суббота, 19 сентября 2009 г.

On the 11-th of June I got my first cover from Slovakia. I really liked the envelope - they always are nice when they are decorated and since I'm interested in politic, the topic of the envelope and stamp is just foor me! I also got Europa 2009 stamp inside. Thank you so much, Milos!

The independent and sovereign Slovak Republic is one of the youngest countries in the world, although Slovaks are among the oldest European peoples. Due to unfavourable geopolitical and historical circumstances, Slovaks achieved their sovereign and independent statehood only 15 years ago, on 1 January 1993. The territory of the present Slovakia was compactly and continuously populated by the ancestors of the present Slovaks, most probably since the end of the 5th century. In the 9th century, they created a powerful early-feudal state, in which the foundations of the statehood of several Central European nations were laid along with the foundations of Slavonic culture and literature. This state ceased to exist at the beginning of the 10th century, but generations of Slovaks have acknowledged it as the fundamental element and origin of the national state-forming history. For a further near-millennium Slovaks lived in the Kingdom of Hungary, where, at the end of the 18th century, after the origination of modern nationalism, they strived for autonomy and self-government. As the central government of the Kingdom of Hungary rejected such claims and, on the contrary, aimed to create an ethnic Hungarian state, at the end of the World War I in 1918, Slovaks created a common state with the Czechs – the Czechoslovak Republic. As the Czech and Slovak Republic was not able to resolve all issues concerning their mutual relations, in 1992 Czech and Slovak politicians decided to separate the state peacefully and calmly, creating two independent states. The previous common state ceased to exist on 31 December 1992, and the independent Slovak Republic was declared on 1 January 1993.
The stamp depicts the map of the Slovak Republic highlighted by the Slovak national tricolour. Inside the borders are the symbols of eight central towns of the self-governing regions into which the Slovak Republic is subdivided. In the background of the stamp is a stylised emblem of the European Union, which the Slovak Republic joined in 2004. The first day cover shows the location of the Slovak Republic in Europe. The motif on the FDC stamp is the Mount Kriváň, which is the unofficial symbol of Slovakia.

On the 27-th of May after 23 (!!! yeah, letters from Slovenia go really fast :( ) days of travelling I got this letter with the stamp devoted to the Olympiad in Bejing. I'm always glad to get such stamps! Thank you Kristijan!  

On the 4-th of June after 12 days of travelling I got just amazing letter with nice stamps on the cover - 10 anniversaire of Euro and 2009 Europa Astronomy stamp and the complete set of Portugal 2009 Euro cept stamps. Huge thnks to Luis!

Cover from Poland

On the 29-th of May after 8 days of travelling I got this awesome cover from Poland which I was looking forward to. I can't say that I really collect art stamps, but I really like modern unordinary art. You can learn more about these great works here: 

The work

Władysław Hasior was an outstandingly original artist who never copied any trends. In his work he utilised various kinds of material, including some finished objects (such as dolls, pitchforks, mirrors) and fragments of others. That was because he claimed that the traditional sculptor's medium is not capable of conveying the message he wanted to send. He used to say "I'm using materials which have some meaning. Each and every object has its sense, and if you put them together, you get an aphorism. [...] I believe the artist's work consists in provocation, both in the intellectual and the creative aspect." 
In his outdoor creations the artist utilised fire, water, wind, sound and glass. One of his original creative inventions was using holes made in the ground in order to cast cement figures. Critics saw the influences of Dadaism, surrealism and pop art in Hasior's work. He was also inspired by folk arts, and was a careful observer of everyday reality, in particular that of the countryside. The artist liked to watch and document the cheap aesthetics of something he called "county arts"(sztuka powiatowa), which he then referred to in his work. He also reached into the mythology and conjured up memories of the war, invariably presenting the subjects in an unconventional manner and attaching new meaning to trite symbols, mixing macabre and cruelty with grotesque, irony and jest. His exhibitions were full of controversy, but at the same time prompted the viewers to reflection. 


Hasior's assemblages, inspired by religious procession banners, started to appear in the mid 1960s. Although they were constructed with the use of fabric, plastic objects, wood, metal or glass, the artist called them "paintings." They are very large, reaching between 1,5 and 4 metres in height and around 1 metre in width, and they are a mixture of both solemn symbols and the everyday aspects of life, which is seen from their titles such as: The Banner of St. Pensioner (Sztandar Św. Emeryta), The Banner of the Bird Spider (Sztandar Ptasznika), The Banner of Mona Lisa (Sztandar Mony Lisy), The Banner of Poland (Sztandar Polski), The Banner of the Black Angel (Sztandar Czarnego Anioła), The Flinging Blaze Banner (Sztandar Blaskomiotny), The Banner of Ecstasy (Sztandar Ekstazy). The artist used those banners in his outdoor performances such as the procession called The Feast of the Blooming Apple Tree (Święto Kwitnącej Jabłoni) in Łąck. 

New Stamps and First Day Covers

On 14 July 2009 ten years will have passed since the death of Władysław Hasior. Poczta Polska has prepared a series of four stamps featuring photographs of the artist's works - his assemblages: The Herald (Zwiastowanie) and The Fly (Mucha), and the Banner of the Green Poet (Sztandar Zielonej Poetki) and The Night Undressing Banner (Sztandar - Rozbieranie do snu). The first day covers feature the works entitled The Locust (Szarańcza) and The Sacrificial Banner (Sztandar Ofiarny). The issue is accompanied by an occasional date stamp, in use in Warsaw 1 Post Office.

Thank you very much, Andrzej!

On the 25-th of May after 11 days of travelling I got this fauna cover from Poland. thank you, Andrzej

The World through the Lens

Tomasz Gudzowaty (born in 1971) is one of the best and most prominent Polish photographers in the world. Although Gudzowaty is a trained lawyer, it is the photographer's passion that earns him recognition. His works have been repeatedly awarded in the world's most prestigious contests such as World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism. How do such unforgettable photographs come into being? Their author explains: "When I take a picture I aim at making it impress itself upon the (viewer's) memory, I want it to be touching and do justice to the ambience of place in which it is taken...". Tomasz Gudzowaty starts out as a photographer of nature. The period of the interest in nature results in creation of such photo cycles as, among others, "Paradise Crossing", a photo essay showing the migration of huge herds of antelopes, gnus, zebras, which as every year, have to ford the Mara river snaking across the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This is the moment crocodiles wait for. Their teeth and the river's current contribute to the death of thousands of the animals. Nonetheless, there is nothing that can stop this annual ritual from taking place. The white-and-black photographs present a resplendent but brutal world of African fauna. The struggle for survival, reliance between predators and their prey become everyday illustration of this world. 
After years, Gudzowaty's main focus shifts to sport. Yet, it is not typical sport but exotic one that attracts his interest. The photographer creates outstanding cycles presenting Shaolin monks performing exercises, training Hindu yogis, classes in a Chinese acrobatic school, Indian female boxers or Mongolian children taking part in traditional equestrian competitions Naadam. Co-author of several of the cycles is Hungarian photographer Judit Berekai with whom Gudzowaty has been working since 2004.

New stamps and envelopes on First Day Cover (FDC)

Poczta Polska by publishing a four stamp series entitled "Animals of Africa" makes use of Tomasz Gudzowaty's ingenious photographs that represent cheetahs, zebras, antelopes, gnus and elephants. The photographs that appear on the stamps and FDC envelopes were taken in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana during 1998-1999. Two of them "First Lesson of Killing" (stamp's nominal value PLN 1.55) and "Paradise Crossing" (stamp's nominal value PLN 2.40) have been awarded in the World Press Photo contest. The publication is accompanied by an occasional date stamp, to be used in Warsaw 1 Post Office.

Cover from Poland

On the 16-th of August after 8 days of travelling I got this nice cover from Poland. Thank you, Andrzej!

Who knows what fate human race would have faced if it had not been for navigation. Navigation was appreciated by the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Vikings... But for ships, there would not have been any trade development, new lands would not have been discovered, the wars would have been different. A Romans' maxim "Navigare necesse est" ("To sail is necessary") reflected perfectly the necessity of navigation. Through centuries, the sailing ships prevailed on the seas. Even though they were majestic and gorgeous and driven by the power of the wind, working there was not easy. Not until the 19th century were they ousted by ships propelled by steam power. In this day and age, sailing is, above all, sport and hobby. The training vessels are used to train future sailors.
The races of the tallest and prettiest ships attracts masses of admirers of sea and all those who have dreamt of remote, adventurous sea journeys. During such events as the one in Gdynia, everybody has a chance to set their foot on board of a real sailing ship.

Regatta "The Tall Ships' Races"

The idea of the races dates back to the 30's of the 20th century. First regatta took place in 1956. Since the 70's the races have been ran annually. Aside from sizeable sailing ships, the competition is also open to smaller racing yachts. Gdynia received the races three times in 1974, 1992, and 2003. There are over a hundred of units, mainly training ones, participating in this year's regatta on the Baltic Sea. The races lead from Gdynia to St. Petersburg. The next port hosting the flotilla is Turku in Finland, and the last one Lithuanian Klaipeda. The races take place during the first and third phase whereas the second phase is devoted to cooperation, exchange and mutual meetings of the crews. Each port receiving the regatta has multitude of attractions - exhibitions, concerts, fairs, crew parades and first of all, the final Grand Parade of Sail.

New Stamp and envelope on FDC

On the occasion of the Tall Ships' Races, Poczta Polska issued a stamp in block. The stamp presents a silhouette of "Dar Mlodzieży" against the panorama of the port of Gdańsk. "Dar Młodzieży" is a frigate built in 1982 that belongs to the Naval Academy of Gdynia. The FDC envelope presents the ships as though they were observed through field glasses - equipment worth having during such an event as the races in Gdynia. The issue is accompanied by an occasional date stamp in use in Gdynia 1 Post Office.

Cover from Poland

On the 23-rd of May after 15 days of travalling I got this cover devoted to the World Filatelistic Exhibition which took place in China. Thank you, Andrzej!

Between 10 and 16 April 2009 the World Philatelic Exhibition took place in Luoyang, in the Chinese province of Henan. The exhibition was organised under the auspices of FIP (Fédération Internationale de Philatélie). China had previously hosted exhibitors from all over the world during a show in Beijing in 1999, and between 1999 and 2003 held similar events for Asian countries. This year's exhibition in Louyang gathered philatelists from over 110 countries worldwide. More than three thousand collections were presented. Such events are an opportunity not only to display valuable resources, but also to learn about philately in the world as well as exchange experiences and network new trade relationships.  

The city of the peony

Located in the central part of the country on the river Luo He (since the origin of its name), Luoyang is one of the oldest Chinese cities that represents an important centre of trade. During the reign of most of the Chinese dynasties, Luoyang was the nation's capital. The city, as well as its surroundings, abound with tourist attractions such as the famous Longmen caves featuring statues of the Buddha carved in rock or the White Horse Temple dating back to the 1st century AD, which is the oldest Buddhist monastery in China. The symbol of Louyang is the Peony flower which has thus been adopted as the graphic logo of the exhibition and was presented on numerous postage stamps designed especially for this event.

Cover and Europa 2009 stamp from Spain

On the 19-th of May after 14 days of travelling I got this letter with the mint Europa 2009 stamp of Spain. Thank you very much, Jose!

Back from USA

I'm finally back from my summer US trip and now continue blogging!