of Prince Metternich (Excerpts).
On Censorship, 1808. Quotes :-
'Who can blame us if we will not allow the public to be supplied with lies about us ?'
' ... I speak to you from a place where, more than anywhere else, I can appreciate the success of the efforts of the Government to influence the public. The newspapers are worth to Napoleon an army of three hundred thousand men, for such a force would not overlook the interior better, or frighten foreign Powers more, than half a dozen of his paid pamphleteers.'

Hungary in 1848-49.
Hungarian Declaration of Independence, 1849. 'We, the legally constituted representatives of the Hungarian nation, assembled in Diet, do by these presents solemnly proclaim, in maintenance of the inalienable natural rights of Hungary, with all its dependencies, to occupy the position of an independent European State -- that the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine, as perjured in the sight of God and man, has forfeited its right to the Hungarian throne. At the same time we feel ourselves bound in duty to make known the motives and reasons which have impelled us to this decision, that the civilized world may learn we have taken this step not out of overweening confidence in our own wisdom, or out of revolutionary excitement, but that it is an act of the last necessity, adopted to preserve from utter destruction a nation persecuted to the limit of the most enduring patience. '
Kossuth's speech at the dinner given in his honor by the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C., January 7, 1852. (Kossuth was the principal Hungarian independence leader of 1848-49).
Kossuth's letter to the people of the US, Broussa, Asia Minor, 1850. 'Two years ago, by God's providence, I, who would be only an humble citizen, held in my hands the destiny of the reigning house of Austria. '
'Had I been ambitious, or had I believed that this treacherous family were so basely wicked as they afterward proved themselves to be, the tottering pillars of their throne would have fallen at my command, and buried the crowned traitors beneath their ruins, or would have scattered them like dust before a tempest, homeless exiles, bearing nothing but the remembrance of their perfidy, and that royalty which they deserved to lose through their own wickedness ... '

Profiles in Science: The Barbara McClintock Papers.

The Dogs. Canine photography.
Thanks, Iconomy.

16th April
Ethiopian Icons: Faith and Science.

BookCrossing. Free your books.

The Megalithic Portal. Stone circles and rows images and articles; huge. There's even a megalithic map.
The Bridestones, Cheshire.
Appletreewick, West Yorkshire.

History and Museums: County Mayo on the West Coast of Ireland. 'Here you will find links to historical articles related to County Mayo and you can visit the 'Museums of Mayo website' for information on the museums. '
Folklore of East Mayo.
Mayo Abbey.

The Tea Council.

Stephen Wiltshire.
'As a child, Stephen was mute and did not relate to other human beings. Aged three, he was diagnosed as autistic. He had no language, uncontrolled tantrums and lived entirely in his own world. '
'At the age of five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London, a school for children with special needs, where it was noticed that the only pastime he enjoyed was drawing. It soon became apparent he communicated with the world through the language of drawing; first animals, then London buses, and finally buildings. These drawings show a masterful perspective, a whimsical line and reveal a natural innate artistry. '
'Aged eight, Stephen started drawing cityscapes after the effects of an earthquake (all imaginary) as a result of being shown photographs of earthquakes in a book at school. He also became obsessed with cars and illustrations of cars at this time (his knowledge of them is encyclopaedic) and he drew most of the major London landmarks ... '

Bringing Them Home. 'The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families was established in May 1995 in response to efforts made by key Indigenous agencies and communities. They were concerned that the general public's ignorance of the history of forcible removal was hindering the recognition of the needs of its victims and their families and the provision of services.'
Personal stories.
Jennifer. 'Years later Grandfather told my mother a policeman came to his work with papers to sign. The girls were to be placed in Cootamundra Home where they would be trained to get a job when they grew up. If grandfather didn't sign the papers he would go to jail and never come out, this was around 1915.'
'My grandfather was told he was to take the four girls by boat to Sydney. The girls just cried and cried and the relations were wailing just like they did when Granny Rebecca had died.'
Paul. 'For 18 years the State of Victoria referred to me as State Ward No 54321.'
'I was born in May 1964. My Mother and I lived together within an inner suburb of Melbourne. At the age of five and a half months, both my Mother and I became ill. My Mother took me to the Royal Children's Hospital, where I was admitted.'
'Upon my recovery, the Social Welfare Department of the Royal Children's Hospital persuaded my Mother to board me into St Gabriel's Babies' Home in Balwyn ... just until Mum regained her health. If only Mum could've known the secret, deceitful agenda of the State welfare system that was about to be put into motion - 18 years of forced separation between a loving mother and her son.'
Peggy. 'My family went to Cherbourg. They volunteered to go there during the Depression. So I would have been about 6 months old when grandfather, who was, I mean, he was independent. He had eight kids all birthed out in the trees you know, under the stars. My mother spoke her own language. She had me with the promise to marry my father. And then when the Depression came they talked to the policeman. He said go to Buramba. When things get better come back out again. He was the Protector so he sent them there. The thing is though, when we got there you got caught up in the system. You weren't allowed out anymore.'

Apology Australia: The Stolen Generations.

Look at Me. 'As far as Bernarr Macfadden was concerned, the main aim in life was to be noticed ... '
Physical Culture cover.
Liberty cover.
True Story cover.

The Admonitions Scroll, China, Tang Dynasty.
'This is an eighth-century copy of the earliest and finest painting attributed to Gu Kaizhi (about 345-406). It illustrates a political parody written by Zhang Hua (about AD 232-300). The parody takes a moralizing tone, attacking the excessive behaviour of an empress. The protagonist is the court instructress who guides the ladies of the imperial harem on correct behaviour...'

The Nymph of the Luo River, a handscroll painting.
'This is a depiction of the famous prose-poem (fu), the Luoshen fu by Prince Caozhi (AD 192-232). Written in AD 222, it tells the tale of Caozhi's meeting with the Nymph of the Luo River (Luoshen), a daughter of the mythical ruler Fuxi. It is a doomed romance, for in Caozhi's own words, 'men and gods must follow separate ways'.'

Ding Yunpeng, the God of Literature, a hanging scroll painting.
Conserving a hanging scroll painting.

Masters of Photography.


Prague Castle.

Bigger Teabags, Better Tea. 'For teabags, size matters but shape is irrelevant, say South African researchers. Bigger bags let the flavour flood out, regardless of whether they are round or square.'

Glasgow Zoo.
Photo album. Nice collection.

Guy Bourdin. Photographer extraordinaire. Thanks, Miguel.

My part in the dirty war.
'The four-year inquiry into "collusion" between the security forces and terrorists in Northern Ireland will conclude this week that the police and army did indeed help loyalist paramilitaries to target people for assassination - and the practice was widespread. '
'How do I know? For many years I was a member of a covert army squad, the Force Research Unit, at the centre of many of the allegations investigated by Sir John Stevens, the Metropolitan police commissioner. The FRU recruited and ran agents within paramilitary organisations. I was interviewed by officers working for Sir John and I told them what happened ... '
Via MeFi.

15th April
Death: The Last Taboo.
'The Australian Museum is developing an exhibition about death, to open in May 2003. This website is a brief introduction to the exhibition. It is also an opportunity for you to contribute stories about your own experiences, attitudes and beliefs. '

Body Art.
'Earrings, nose-rings, prince alberts, dydos, palangs, bangles, bracelets, rings, tattoos, makeup, body and face-paint, studs, nose-pins, nostrums, blood, hair, ochre, gold, silver, lip-plates, ear-weights, branding, scarring, tucking, sucking, squeezing, shaping: across all sections of society and across cultures people decorate and transform their bodies. '
'Body Art explores the many different ways, both temporary and permanent, in which people modify, change, decorate and adorn their bodies. It covers the what, why, how and where of 'body art'. Who does it, how do they do it and why do they do it? Themes covered include: universality, diversity and antiquity of styles; concepts of beauty; identity and transformation; meaning and significance of symbols; and pain, endurance and rites of passage. '

America's Jazz Heritage 'is a ten-year initiative to research, preserve, and present the history of jazz through exhibitions, performances, recordings, radio, publications, and educational programs at the Smithsonian and across the nation ...'

Louis Armstrong: A Cultural Legacy.
"Louis Armstrong's station in the history of jazz is umimpeachable. If it weren't for him, there wouldn't be any of us." - Dizzy Gillespie, 1971.

Stories of the Dreaming. Indigenous Australia.

Rabbit Proof Fence. Australia's stolen generation.

A Reader's Guide to the Arts of Japan.

Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal and Tibet.

Sculpture from Kashmir.
'Kashmir's apparent seclusion in a valley in the northwest of India belies its importance as a crossroads linking northern India with parts of Central Asia, China, and Tibet. Consequently, there is a range of stylistic influences in Kashmiri art, which has, in turn, had a significant impact on the art of other places such as western Tibet ... '

Sculpture from Tibet.

Living Harbour. The flora and fauna of Sydney Harbour.
'The Living Harbour website explores the rich life of the harbour through interactive maps, photos and information. Find out about the animals, habitats and geology of the harbour and the history and lives of Sydney's Indigenous peoples. Sydney Harbour is a people-friendly harbour with beautiful natural resources, a place where people have lived, worked and visited for thousands of years. '

Beyond the Reef. An exhibition about plankton.

Bats in Australia.

The National Gallery of Ireland.

Kylemore Abbey, Ireland.
Victorian walled garden. 'The Victorian Walled Garden was laid out in 1867, and marked the final stage of Mitchell Henrys transformation of a wilderness of rock and bog to a country estate in the Irish Highlands. It took three years to complete ...'

Mt Moosilauke, New Hampshire.
'Moosilauke is a mountain of many stories. Like the people who told them, most have been long forgotten. These tell of life in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a part of rural New England enlivened by seasonal forays of summer visitors. '
'Parts of this vast, isolated peak reside in the towns of Benton, Warren, and North Woodstock, and each "side" has its stories and perspectives. Special areas on the mountain, such as Breezy Point and the Carriage Road, Baker River and Jobildunc Ravine, Glencliff and the great west slide, and others, all have their tales to tell ... '

The Concord Coach. A famous New Hampshire stagecoach.

Baughurst.A Hampshire village.

The New Forest. History of a medieval royal hunting area in the south of England.
'This web-site offers an overview of the historical basis of the New Forest, its current management and practices. I also offer my photographs illustrating the features of the Forest; colour photographs were taken on a monthly basis over a year to show the changing face of the Forest as the seasons cycled. I also present wide-angle (panoramic) photographs of Forest scenes. Watercolour sketches are used to build illustrated maps of the area showing the location of woodland, heath, streams and the principal villages.'

Eclectica is now here.

Shabby Chic.

Art of Chainmail. Thanks, taz.

Modern Day Crucifixion in the Philippines. Thanks, madamjujujive.

Self-Flagellation in Mexico. Also thanks to mjj.

Thaipusam. 'For Hindus, Thaipusam is a day of atonement for sins. On this auspicious day, the image of Lord Subramaniam, youngest son of the mighty Shiva - the most awesome God of the Hindu pantheon, is placed on a silver chariot and taken around in a grand procession to the accompaniment of instrumental music ... '
Thaipusam involves fasting and mortification of the flesh on the part of penitents. Images here.
More on Thaipusam.

The Chester Mystery Plays. 'From Creation to the Last Judgement, this famous series of dramatic stories drawn from the Bible, including the life of Christ from birth to crucifixion and resurrection, has never ceased to move, astound and delight audiences throughout the centuries. Truly the greatest story ever told, this classic narrative was first enacted by medieval craftsmen and guildsmen in the 14th century. In modern times the plays were revived in 1951 and have since been performed every five years.'

York Cycle of Mystery Plays. Images from performances.

Picture Yourself.

Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative. Great. Thanks, mediareport.

14th April
Mesoamerica. 'I became an aficionado of Mesoamerican studies after an unanticipated trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in 1986. The purpose of these pages is to share information with fellow enthusiasts in our quest to learn more about this fascinating geographical area ... '
Writing, archaeology, indigenous issues, art, the calendar etc.

The Maya Astronomy Page.

Arte Maya Tz'uyuhil. Painters and paintings from the highlands of Guatemala.

University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong. (skip intro)
Virtual tour.
Chinese painting & calligraphy.
Wood carvings.

Goa State Museum.
The collection. Includes both Hindu, Indian, Christian and Western Art.
The sculpture gallery.

Government Museum, Chennai. (Formerly Madras).
Anthropology. Including musical instruments, weapons and folk arts.

African American Odyssey. 'The exhibition The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the Library, and the first exhibition of any kind to feature presentations in all three of the Library's buildings ... '
From slavery to civil rights.

Altruis Biomedical Network. A fantastic healthcare and research resource.

The Bronx Zoo.

Electric Vehicle History Online Network.

The Christian Catacombs of Rome.

The Martyrium Basilica and the Holy Sepulchre in the Fourth Century.

French and English Royal and Medieval Coins.

The Needlepoint Museum. 'Every needlepoint is an astonishing achievement, when you think about it.'
'They take tons of work--even a small needlepoint the size of a business letter has about a 100,000 stitches and took someone maybe forty-five hours just to stitch--an incredible investment of time and energy.'
'And when it's finished? Needlepoint is amazingly durable, colorful, lustrous, and rich--a needlepoint bag will last for years of heavy use, as strong as leather. And from the canvas to the finished piece, it's made completely of strings. Remarkable ... '

Deja Viewed. Good cartoons.

The Anonymous Portrait Gallery.

And Yet... 'If the world is lousier than ever, why are so many things so much better?'

Model Trains Museum, Granville Island, Canada.

Model Ships Museum.

Speckled Paint has moved, here.

Steve Bell's Iraq Cartoons. Great stuff, give the man a knighthood.
Drawing fire. Steve Bell on being a cartoonist during wartime. (Second link via MeFi).

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima. Eyewitness account by a Catholic priest. Thx, katemonkey.

Maggot Art. Via MeFi.