Sand and Wind – Public Art In Swansea Bay

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You could call these “sand sculptures”. That is surely what the wind on Swansea beach has been doing this week.

Nervous about the hazardous mixture of sand and cameras, the wind that blew those land surfers around on the beach the other day (see previous posts this week), didn’t stop me taking the risk and getting some low level shots of the public art work it was creating.

It is not in the same style as the work featured in yesterday’s post but over the years the wind and sand have blasted and changed those public art works in Swansea Maritime Quarter.

Swansea Sand

Swansea Sand

Swansea Sand

Swansea Sand

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Landscape Photography – A Personal View

Still enjoying the short journey home over the hills from Felindre, the local Welsh landscape is beautiful and it’s got nothing to do with the current good weather, honest!

My work over the years has taken me all over South Wales and although this has meant a lot of driving, it has also given me the opportunity to see different aspects of the landscape in all sorts of conditions. Whether it is local or more distant, you have to be there to really appreciate it. Photography can do only so much. Artists can capture moods of a scene with which you can best identify if you have been there or somewhere like it.

I do not describe the photography I do as landscape photography. Although much of it involves the landscape, the photography I do for StillWalks, I describe as environmental – natural and man-made. If you google landscape photography, you will be presented with any amount of spectacular photographs produced by a range of more or less well known photographers who have done all the “right” things in terms of framing the shot and finding the right angle, waiting for the light, etc.

Some of the scenes from around the world (both near and far) are truly amazing . . . yes, there is a but coming . . . but, some of the shots I see seem to me to be almost unreal or super-real, a bit like photo-realism in painting – it’s almost beyond belief. It seems as though there is no texture in the scenes and texture is something I am interested in, no doubt due to my other life as a tapestry weaver. It may be that in these textureless images, there has been some over-use of pixel smoothing techniques but I know of one photographer who does not make this mistake, if it can be called that.

Victor Rakmil is a photographer whose work I greatly admire and he writes an excellent blog much of which I would entirely agree with and learn from regarding technique. Take a look to see the texture that remains in his landscape scenes as well as the other photographic genres he covers.

I took the shots below on my way home over some of the lower lying Welsh hills. It was a hot a hazy day and for me, give a true (photographic) representation of the landscape as it was at that time in those conditions. Tomorrow I’ll have some more!

These and more photos can be seen and purchased at StillWalks PhotoShelter.

Bont Hills Bont Hills

Spring Interlude

OK I cheated – it’s not a spring as such and neither is it anything to do with the season but then, that’s why it is an interlude ūüėČ

My daughter has her Foundation Art year show coming up next week and she has been using all sorts of things throughout the year. This copper wire has been sitting on our copper coloured coffee table for a while and when she goes off to uni next September, I know I am going to miss her – especially as that will be both our girls gone.

You can see (and follow) her blogs here and here and you can see more of these copper wire photos on my Flickr site which I have not posted to for some time.

Copper Wire

PhotoShelter Galleries and Shop

Selected StillWalks photographs used in the StillWalks videos plus other images are now available to purchase either as digital downloads or as high quality prints in a range of sizes and finishes through the StillWalks PhotoShelter website.

StillWalks Equestrian Рthe StillWalks PhotoShelter website includes galleries of the equestrian photography Alastair does. Much of this is for Clydach Riding Club.

Images below are from a range of StillWalks photo galleries on PhotoShelter. Please visit PhotoShelter to see the available images for printing from each StillWalk and more.

Copyright restrictions apply.

Interactivity, Interventions and Sound Recording

Along the thematic timeline of my work with metal (see previous posts this week), “Conflict”, at this stage, is still playing its part in my move towards StillWalks. The Story of StillWalks refers to this and the first pieces I produced using still photography and sound were about presenting my internal conflict issues.

Through my interactive digital media work on school and community projects, my interest in sound and sound recording grew. Like all means of communication, literacy in the form used – speech (language), sight (visual), sound (aural) – comes with experience (and teaching).

I have been sound recording for some time now. My project work required mainly voice recording but with StillWalks the focus is on field recording. Over the past few years I have developed my aural literacy in this area and found that there is so much more to hear out there if you only learn to listen.

I guess my interest in the sounds made by metal stems from my work over the years actually handling the stuff!

The images below are available for sale – anyone interested should contact me.

Trees

“Trees”

Click below to hear a sound clip from one of my first video walks which incorporates field recording from a forest and . . . other sounds! This is a very early piece of work and it and others can be seen here.

 

Over the Edge

“Over the Edge”

The image above uses a screen shot of the spectral display (manipulated) from an audio file of flowing water.

Conflicting Arguments

The theme of “Conflict” in my work began to broaden over the years. My two previous posts (Dialogue and The Conflict of Working with Metal) illustrated my work as it related to a specific situation, that of the troubles and peace talks in Northern Ireland at the turn of the ¬†century.

The conflict in this piece is more personal and more general. The barbs still represent conflict but relate more now to the world stage rather than just Northern Ireland.

By now I have also become more interested in the physically contrasting  textures of the two materials, metal and wool, and how they interact. The pattern in the weave relates to the paper prints you sometimes see of DNA and it is this that relates to the personal element of conflict.

People often ask whether the barbs were inserted during the process of weaving or pushed through afterwards . . . it was the former. The barbs would significantly have damaged the weave if they had been inserted afterwards and, yes, there is blood as well as “sweat and tears” in this as well as other tapestries I have made. Don’t be concerned though, they were only minor scratches (for the most part) and a few rips in clothing!

This work is available for sale Рanyone interested should contact me.

Conflicting Arguments

“Conflicting Arguments” 85 x 120 x 10 cms

Conflicting Arguments

“Conflicting Arguments” 85 x 120 x 10 cms

Conflicting Arguments

“Conflicting Arguments” – detail

Dialogue

Dialogue is essential – no argument an ever be resolved without it. No matter how much fighting goes on, the argument will always be resolved through dialogue.

The peace talks in Northern Ireland 14 or 15 years ago were the original inspiration for my work with barbed wire in weave (see yesterday’s post).

“Dialogue” is another piece of work I made using the contrasting textures of wool and steel. The rods on which the weaving and barbs are suspended, wobble and waver if touched, and represented for me, the delicate, no, precarious nature of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time. It could be said that that precarious situation has continued to exist there, albeit to a lesser extent.

This work is available for sale Рanyone interested should contact me.

Dialogue

“Dialogue” 215 x 211 x 45 cms

Dialogue detail 1

“Dialogue” detail 1

Dialogue - detail 2

“Dialogue” – detail 2

The Conflict of Working with Metal

A couple of days ago I said in one of my blog posts, that I would try and explain my interest in working with metal. So over this week I am going to use some examples of my work in tapestry weaving, digital print and photography to illustrate the development of this interest. My work in interactive media has also played an important part in this.

I developed StillWalks in response to a situation with stress and internal conflict. The starting point of my work on the theme of conflict was during the peace process talks in Northern Ireland where I grew up during the 1960s and ’70s.

Combining barbed wire with weave was my way of representing many different feelings about the troubles in Northern Ireland. The pieces shown here are from that time.

These works are available for sale Рanyone interested should contact me.

Tapestry Weaving and barbed wire

“Tenses 3” ¬†25 x 25 x 3 cms. ¬†Photography – David wibberly

Tapestry Weaving and barbed wire

“Tenses 4” ¬†25 x 25 x 3 cms. ¬†Photography – David Wibberly