A Tomb for Perspective

Rome was a city for art historians. Monument after monument, story after story… many that shaped the way the world looked at and practiced art, and the direction it took.

My dance-and-adventure-partner for this trip and I found ourselves walking to the Pantheon on our first night in this magical city. Never has my camera ever felt so useless. No single frame or paragraph can capture the majesty of this structure and the history it holds inside its walls.

I walked around in silence. I signed my name in a book compiling the names of visitors from around the world; leaving the tiniest proof that I had once stood there. I was trying to comprehend where it was that I was standing when I realised I was looking at Raphael’s tomb.

If the weight of the history in that room wasn’t already on my shoulders, it certainly was now.

And I couldn’t help thinking…

What did it take? To live a life, like that? Who were these geniuses, who gave up everything else, and created things that changed the way we looked at art and the way we observed the world? Who are the people who will make history? The ones who guard tradition? Or the ones who question? And which side do I want to be on? And in 400 years… will anyone care?

Rome, Italy, November 2016.

Flying Into Bali

If moods are set by an airport, then no city in the world has it as right as Bali. This was a gateway into a city filled with the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Not just the monuments – temples, palaces and the like – but completely ordinary ones.

Driving around the city, I asked my host (a random Balinese guy on the back of a motorcyle) what the stunning building we passed was. It had intricately carved skirting along the bottom of slanted roof, two dragons curled to face each other on either side challenging and acknowledging each other. I braced myself for an exciting answer. Perhaps the story of a forgotten princess and all there was left of her ancestral home…

“That, miss? That’s the police station.”

Nussa Dua, Bali, June 2013.