モンスター!! : MONSTAaa's in Shodoshima... & Moxham at Aratoi!

TRAVEL: Different Strokes for Different Folks- but here's how I paint my adventures. Number 1 piece of advice: Travel sloooooowwww. People ask how I get into doing the crazy cool things I see and am involved in and I reckon it's because I travel SLOW. I initially do two nights usually when I get somewhere, and I often use one spot as a base and then travel from there. I go back roads, by instinct and am not afraid to decline an option and move onto the next if it doesn't feel right. Go down alleys and get out of the 'hub'; it's a tourist trap and it's going to cost like one too.

I read the map- keep it in the back of the brain until I need it, then go where feels best... and don't pull on it until I REALLY need it. I get 'lost' all the time and love it; 'lost' is someone else's home. Be nosey- investigate; enter with a smile, apologise and withdraw politely if the line has been overstepped. Talk to people. Listen to others stories but make your own on your own terms. Go for it like you die tomorrow but try spend like you live to 120. No-one has your personal energy or way that you will deal with a situation- trust in this, it will be why your experience can and will NEVER mirror someone else's. Fuck the guidebook- don't worry about missing the bus... actually I'm encouraging you TO miss the bus. 

Worry about what YOU are doing and not others opinion of it. Buy cosmetics in squeegee bottles/ sachets (Thank you Aesop you little beauty), Get rid of anything that comes under a header of 'rigid'- that includes ideas. Pack: take out 2/3's (think you can't live off this?!) and wish 1 month later you took 1/2 less again, wear comfortable shoes and laugh. For god sakes don't forget the last one- ever.

P.S: Check out how big the collections have grown on this post! 

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Moena Moxham Art is on display and for sale at the world class ARATOI Gallery Wairarapa- YEEoow!! Bronze, glass, embossings and prints are all available to view and purchase.

ARATOI Gallery Wairarapa

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SHODOSHIMA - Bangin Art and Island Life = Purrfect

MeiPAM Gallery

MeiPAM Gallery 4- there are two levels and 6 ROOMS!  ^+^

Moving on from Naoshima Islands back across to Shodoshima Island in the direction of Hijime I came across THE COOLEST collection of galleries in Tonosho, Shodo-Island. MeiPAM have four locations around the village for you to find and explore... and one is a museum dedicated completely to MOSTERS! (EEeeeeeEEEIIIIIieieiei!!-- O.M.G- soo bloody cool!)

Inrō 印籠 with Netsuke 根付

My family collected Japanese antiques, artefacts and especially hanko stamps and Netsuke 根付 which are the small sculptures that hang with the Inrō 印籠 (which is a small multi-layered lacquered box) off the kimono. The are fantastically intricate, made and carved out of the most beautiful materials, and often depicted nature, animals or stories and deities.

These little sculptures are the precursors to the modern danglies we see hanging off cellphones and bags everywhere :)

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Wandering around the windy streets takes you to the four locales- you have a swipe card to enter and take your time through the exhibits. This relaxed atmosphere really adds to the whole experience. I loved chilling at the one below watching the video in the rocking chair ^=^

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There is lots to do in Shodoshima, The Olive Park and Marukin Soy Sauce Museum were superb, the Onsen at the Oliven a winner overlooking the islands and beaches from the hills- the only challenge at the moment if you are not bilingual is that everything is in Japanese. SO not quite as easy to navigate as the other islands which have had more time and money invested into their infrastructure. This is changing though- I stayed with Mitsu and her boys, whose new contract is to implement just this thing... and the friendliness, relaxed atmosphere and great things to do by far outweigh this blip.

The Setouchi Art Festival (Trienniale) coming in 2016 covers all the islands in this area and from what I have seen will be a must do! This coming theme is INDIA! WOOP!

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& to knock it off, a wee bit o' Moena Moxham Poetry....

NiNi Shodoshima  ^-^