Introduction:

"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"


- Alan Hogan



Showing posts with label events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label events. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

Eyes Wide Open













Visiting Finland during the summer months offers the chance to experience long evenings and for a certain period the midnight sun. In most parts of Finland it doesn't get very dark at all. Where I live along the south-west coast the darkness is set at twilight, so it can be bright enough to play a game of football.
















Having spent almost ten years now living in Finland I am still amazed every June as the Midsummer period arrives with it's seemingly endless hours of light. It's an eerie sensation which can create wonder and plenty of sleepless nights. Black-out blinds are an essential purchase if you want to sleep!

While I still haven't been to the northern part of Finland yet, I can almost imagine what it must be like to have the sun up all day. It's something I would still like to experience sometime. One reason I haven't been so far north in the summer may be the presence of Finland's not-so loveable mosquitos. While we do get quite a lot of these bloodsuckers here in the south of Finland, I have heard stories of mild discomfort caused by the amount they have up north. This may be over-exaggerated, but during my first few years of living in southern Finland my legs were constantly under attack. After several days of itching and scratching they resembled a pair of crusty old pizzas! I think I offered the mosquitos a new dining experience of Irish blood which they took to like a vintage wine!


















Nowadays my blood may have altered a bit or become less tasteful as they don't bother me too much anymore. Perhaps my tolerence for them has levelled out,  I honestly don't know!






Anyway I thought I'd reactivate my blog here today having read about a short-film been shown at a Finnish film festival this week. It's certainly an apt film to show as it's relevent to the festival's location and this time of year. It's called 'How a Mosquito Operates', a silent animated film made way back in 1912 by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. It's just one of many films been shown, full list here


















This Wednesday June 14th 2017, the Midnight Sun Film Festival begins it's five-day event in Sodankylä, Finland. It's an unusual film festival as it shows films around the clock without any breaks, just as the sun shines around the clock! 
The festival began in 1986 in the village of Sodenkylä, located in Finnish Lapland, some 120 kilometres above the Arctic Circle where the sun doesn't set at all in the summertime. So if you suffer from insomnia, this is the place for you!!

..and don't worry about the mossies!










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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.



- Alan


    

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Autumn Fair in Finland




Today I took a visit to the Autumn Fair in the nearby town of Ekenäs/Tammisaari here in southern Finland. The weather was unusually bright and warm for this time of year here. Like myself most visitors to the fair were dressed for cooler temperatures. But after only ten minutes of arriving I had to remove my jacket and 'wished I had kept my shorts on before leaving home!

I decided to let this blogpost become a photoblog as it's been a while since my last post and my writing skills are a little rusty. This is mainly due to the fact that I accidently deleted a lot of the photos from my previous blogposts on this page via my smartphone.

Anyway, here are my photos of the day.  




Jams and Juices






Hats!





Suit your #Selfie - High Fashion!





The Usual Suspects






Fancy Hats!





Italiano






East of Edam!




Suomi selection

Hello Helium!



















Local Wildlife





Balloons!





Candy liquorice





Honey






Angry Birds Top Shelf





Spacious rides!






Big Wheel!




Blood Donors Welcome!






More Candy!






Carousels!






Mr.Balloon Man!!





Maybe I'll go back tomorrow, I hear there's a beer-tent!!!




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You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 

                     

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Out from the winter duvet!




Hogan's Blog is back from yet another winter pause. These pauses have become regular and probably occur because of the weather. Up here in Finland the dark winters can affect one's motivation to do anything, especially during long periods of cloud cover. And this winter we've had a lot of it, in fact it's been exceptional. In the southern area of Finland where I live only 50 hours of sun has managed to get through the clouds since the beginning of December. It's been quite depressing to say the least.  In fact, it reminds me of the endless summer days of rain I often experienced while growing up in Ireland. Yes, it's that depressing! ... (this is why there are so many good pubs in Ireland!) 

The lack of sunlight here this winter has been the lowest for the last 25 years. With the absence of leaves added to snow coverage everywhere and endless grey skies you might think you've been transformed into a dog. Everything looks so grey! 



Fortunately the weather seems to be getting better this week though, even if it is still freezing cold. The huge duvet-like cloud cover has been gradually falling away and the wonderful colour blue has entered our lives once again. Occasionally the snow gains a light yellowish glow which brings to mind the return of some much appreciated sun. I haven't seen the actual sun yet, only it's light hitting against some buildings and treetops. But it's on it's way slowly along with blue skies and scenes just like the ones in the video below. Yes, believe it or not it does get this nice in Finland!




On another good note, I went to visit the annual Snow day-out on Sunday February 17thin the nearby town of Ekenäs/Tammisaari (it's a bi-lingual town, hence the two names in Swedish and Finnish). The main attraction at this event are the snow sculptures. While held on a frozen beach with dull weather and cold temperatures, the spirit of the locals is upbeat and a fun atmosphere is always present. Despite the longer timespan of darkness this year was no exception. Smiles, laughter and chatting could be found everywhere. I managed to take a few photos of the day with my camera, and later needed to fix the contrast on them because of the weather. Here's are my photos with a video I made comprising of images from both the 2012 and 2013 events below.













You may have noticed from the video above the difference in the weather between 2012 and 2013. It can make a difference to have a big blue sky instead of the monotones from the snow and clouds. Luckily the people at this event bring enough colour and cheer of their own every year to make it a success no matter what and a fun day out for all the family. If you liked this you can read all about what happened in 2010 on one of my previous blogposts called 'There's no art like snow art!'


Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends on Facebook or wherever.
You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.



-Alan 





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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Soft Parade


Sorry, I had planned to write this blogpost earlier, but a few incidents such as entertaining Irish visitors in Finland, an anti-virus meltdown on my computer and a few important barbeques amongst other things got in the way. But anyway, here it is now!

artist Emmi Vartiainen and dj Ville Kotka at Jade Gallery in Helsinki
I didn't want to forget about writing this post for a wonderful art exhibition I attended earlier this month, especially as there's still plenty of time to visit it. The opening of Emmi Vartiainen's exhibition entitled 'Soft' took place at Jade Gallery in Helsinki on Friday 4th May. The exhibition continues until the end of May 2012. 

I had seen some of the artist's work previously through online social media, but I wanted to see more of her creations and view them in person. I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about seeing this exhibition as I detected a major influence of Manga art, an eastern art form which I find a little uninteresting and used as a 'street-cool' art for far too long now. But having seen Emmi Vartiainen's artwork I could only feel a slight influence of the manga. On the contrary, I felt there was more influence from the art nouveau style from the late 19th-century. Names such as Klimt and Czech art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha come to mind.
  
When viewing Vartiainen's work one can't help but feel relaxed. This may be because of mellow colours and a softness to the atmosphere they create. However, there is a touch of the grotesque and macabre in her paintings. It is introduced in a soft manner though, and only adds to each painting's individual appeal. I enjoyed the mix of old school nouveau, street cool modern imagery and subtle decadence.  

Emmi Vartiainen -  inhale



Having looked at all of the art on view at the exhibition I got chatting with dj Ville Kotka who accompanied Emmi's art with a musical mix of tasteful background beats and tunes. I had a pleasant talk with both the artist and the dj about a lot of things including their hometown Lahti, music, history and of course Emmi's art. 
I managed to buy a small print while I was there, which the artist happily signed for me. It was a copy of the main image used for the art exhibition. Here it is below, it's called 'Little Star'.

Emmi Vartiainen - little star

I highly recommend this exhibition if you happen to be visiting Helsinki. If you are on Facebook, you might like to visit the event page here. Or you can find details at the Jade Gallery website here. 


Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends. 
You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

-Alan 











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Monday, May 23, 2011

Soul Inspired!




When most people think of Irish music festivals they think of fiddles, tin whistles, lively dancing and the odd refreshment. But times have changed and nowadays Ireland has many other musical festivals to offer, and for many different tastes. Festivals such as the Cork Jazz Festival, the Electric Picnic, and the Castlebar Blues Festival for example. And this month another festival which has only been around for 5 years comes back to Ireland's capital. Set up by a group of young dedicated Dubliners in 2007 the annual 'Dublin City Soul Festival' is an event about creating positive feeling through soul music. It's a way for musicians and like-minded people to come together and show their passion for what's best about Ireland. One of the big attractions of this year's festival I reckon will be the amazing and charismatic Mirenda Rosenberg, a singer from the U.S. now living in Ireland since 2005. Tickets are only €15 to see her, an absolute bargain! Check her out here in this video, fantastic!



There has been a wholesome connection between the roots of soul music and various musicians in Ireland over the years, and a great bond of musical respect has been established because of this. Well-known Irish artists such as U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, The Chieftains, Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan come to mind.



And I suppose we shouldn't forget that little movie by director Alan Parker called 'The Committments'. This is the band that came to my mind first when I heard about this new festival in Dublin. It's a film I really enjoyed for the energy, the acting and of course that sweet soul music! Although I don't recall anyone singing soul music on the buses when I was growing up in Dublin. Weddings perhaps, but never on public transport!



It's not a bad redition of the old classic soul tunes. But let's be honest here and say that the originals are the ones to savour and add to your cd collection. The Committments were at their best an excellent covers band, not unlike a lot of the cover bands doing the pub circuits around Ireland at the moment. It is however nice to see that the old gang are back together again these days, and they have a 20th Anniversary Reunion Concert planned for next November in Dublin's Olympia Theatre. In fact they play two nights on November 9th and 10th, 2011. If you're lucky enough to be in Ireland around those dates you might like to enter this competition here to win some tickets. They recently had a comback concert last March with all of the original line-up. Here's a little video from Irish television with a few of them singing the classic 'Chain of Fools', and yes, that is the gorgeous Imelda Quirke singing!!...sorry I mean Angeline Ball!







  
The Dublin City Soul Festival's big banner-call this year is 'Cead Mile Failte', which is an Irish welcome as described in this short poem here.

An Irish Welcome
Here's Céad Míle Fáilte to friend and to rover
That's a greeting that's Irish as Irish can be
It means you are welcome
A thousand times over
Wherever you come from, Whosoever you be.

I recently received an email from one of the Soul Festival's event people asking me if I'd like to take part in this year's event. The organisers have a project called Eye Candy where they ask artists to donate a piece of their work in aid of the festival's charity. The charity in question is called the 'Musical Youth Foundation'. It is the aim of this charity to provide more access for every Irish child to music through free lessons and musical instruments. I did of course donate a painting. I didn't have a lot of notice about the event, but I hope this little piece which I sent over can help somehow. I call it 'Soul Inspired' with a slight pun towards Dublin city's most controversial landmark called 'The Spire' on O'Connell Street (see photo below). The 'Dublin City Soul Festival 2011' is on from May 26th to May 29th 2011.








Finally, speaking of charity events, for anybody living in Ireland there's a great little table quiz being held in Dublin on June 1st, 2011 in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. It's called 'The Hogan Quiz' and it's organised by a wonderful bunch of people with plenty of heart and soul. And they also happen to be cousins of mine so you will definately have a great night. For more information check out their event page on Facebook here!



Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.

-Alan

You are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button here.



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The Art Garage, Finland

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