Elizabeth’s garden /1

My neighbour Elizabeth is an elderly spinster who has been very ill ever since I moved in next door to her last year. She is bedridden and does not go out, and she gets visits from carers several times a day to feed and care for her. Since February this year, she deteriorated and I understand she is now staying in a local care home.

Her garden is completely overgrown but there grows some beautiful wild weed, roses, blackberries and shady trees.

In Trento 2

We stayed at a lovely B&B run by Lorenza Paris in Trento for 3 days. Every morning at 9:00 am sharp, she will bring over breakfast on a wooden tray.  3 types of cheeses, ham slices,  scrambled eggs, crusty bread rolls, Nutella spread, jam, butter, orange juice, and coffee.

https://www.bedandbreakfastallecoste.it/

Happy New Year 2019!

Window to the World ~ Conservatory, Chiswick Park, 2018

2018 has been an eventful one for me. We launched Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards 2018 in February, celebrating the 10th installment which saw some amazing entries.  A milestone achievement, which I’d like to thank all our sponsors, partners and the KLPA team.

In May, we gathered again at the KL Journal hotel for Photosymposium Asia, the second event discussing Photography and Social Change. The event had a small turnout but was intensive and our speakers gave insightful presentations followed by a popular open tabletop portfolio display.

The next weekend in May, I had another intensive weekend spent with the international jurors for the KLPA judging, followed by a long weekend stay in the beautiful city of Auckland, attending the Auckland Festival of Photography!

In July, I had the opportunity to visit Cortona On The Move Festival in Tuscany and saw some brilliant exhibitions and of course, sampled the wonderful Italian cuisine.  End August was spent in Kobe at Mt.Rokko International Photo Festival, where I reviewed portfolios and ran a portraiture workshop. This was followed in September with the setting up of the KLPA finalists exhibition and hosted awards presentation at the Whitebox Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

Later in December, I was back in KL again to host the Two Mountains Photography Project 3.0 at the ILHAM Gallery. The opening reception was a great success and the Malaysian artists involved appeared on radio and television broadcasts.  In December, the finalists’ images of KLPA2018 traveled to Medellin, Colombia for a 4-week exhibition at the MUUA Museum, University of Antioquia, and will travel to the Centro Cultural Facultad de Artes in March 2019.

I take this opportunity to wish all my friends and followers, supporters and fellow photographers a very Happy New Year and I hope to meet some of you at the KLPA events and festivals. ~ Steven

 

 

InstantLondon : South Bank

The South Bank is a bustling riverside walk dotted with restaurants, cafes and street entertainment over the weekend.  There are great views of the City of London and also Tate Modern and The Eye landmarks.

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At the feet of Saints

A fleeting trip to Dublin straight after returning from Malaysia, to visit an elderly and very sick friend from the religious community.  In my life, I have confronted death in close family only 4 times and on each occasion, notwithstanding a profound sorrow, which is to be expected, new revelations are also experienced.

Death, is often unspoken nor discussed within my family, as I can imagine, in most families. Yet, it is as common as births and marriages, both joyous occasions to be cherished. In Catholicism, it is a notion that all suffering is part of a greater plan, an acceptance is a virtue. But as humans we succumb to the frailty of disease, age and doubt, all of which are inevitable, and suffering is part of a journey of acceptance and discovery. We see loved ones wither away, when their minds were still able but their bodies weren’t.

Our journeys have just begin.

 

 

Disquietude

Christians around the world are currently observing the period of Lent, which will close this weekend with the Holiest events on the church’s calendar, the Easter Triduum. Whether one strictly follows the Lenten abstinence or not, whether one is pious or not, I feel that there is a great need for self-reflection and prayer at this time of great uncertainties facing many societies in many aspects – economic, environmental, security, political, so the list goes on.

Living in Europe today, there is trepidation and a certain fear. It’s not one thing but I guess, it is a build up of events over the last few years. Yes, it is the random terror attacks and here in London, there have been attacks since the early 70s and 80s with indiscriminate large scale bombings, so it’s not entirely that. It is also the uncertainty of Brexit and all the growing issues that comes with it. It is also about people’s tolerance with politicians and each other. Trust, respect and truth. Virtues that have so little meaning today in a world with so much spin, sometimes it is not possible to see beyond the sound bytes. Perhaps, every generation has to face these events.

There is every possibility that my generation will see another world conflict. Never in post war history has North Korea, Russia and the United States been so filled with conflict rhetoric than now. The situation in the Middle East doesn’t seem to subside with every week that passes. In fact, Syria is getting decimated by it’s own people and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Sometimes I feel that we are in a world that seems to be heading into self-destruction.  I guess everything is relative, and whether one senses these ‘events’ or attempt to block them out, depends on how secure our imaginary protective bubble shields us. Everyone has different opinions and degrees of comfort ‘thresholds’ to exist.

I guess ultimately, that is what living and existing means. We bang on with our own individual life duties and chores. Perhaps blinkered, perhaps not, riding the wave.