Miscl- Moments

Artist re: Money by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Dublin, 2015

Dublin, 2015

Why Money? 

Why we like money? Why we dig deep always for that money? Why we take time from our napping and sunning and singing and hunting and gathering for that Green? Not like Green in the grass way, not like Green in the apple in our eyes way but Green in the Green Greedy Goblin cha-ching in the eyes way? 

Why you think that Money Tree don't grow money but twist up and up like your insides when you realize it don't bear a dime or even a dime-bag for when you sad it don't bear a dime. Huh? 

When you gonna think about money like food. Like water. Like shelter. Like freedom. 

Forget about money.

For getting money.

Forge money.

Forage money.

When you recede by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Today was a strange day, I think because last night I had trouble sleeping. I lay there, floating in and out of my body in that cottony space between waking and dreaming. The backs of my eyelids alive with traces of light, exploding from darkness like fish flitting quickly through bioluminescent depths. Part of me is terrified of that vibrant stillness, and part of me wants to remain there forever. It's like being back in the womb, I imagine, where there is no up or down; no close or far or big or small or heavy or light. Just you before you were a You.   And the world turning on its axis, hurtling through space as if to say Silly Baby you don't know anything - you still think I'm talking to you? Psych that was rhetorical. No really shut up you're missing the point.

Today was a strange day, I think because last night I had trouble sleeping. I lay there, floating in and out of my body in that cottony space between waking and dreaming. The backs of my eyelids alive with traces of light, exploding from darkness like fish flitting quickly through bioluminescent depths. Part of me is terrified of that vibrant stillness, and part of me wants to remain there forever. It's like being back in the womb, I imagine, where there is no up or down; no close or far or big or small or heavy or light. Just you before you were a You. 

And the world turning on its axis, hurtling through space as if to say Silly Baby you don't know anything - you still think I'm talking to you? Psych that was rhetorical. No really shut up you're missing the point.

Lickety Split Personality (a riddle) by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

For as long as you can remember you've been putting one foot in front of the other. Occasionally along the way you've stumbled but ultimately you can't help but move forward, as the passage of time demands. You can never beat it - even in death, when gravity buries you deep; the earth isn't frugal with it's centrifugal and you will feel forever that the sky is made of quicksand.

But before all that becomes obvious to you, it's one foot in front of the other, like I said. Throughout many days and nights of walking you'll come to know stop signs and roadblocks and flickering street lights; sharp turns and cul-de-sacs and roadkill; breathtaking lookouts and vaguely helpful information booths. One day you'll arrive at a confounding fork and two brothers will be waiting patiently for your arrival.

One always lies and one always tells the truth, but you don't know which one is which. One fork leads to happiness, the other to despair, and you must find out which to take, but can only use one question to do so. What same question can you ask either brother to continue on to happiness?

First one to guess correctly gets a lollipop and some free bad advice.


Out of the Vault and Across the Bridge by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Out of the Vault and Across the Bridge ...

This one's from the vault.

I made this print when I was 13 and just getting interested in photography... back when I was using the real tangible stuff. To say I was rough with my negatives would be an understatement. I sliced them up and scratched designs into the emulsion. I left dust (the arch-nemesis of photographers and housewives alike) where it lay.

Despite this betrayal of the medium's integrity, I felt no remorse as I navigated a summer of experimentation. At that age, unacquainted with failure and brimming with a confidence inflated by chemical fumes in a light-tight room, I became a serial surrealist.

Who are these children split down the middle? If you were to shrink down and travel across their faces, you would be met with a fracture on nearly every plane - an abyss that would keep you searching and hopeless for miles, ever the stranger in a strange land. Eventually, though, you would reach the nose. That vast mountain of common ground. "How could I have missed this?" you'd say out loud (to no one in particular) and you'd proceed to carve "__________ WUZ HERE" into the ground before walking across the bridge.


Whirlwind Tour of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

I've been working on this one for a while, and it's been a lot of fun... Take a gander at why Montreal's annual circus festival is a world-class event - not to be missed! Whether you're into flying trapeze, flash mobs or miniature horses, it's all here - and more.

Must Sees - MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTMENT CIRQUE! by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin


Welcome to the topsy-turvy, titillating world of Montréal Complètment Cirque!  Although only 4 years old, it has rapidly earned its stripes as a must-see amid the dizzying array of Montreal summer festivals. Bringing together acts from all over the world, the city’s circus festival will redefine what you thought you knew about circus arts... and if you never thought about them at all - well now's your big chance!

It runs until the 14th, so you still have a few days to witness some of the action. I'm working on a video of the fest, so here are some footage stills and a few suggestions (click on highlighted titles for dates/times/tickets).

* * *


If you find yourself grabbing a drink on Rue Emery around 6:30, you will be treated to the combination of two things very Montréalais: the terrace and a good flash mob. Nothing can adequately prepare you for a flood of 40 acrobats as they take over the street, weaving in and out of crowds, tumbling, flipping and sweeping over terraces, all beckoning you -  dear spectator – to Babel, a truly awesome show at Place Émilie Gamelin outside Berri metro (7pm & 10pm).


CARPE DIEM (also free!)

When I was a kid, I went to the Verdun circus school, and to this day, at least in my head, I can still walk on stilts. Other wannabes can try their hand(s) on the trapeze at Parc Jean Drapeau from July 11th through 14th for a show and a free lesson with Cirque Carpe Diem.

CIRCA -  “S”

If you’re going to see any show, this should be it. The world-renowned Australian troupe Circa returns to Montreal with "S"… a breathtakingly seductive and transcendent performance. At times funny, always surprising, and impossibly intimate, I would see it again in a heartbeat.


FLIP FABRIQUE  – “Attrape Moi”

Québec’s own gem. Six young acrobats, all at the top of their game, have reimagined a summer reunion at a chalet in this amazingly creative and clever show. This is one of my favourites, and it seems I’m not alone, as two more dates have just been added for an extended run.


FABRIQUE MÉTAMORPHOSIS - Ironworkers Local 777

Conceptualized within the unique framework of the SAT, this one’ll turn you upside-down. Immersed in a 360 degree projection dome, the constantly rotating imagery casts the acrobats and audience alike in psychedelic light and sound – imagine being a goldfish on the Jimi Hendrix Experience tour. Can’t say I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.


* * *

Although I have yet to go, I’ve heard great things about Cirque Éloize’s “Music-Hall de La Baronesse” – a cabaret style show celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary at l’Olympia.

There's plenty of free stuff happening outdoors over the weekend (13th & 14th) at Place Émilie Gamelin outside Berri metro (same spot as Babel). So if you need another reason to fall in love with Montreal, check out the programming HERE and I'll see you soon.

Bon spectacle!

Best Ice-Cream in Mtl, Mannequins and Shenanigans by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Hello and thanks to all my wonderful supporters and followers! - your regular programming of travel photos, anecdotes and mini-essays will continue after this, with more content than ever... but in the meantime:

Above is a re-post of my entry into the contest, for those who are just joining me on this journey, and right below that - my first vlog as a Top 10 finalist for My Biggest Baddest Bucket List!

A huge thanks to everybody out there who voted for me in the first round, but did you know that you can do so again?

You, yes, you, can make all the difference in my quest for the final 6 month trip of a lifetime & $50,000, which I intend to distribute amongst worthy NGOs I encounter on my travels. If you haven't already done so, AND you liked my entry, AND you'd like to see the money go to something other than the most expensive chandelier I can find, then please click HERE and click on "support and follow" next to the video :


...And one more thing... if any of you know anyone in the tourism, media and/or mannequin manufacturing business, please be in touch, as I'll be needing all the publicity I can get!

I can now be found on:

Twitter @NasunaPhoto & Instagram: nasunaphoto & Youtube: Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Thanks again!

MONTREAL MUST DOS - the original vid by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Hey all you lovely blog readers/followers... welcome to my 3 minute whirlwind tour of my favourite city: Montréal!

This is my entry to My Destination's Biggest Baddest Bucket List competition, where I can win a trip around the world AND 50 grand! This is the craziest prize I've ever heard of, so I had to give it a shot.

I need your votes, shares & likes, so take a gander and vote away :) You can vote using one or all of the following: Facebook, Twitter, Stumble-Upon, Pinterest & Google+.

10 finalists are chosen in the first round, 5 which are picked by judges, and 5 picked by popular vote, then they head to the UK on an all expense paid trip and a new set of challenges! If I get that far then I'll pee my pants! But I can't do it without your help, so please take a second to vote here:


Voting closes March 31st (Sunday) so get your share on!


PS.    It was impossible to cram everything into this short video, even though I was running around like a madwoman, but I think I've captured at least a little slice of this city. What do you think I missed? I'd love to hear about your favourite spots!

Siesta Eternal by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin


My mother naps, wrapped in a hammock in Mexico. She is alive and well, but here, she seems to sleep eternally.

The other day I watched the film Amour, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and best foreign film at the Oscars this year. It shed light on the final stages of life, which I think few people dwell on until they find themselves there, and then they haven’t got a choice. That’s the scariest thing – getting to a place where you no longer have a say… where you can’t assert your identity. What does it feel like to lose control over your own existence?

I listened to a really interesting podcast this week by Radiolab called “The Bitter End” which wrestled with this question. They found that there’s a surprising gap between what doctors will do for us when death is near, and what doctors want done for themselves. While most of us would say: save my life at any cost, doctors know the invasiveness of many life-prolonging interventions. The majority opt for an earlier death soothed by painkillers, rather than a few extra months with a breathing tube. A study done in 1996 found that TV medical dramas depict CPR as having a survival rate of 75%, but I was stunned to learn that in reality, it's only 8%! And of that, only 3% return to a normal quality of life. No wonder our perception is skewed.

In the end, all living things share the same inescapable fate. I guess doctors think about that more than most. To me, the thought is simultaneously comforting and terrifying – the idea that we’re all in it together, and yet



… but what can you do?

Frolicking in God’s Pocket by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

adam.facepaint_1 When you find yourself alone in Tasmania, with melancholia and homesickness beginning to creep around your edges, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and swap islands.

Although I was halfway around the world, I’d been invited by my dear friend Claire to join her and a few friends at God’s Pocket - a cold water diving resort near Vancouver Island operated by her relatives. She was taking care of the place during the off-season, and wanted to share its serenity and beauty.

I had planned to continue travelling in Australia (Dive with whale sharks? Ride the transcontinental Indian Pacific line? What about New Zealand? I was so close to New Zealand!). I was paralyzed by choice for some time, sitting in a park in Hobart, ignorant that the Trees had Eyes behind me.

In the end, I flew back for the gathering, and spent an idyllic couple of weeks frolicking, dancing, exploring, cooking, eating, sleeping and skinny dipping every morning in the freezing cold sea – the plunge making me forget everything I know for a clean instant. Those same piercing waters were lit up nightly with phosphorescence, and at the time it occurred to me that the ocean held a mirror to the starry sky, just as it turns blue on a clear day.

Here, a fellow God’s Pocketeer is being decorated by his fiancée, one of many portraits from that adventure. There’s plenty more where this came from, since (as you may know) face-painting is contagious, and I will be posting more as I sift through them, but this is one of my favourites.

The Universal Wavefunction by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

IMG_9772 My friend Sarah is a dreamer and a creator. Here she is, looking over a wall on the boardwalk in Chicago, right before we went to Burning Man. It was a dreamy, spectacular summer of firsts: first time taking a transcontinental train (New York to San Francisco, in the company of Mennonites!); first time couch-surfing (our lovely host Michael skipped his first week of school to hang with us on the beach); first time attending a festival (if you’re a Burning Man virgin, you’re made to slam a big gong at the entrance and yell and scream and roll around in the dust, an initiation that will jolt you out of catatonia like a slap in the belly with a wet fish).

This moment, of Sarah peering over the wall…  for me it has the qualities of a hazy memory: idealized in palette and without the 3rd dimension. No future, no past, just a razor thin slice of what it feels like to look out into the unknown. Every possible outcome under your feet. To quote Stephen Wright (more or less) like having both amnesia and déjà vu at the same time.

I feel like this photograph all the time.

Saint Joseph, I love you. by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

St. Joseph, I love you

St. Joseph, I love you

My roommate, Sarah Jane Scouten, is an old-time bluegrass and folk musician with a weakness for flowery dresses (the one pictured here is my mother's). One day after breakfast, we rounded the corner and were struck by the blooming median strip on Saint-Joseph - like someone had unravelled an organic carpet right down the middle of the road. A photo-shoot was unquestionably in order. Later on, a local film crew fancied our style and gave us some granola bars and juice boxes for our effort.

Mail Order Chick by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Mail-Order Chick On a road-trip across the states, I stopped to mail myself a postcard, and found that I was in line behind a couple picking up their box of live chicks! Whether living on a ranch or in a penthouse, US residents can order a box of live one-day old chicks to their home. Every year, the USPS ships them by the thousands. Their busiest time is the weeks leading up to Easter, with around 200,000 being shipped per week.

The Trees have Eyes by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

The Trees have Eyes  

Strange things happen at dusk in Hobart, Tasmania's capital, during the Ten Days on The Island biennial festival. Every two years, the Australian state is host to hundreds of cultural events and art installations. I had been waiting in Franklin Square for my airport shuttle for two hours before I realized that the trees behind me were blinking. Craig Walsh, an Australian projection artist, was responsible for the eerie and mesmerizing faces, which would look around periodically as if to catch your eye. Next year's festival is scheduled for the 15-25 of March, 2013.

Stick n Poke by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Stick n Poke Friends gather in my bedroom for a DIY tattoo session. "Stick n poke" tattoos, popular with legions of broke twentysomethings, can be given with little more than a sewing needle and some India ink. The design is a beet growing out of her pants, inspired by the fresh-vegetable-nostalgia that plagues Montrealers in the long winter months.

Goodbye, my deerest. by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

Goodbye, my deerest. Here lies one of Santa's best and brightest.

My family and I were inside, cozy by the fire; static-infused Christmas carols emanating from the record player. The lights on the tree glowing through the night as the last embers flickered and smouldered. We fell asleep dreaming of a cinnamon bun morning, ignoring our dog's frequent and urgent bolts into the surrounding forest - so bloated were we with comfort food and lullaby levels of carbon monoxide.

Less than 100 feet away, a pack of coyotees took down their Christmas meal the old fashioned way.

A lesson in perspective for all those who find the holidays stressful - consider that you weren't stalked through the woods in winter and disemboweled on Christmas eve.

PLS KNOCK W/ THRMOMTR - The post-apocalyptic note by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin

PLS KNOCK W/ THRMOMTR - The post-apocalyptic note

Been in bed with a fever the past few days... all but quarantined in an extra staff bedroom. The camp thermometer had broken, and while my friends drove the long way into town to get one, I began to doze off.No! I thought (somehow believing they wouldn't wake me up). I must have that device! So, mind clouded by fever and finding it was getting dark, I searched my room obsessively for note-writing supplies. Unable to find a simple pen and paper, I set about cutting a stencil to civilization out of a brown paper bag.

This, of course, took way longer than searching elsewhere for a pen, and I nearly gave up several times, but I powered through - I was in this thing now, dammit.

I put it up after much fussing, and found it to be quite genius, but then going to sleep was impossible since I lay in bed waiting impatiently to hear my friends' reactions.

They said they never would have noticed it. Well it's been up for three days since and I'm never taking it down.

Read More