Arrested Decay: A Photo Exhibition

That which is made by man is ravaged by exposure – the lash of the wind, the blinding sun.

Ghostly beautiful, an echo of their utility is all that remains.

The retaliation of nature is abundant and bold;
Deep, soft grasses whispering green and gold;
And the dark and terrible sky, ready to swallow us whole.

– September 25, 2015, Sarah Eakins

An exhibition of photos inspired by the beauty, isolation, and eeriness of Bodie, CA –
an historic, and notorious ghost town in the eastern hills of the Sierra mountains. Bodie is in a state of Arrested Decay – maintained to look exactly as it is forever.

Featuring pieces shot on:
Polaroid Type 54
Fuji FP3000b45
Kodak Technical Pan

James Eakins uses Polaroid Type 54 and Fuji FP3000b45 large format 4×5 instant films. Both Sarah & James’ film expired in 2006, creating their own Arrested Decay – by exposing the slowly degrading expired film.

Sarah Eakins uses Kodak Technical Pan 35mm film. This ultra high contrast film underscores the striking divide between nature and man, while the film’s exceptional fine grain accentuates the sublime beauty of Bodie.

The large divot seen in “Twist of Fate” is a result of the instant chemistry drying in the pod and not spreading across the entire image to develop it. In this sense, there is an experimental quality to all expired film that yields exciting results.

Arrested Decay can be seen next by the public on Downtown Fullerton’s First Friday Artwalk November 6, 2015 at the Magoski Arts Colony in the “Dreaming in Film” room.

223 W Santa Fe Ave, Fullerton, California

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Pandora’s Gift

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James and I given were the opportunity to participate in an installation with other artists in our community for the Dia de Los muertos event at Magoski Art Colony in Downtown Fullerton, on Friday, November 1, 2013.

We were invited to creat a small box or two that “tells a brief story or gives a hint about who you are and what you would want others to know about you… before you leave the planet.”

They would then be arranged together in a columbarium – traditionally a room of small alcoves with containers holding the ashes of the dead. The containers are called nichos – a cigar box or similar sized item was the suggested dimension.

I love the idea of working within a finite three dimensional space; and many of the favorite pieces that I’ve made have been based around boxes. There were several things I wanted it to include:

My font

My font is a lettering scheme I designed in the late 90s named Cutspark, after my online name. Inspired by the beauty of Sanskrit, it deconstructs our modern Latin alphabet – looking futuristic and extraterrestrial, while echoing the ancient cuneiform scripts found on tablets from early civilization.

There are three versions: street, cursive and outline. I primarily used the simplified “street” version of my font for the bulk of the writing, and the decorative “cursive” version to adorn the box lid.

Light

Light is magical. It’s non-physical, yet adds dimension. I was highly inspired by the artist James Turell’s work with light. In this case, the contents of the nicho is like a little glowing piece of me. When opened, illumination spills out, indicating the contents is a treasure.

In anticipation of working with light in such a small space, I felt it was high time I learned how to solder my very own LED battery pack. Finally, in control of the light source, brightness, placement, etc I gained the freedom to utilize the space as I pleased.

Gold

Gold is the color of what is valuable. It is purity, warmth, and light. Ancient Pharos were entombed in sarcophaguses of gold, and so would be my nicho.

Red and black, powerful colors unto themselves, were used as accent colors.

Layers

Transparent and semitransparent materials were used to create a sense of three dimensionality, another theme I like to use in my artwork. I enjoy using paper as a writing surface, texture, and light diffuser.

Myth

Myths are a window into the ancient cultures that created them, and into the human condition. Greek mythology holds a special place in my heart because of its drama, character flaws, and god on human interaction. What I love to do with myth is swap the place of the protagonist with the antagonist.

In the original myth of “Pandora’s Box”, Pandora is a pawn in Zeus’s plan to punish Prometheus for bringing fire to humans. But she ends up being a much bigger player, and is forever viewed as the bringer of sorrows, and evils to humankind.

I have reworked the myth of Pandora. A condensed version is written in cursive and my own font, and placed within the box.

Pandora’s Gift

I am the Devine mold of earth and water, infused with voice and strength; my face like that of a goddess; figure deftly shaped, strong and beautiful.

I am the tapestry of woman’s skill, woven with threads of craft, cooking, home and hearth; Artemis’ hunting, Athena’s logic, and all the learned arts.

I am elegance and grace; alluring and bold; and ever so curious. I am designed to be that which all love. I am Pandora, the combined artistry and talent of all the Gods.

And I am to be the undoing of Prometheus, the fire bringer.

This is what I know of my creation, as you know of what my future is to be. I am much more than the Sky Father’s pawn, a mask for his wickedness. Though my fate is sealed, I can tell you the truth of Hope.

Before it was named, Hope manifested from my own consciousness; a tiny sleeping cocoon deep within me. I placed it into the box, after all those terrible things escaped, and used the god’s magic within to define it. Surely this could be done, as the gods defined me from simple earth and water.

By the same logic of my creation, that which is defined by the gods, must then be named by the gods to be wholly formed. My Hope, that was given shape, was then named by my Titan husband and the transformation was complete. Hope lavished across the world, like cooling water to soothe the scorching horrors and despair released from the box.

That is my legacy. I am Pandora, I am human, and I brought Hope to the world.

Come out and see the show!
Friday November 1, 2013
Located at The Magoski Arts Colony
223 W. Santa Fe.
Fullerton, CA

Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie

Bodie – a gold rush town in the Eastern Sierras – was known across the nation as being second to none for wickedness, badmen, and the “worst climate out of doors”.

Murders, stage robberies, and street fights were as plentiful as the gold – “A sea of sin, lashed by the tempests of lust and passion” so described by the Reverend F. M. Warrington about the town.

Goodby God, I'm going to Bodie

Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie

A discarded soul still shines

A discarded soul can still shine

Hold my heart, where's her gun?

Hold my heart, where’s her gun?*

The grasses will keep you safe

The grasses will keep you safe

Walk the guantlet

Screw up the courage to walk the gauntlet

If this old leg could talk...

If this old leg could talk…

...he could tell you of the riches below

…he could tell you of the riches below

There's gold in those hill.. if you can weather the storm

There’s gold in those hills.. if you can weather the storm

Once they're all gone, the queen can rein over of carnival of silence

And once they’re all gone, we can rein over of carnival of silence*

Bodie was abandoned nearly as fast as it began, leaving a ghost town in its wake. It became a state historic park in 1962, and is preserved in a state of “arrested decay”.

All photos taken by Sarah Eakins using fuji FP100c silk film and a polaroid land 450 camera except for the starred items.

*Concept: Sarah Eakins / Photographer: James Eakins

Dead Can Dance at the Gibson Amphitheatre

Dead Can Dance Perform at the Gibson Ampitheatre

A Stellar performance by Dead Can Dance. Lisa Gerrard’s voice was so powerful and beautiful / such range and emotion that I had chills though out the night. She looks beautiful, if not preternatural, and wore a long cape/sash like garment that when the light hit it, made her look like an Angel or a Superhero. Both apply.

Brendan Perry’s voice is in its absolute prime. His rendition of “Song to the Siren” was superbly done, however I missed Robin Guthrie‘s artful shimmering guitar, as they performed “Song to the Siren” on a joint tour last year.

I found this video of “Anabasis” performed the same night we were there, the video is a little far back, but this song was so hypnotizing and the long note she hits at the end continues to give me chills! Thank you to  for the fab video! And thank-you Slicing up Eyeballs for directing me to it. Check out more of the Dead Can Dance North American Tour Set List.

DaVinci’s triumphant foray into the world of plumbing!

The faucet in question, next to my new alan wrench set!

Our kitchen faucet was dribbling water in the middle. I could abide no longer! So, I looked up the cause online, just replace the stem.. easy, it’ll be a simple fix. Right? Wrong.

What I learned is in plumbing, there is no “simple fix”.

Step 1, re-buy or borrow all the tools you thought you had, but can’t find since you moved to a new house. Continue reading

Angel’s Game!

Our very first game at Angel’s Stadium! Won compliments of the Halo Girls at Matador Cantina last week. The Angels nailed Two home runs and won against the Twins! Perfect, beautiful warm orange county evening to go to the ball game!

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Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Ride at Disney’s California Adventure

James and I went to the soft opening of DCA’s newest ride Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. I had a lot of expectations after seeing preview images, and of course I’m a long-time fan of the movie. I was so excited to see Prince Eric’s castle with Ariel on the front, we rushed up and got in line.

Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – building concept – Prince Eric’s Castle (found on Wikipedia)

I kept telling James what a wonderful hubby he was, waiting in line with me to go on a kiddy ride – but it was more true than I could have ever known. As we filed through the line, the uninspired surroundings was the first clue for what was to come. I kept thinking that the mediterranean-style-gift-shop-entrance look was ok, because the ride entrances in Storyland aren’t all that great. I’m used to big, immersive ones like Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Hollywood Tower of Terror, and the ElecTRONica experience. Continue reading

Bret Easton Ellis last reading… Ever!

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Best reading/bare-your-soul-q&a ever! Deep, heavy, hilarious! Empire/post empire, jersey shore, the hills, angry birds, Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, James Joyce, how his Dad is the #1 person who fucked him up, betrayal, movie scripts-he hasn’t ruled out writing another book (thank-you James for getting that answer out of him!), how glamorama was about how his father wanted a different son to replace Brett (mind blowing): basically a large scale dinner conversation (imagine if there was wine and food involved!).
Of course we got the rest of our Ellis stuff signed – Yeah!
Thank-you for a great event Skylight Books! Continue reading