It’s coming up to the 2nd anniversary of my Changing Views project. I started regularly photographing the view from my kitchen window in mid October 2016. This was the view this morning:
Click here to see the Changing Views project.
Click here to see the Changing Views project.
This evening heralds the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.
As Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman writes in the Jerusalem Post: Rosh Hashana is an opportunity for change. It is “not just the beginning of the Hebrew Calendar; it is also the symbol for renewal. This is when we begin to scrutinise ourselves and determine how we want to improve ourselves.” Rosh Hashana tends to occur in September, the date varies as the Hebrew calendar is lunar. I still get a ‘back to school’ feeling in September and the combination of the two events leads to some personal work, reflection and resolutions.
I’ve gathered together a few of my photographs featuring graffiti and street art tap into some of the themes and aspirations I have around this time of year:
Personal change – a quote from symbolist poet Paul Valery employed in this piece of street art seen in Paris, 2012, roughly translated as “Beautiful sky, true sky, look at me who is changing”
Next an encouraging motivational boost complete with affectionate kisses, seen in New York in 2016:
I prefer this more thought-provoking approach to making one’s own happiness – from the BE MIGHTY inspirational street art project by Terrence Kelleman:
Presumably whilst doing all this work it’s also a good idea to protect oneself. Here are a couple of reminders – this is part of a project by Uncutt Art seen across pavements in New York:
Seen in Brooklyn – Protect Your Magic – which I believe is a movement started by Fadia Kader:
On my most recent visit to New York I got a little pat on the back whist looking down at the road surface whist crossing the street:
For Rosh Hashanah this evening I’m preparing a bit of a feast. On the menu are symbolic dishes representing abundance and fertility. Ingredients include pomegranates, pulses and fish. This next photograph is a house sign seen in LA – not officially graffiti but hand drawn nevertheless:
Rosh Hashana to me also heralds autumn as well as a new year. I always used to hate the end of summer but am now much better at going with the flow. There was a song regularly sung at the autumn assembly at my kids’ primary school that I used to find lyrically so depressing; “Here comes autumn bringing the wind and rain; summer has gone for another year…” This example of New York street art combines positivity with a lone autumnal leaf. Have a beautiful day – and let’s embrace change.
It’s now been 18 months since I started the Changing Views Project. The view is one I see from my kitchen window, and looks out towards Kentish Town and the city beyond.
The first image from the project was taken at midday on October 15, 2016. Here it is below:
The most recent image was taken at lunchtime today – 15 April, 2018:
See the full project here.
Weather-wise It’s been a cold March and miserable, rainy and dull early April. I can hear the wind howl as I write this post.
This was the scene on a waterlogged Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath on April 1st :
The following photograph looks as if it were taken in black and white – it was in fact taken in colour but it was such a grey day:
Parliament Hill is also known as Kite Hill. Next are a series of images of kites and objects tangled up in trees that I photographed on the same day. The brunches are beginning to bud but are still relatively bare:
This building on the border of Parliament Hill Fields and Highgate Road still has a splendid sign on it’s brick wall boasting Beanfeasts: I like the juxtaposition of the building with the tree in full bloom, even though the reflected branches in the windows still seem to evoke winter:
On Highgate Road I took some photos that convey signs of spring but still have a wintry feel:
This next image still has autumnal leaves mixed in with vibrant spring flowers – a kind of seasonal mix
I’ve been gravitating towards capturing signs of spring in more urban situations too; next up are some photos I’ve taken that manifest aspects of spring in the arena of fashion. A woman in a pink coat in Carnaby Street:
Giant spring bulbs – a surreal window change in Regent Street:
Oxford Circus Station, where the advertising extends to the ceiling giving the illusion of an indoor sakura.
A couple of outdoor shots – this memorial tribute of bunched bright daffodils attached symmetrically to both ends of a bench was seen Highgate Woods:
This picture was taken one early evening in Exmouth Market. The little blossoming mini-tree has a beaded thread attached to its base, reminiscent of a wishing tree:
I did manage a grab a couple of hours of sunshine at Kew Gardens two weeks ago. Here are some images from that visit; the difference in the light is striking:
The other Thursday the weather was crisp and dry so I decided to seize the day and pop into Kew Gardens. Here are a series of pictures I took of buds against the dappled light; I think they are pussy willows:
Here’s a landscape format version where the diagonals suggest to me a monochromatic abstract expressionist painting:
Next are some photos I took at the stunning current installation on show at Kew entitled Life in Death by artist Rebecca Louise Law which is on till late March. Her artwork embodies themes of transience and the ephemeral, which are areas that interest me. Her work is also very beautiful; this large scale installation is an intricate display made from Law’s personal collection of plants and flowers, dried and preserved over a six year period:
I saw this young stylish woman whose floral head scarf topped with a lilac pink bow and retro shaggy coat looked fabulous in the setting so asked if I could take her picture. Her name is Farzana:
Farzana’s earrings are delicate, pretty pink flowers . Back outside there are signs of spring as exemplified by this pink dog rose:
I walked through Highgate the other day and spent some time in the memorial garden for the late George Michael who died on December 25 of last year. The garden is in the small green bordering his home on The Grove.
Here are some photographs I took at George’s Garden, which is lovingly tended by volunteers. They were busy sweeping and clearing up fallen leaves when I went there. I chatted with one of the women who was tidying and cleaning. I said I liked seeing the effect of the seasons and how the tributes merged with nature; she understood and agreed to a certain extent. I also empathise with the need to care and keep up the garden as a sign of respect so it does not appear neglected.
Looking up as well as down:
Seasonal additions such as hand-painted conkers have appeared:
Nature at work:
Close up of George’s Star in autumn:
Cleaning lanterns and sweeping up:
The volunteers sweep up massive bags full of leaves – a little angel peeps out :
The tributes were originally outside his home and on his car – here are just a few of the pictures I took with my phone in early January, nine months ago:
The elements leave their mark: raindrops form on this early tribute:
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: