A Fenland house possessing all the pretension and self-importance of a full-sized house. I could see Dougal having a problem with the scale of this one… Is it small? Or far away? Who lives in a house like this?
The rotunda at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds.
‘Discover the flamboyant conceit of the 4th Earl of Bristol. A magnificent Italianate Palace in the heart of Suffolk’. Source: National Trust.
‘Flamboyant conceit’… well I guess we’ve all known a few individuals of that persuasion.
Architectural wonders are scarce in the Cambridgeshire Fenlands; as rare as vertiginous mountains and bottomless fjords, but the stone edifice of Ely Cathedral has a surfeit of gothic melodrama and visual splendour. Even so, as all Fenland landscape photographers know, without the backdrop of an energetic and animated sky rolling in from the Fens, the daily performance remains muted and constrained.
Having produced far more than my fair share of very enthusiastic, but sadly uninspired images of Ely cathedral, I feel I am well qualified to climb on my soap box and expound on the topic. Of course, the other essential and inevitably more critical component……is to have your camera with you, just in case cathedral and sky decide to stage their occasional double act.
I just can’t resist the aesthetic of abandoned buildings. Yes, I know it’s a photographic cliche but there was something about this particular building that caught my attention. This was a house that had surrendered to the inevitable, engulfed by weeds and brambles and sinking beneath a tidal wave of vegetation, yet somehow it remained stoic and dignified. A personification of managed decline and acceptance in stone and slate.
For the photographers amongst you, I agree, I should have used a graduated filter or at least bracketed the exposure for the sky. On the plus side, the bleached out sky emphasises the symmetry and shape of the house.
Gyles’ Quay is an isolated stretch of beach located 1 km south of the R173/R175 road on the Cooley Peninsula in the north of County Louth in Ireland. It was named after Ross Gyles who built a wood structure there in 1780. It was later rebuilt in stone in 1824 and survives to this day.
I have been looking through some old hard drives and came across a set of images from a visit to Hong Kong. This was taken in 2006 with a Canon 40D and 50mm f1.8 lens. Hong Kong is a very exciting city and nothing short of paradise for a street photographer. I’ll keep checking through the various files and folders and see what else I have in storage.
The late afternoon sun transforms an ordinary scene. Windows and doorways become dark rectangular shapes and intense sunlight reflects from plaster walls. In these images of geometry and order I see echoes of the surrealist Magritte, the mysterious city streets of the Italian artist Giorgio De Chirico and the cool detachment of the American painter, Joseph Albers.
For those of you also interested in the technical aspects of photography this image was taken on a Fuji X100s using the excellent Fuji Acros film simulation setting.
Please feel free to share your own thoughts and ideas.
River City is a mixed media acrylic painting on a canvas frame. It belongs to a series of paintings loosely based on the city of Cambridge. We can never really know a particular place or location, not in a purely visual sense, not even through the so called objectivity objectivity of the camera lens. There are so many different ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting; our view of the world is a subjective, personal experience. It changes as we change. The Cubists new a thing or two about perception.
I developed this painting through an exchange of ideas, thoughts and materials, you could call it a dialogue. What you see here is the result of many ‘conversations’, a constant give and take between what I think I have to say as a painter and what the painting says to me. A painting will invariably contradict me and tell me I am mistaken, on the wrong track. Sometimes, I delude myself into thinking I am in charge but I know my place; ‘painting’ is a collaboration, a combined effort, an ongoing debate. What you see here is a partnership between planning and accident, conceit and humility, confidence and deflation, wisdom and foolishness, seeing and not seeing.