Jankel's Illustrated World
Of broken eggshells and other seminal phenomena
By: Jankel Jankelbrod

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Friday, 30-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Artificial flowers

concrete iron flowers
drainflowers
cementbag flowers
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It happened during a storm some weeks ago. One of the neighbours had a very nice wall of natural sandstone, but wether due to an extreme windblow, or heavy traffic, and lots of rain that drained the firm base under the wall no one knows for sure, but this mighty stone structure gave way and collapsed.
As I passed there one evening a few days ago, the masons had laid a new foundation, and to reinforce their fresh wall, they had inserted sharp iron pins into the wet cement. These they had marked (and protected) by means of plastic flowerpots, old cementbags and pieces of other material, so creating an artificial flowerbed.
It reminded me of an artist I met in my youth -- a sculptor, who wielded rusting iron tulips on the same kind of concrete iron staves. Wonder where he is now, how he is wielding (and dealding).


Thursday, 29-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Miscelaneous greens and some topiary dreams

Arum
aronskelk
lords-and-ladies
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OK, to start with the most sinful of all flowers, the nice phallic arum -- the small earthbound type, not to mistake with its moist cousin calla. In English these flowers were also called lords-and-ladies, and well, they combine both sides in them, forming a hooded phallus.
A treat they are, with their very expressive leaves -- I also have them with creamcoloured nervature, with their impudic blooming and with their exuberant red berries. We will see them later in the year.
Then follow some pictures of almost pristine beauty. Ashentree leaves, just after their budding. This versatile tree, used by the farmers as wood for all their iron instruments, shovels and hammers, axes and hoes, because this wood is so flexible, that it can absorb the heaviest blows, without breaking ans splittering.
And then at last, I present some pictures of buxustrees formed into some kind of menhirs, and so, and I am sure the gardner didn't know it, into a double protection against evil spirits ans the mean eye. For that is the function of buxus, that is the function of the catholic 'palm tree', very ancient customs, christianized. Formerly people used to plant buxus to protect themselves against those spirits and against bad luck, to protect their families (the catholic holy water with the obligatory buxus hung in the bedroom), their cattle and their beehives.
Nowadays they are only decoration, and their original function and magic spell is forgotten. But each time I see such cut buxus monuments, I feel as if in a dream, a very vague and hazy garden, with forms and hunches, reminding of former lifes or the untouched contact with pure sensuality.
Heavy stuff for a weekday, I would say.


Wednesday, 28-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Stars

Sempervivum tectorum
 
 
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Their Latin name is sempervivum, which means so much as eternal life, and their secret lifeformula could be: fleshy, compact, silicious, optimal dense form, and a capacity to store water (which is their advantage, for they can use their internal water in times of great dryness, but at the same time their weakest point, because the water can freeze and damage their cellstructure).
Their juice is famous for healing insectbites -- the silicium restores our skin. Formerly people let them grow on their (low) roofs, to be able to get the fat leaves which they squeezed above the bite or to rub the bump with it. It gives a remarkably cool feeling and eases the pain immedeately.
Pretty manypointed stars they are.
I combined these sempervivums with some other succulent stars.


Tuesday, 27-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Leaves

chestnut
maple
linden
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Well, they are out of their buds, almost all of them, trees clad in green, the fresh green of spring. What it is with the form of all these leaves, why some trees seem to need another membrane or osmotic or whatever surface-to-air system, I cannot tell. You would say, one kind of leave would suffice for all of them, so this is just another example of nature's abundancy and inventivenes, of the richness chance and necessity bestows on the organic world. And, it would be rather dull, if every tree had the same leafform, wouldn't it?
Today I went a few minutes behind the house, and caught some different forms of leaves. All with their fine nerves, all with their freshnes and all with their tasteful greens (and already there were lots of larves for whom all these different tasting cellular structures are staple food).
Maybe these leaves cannot prove that form follows function, but a proof of nature's beauty they are.


Monday, 26-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Violet and rust

glycinea
abundant blue rain
into the heart of the country
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Each time I see this abundant violetblue bloom, this vigorous growth, this vital development in all directions of the old glycinea at our house, I wonder how many minerals such a botanical structure can suck from the earth to build up its form -- somehow you would think there should be some deficit in the balance of material and energy there, or better, couldn't we in some way or other learn from the growth of these succesful plants, to optimize the use of raw material, and to hide weak spots and hollow places behind the most beautiful flowers.
And as quick as this plant grows, so slowly decay the iron objects I found around the house, and put on the bannisters of the front stairs. Rusting in a very beautiful ironbrown. Weights, that only have value as a doorstopper, and bizarre, almost cultic pieces of forged iron, that have no other use than being pretty.
I have contrasted these two colours, the violetblue of vigour and the rustybrown of decay.
Both delightful in their own way, their own right.


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