L'ÂME GRISE

BY VINCENT BALDENSPERGER

Maître de thé et artiste sensible aux multiples talents, Rizü Takahashi donne vie à la matière. Bercé depuis l'enfance par l'essence du wabi-sabi, il quitte un beau jour et par amour sa montagne de Mizunami et s’installe dans un petit village au cœur du sud-ouest de la France. Atelier, pavillon de thé et four traditionnel anagama, c’est un voyage au levant, une rencontre rare et inspirante, la découverte de l’Âme grise de la céramique japonaise…

Arthur's Seat

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PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT BY DEREK CLARK

If you’ve watched the movie Trainspotting 2, you might have been wondering about the hill that characters Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewan Bremner) ran up. You know, the one with the spectacular view.

Arthur’s Seat overlooks Edinburgh but the view stretches out far and wide. It’s steep but doesn’t take that long to walk up and the rewards are plenty. The road and rail bridges crossing the River Forth, and beyond that the mountains surrounding Loch Lomond. Turn to the right and you can see the east coast of Scotland. Keep on turning and you will be looking out over the North Sea in the direction of Norway and Denmark (Not that you can see them).

So if you happen to visit Edinburgh in the near future, take a walk up Arthur’s seat. You will find it near the Scottish parliament building and although it might take a bit of effort, you won’t be disappointed.

And today we destroy familiarity

By Patrick La Roque

Because winter clings to existence and fragments persist
in being
the hidden structures and hushed voices

we know.

Because my eye is swollen and red
itching
covered in soapy film-like filter haze

light, burning in dark corners
sacrificing the whole to collages

no context or message.

Because it all happens
when we don’t look.

Them verticals

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Photography by Jonas Rask

The breaking wave and the muscle as it contracts obey the same law. Delicate line gathers the body’s total strength in a bold balance. Shall my soul meet so severe a curve, journeying on its way to form?
— Dag Hammarskjold

Direct Sunlight

Direct Sunlight

Sometimes, it's an accidental discovery.

We spent Easter with friends in the small town of Mudgee, New South Wales - a 4h drive from Sydney, over the Blue Mountains - but it was an artwork I'd stumbled across days before, down a laneway near home, that stuck in my mind while I was there.

DIRECT SUNLIGHT, it read - painted on the street, in an alley so narrow it would hardly ever actually get sun, except the way it did when I was there: bounced off the windows of a building.

But the rest of us do, in this country. You can hardly avoid it.

It defines the place.

Removing Clutter

Jane Bown is one of my principal inspirations.  Although her images were more portrait orientated, I still consider them to have great narrative and context well beyond a formal photograph.

The quote at the beginning of this article from Jane strikes a chord with me.  The camera market these days is like a fast-moving train.  Every month there seem to be new releases from all the main manufacturers; each proclaiming the newest camera will be better and faster and give you the ability to make better pictures.

And of course, from a technical standpoint, this may be true - especially for technical photography genres like Sports, Wildlife, Astro-photography etc.

Though the images that speak to me are always ones that have personality, depth, emotion and often..... no colour.

Take a Hike

BY BERT STEPHANI

As the kids get older, it's getting harder each year to do something together with the five of us. Holidays yes, sharing a great meal, sure ... but conflicting schedules, abilities and interests don't make it easy to find something we all enjoy for a full day.  So whenever the stars all align and we get to do such an activity, I enjoy it greatly. Last week a friend took us for a day hike to the High Fens.

When we arrived it was bitter cold and the puddles were coated with a tin sheet of ice. But the landscape was breathtaking and we had it pretty much all to ourselves. As the day went on and the miles passed under our boots, it got warmer and at the end we even enjoyed that spring feeling. 

I'm sure the hike was pretty challenging for a 10 year old, rather boring for a 13 year old and way too easy for a 15 year old. But the fact that all of us are willing to compromise a bit in order to enjoy it as a family means the world to me. 

This hike was a present to me from my kids and my girlfriend. It was also a reward for me by the guy who's trying to get me back in shape. I've been working out, changing my eating habits and optimizing my routines under the watchful eye of Bert (good name) for close to a month now. I still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work in front of me. But this hike showed me that I've already improved a great deal. 

It feels great to enjoy hikes again and it's even greater with the support of my family. 

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What's He Building In There

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PHOTOGRAPHY & TEXT BY DEREK CLARK

What’s he building in there? What the hell is he building in there?
— Tom Waits

These pictures were shot with Tom Waits 'What's He building in there?' playing over and over inside my head. I've embedded the song from YouTube here so that you can listen as you look at the pictures.This selection of photographs is a sort of a metaphor I guess. The theme, the idea developed in my subconscious.

Windows are meant for seeing out more than seeing in. Sure we can walk up and peer in, but unless there is a light on inside it can be difficult to see what lies within. 

As we stand outside looking at those windows we have no idea what's going on inside. If you listen to the song it sounds like it could be something sinister. Replace windows for eyes, the room for your head. Is there something sinister in there? If you are a regular visitor to Kage you might remember a piece I wrote called IMPACT when my sister was first diagnosed with a brain tumour. Well, one tumour has become two and as I'm writing this she is back in the hospital with serious complications.

So what's being built inside our heads that we don't know about? We can look out and see so much beauty and so much shit going on around us, but we have no idea what's going on a few inches behind our own eyes. Isn't it strange how the brain gathers all this information from our many senses, right down to the tiniest hairs on our skin. Yet the stupid fucker can't tell what's growing on it's own surface.

Tom Waits - What's He Building

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  Dogwood  Derek Clark | X-Pro2, Lensbaby Edge 80, 80mm at f/4, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Dogwood
Derek Clark | X-Pro2, Lensbaby Edge 80, 80mm at f/4, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Surry Hills Revisited / A Game Of Cat & Man
Robert Catto | X-H1, 16-55mm f/2.8 @ 16mm. 1/640 at f/11, ISO 200.

  Onwards  Jonas Rask | X-H1, Helios 44m-4 58mm, Lens Turbo Adapter, f/2, 1/2000, ISO 100.

Onwards
Jonas Rask | X-H1, Helios 44m-4 58mm, Lens Turbo Adapter, f/2, 1/2000, ISO 100.

  Rizü  Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 23mm 1/110 at f/2.8, ISO 2000.

Rizü
Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 23mm 1/110 at f/2.8, ISO 2000.

  One day, the young boy disappeared...   Patrick La Roque | X100F,  1/1250 at f/3.2, ISO 2000.

One day, the young boy disappeared... 
Patrick La Roque | X100F,  1/1250 at f/3.2, ISO 2000.

  The Beauty of Creation  Kevin Mullins | X100F with WCL, 1/5,000 at f2, ISO 200

The Beauty of Creation
Kevin Mullins | X100F with WCL, 1/5,000 at f2, ISO 200

  Exhausted Koala  Bert Stephani | GFX 50S, GF63mm f/2.8,  1/200 @ f/2.8, ISO 1250

Exhausted Koala
Bert Stephani | GFX 50S, GF63mm f/2.8,  1/200 @ f/2.8, ISO 1250

Tu ne dis jamais rien

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Je vois des tramways bleus sur des rails d’enfants tristes 
Des paravents chinois devant le vent du nord 
Des objets sans objet des fenêtres d’artistes 
D’où sortent le soleil le génie et la mort

Attends, je vois tout près une étoile orpheline 
Qui vient dans ta maison pour te parler de moi 
Je la connais depuis longtemps c’est ma voisine 
Mais sa lumière est illusoire comme moi

Et tu ne me dis rien tu ne dis jamais rien 
Mais tu luis dans mon cœur comme luit cette étoile 
Avec ses feux perdus dans des lointains chemins 
Tu ne dis jamais rien comme font les étoiles
— Léo Ferré

By Patrick La Roque

My dad would play Leo Ferré’s La Solitude when were kids...I wasn’t a big fan.
But one day, a few years after he had passed away, I brought the album home with me. As a memento I guess...I’m not sure why. I was living on my own by then, in a small basement apartment of the Côte-des-Neiges district. I was in a band and fancied myself a painter, splashing blobs of industrial paint on large pieces of cardboard I’d lay out on the floor. Stuff I’d found in the trash. So damned serious.

Amidst Bauhaus and other prophets of gloom I (re)discovered La Solitude and soon became obsessed with Ferré—both his music and his words. A clash of such powerful images in each sentence; something like a declaration of war or a dark secret unfolding.

This song—Tu ne dis jamais rien—stops me to this day. It stops me to the point of losing the ability to speak, of needing a moment to recover and find my bearings again. My mind’s eye sees shapes, their edges diffused; an obsession slowly revealed in minute traces, fragmentary glimpses of hell and abandon.

Unholy, quiet and beautiful.