Monday, 4 May 2015

A Year in Pictures – 30 April to 4 May 2015 – Shapes and Forms

Another few days go by and another backlog amasses itself like cars at a red traffic light. 

With no obvious inspiration or theme last Thursday, 29 April, I took a quick shot of the statuette (about one-third life size) of King Charles I that stands in the south-east corner of the church of St Katharine Cree on Leadenhall Street in the City of London. By the end of that day I was already thinking that—given the commitments of the following days—a backlog would occur, I decided to make sculpture the subject of a series of images.

I knew that on the Friday, 1 May, I could pass by one of the talking points of Twickenham: the group of larger-than-life-size female statues that stand in the gardens of York House near the river. They are sometimes simply (and not surprisingly) known as 'The Naked Ladies'. I thought when I first encountered them some years ago that they were a rather kitsch attempt to render in stone Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, but it seems that they are a small group of Oceanids, the 3,000 daughters of the Greek god Oceanus. Originally part of a larger assemblage of statues and fashioned for another location, where they formed the background to showy Edwardian garden parties, they are now owned by Richmond Council—a bit of a come-down for even minor deities, it must be acknowledged.

On Saturday 2 May I decided to go for something more abstract and a modest venture into still life. I arranged some objects found by my daughter on the beach at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex with a woollen scarf as background. The image you see is a merging of three photographs taken at different exposures, which my camera enables me to do with one press of the shutter. The photographs were grouped into a single image using the HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature in Adobe Lightroom 6 (oooooh!). Two of the objects—stones—were shaped by natural forces, while the shell is the result, to cut a very long story very short indeed, of the biological processes of a mollusc working on minerals. The fourth item—a small piece of glass—is mineral worked on by humans and now momentarily salvaged from its reversion to a "state of nature" under the powerful forces of the sea to form part of this little collection.

Sunday 3 May sees a bit more abstraction and a simple shot of a section of the outside wall of St Paul's Church Hounslow West. Again minerals have been hewn and shaped, this time to make part of a building that can hold several hundred people, has multiple uses and has stood for over 100 years (although it now needs some structural help).

Today, 4 May, I decided to finish off the run of images with an overtly abstract image, but of course it is of something physical: part of the smoothly plastered ceiling of my kitchen, whose angles and resulting shadows created by natural light have fascinated me since they were constructed nearly 10 years ago.

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