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

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

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

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

Running Away (from a dark day?)

As we came out of the Great Glass House at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on my walk this week, I looked at the impending weather and took a couple of shots. I had noticed the family in the middle ground but only realised the symmetry of the children running away from each other as part of a game after I had taken the photo.

Running Away

Those dark clouds did catch up with us but not at this point in our walk when I was still interested in the growth andContinue reading

jewelled bank

My Walk This Week – Ready for Growth

My walk this week returns to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It was Mother’s Day here in the UK and we took the opportunity of our membership to visit at a time when so many plants and flowers are getting ready for growth.

prepared for growth

We can see the plants in our own garden getting ready for growth of course, but we do not have a team of volunteer gardeners and professionals attending to it and neither do we have the wonderful range of native andContinue 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

River grass

Reflecting On the Salt Marsh Landscape

Reflecting on my walk this week on the landscape of my local salt marsh I am happy that I took the walk when I did as I suspect this open landscape would have been even more cold in our recent weather than the walk I took at the tail end of Storm Emma (that will be next weeks posts).

Remains of last year

My focus on this walk has been more about the details than the open space and those details have mainly been the marsh grass and one or two of the features within it, such as the fences. I love some of the individual “marks” in this landscape – the spiky reflection of marsh grass in the river, the spiky barbs of a sinking fence, the spiky flicks of individual grass blades amongst the busy textures their stems, the crusty lichen covered surface of thin branches and the twirly wiggle of an old bit of rosebay willow herb from last year.

The audio element was there as well of course andContinue reading

Urban Dawn Walk

My Walk this Week – Early Bird

My walk this weeks starts in a multi-storey carpark in town. By early I mean about 5.55 am, which is why I was surprised that the first sound I heard on getting out of my car in this empty urban space was an early bird chirruping away! It was still dark and I was in an environment as far from natural as possible.

Multi-storey

It was interesting to experience the ambience and light (or lack of it) in this structure in its unusual empty state and I was able to check out the patterns revealed in the gloom. The background soundContinue reading