Lonely Road to the Source

The source of the river Lliw lies in the upland area of the Mawr in Swansea. To get there requires a short hike across the hills from a road that feels like it is in the middle of nowhere.

This beautiful environment is not far from civilisation and the ease with which I can get from the hubbub of society to these wonderful areas is one of the good aspects of Wales.

Mawr Landscape

Source of the Lliw River

Starting at the Source

Looking for the source of the River Lliw on the Mawr upland area of Swansea, we started our search near another source. This is a beautiful area of  South Wales where there are a few quiet, still days in the year but mostly it is windy.

Mawr Upland

wind turbine

Seeing the Sea Wall – A Confusion of Scale

The scale of the sea wall separating Swansea beach and Swansea harbour can be seen here without to much ambiguity. However, when looking from the top end, at its lowest point to the ground, a confusion of scale becomes apparent.

While it seems from the top of the beach that the wall doesn’t “grow” in size much at all, as you walk towards the sea beside the wall, it becomes gradually apparent, until, at its highest point, you realise the true scale of it towering above you. The same effect of space distorted can be seen if you approach the wall “broadside” from a distance along the beach.

It doesn’t matter that I know the scale of the wall and have approached it in this way many time, that strange confusion of scale does its trick on my perception of it every time.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of spacial effect here or anywhere else?

Sea Wall rusty sea wall

Painting a Picture – Web in the Foreground

Sitting on the edge of the pier wall in Swansea docks, eating my lunch and enjoying the amazingly still day during the Mission Gallery Walk and Draw I went on last week, this spider web caught my eye.

There being hardly a breath of wind allowed me the opportunity to get a photo of it with the blurred colours of dockland buildings in the background. I really like those blurred colours – they make me think of this as a piece of abstract painting, perhaps one that has been sitting around in the attic for a few years.

Considering the number of paintings and pictures we have in our attic, that vision of this image doesn’t take much imagination. What’s in your attic?

spider web

Strange Eggs, Public Art or Floats

These strange egg like objects are of course dockland floats. It looks as though it is some time since they were used and they look almost like pieces of abstract public art as they lie there between the marina and the docks. If they were eggs, I wonder what their mother would look like?

giant floats

Focusing on Perspective

Walking out on Swansea harbour wall or pier, I had forgotten just how long it is – deceptively so. The tidal range in Swansea Bay is big in so far as the sea goes out a long way and I guess a tidal harbour in a location like this needs those long walls.

The distance and scale of the structure can play havoc with your sense of perspective and space.

Swansea Docks Railings

Swansea Docks Railings

Collected Jetsam

I assume that the piles of rusty and discarded objects we found collected together in Swansea Marina / Docks on a recent Walk and Draw (see previous post), were there deliberately and that their ultimate destination will be a scrap yard.

I have no idea what these objects are but it can be fascinating fun looking through all the strange forms and wondering.

Rusty jetsam collection
Rusty jetsam collection

Trolley Cemetery and a New View of Drawing

Decaying with time, these old trolleys create a strange cemetery in the mouth of the River Tawe, Swansea.

Those that already follow this blog will know that there is more to come throughout this week to tell the story of a recent walk in the docks/marina area of Swansea.

The walk was the second Mission Gallery Walk and Draw with Sarah Abbott that I have taken part in. On this occasion, while I did a little sketching, most of my drawing was with my DSLR camera, iPhone and small edirol sound recorder.

Having read that the winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize this year was sound artist  Alison Carlier, I felt that my description of drawing with my camera and sound recorder while out on pre-production recce walks for StillWalks videos, is perfectly valid.

With The Big Draw continuing throughout this month, perhaps it is an appropriate time to consider and enjoy the broadening definition of drawing.

trolleys in sand

trolley in sand

Old fence section

trolley in sand

Rusty Textures

The rusty texture and colour of this fence post fits perfectly with the colours and textures of the surrounding landscape of the Mawr upland area of Swansea in South Wales.

rusty fence post