York University

My Walk this Week 125 – Colour in Construction

I was looking for woodland on my walk this week – and I found it, to a degree, behind the colour in construction of the Science and Technology Block of York University.

York University

It was open woodland straggling along the back of the university which I picked up again on my return across open fields. The colours used in the modern buildings reflected those of older walls surrounding the adjacent York House BIRT facility. I enjoyed the colour in both as well as the textures and patterns in the old, and the cleanliness and hard edges of the new.Continue reading

red shattered rock

Coastal Curiosities 1 – Arranged and Sculpted Naturally

This week I am focusing on some of the coastal curiosities I found along my walks in Scotland last month. The wind and sea had been sculpting, as they naturally do, but people were also evident in the arrangements they left behind in the form of what appeared to me like a miniature straggling sea defence. A sea defence that was set higher on the beach than the highest tide level, at least for a few days, thus ensuring they would stay there for a while and allow me to photograph them in different lights.

miniature defences

The low sun in the evening also sculpted the appearance of the beach into a Martian landscape and the my daughter pointed me towards the Martian colours revealed in a rock formation split by erosion. This revealed a measure of timeContinue reading

sea and light perspective

Scottish Seas 2 – Evening Tide

Whether it is the ebb or the flow of the tide, the sea has a gentle gradient to cover in this part of South West Scotland. That does not always mean the waves are gentle but on this occasion the roughest it got can be seen in the third image of the sequence below.

evening ebb

The appearance of the weather in that image is exaggerated by the heavy grain effect I gave it. I like the effect but it tells a lie about the conditions, making them appear less favourable than they wereContinue reading

Sunset Scotland

Scottish Skies 2 – Evening Light

The evening light in my selected shots of sunsets in SW Scotland show the changing scene from day to day from different viewpoints. Almost all the photos were taken on different evenings but it is easy to take many, many photographs throughout just one evening as the sun sinks down and the light and shade and colours change above in the sky and below in the bay.

Low tide and lowering sun

Fewer clouds this year might have meant less drama, but I don’t think that is ever the case in this place. The skyscape / landscape / seascape is always mesmerising and holds my attention,Continue reading

dry grass

Low Flow and the Colour of Grass

The low flow of rivers and the colour of the grass has changed the landscape in the UK. Hosepipe bans are coming to the north and without sustained rainfall in the near future in the south, I can imagine that we will have them too.

low river

The river above is normally raging over the weir but with the reduced flow the soundscape is changed as well as the landscape. I haven’t produced a soundscape again this week butContinue reading

rosebay willow herb

From Pink to Pink – Wildflowers in the Valley

My walk this week follows on from one taken six weeks ago when the pink wildflowers in our local valley were rhododendrons – now the field of pink comes from rosebay willow herb.

rosebay willow herb

You could argue about the name of the colour either in the willow herbs, thistles or the rhododendrons and foxgloves, but they all sit within a narrow range of pinks/mauves/purples in Cwm Dulais. The rowan tree (also known as mountain ash) brings a touch of orangeContinue reading

Park path and wildflowers

Enjoying the Springtime Morning Chorus

My walk this week through the woodland of my local park was early in the morning and the Springtime birds were still singing their morning chorus. The sun was up and the day was bright and there is nothing like woodland sights and sounds to lift the heart.

Across the pond

As I circled round the far side of the pond and approached the children’s playground the birds and squirrels were going crazy. There were no children up early to play on the hoops and bridges, swings and slides of the playground, but a Blue Tit hopped around the bright painted apparatus andContinue reading

blue woodland

The Temptation of Bluebells

One reason for my walk this week through the woodland of my local park was to see the Bluebells that have grown up profusely in the past few years since the park has been managed by the Friends of Coedbach with the support of the council’s Parks Department. The temptation with bluebells when photographing them is to exaggerate the saturation of colour in an effort to replicate the impact a carpet of blue in woodland has on our senses as we walk amongst the trees.

woodland colour

They are amazing but however anyone processes or presents a photograph of them, the reality is that, at best, the image will provide a good memory of the last time you saw bluebells in the real world. I have tried to avoid exaggerating the colour in my photography of this phenomenon but looked instead for anglesContinue reading

evening reflection

An Evening with Marsh Grass

The tall marsh grass I enjoyed so much on my walk this week was enhanced by the beautiful evening light and the high tide which flows far up the River Loughor from the estuary. On this evening the level was perfect for a walk – not so high as to cover the surrounding marshes, but high enough to make the river brimful.

Riverside Marsh Grass

The result is a smooth mirror in the middle of the landscape, one that reflects all above and around it – the colours of the sunset and the riverside grasses. The surface was broken onlyContinue reading

Barbara Hepworth - Hieroglyph detail

Sculpture in Leeds

We didn’t have a lot of time to stay in Leeds on my walk this week but I still managed to take in some of the current sculpture exhibition at the Leeds Art Gallery. One of my favourites was this piece by Barbara Hepworth from 1953.

Barbara Hepworth - Hieroglyph

Barbara Hepworth – Hieroglyph

The title of the work, “Hieroglyph”, prompts towards an interpretation of the piece I suppose but not knowing the title at the time of initially viewing it, I didn’t think of it as being a hieroglyph. However, its language spoke to me in terms of surface texture and pattern, form and I guess, humanity and nature. The shapes of the hollowed out areas seem figure-like and looking through them to the other side had an essence of intimacy about it. I wanted to touch and caress its cool warmth! If such a contradiction in terms can be accepted, it is the only term I can find to express my perception of the piece while expecting the stone surface to be cool to the touch.

The Richard Long installation left me cool, if not cold. The impact of the work may come again from the contradiction (or should I say juxtaposition?) of the arrangement of the natural material and the space it is in, but for me it felt somewhat contrived.

The work that had the greatest impact on me, though I cannot say it was a particularly positive one, was the alabaster figure holding a bird to her shoulder by Woman and Bird by John Skeaping. The material had a strange effect on me and looking back at the VR shot I took of the room (see below), I think it may have been the sense that I was able to see inside the body at the same time as seeing its surface – I found it a bit disturbing. Again with this piece there was an element of contradiction – the apparent textures of the stone revealed through its changes in colour, pattern and internal structure was in contrast to its worked smoothness and  again there was the warmth of colour but the knowledge that if touched it the sensation would be of cold or coolness.

As with my previous post, if you click the VR image below on an iPhone or Android phone with the Google Cardboard Camera app installed, you will be able to view the full 360º of the space in virtual reality. On the linked image on your phone select the “Save to app” button and then fit your phone to the Google Cardboard device.

Leeds-sculpture.vr