Fresh radishes in a blue bowl. A snapshot from a rainy Saturday.
Fresh radishes in a blue bowl. A snapshot from a rainy Saturday.
The second week of fresh, locally produced food from de Krat (the crate) brought another loaf of bread, chanterelle mushrooms, two zucchinis, two yellow squash, two large tomatoes, two fish, a bottle of apple juice, a head of cauliflower, a bunch of fresh mint, a bag of spinach, fennel, mixed greens, and six potatoes.
First on the list to use is the zucchini for a loaf of zucchini bread. The mint will be tossed into a warm glass of water for fresh mint tea with honey. The cauliflower will go into a dish of spicy sauteed cauliflower with sesame. The rest of the items will be inspired by the recipes provided by de Krat along with the weekly crate.
I have enjoyed the music of Agnes Obel for some time, but news of her fall concert in the Netherlands has me listening again.
In two days time comes the summer solstice. Amsterdam is chilled and rainy, making up for the spring drought with a summer flood. The weather may not be ideal, but we still have that lingering twilight that makes the evenings long. Before 23:00 (11:00pm) the sky takes on this look, dusky blue against the flared lights.
On Saturday morning, we received the first box full of locally-produced, organic goods from De krat (The crate), which was stuffed full with leek, Chinese cabbage, paprika, chili peppers, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, beets, fresh baked bread, cherries, oregano- and chili-spiced sausage (not for me), and lemon-flavored mayonnaise from The Bio Bandits.
I had been thinking about signing up for a box from Odin, which has a pick up point around the corner from my apartment, but when I heard about de krat I was instantly sold. The boxes are filled with eight different types of fruits and vegetables (although I wish there had been more fruit in this one), as well as other products of the week like bread, milk, eggs, jam, nuts, or cheese. They also deliver free in Amsterdam and include recipes using the products of that week’s crate.
There is an interesting tension in the photography of Callum Ross. At first glance, the scenes of nature in his images appear to be calm. But between the quietness, there is a sense of anticipation, waiting.
Ross left his homeland Australia to study photography in the UK in 2010. During that time, he produced the series West. Here, I speak with Ross about his imagery, inspiration for West, and the themes within it.
How did you get into photography?
Callum Ross: I’ve always been very involved in photography. My first infatuation with taking pictures began when I was a child with a Kodak disposable, trying to capture whales from the headland.
Could you describe a bit of your photographic journey over the past year, being enrolled in a dedicated study and also undertaking this in another culture?
Callum Ross: I spent the better part of 2010 furthering my photographic studies in Plymouth, UK. Moving to Plymouth was the most challenging and rewarding experience. My influences and inspirations broadened dramatically, and I really defined my photographic approach. I studied with the most beautiful people, who’s photographic work I really admired and drew from. Pursuing what you love in another culture opens your mind to a whole new realm of ideas and possibilities.
What is the idea behind the series West? How is it related to your earlier series La nature d’être?
Callum Ross: I’m interested in that initial moment of desire to search beyond the floor of consciousness for a broader awareness of being. ‘West’, I think subconsciously further refines these ideas. Being foreign to my surroundings, ‘West’ allowed for a deeper connection with the natural world, and portrayed a sense of journey within the landscape.
From what I have seen, your photography often captures scenes in nature. Why are you drawn to this? What themes are you exploring?
Callum Ross: From a very young age I’ve spent a lot of time in nature, so I guess I’ve always been drawn to places where nobody else goes. Its almost like a longing for freedom, my own little escape. Different themes are always evolving and operating within the work. I definitely aim to explore transfiguration, and the way the human mind struggles to break from the external world into a sort of internal one.
Currently reading and loving The Thousand Autums of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell.
If only, Shiroyama dreams, human beings were not masks behind masks behind masks. If only this world was a clean board of lines and intersections. If only time was a sequence of considered moves and not a chaos of slippages and blunders.
A Fresh Air interview with author David Mitchell.
“It really is a tired old problem for children of immigrants and kids of mixed race, constantly trying to explain yourself. Eventually, you give up and say, ‘Okay, what do you think I am?’ When you’re in the midst of it, you come to understand that ‘race’ is a loose social construct, a series of visual impressions, and that your identity can be whatever the hell crazy thing you want it to be, you just have to grow a sense of humor and cultivate selective deafness.”
Appreciated this interview with author (and Portland resident) Diana Abu-Jaber in Guernica Magazine.
Summertime is here and it’s lovely. The sun has been spending a lot of time in Amsterdam, the winds are warm, and the markets are stocked full with ripe fruit. In July, I am heading for a week in East Germany to go lake swimming in the forest and restaurant hopping in Berlin. The beginning of September will be the trip of the year to Turkey. For the most part, I plan to spend the days enjoying Amsterdam and eating all the fresh fruit I can. What are your plans for the summer?
In Amsterdam: The Essence, 25 Amsterdammers share their stories of life in the Dutch capital, shaping a tale of the city itself. Written by David Beckett, I spotted this book on a shelf recently, but really starting exploring it through the stories captured on film.
Laser 3.14, street artist, “The essence of Amsterdam is its freedom and openness. You don’t find that anywhere else.”
Henk Schiffmaker, tattoo artist, “When I walk the streets, this city communicates with me.”
I enjoyed the unconventional depiction of the city by Blend Films.
Co-direction: Fran Márquez, Daniela Uribe
Actor: Fran Márquez
Animation: Daniela Uribe, Fran Márquez
Illustrations: Alejandro Alonso, Daniela Uribe
Music: Jimmy Flamante from InOut InOut Records
Edition & Post-production: Fran Márquez, Daniela Uribe
Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.
A few things I enjoyed last week:
1. Attending the first Slideluck Potshow in Amsterdam, curated by Edie Peters (image from the Chicago event pictured above by Casey Kelbaugh)
2. Reading The Accidental Bricoleurs, about reshaping identity with fast fashion and social media
3. Reading The Bilingual Advantage, an article about the benefits of speaking two or more languages
4. Watching Never Let Me Go, a beautiful film based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Anticipating an upcoming performance by TV on the Radio in Amsterdam