Friday, November 28, 2014

Brave or beautiful?

I have a photographic project I am currently working on. It aims to raise awareness of our personal prejudices around body image and the potential impact this can have on well being.

'Brave or Beautiful?' will be an e-book, of approximately 40 pages in length. It will be available as a free download.

The project or series ‘Brave or beautiful?’ aims to create an opportunity for the viewer to explore their own prejudices about body shape and to reflect upon the impact of these prejudices.

This is done in a few steps. Firstly, by presenting naked bodies (and a few clothed ones), and asking the viewer the question- are the models brave for baring all, or are they in their nakedness, an object of beauty?

This creates  a space for the viewer to be explicit in their thoughts on what is an ‘acceptable body shape’. The viewer is then asked to reflect upon a deeper question, which is, who is to say what is brave, what is beautiful, or what is ugly?

The project then asks the viewer to reflect upon how they outwardly  communicate their body prejudices. Is it a look, a comment or by other means. What impact does this communication have on the person it is directed at or intended for? All of this reflection is done internally by the viewer and at their own pace.

The project then presents research which discusses the relationship between our sense of self (how we perceive ourselves) and our mental well-being. The question is then raised about the impact our body prejudices, and the way we communicate them, may have on the other person. In simpler and more direct terms, we ask the viewer to reflect upon the impact that their body prejudice has on others.

It is expected that in the process of exploration, other questions may internally arise such as: From where did I get my ideals of what a body ‘should look like’? How have I or my loved ones been effected or impacted by body prejudice?

Lastly and most importantly, by respectfully creating a space in which the viewer can explore their prejudices and the impact of theses prejudices on others, an opportunity for reflection and change is created. Once this process is successfully undertaken, the viewer has the potential to transfer the process and experience of critical reflection, to other aspects of their lives and thinking.
I am trying to raise $2,200 via Kickstarter to pay for the e-book. To date people have kindly pledged $1,700.. but still need to raise $500 more. Please forward this info to anyone you think that may be interested in this project!

More info is available via this link to my fundraiser:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2085103301/brave-or-beautiful

The kickstarter site does have a nude photograph on it.
To give you a taster of the project, here are some clothed shots from it!
many thanks,
matthew



All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2014



Friday, November 14, 2014

A.K. and I at TarraWarra Museum of Art

Recently, A.K. took me to TarraWarra Museum of Art. I had never been there before and had a great time looking at some really interesting pieces and taking photos. This gallery is worth a day trip out Healesville way, to see it. Here are some photos from that day.


Some views from inside the gallery, looking out:




A.K. decided to have fun in an installation that was essentially Styrofoam balls being blown about by big fans.. just like snow..  He got those little balls everywhere.. and I mean everywhere!
 




A really interesting decal was placed over an external window, that made the view outside onto the country,  look like a beautiful dot painting.




Lastly, something I saw on the way back to the car.







all photographs copyright Matthew Schiavello 2014. Art copyright of the respective artists.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Mother and Facebook

My friends had warned me and I did not listen.

It all started back when my mother joined the digital revolution and went online. It wasn't long before she created a Facebook account and then... yes, sent me a friend invite.
I put off responding and took this dilemma to my friends.  Their response was a resounding 'NO!'. I think they all added a variation to the effect of 'are you insane? why would you even need to ask if this is ok? Of course it isn't!' Apparently, you do not add your mother to your Facebook account, I understand this now, but couldn't help but feel really guilty! After all, this was the woman that carried me for nine months, gave birth to me, fed me, changed me and loved me.... how can I not accept a friend request from my mother??? What kind of an ungrateful son would I be?  So, I ignored the good advice of my friends and accepted my mother's 'friend request' and then things became awkward.
At first it was 'kind of' ok. When no one responded to one of my posts, my mum would support me by posting encouraging comments like 'I like everything that matthew does'.. yep, it's  just like the encouragement ribbons I used to get at Little Athletics  (cause I was shit at Little Athletics), except this time it is a public post on Facebook by my mother. Anyway, things were reasonably ok, until the phone call. Which went a little like this:

Mum-' Hi, X is sending you a Facebook invite, so just make sure you accept that when it comes through'

Me- 'What??!!, Who is this person??'

Mum- 'you know my friend X...'

Me (becoming a tad hysterical at this point and reverting to a 12 year old)-'MUM! I am NOT accepting friend requests from YOUR friends, OH MY GOD!! My friends told me NOT to accept your friend request and now look what is happening!!!!' 

Mum, a little hurt and puzzled- 'Why would your friends tell you not to be my friend on Facebook??'

Me (hearing the hurt in my mothers voice and now rightfully feeling like complete crap!)- 'Cause you're my mum and it is not cool!!  But I told them I couldn't turn down my mothers friend request...'

Mum (now with some pride in her voice) - 'come on love, just for me, for your mum!'

Me- 'mum, how did they even find me on Facebook (I have my fathers surname and mum has her maiden name'

Mum- 'well.. X doesn't have many friends so I suggested that they add you... go on , for me, for your mum. I did tell them that you would accept the request.'

Me (feeling that I have no choice in the matter, and making sure my mother knows that I am not happy! and no, I didn't stomp about this time) - 'Ok, that  is it!!! no more mum, no MORE!!!!  I will accept their friend request, but I don't want anymore of your friends sending me friend requests, ok??!!

Mum- 'Oh, X is not my friend, X is my neighbour.

I just groan at this point.

The next evening, I call mum and advise that I had accepted her neighbour's friend request... mum responded with, 'oh, I just deleted the request they sent me'.
I flip out 'ARE YOU SERIOUS???????". Mum laughs and says 'I deleted it accidentally, I asked X to resend the request'. I think I ended the call very quickly with, 'Ok mum I have to go, I can't talk to you anymore.' All the while I was asking myself, why I didn't listen to my friends in the first place and not accept my mum's Facebook friend request.


I think my mum secretly delights in driving me crazy, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she is writing a blog called 'Things I do to drive my son crazy'.


Many thanks to V.G. for editing!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Music- October 2014

I have purchased a few new things that I want to share with you. Hopefully you may find something of interest, that you then further explore and support the artist/s involved.


Jennifer Castle:

A Canadian singer/songwriter who has just released a new LP title 'Pink City', this track is off it.

Jennifer Castle- 'Sailing away'




The Peep Tempel

This track has a language warning to it. It is a bit raw and Aussie, it wears it's heart on it's sleeve and has me singing 'I don't think Trevor is good for' loudly in the mornings as walk down the back streets of Fitzroy.

The Peep Tempel- 'Carol'




J Mascis:
The man who was Dinosaur Jnr, who help define the 90's alternate scene, has just released another album where the acoustic guitars are preferred over loud electric distortion. The most recent LP is titled 'Tied to a star'. The track 'wide awake' has Chan Marshall (Cat Power) on vocals as well!

J Mascis- 'wide awake'



Avi Buffalo
I don't know much about this band.  They are from Long Beach, California, they have a new album out, but this track is from their 2010 Self titled LP.


Avi Buffalo- 'What's in it for?'




David Bowie
If you have been under a rock and didn't know David Bowie had a new LP out a while back (mid 2013), you may have missed this brilliant track, which has a fragile and maudlin quality to it. I don't know how many times I have listened to this and at the end, earnestly sang 'as long as there's me, as long as there's you', as I wistfully looked off into the distance....

David Bowie- 'where are we now?'




Grant Lee Buffalo

An old tune that has for some reason resurfaced and I seem to be playing a lot, of late. This is off the 1994 Lp 'Mighty Joe Moon' and has some great lines such as:

'Devastation at last finally we meet
After all of these years out here on the street
I had a feeling you would make yourself known
You came along just to claim your place on the throne
And I have been overthrown
Overthrown'

Grant Lee Buffalo- 'Mockingbirds':



All rights belong to the respective artists.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

For him, the man who broke my heart.

There is nothing like love and loss to stir one to write again. Here are a handful of some recent writings, presented in chronological order. In case you are wondering, no, he never saw or knew of these.


       ----

You worry about the cold Melbourne winters,
worry not.
I will warm you

I will weave for you
whatever you need
out of my overflowing love
that has waited for so long.


       ----

I'd sing you a song,
or write you a poem,
of my love
and my hope of a life together.

But I fear
you would not listen
nor enjoy it for what it was.
Instead you would
compare
it to what you had,
or to the fantasy
of what might be.

       ----


If I could open my heart
and show it's trueness to you
Give you my eyes,
So that you know I see
your faults
and that I love you
regardless....

would that then be enough?

       ----


I am writing about you
because
I am
not over you,

yet.

But soon hope to be,
as do similarly hope
my friends and family
for they don't believe
you worth my time

or

theirs.

       ----

The problem with absence,
is that it makes
the heart grow fonder.

The problem with time, is that
memories fade and
hurt heals.

The problem with the present, is
your boyish charm
and warm smile,
remind me
how attracted I am
and how much I cared.


       ----


Now that I am free,
now that I am happy
(or at least telling myself I am),
I don't wish you ill,
just insight
and that one day
you may feel motivated
and strong enough
to change.
Not for me,
but for you
and for him, whoever he may be.


       ----


all words copyright matthew schiavello 2014.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Red.

Recently I took a series of photographs of things red. I have no idea why i did it. My eye was drawn to it all and over the course of afternoon, these are some of the images I came away with.
I hope you enjoy!

                                                   'Red #12 (2014).'

                                           'Red #13 (2014).'

                                                   'Red #20 (2014).'


                                                   'Red #28 (2014).  (for Mr Goldsztein)'


                                         'Interiors #171'

                                                  'Red #180 (2014).'


                                                  'Red #190 (2014).'


All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2014.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why I love you (parts i-iii).



Why I love you (parts i-iii).


i

When we first met,
my love was like
something gaudy,
well... gaudy for you.

It was like
a brightly coloured
floral bouquet

and dare I add,
always bursting forth.
Those moments when it did,
you would always turn
to look over your shoulder
to see who else bore witness.

And each time, you took those flowers quickly.
Almost as if, you didn't want others to see.
One corner of your mouth would turn and sneer,
the other raised in a smile.


That’s why I love you,
You’re as tough as nails                                 
But you’re not.


ii

You’d tear others down in a heartbeat,
Tear them down so bad,
they couldn’t be re-built,
But never me.
In my darkest days,
You lifted me up into the light.

'One day', I thought, 'I hope you'll let others in,
To see the real you'.
But for now, I’m guiltily glad,
I’m the only one.


You’re as tough as all hell,
But you’re not.
I always knew it
but saw it most,
when I had to leave
and that's why I love you.


iii


All those years away, 
you said,
never made you love me less.
Except you didn’t use the word love,
you never do
But you were there for me
And that’s the same thing.

We never talk about what happened,
But if we wanted to, we could.

I would also tell you
that the memory of you
Got me through
that terrible time.

And though you never visited,
You were there
Waiting for me
when I was finally able to return.
You stood at the front of that cursed place
Smiled and hugged me tight.
We kissed like it had been forever.
I said I love you and a tear slipped out.
I smelt of institutions.
You didn’t look over your shoulder that day,
You just held me tighter.

I remember thinking
how I wished that everyone who talked you down
could see you now
and maybe they would finally understand
why I’ve always loved you
(and why I always will).


copyright matthew schiavello 2013