Thursday, September 30, 2021

Wolf Howard

Wolf Howard (1968) is an English artist, poet and filmmaker from Rochester, UK and was a founder member of the Stuckists art group.

Howard was one of the 13 original founder members of the Stuckists, a pro-figurative painting, anti-conceptual art group, co-founded by Childish and Charles Thomson in 1999.

He is also a drummer who has played in garage and punk bands, currently as a member of The Musicians of the British Empire (MBE's) with Billy Childish.

Howard has played drums in many bands. The most important in chronological order are The Daggermen, The James Taylor Quartet, The Prime Movers, The Solarflares, Dodsons Dogs and The Buff Medways. His drumming has been described as "louder than a self-propelled Howitzer."

Wolf Howard is also a member of the Stuckism Photography group and takes pinhole photographs. He uses a light-proof wooden box 4" square with a fixed-size pinhole in the front. Photographic paper is placed at the back of the box. There is no lens and no viewfinder, so he estimates the aim of the camera. A wooden slider allows light into the box for an exposure which is between 40 seconds and 5 minutes. The camera is placed inside a light-proof bag to replace the photographic paper.

Self portrait with pinhole camera

He develops a negative print (in his bathroom) and makes the final positive print by placing another sheet of photographic paper under the negative with a 5-second exposure under a light bulb. The whole process requires estimation throughout and he "faces many disappointments in his darkroom. The hard work will eventually pay off."

Pinhole photograph of Billy Childish by Wolf Howard

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Kurt Kranz

Kurt Kranz was born in 1910 in Emmerich am Rhein. From 1925 to 1930, he completed a lithographer apprenticeship in Bielefeld. At the same time, Kranz took evening courses at the local applied arts school. He came to the Bauhaus Dessau in 1930 and studied with teachers such as Josef Albers, Joost Schmidt, Walter Peterhans, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. 

In 1933, Kurt Kranz received the Bauhaus diploma. He worked in the following years until 1938 as a graphic artist at the Studio Dorland with Herbert Bayer. In 1940, he was conscripted for military service in Norway and Finland. Starting in 1950, Kranz was the director for the foundation course at the State Art School of Hamburg and was appointed as a professor at the Hamburg’s Academy of Fine Arts in 1955. His activities as a guest lecturer took him to the USA, Canada and Japan. Following his retirement as a professor in 1968, he lived and worked in Suzette/France and Wedel near Hamburg. Kurt Kranz died in 1997.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Jürgen Habermas

Jürgen Habermas (1929) is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. His work addresses communicative rationality and the public sphere.

Habermas may be the foremost intellectual in Europe. Since the 1960s his scholarship has set research agendas in philosophy, sociology, and history, while his newspaper articles and interviews have steered public debates on topics from the memory of the Holocaust to the Iraq War. He may also be the foremost intellectual of Europe, advocating for the continent’s economic and political integration.

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Spirit of '45

1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society.

The spirit of the age was to be our brother's and our sister's keeper. Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain's regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews to create a rich political and social narrative. The Spirit of '45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society.

The spirit of the age was to be our brother's and our sister's keeper. Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain's regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews to create a rich political and social narrative.

The Spirit of '45 hopes to illuminate and celebrate a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK, the impact of which endured for many years and which may yet be rediscovered today.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Max Oettli

Max Oettli immigrated from Switzerland as a boy, trained at Elam School of Fine Art in Auckland and became an important presence in New Zealand photography scene during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He went on to become a Senior Lecturer of Photography at the Otago School of Arts in Dunedin. Oettli’s works are represented in both national and international public collections.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Professor Paul Atkinson

Paul Atkinson is Professor in Chemical Genetics at Victoria University of Wellington.

Professor Paul Atkinson and Dr Andrew Munkacsi of VUW

Atkinson was a full Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx NY from 1983–1991.

Atkinson’s current research project is on the mechanism of human therapeutic drugs, currently statins, by genetic interaction network analysis.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Andrew Leachman

Andrew Leachman (1945 –2017) was a Master Mariner with more than 55 years of seagoing experience.

He captained New Zealand's research vessel Tangaroa for more than 20 years. He was posthumously awarded the New Zealand Antarctic Medal. A species of marine sea cucumber was named in his honour.

A keen jazz musician, he played tenor saxophone with the Woollaston Jazz & Blues Nelson Festival for many years and was a Nelson Jazz Club life member. Pictured here with Sophie Ricketts and the Gentlemen Collection. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Daniel Vidart

Daniel Darío Vidart Bartzabal (1920 - 2019) was an Uruguayan anthropologist and writer.

Between 1940 and 1945 he studied Law and Social Sciences at the University of the Republic. He then studied Engineering between 1978 and 1984 at the National University of Colombia.

From 1952 to 1958 he was the Deputy Director of the Broadcasting Service of Uruguay.

From 1972 to 1973 he was Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Chile. From 1985 to 1988 he was Professor of Anthropology at the University of the Republic.

In 2014 he donated his personal library for the creation of the Daniel Vidart Library in the Fortín de Santa Rosa spa, in the department of Canelones. Daniel Vidart was foundational in social areas, geography and anthropology. He was proud of being a descendant of Artigas, of having Charrúa blood in his veins and of being a countryman, in addition to having passions linked to discovering, investigating and understanding.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Robert Clary

Robert Clary was liberated from Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp.

He was the youngest of 14 children. Twelve other members of his immediate family were sent to Auschwitz. Clary was the only survivor. When he returned to Paris after the war, he learned that three of his siblings had not been taken away and survived the Nazi occupation of France.

He played LeBeau on the TV show "Hogan's Heroes."

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Kate Garraway

Kathryn Mary Garraway (1967) is an English broadcaster and journalist.

In the 1990s, Garraway was a journalist for ITV News Central and later a co-presenter of ITV News Meridian. From 2000 to 2010, she co-presented GMTV. Currently, Garraway is the presenter of Mid Mornings with Kate Garraway on Smooth Radio and newsreader (on Thursdays) and co-anchor (on Fridays) of the ITV Breakfast programme Good Morning Britain.

Garraway is a charity ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

She released her first book on 9 March 2017, entitled The Joy of Big Knickers (or learning to love the rest of your life).

Thanks Frans

Monday, September 20, 2021

Chilli Eating Contest

Ten brave souls, among which one boinero, take on the chilli eating contest at Eastnor Castle in Ledbury, UK (1 May, 2016).
Eating chilis in 16 rounds of increasing heat!

Unfortunately, our boinero didn't quite make it to the end...

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin ( 1934 –1968) was a Russian pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to journey into outer space, achieving a major milestone in the Space Race; his capsule, Vostok 1, completed one orbit of Earth on 12 April 1961. Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honour.

Born in the village of Klushino near Gzhatsk (a town later renamed after him), in his youth Gagarin was a foundryman at a steel plant in Lyubertsy. He later joined the Soviet Air Forces as a pilot and was stationed at the Luostari Air Base, near the Norwegian border, before his selection for the Soviet space programme with five other cosmonauts. Following his spaceflight, Gagarin became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre, which was later named after him. He was also elected as a deputy of the Soviet of the Union in 1962 and then to the Soviet of Nationalities, respectively the lower and upper chambers of the Supreme Soviet.

Gagarin (left) and Komarov out hunting

Vostok 1 was Gagarin's only spaceflight but he served as the backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission, which ended in a fatal crash, killing his friend and fellow cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. Fearing for his life, Soviet officials permanently banned Gagarin from further spaceflights. After completing training at the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy on 17 February 1968, he was allowed to fly regular aircraft. Gagarin died five weeks later when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting with his flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin crashed near the town of Kirzhach.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Robert Pope

Robert David Pope was born in Bendigo, Victoria in 1939.  He is a Landscape and abstract painter in oil, acrylic, pen and ink.

Pope worked for ten years in the Australian outback as an oil and mineral surveyor and a geo-computer draftsman.  He then settled in Alice Springs in 1965 and opened his first art studio and a gallery the following year.

In 1973, after successfully establishing himself as a landscape artist, Robert Pope received a Western Australian State Government Bursary to further his research into the relationship between art and science.

He then moved to Berri, South Australia and became resident artist of that town.  He was also the Director of the Science-Art Research Centre at Lock 4.  Pope was invited to Hollywood for introduction to the City of Los Angeles by the Thalian Society in February, 1989.

Robert Pope now paints and resides in New South Wales.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Green Beret by Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen McDannell Hillenburg (1961 –2018) was an American animator and marine science educator. He is best remembered for creating the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants.

Hillenburg started his professional career in 1984, instructing marine biology, at the Orange County Marine Institute, where he wrote The Intertidal Zone, an informative picture book about tide-pool animals, which he used to educate his students. In 1989, two years after leaving teaching, Hillenburg enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts to pursue a career in animation. He was later offered a job on the Nickelodeon animated television series Rocko's Modern Life (1993–1996) after his success with The Green Beret and Wormholes (both 1992), short films that he made while studying animation.

The Green Beret was about a physically challenged Girl Scout with enormous fists who toppled houses and destroyed neighborhoods while trying to sell Girl Scout cookies.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Burndust Delbert

Wearing berets typically runs in families, often from generation to generation. Less typical is to see two boinero brothers who both have plenty of reason to feature on The Beret Project.
Delbert is Greg's, the Dreadlock Cowboy's, brother; a musician (percussion) in his own right, but also a cinematographer (using antiquated 8mm,9.5mm and 16mm motion picture equipment) and organizer of performance art shows.
Under the name of Burndust Productions, Delbert made short films and did strange performance art shows in odd places. One show was in an old retired Vietnam War cargo plane on an airfield in the California desert. 
They filled the plane with film and slide projectors and strange Moog Synthesizer music all running at the same time. The audience was seated on the bomb bay doors.
The film above was shot in 2002; a post-apocalyptic samurai thing. Weird electronic music and all shot on 16mm, Super and Regular 8mm using vintage cameras. The sound is intentionally out of sync at times to replicate the bad dubbing of Godzilla films.
Plenty reasons for being on the Project here, but the best is that over the years, we have become good friends - smoking apipe being one of the binding factors!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Audrey Tang

Audrey Tang (1981) is a Taiwanese free software programmer and minister without portfolio of Taiwan, who has been described as one of the "ten greatest Taiwanese computing personalities".

In August 2016, Tang was invited to join the Taiwan Executive Yuan as a minister without portfolio, making her the first transgender and the first non-binary official in the top executive cabinet. Tang has identified as "post-gender" and accepts "whatever pronoun people want to describe me with online".

As a general practice of "radical transparency", all of Tang's meetings are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded on a public website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Beat Takeshi


Takeshi Kitano (1947) is a Japanese comedian, television presenter, actor, filmmaker, painter and author.

While he is known primarily as a comedian and TV host in his native Japan, he is better known abroad for his work as a filmmaker, actor and TV host. Except for his works as a film director, he is known almost exclusively by the stage name Beat Takeshi.

Kitano rose to prominence in the 1970s as one half of the comedy duo Two Beat, before going solo and becoming one of the three biggest comedians in the country. After several small acting roles, he made his directorial debut with 1989's Violent Cop and garnered international acclaim for Sonatine (1993).

In October 2017, Kitano completed his Outrage crime trilogy with the release of Outrage Coda. He is also known internationally for hosting the game show Takeshi's Castle (1986–1990) and starring in the film Battle Royale (2000).

'I paint for the sheer joy of painting. I have never sold any of my paintings.
I'd rather give them to people for free'

Many of Kitano's films are dramas about yakuza gangsters or the police. Described by critics as using an acting style that is highly deadpan or a camera style that approaches near-stasis, Kitano often uses long takes during which little appears to be happening or editing that cuts immediately to the aftermath of an event. Many of his films express a bleak worldview but are also filled with humor and affection for their characters.

Monday, September 13, 2021


“Ernesto” follows the brief friendship that blossomed between one of the most charismatic leaders of the 20th century and a second-generation Japanese-Bolivian named Freddy Maemura Hurtado. Che was so taken with Hurtado’s personality and medical skills (Che himself was a doctor), that he granted him full use of his first name, Ernesto. It’s a slice of political history that few Japanese are aware of — that and the fact that Che once visited this country for 12 days, in 1959.

“Ernesto” is the creation of Junji Sakamoto, who has been referred to by Japanese media as “the rebel from Osaka” because he’s rumored to have ticked off more than a few higher-ups in the industry during the course of his 28-year career. He’s also known as being one of the few successful filmmakers — aside from Takeshi Kitano — who is not dependent on the country’s rigid studio system. “Ernesto” is Sakamoto’s first international collaboration, in this case with Cuba.

“Che Guevara was wildly popular with my parents’ generation,” the 59-year-old Sakamoto tells The Japan Times. “For the Japanese, fatigued from World War II and wary of American democracy, Guevara represented another way of thinking and living. In some ways, maybe there was more political freedom back in the postwar period when Guevara was visiting. Back then it was possible to put flowers in the cemetery of the war dead in Chidorigafuchi or Yasukuni Shrine. Now it’s a heavily loaded event. The very fact that Che Guevara actually came to this country seems like a miracle now.”

Sakamoto says this while sitting next to Camilo Guevara, one of Che’s sons.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Dreadlock Cowboy

Sometimes, a long-term customer turns into a friend, like Greg, aka the Dreadlock Cowboy. We have corresponded for some years now, but only recently I asked him about the origins of the Dreadlock Cowboy.

I quote: "Ah, the dreadlock cowboy story….once upon a time, in somewhat younger days, I used to run with some stunt men and real cowboys at the Galesteo Rodeo grounds south of Santa Fe, New Mexico (and just west of the Pecos). I really thought I wanted to ride the bucking broncos, but the guys said, “Listen Dude, we think that you're one heck of a guitar and banjo picker, and if we let you try that you’ll bust yourself up so bad, you'll never play again.” 

Dreadlock Cowboy in action - Pre-Beret Days

"I kept bugging them, and finally they said, "O.K. how about you be the Dreadlock Cowboy instead”, because I used to have the locks down to my belt. They gave me a beat up hat, and an old Mexican guitarron bass, and I started playing cowboy songs with their friend El Jefe. El Jefe was a fire-walking cowboy singer, who could yodel to beat the band, and we formed a group that played in Santa Fe, and around the Pecos area as…..Show Down at Sundown….. Jefe The Outlaw meets The Dreadlock Cowboy….. sometimes Olga Siberia would even sit in with her accordion. It was a great time and it did keep me off a horse."

Love the story Greg and look forward to the moment I can see and hear you play in real life (dreadlocks or not...)!

Thanks, Greg!