My Walk this Week 150 – Weathering at the Botanic Gardens

My walk this week is at the National Botanic Garden of Wales where there was some weathering they could not control. Outside the Great Glasshouse the sun and rain, heat and cold have taken their toll on this metal plant label and the paint has cracked and peeled into a most interesting, map-like pattern.

weathered label

Inside the Great Glasshouse they can and do control the weather conditions for the different parts of the world represented there. So while there are times of year when everything in there seems so busy with growth, there are always fantastic colours, patterns and textures to enjoy whatever the time of year.Continue reading

patchwork landscape

My Walk this Week 142 – Circular Hill Walk

For my walk this week I started out early, when it was still quite dark, but this circular hill walk was really very enjoyable, even though the sun never managed to break through and the whole day was dim.

Early morning light

The day was just beginning for birds and builders alike and these start-of-the-day sounds accompanied me as I climbed Graig Fawr. Up on top the wind took over and gently buffeted me as I looked through the grasses and old brown bracken to the Loughor EstuaryContinue reading

sun rays

My Walk this Week 140 – First Walk of the New Year

My walk this week is my first of 2019 and I realised, while walking, that my first walk of every year for the last 18 years or so has been this same walk. Normally it would be with my wife and we would be walking, rather than driving, because I would not have been driving on New Year’s Eve.

trees and blue sky

My wife didn’t have her walking shoes with her and although I was sorry not to walk with her at the start of the year, this did give me  a better opportunity to stop and take photographs and do a little field recording, albeit on my phone.

It was a beautiful day with a blue sky and warm sun (for the time of year) but despite this I decided that some of the images should be monochrome.Continue reading

collapsing fence

My Walk this Week 131 – Wear and Tear – The Missing Post

Wear and tear is all around us all the time and at the turning point of my walk this week along the beach in Swansea Bay, the high, rusty sea wall that creates the harbour entrance is one of my favourite pieces of evidence of this.

This is the missing post from last week, the third of the posts for My Walk this Week 131 – I don’t know what happened but have just seen that the schedule time was missed!

rust spot

And the sea is one of the most powerful elements of erosion, wear and tear on the edges of landscape and it is so persistent and rhythmical in its insistence. Even on calm, bright days like this,Continue reading

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