It’s 4pm on a gloomy and wet New Year’s Eve. As I looked out the window just now the slashing rain had stopped and there was a brighter hue detectable in the sky and little pink lights on the cranes on the horizon. I saw the word HOPE emblazoned on the bridge – and it did give me hope. 2017 was good for me in many ways but distressing and depressing when I think about world conflicts and the suffering of so many people. I despair at our inept and manipulative political leaders. But I’m also a believer in the potential for change and the power of people to influence things for the better. So here’s hoping for a better 2018 for all.
I’m very pleased that my CHANGING VIEWS project is the cover feature of my local newspaper Kentishtowner. I’m also interviewed in the paper by the editor Stephen Emms. Here’s the link to the online article.
A screenshot of the article headline:
I’ve been photographing a particular view – the view out my kitchen window – for the past nine months. I started in mid October 2016, at the height of Autumn and intend to carry on for a complete year. Beyond using the same camera and lens there is no rule or methodology. The inspiration is a particular light, atmosphere, cloud formation; the intent is to capture a particular fleeting and transient moment. Increasingly these transient moments have involved a chance spotting of men and machinery on the the train tracks whilst electrification work takes place on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. The images below have been taken at dawn, dusk, midday, in rain, snow, dazzling sunlight and fog. I am also curious to see the processes of change unfold, and the interplay of nature, construction and urban development in this specific cityscape.
Here’s the picture I took yesterday marking 9 months of the project:
You can see the progression of the Changing Views Project here:
I’ve been photographing a particular view – the view out my kitchen window – for the past six months. I started in mid October 2016, at the height of Autumn.
Here are a few of images from the project:
Check out the Changing Views project here:
I was privileged to go to Japan last November and witness autumn in several cities – some of these images can be seen on the Japan autumn gallery page on this website . That is a hard act to follow! However, London is teeming with beauty and colour at the moment, and I thought I’d show some images of urban nature that have caught my eye in the last few weeks. I’ve always believed that you don’t have to travel far to witness beauty and that you can find it in different ways on your doorstep. Here’s a picture of a graffiti and foliage covered wall at a London Overground train track:
There’s a wall in Kentish Town which for a short amount of time is ablaze with colour. This is ironic as behind it is the grey brutalist tower of the local fire station. I like the contrast between the two and am struck by this each time I see it:
I was walking with some friends last Saturday when I saw this spectacular “doubling’ of decorative imagery. A Persian carpet laid out on the pavement alongside the rug store, beneath the very same blazing wall of red leaves. I asked the shop keepers if I could photograph it with my phone, adding in my best Farsi kheili ghashange – which means it’s very beautiful. They were chuffed and amazed that I knew Farsi. I’ve also added the image to my Persian Kentish Town project which I’ve updated this week with several new images.
Last week I went to see the Abstract Expressionism exhibition at the Royal Academy. It’s not my favourite genre, though I’m into both Expressionism and Abstraction. In terms of 20th Century painting I love a lot of the work from the earlier part of the century, particularly around the years 1905 and 1906! However I did spend time standing in front of Jackson Pollock’s 1952 painting Blue Poles.
I don’t know if I consciously referenced this painting when I took the image below, but I know that in both cases I was drawn to the luminous splashes of orange as well as the strong repeated linear verticals and diagonals:
The above picture was taken a few days ago at Kew Gardens. I decided to get yearly membership after prevaricating for a while. I’m really glad I did; I found the whole experience pleasurable, including the overground journey there. The following pictures were all taken at Kew. It was a fantastically sunny day and looking up could see the deep blue sky in between the jewel-like leaves of the Chittamwood American Smoketree:
These turquoise and purple berries also caught my eye, looking almost synthetic and reminiscent of artificial candy:
Autumn is very much about beauty and transience; here’s a capture of the moment a leaf is shed:
Fallen leaves on and beneath the bench are illuminated by the afternoon sun, looking fiery. The pillar on the left is dappled with light and leaf shadows:
Here are a couple more images on the theme of autumn colour and leafy shadows:
The other day on the underground I saw a woman changing out of her high heels and into her flats:
I asked her if I could take a picture and explained that this was part of an ongoing series of images; however in the past it was women getting dressed up for a night out and changing into heels. See my earlier post Changing into Heels
This week I took some close ups of sculptures near the Tate Modern; I also liked the bright yellow of the autumn leaves just seen in the background. The artist is Emily Young:
Here are a couple of other images I’ve taken where sculpture and foliage interplay:
In the next picture I was drawn to what is missing – the headless cherub sitting on the figure’s shoulder:
And in this final image (taken in Windsor) I like the obscured point of view which results in a surreal fragmentation:
Yesterday I was walking in London WC1 when I saw an advert for the new iPhone 6 on a building facade. Above the advert a man was suspended by ropes; he was tiny in comparison to the phone. This reversal of scale reminded me of something – images employed by the Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov the Soviet in his iconic 1929 silent film Man With A Movie Camera. Here’s an example of Vertov’s imagery:
People are rarely photographed at work. If we look back at ‘family albums’ the bulk of pictures show personal history in terms of leisure, holidays and special occasions …
In this photo (taken this week) I like the oppositions; the contrast between the tarmac and the environment with the exotic rug, and the slightly surreal vision of seeing a man vacuuming outside!
I was at a restaurant last night and was struck by the elegance of my waitress, who had floral face paint on one side of her face. Turns out she is a ballet dancer and had been rehearsing for the Notting Hill Carnival before her shift. I also like the interplay of the dots from the fairy lights with the face paint, and the lurid colours form the different light sources.