That same afternoon (16 May) we had a tour of the Thomas Hardy cottage. It’s been decades since I read Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles and I scarcely remember them. The guide told us a lot about Hardy’s life and his family’s history in the area. I took a few pictures – click any of them to see them enlarged to full size.
Jane Austen House
The Jane Austen House was mere minutes away. There was a lot to see and a lot of information to read. Here are a few impressions. Click any image to see them all enlarged and captioned.
Once again, visiting photo galleries, I manage to find the mirrors and make a troublemaker of myself.
In the same camera-making class mentioned in my last post, Peter Renn turned the room itself into a camera obscura (a dark room) with a large single lens you can see in the first image. It has a focal length of something between 1000 and 2000mm, casting a massive image circle. In the first picture above you can see the lens and part of the image on the floor. In the next couple of images you can see different parts of the image transmissively through a large, hand-held roll of tracing paper bringing different parts of the image into focus by moving back and forth. Next we used a large foam stage flat, and I took pictures of different parts of the image projected onto it. Click any of the pictures to see them all full-sized.
I’ve posted pictures of St Andrew’s Church and churchyard many times. I finally went in and took some pictures.
A mysterious underground grotto, halfway down a steep hill in Margate was worth a look. Discovered in 1835, its origins remain unclear. Click any picture to see them all enlarged.
Billed as the largest art space outside London, The Turner Contemporary (named for JMW Turner, the English landscape painter) was somewhat disappointing from the point of view of how much art there was to see. Here I’ve shown images that are mostly more about the space and the light than the exhibits. Click any image to see them all enlarged.
Hotel Room View
Canterbury Reflections and the Abbé Suger
According to Wikipedia, the Abbé Suger, “(c. 1081 – 13 January 1151) was a French abbot, statesman, and historian. He once lived at the court of Pope Calixtus II in Maguelonne, France. He later became abbot of St-Denis, and became a close confidant to King Louis VII, even becoming his regent when the king left for the Second Crusade.”
I remember learning in Art Humanities at university, that he called stained glass an analog of the virgin Mary because of the way light passing through it created something of beauty without penetrating (that is, breaking) the glass, as Mary was presumed to have been impregnated by the holy spirit.
Modern galleries always have vast expanses of white space, (often) neutral white light, and interesting geometry to photograph. It strikes me there’s something about the capitalist hegemony of the art world about this, a set of signs or a sub-text letting you know your place in this sacred hierarchy but beyond the obvious fact that such space in the poshest parts of the patrician cities of the world is terribly expensive and therefore you are being suffered to be allowed in, I’m not sure I can articulate it precisely. Certainly the way gallery staff ignore hoi polloi is a sign of something.
Modern galleries present a lot of opportunities to take stark, geometric pictures.
Click any image to see them all full-sized.
Seems like every gallery I go to, I find a reflection of myself down a corridor in a doorway.
We traveled into London last Tuesday to do some research in galleries for my current semester project. Train to Waterloo, tube to Piccadilly.
Brown Painted Head
John Davies’ sculpture is outside the room where our student show, The Gathering was housed. I was struck by the sculpture and how the colored window striping and lights contrasted with it.
Galleries and museums, because of their preference for white walls and a kind of deluxe starkness, often provide geometric black and white still life opportunities. I’ve often photographed corners, nooks, and chairs in such places.
Cul de Sac
Centre for British Photography
The Centre for British Photography opened just last weekend so I went up to London to see it. Our course leader, Anna Fox, had one of her books featured (My Mother’s Cupboards and My Father’s Words), as well as a role in the exhibit you see upon entering, curated by Fast Forward, of which she’s the Director.
It was an interesting mix of strong conceptual work and, in the basement a more traditional set of documentary photography, The English at Home, by well known names in British photography (like Martin Parr). I was particularly taken and inspired by the Jo Spence exhibit and Heather Agyepong’s Wish You Were Here. If you’re in London it’s well worth a look.
…is a fine place for reflection.
Reflection of the library shelves through the library window an reflected back onto it from the building opposite.
The next morning, in bright sunlight, I noticed the reflection from the window on the kitchen backsplash (see last post).