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

old Austin grill

Agricultural Show 2 – Grilled To Perfection

Our local agricultural show features many different events and exhibits some of which were grilled to perfection! I should say groomed to perfection as the time an effort people put into presenting their animals or artefacts is obvious. But my take on the show today features old tractors and cars belonging to local enthusiasts and it is the patterns of grills in particular that I focused on.

Grilled to perfection

M F or Massey Ferguson is a well known manufacturer of tractors going way back, but there were others as well and whatever the colour of their paint, including the bright pink of one of the old Austin cars, it was their grills, or perhaps I should say grins, that interested me.Continue reading

ripples

Scottish Seas 3 – The Subtleties of Surface

The surface of the sea is constantly changing – colour, pattern, texture – it all depends, from moment to moment, on the changing conditions of light, wind, currents and the pull of the sun and moon.

surface colour

However rough or calm the sea is, the changing patterns on the surface of the water can hold my attention for a long time. The longer I look, the more subtleties I see and although there is an overall rhythm to the motion, that too changes gradually as the tide gently rises and falls against the rocks and seaweed – see the video below.

The longer you sit quietly, the less you are noticed byContinue reading

bullrush

Nature on the Banks of an Inland Marina

I was slightly surprised on my walk this week in Northampton to find a marina – Northampton is land locked and not far off the centre of England. However, this inland marina was not for sailing and motor boats, it was for canal boats and there were plenty of them.

River Nene lock gate

The photo above shows one of the locks on the River Nene. I thought the sepia treatment of the image added some character to what was otherwise a fairly ordinary feature. What I really enjoyed about these water ways wasContinue 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

zig zag

Zig Zag and Twisted – Perspective, Steps and An Urban Soundscape

On this, the third side of my triangular urban walk this week, my main focus (or perspective) is on steps. It was a long set of scaffolding steps that I originally wanted to photograph and which turned into a walk round the block that revealed some other angular and twisted (spiral) steps. I was amused by the “floating” gate below which advertises the entrance to The Forge.

spiral steps

As someone who enjoys many different aspects of metal I couldn’t resist the first perspective shot below of the structure and pattern of shop front shutters, but as I turned the next corner I was also taken by the colour, repeating pattern and perspective of the short terrace across the street. I found other perspectives Continue reading

Uplands landscape

Punctuated By Ice at The Waterside

My walk this week has been around the lake at The Waterside – Felindre and seems to have been punctuated by ice. Indeed, the whole language and grammar of the posts has been dictated by the freezing icy conditions.

Icy Punctuation

Influenced as I am by the things I see and hear around me, I look at the light and shade, the patterns and textures, and I wonder what it would feel like to touch, to run my fingers along some of the surfaces of frozen water, hard ground lightly dusted with snow or old reeds and rushes from last year as they poke through the semi opaque sometimes mushy lookingContinue reading

Icy grass skirt

Clothes of Ice

The top end of the lake round which I walked last week seemed to be wearing a range of icy clothes. I suppose I might be forcing it a bit, but the idea came to mind when I took the shot below and thought this rock in the stream had a flouncy skirt look about it.

Flouncy ice

And then I saw the submerged half frozen grass at the edge of the silt pond and thought “Wow! What great effect.”

The last two shots in this short sequence are clearly not references to clothing,Continue reading

tree moss and ice

My Walk this Week – Freezing Over

My walk this week braves the bitter wind blowing across Britain from Siberia. I have never seen ice like this on our local river, the Afon Dulais, but despite this and the fact that the rest of the country was under thick snow, we had next to none of it! The “beast from the east” and Storm Emma brought high winds and bitter cold but we were disappointed not to  get any snow when seemingly all around us a colour, texture and acoustic change was taking place across the land.

Afon Dulais ice

Never mind, despite the ice feeling like it was inside my fingers, I still enjoyed my walk and the sights and sounds were still different to normal, but more of that later in the week. There was still someContinue reading

Focus on rust

My Walk this Week – All A Bit Marshy

My walk this week is a bit marshy, but not boggy! I hadn’t been down to our local salt marshes on the Loughor Estuary for a while and as the weather was unusually dry,  it was an opportunity to see how things had changed as they undoubtedly would have done in some ways.

I never get tired of seeing this environment – it has the quality of peacefulness and tranquility when it is dry even with the motorway traffic in the background. The day was still with little or no movement other than the slow flow of the half full river as the tide receded. The subtle swirls of the current gave a gentle distortion to the reflected pattern of clouds, but there was unquestionable evidence in the form of gaping cracks that there had been slippage of the river bank as a result of high tides and fast flowing water.

A makeshift rusty barrier was constructed as an extension to the wooden fence that prevents cattle reaching an area where the marsh grasses give refuge and residence to some of the birds that enjoy this habitat. I disturbed what I think was a beautiful looking corncrake but wasn’t quick enough with my camera to get a shot of it.