Thursday, 24 December 2015

Invisible Images.

Hello everybody.

Today is Christmas Eve. So may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, fulfilling New Year. I did say I would be back in the New year. As it happens, I've just completed a post for the Freshwater Environmental Ecology Trust, (FEET), which I am involved in. I thought it would sit very well on my own blog, so here it is.

Recently, Anne and I had a few days in York for the Christmas Early Music festival. Loosely speaking, you could think of "Early Music"  as mediaeval music. That's not quite correct, but most people will accept it as a working description.

Before we went, Colin, the director of FEET, suggested that I take a camera and record what was going on in York at the moment. He also said that I might like to try photographing objects from unusual angles. This is one of my favourite photographic techniques, so it fell in well with my ideas.

The following photos are a result of this.

To help put what you are going to see into perspective, I must mention that during my time at art school in the 60's,  I was introduced to a wide range of artistic styles and concepts, some of which will be seen here.  For those people not very much involved in art, the images may seem odd. I'll explain the ideas very briefly as they arise. For now, I must tell you that you may need to stop yourself from seeing the photos as they are, i.e. a building, and look at them outside of that situation. Take them as they are intended, an expression of modern art.

I really should explain the enigmatic title of this post, "Invisible Images".  Many of the photos below are every day objects such as buildings, but presented in unfamiliar ways. The viewer has to alter their perception of the subjects and see them in a different light.

Things like buildings covered in plastic while being renovated, are commonplace. If we see them, we see just that, a building being worked on. We promptly forget them and walk away, or we ignore them. Therefore, in one sense they become invisible. The trick is to look at things in a new way and to look at small details of them in the same manner.

I saw the building below as sculptures, or art installations. When in art school, we were taught that sculptures define the space around them. That is central to the images here. I have not named them, as I think they should speak for themselves.

On with the show:


Jeanne Claude and her husband Christo, covered buildings, coastlines and other large objects, in cloth. It seems a little arty-farty to many, even pointless and self indulgent. However, it does reveal surface textures and outlines, while (in part) hiding the real function of the object, thereby turning it into something else.

Their work is reflected in the photographs of the buildings in this blog post. They cease to be buildings, they are more or less unusable at the stage you see them here. The alternative is to see them as abstract shapes.

If the above link does not open for you, copy and paste it into the address bar of your web browser.

A bit of a tip when looking at the following image. Take a look at the links below first. They are about the late artist Lucio Fontana. He was commonly accepted as the founder of Spatialism, he had connections with Arte Povera also. A few years ago, one of his "Slashed Art" paintings sold for a record price of $3.9 million at Christies.

For examples of his work in this field, type "Lucio Fontana slashed art" (without the speech marks) into Google and click on Images at the top left of the screen.

As soon as I saw the slashed plastic on the building, I thought of his work. The photo below is presented in that spirit.

Light enhances surface textures. This next shot demonstrates the importance of the play of light on a surface.

It's always advisable to view sculptures from different angles and in different lighting. The play of light on surfaces is one of the key things in some modern art. I only had my mobile phone with me the night I took these, so the resolution isn't great. However, to me, it seems to add to the abstract feel of them.

Now for a small collection of other images taken in York at the time. The photo below is of water marks on a marble wall. I found it in the Pizza Express, near Lendal Bridge. Ladies, I'm sorry to say that you will never see the original. I have given this one a title, it sprang to mind as soon as I saw it.


York was flooded while we were there, the shot below was taken on Lendal Bridge. It is the path people use (under the bridge) when people want to go on the river boats. The river was so high that the boats could not pass under the bridge. It was almost possible to step from the bridge to the deck of a boat.

Cenotaph near the Roman walls of York. 

In a tree at the top of Coppergate at 6:00 pm, (it was dark by then) we heard a Blackbird singing his heart out. People were stopping to look and listen to it. It seemed an abstract or dreamlike experience, so I decided to give the photo a more dream like look.

 The bird was opposite the 
small church below.

 Cliffords Tower, of course.

 In Parliament Square, the news papers were talking about 750 wagtails that were roosting in the trees just then. They occupied three trees. I only had a compact camera at the time, it wasn't up to the job. All I can say about the photo is that it gives some idea of the occasion.
Wagtails roosting.

 As I've been writing about buildings as art, I thought I'd show a good example of it. This is a university building at the bottom of Gillygate.

Below is a photo of York Station, on the day we left for home. The concept of a sculpture is, I hope, well represented by it.

To finish, below is a scene you are met with as you arrive at Huddersfield railway station. This is where we get off coming back from York. If you have seen photos of the Pompidou Centre in Paris, this photo may remind you of it.

Scaffolding as sculpture.

That's it. However, in the New Year, I shall do a follow-up post on York, with a few night time photographs. These were take during our short stay.  This  next post is to enable me to fulfil the remit Colin gave me.

I wish you all a very Merry, peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I'll see you in 2016, have a good time.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Hello everyone, and especially those from around the world.

I'm aware that some of my reader/viewers are from Islamic countries, so I wish you all the best for the following year.

This post is simply a Christmas card. Normal service will be resumed on this blog, once I have recovered from the festive season.

Below is a little card for you all. The photo was taken in York, (which is the capital of Yorkshire, for overseas readers). I took it in Coppergate, a couple of weeks ago, when my wife Anne and I were there for the Christmas Early music festival. Roughly speaking, Early Music could be thought of as Mediaeval music.

Some of you may remember that a few years ago ago, I played in a Mediaeval Music ensemble, for over two years. That was before I went back to being a solo, touring musician, singer, storyteller

Oh yes, we had a wonderful time when we were there, we always do. There is also a summer Early Music festival in York, which we go to.

Merry Christmas and a 
Happy New year.


Monday, 23 November 2015

Art from Insects Photography.

Hello everyone

This last month has been so full of things going on for me, some good and sadly some bad, including my wife Anne, breaking a bone in her foot. I felt I was struggling to keep my head above water sometimes. Still, I'm an old campaigner and a fighter, so here I am again.

One of the good things is that Anne and I have finished putting up all our Christmas decorations. We usually start about the 1st of November. We have a three floor house and decorate each room and both staircases, in a more-or-less Victorian style, in keeping with the age of the house. It takes a long time. I love Christmas.

On with the blog post anyway. Some weeks ago, my friend Darren suggested that I should be able create art from the photos of moths and other insects, which I take for the Freshwater Environmental Ecology Trust, Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve and UK Flora and Fauna blogs, (see the blog links here). By the way, the FEET blog is a members only one, so there is no link for it. Darren had been looking back over my blog, at the Post Industrial Art photos of mine. A fer years years ago, I showed him my Urban Explorations shots. It was at Darren's suggestion that I changed the Urban Exploration photos into something a little less sad. The abandoned industrial photos reminded him of how much industry our country has lost, due to stupid, misguided actions on the part of our government. No sooner said than done, I came up with a range of suitable images. So now, again due to a prompt from Darren, (hi Darren) here is the Insect Art, for want of a better description.

If any reader/viewer here comes up with a better term, I'd love you to suggest it to me. Just put a comment in the comments section of the blog.

Below are the images I've so far created, 18 in all. I'm quite pleased with the way some of them have turned out. I do have visions of creating some more later.

Hippie Butterfly


Blue Spot Ladybird

Butterfly Graffiti

Arabic Mosaic Tiles

Clouded Border Moth



 Doodle Bug

Glass Snail

Hover Squad

Ladybird Circle Dance

B Movie Poster

 Moth in Amber

Twenty Plume

Oriental Silk

Psychedelic Moth

Summer Days

Well, I hope you enjoyed those, for the record, Oriental Silk was completed last night.

Don't forget, if anyone has a good idea for a name for this type of art, please leave it in the comments section. I will credit the person who's name I choose as the one I like best, unless they say they don't wish their name to be mentioned.

Be kind to each other.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

British Birds

Hello dear readers.

For a change, I've found the time to put my next post up in a reasonable time. Hello to my Russian readers too, I notice that I've had several from Russia dropping in to view the blog.

Two weeks ago I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ72. I've had my Lumix FZ18 for seven years and although it is still working perfectly and looks as good as the day I bought it, I reaslised I needed to upgrade. The FZ72 has a 60x optical zoom and focuses down to 1 cm from the front of the lens,. in common with a lot of the other FZs. I fell in love with the new camera right away.

I thought I'd test the camera by taking it down to Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve, where as some of you know I'm a volunteer for the Freshwater Environmental Ecology Trust (FEET), which is a green organisation. I sat in  the hide at the bird feeding station for about two hours and took the following photos. It seemed a good idea to post them here. I've already done a blog post of them for the FEET members site.

I shan't talk about the birds, just show the photos: So here we go...

Male Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Great Tit

Blue Tit

Great Tit (left)         Blue Tit (right)

Coal Tit


Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker



And to finish off, a Grey Squirrel, they are resident at the site and I like them, hence including it here..

Grey Squirrel

With a little more practice, I'm hoping to get even better photos of the birds. 
So that's it for the moment.  I've not decided what the next post will be yet. It will be a surprise to me as well as you. Look after yourselves. Gordon.