“Let’s take a walk along the beach before the tide comes in …”

Browns Bay Beach with Rangitoto Island in the background. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

Browns Bay Beach with Rangitoto Island in the background. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

The title of this post comes from the song “Andy” by Don McGlashan and  Harry Sinclair — otherwise known as The Front Lawn.

Everyone has songs that make them cry; silly, unreasonable tears that flow because words and music touch a chord.

“Andy” has always been one of those songs; a lament for the brother who will never be there to celebrate birthdays, weddings — any of life’s milestones. Walking on the beaches of Auckland’s North Shore — specifically referenced in the lyrics — tends to remind me of this song.

 

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: macro

Decaying flower. Wilted but still cololurful. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Decaying flower. Wilted but still cololurful. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Though we’re in the midst of spring, I’m feeling very aware of life and death as turns of the same wheel. The blossoms that have been so prolific on our fruit trees are falling; the petals  turning brown on the ground. What’s left behind are the tiny fragile fruit-buds which offer the hope of a harvest to come. But caught in this moment between flower and fruit, the over-riding impression is of decay.

Editing this image of wilting flowers; I realise that I feel a kind of melancholy. I’m looking forward to the fruit, but missing the beauty of the flowers.

photo 3

Decaying flower; re-edited to better convey my pensive state. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. This week’s theme is macro.

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: 11 November

From the entrance to 'Scars on the Heart' permanent exhibition, Auckland Museum. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

Photograph at the entrance to ‘Scars on the Heart’ permanent exhibition, Auckland Museum. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

— Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), For the Fallen

Six Word Saturday: … from the Bondi sculpture exhibition album

photo 4

Elaine Miles ‘Tidal Pools #3’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

photo 1 Elaine Miles ‘Tidal Pools #3’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015


photo 2-2

Elaine Miles ‘Tidal Pools #3’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015


Elaine Miles 'Tidal Pools #3'. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Elaine Miles ‘Tidal Pools #3’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

 

“If I fell in love with you, where would it end?”

Lone surfer, Muriwai. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Lone surfer, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

One of the first dates the Big T and I had was to Muriwai Beach, on Auckland’s west coast. It was a mid-winter afternoon; we sat above Maori Bay, drank Guinness and listened to a tape recorded by New Zealand musician, Luke Hurley.

Japanese Overdrive –from that album — remains a special song for us. The title of this post comes from the lyrics, as does the line below, which captures perfectly how we’ve been feeling lately.

We could cruise in the country, but we’re lost in town. Concrete, glass and tarmac bring a pretty girl down.

Luke Hurley, Japanese Overdrive, 1986

Sunset, Muriwai Beach. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

We could never have imagined, sitting together with beer in hand, that years later we would be walking together on Muriwai Beach, planning our escape from the concrete, glass and tarmac that’s become so wearying to us.

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Lesie, 2015

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, New Zealand. Image: Su Lesie, 2015

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. This week’s theme is nature.

DP Photo Challenge: treat

Playing tourist; Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Playing tourist; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Travel is a huge treat for me. Unlike my partner, for whom overseas trips are frequent but mostly work-related, my journeys are few but mainly for pleasure.

Sydney isn’t exactly “new” to me, having visited a few times before. But last week was the first time I’d gone there alone, so was free to explore at my own pace. The excuse for my trip was to visit Sculpture by the Sea, an annual exhibition held at Bondi Beach, but I was also able to see some other fabulous art, meet a fellow blogger for lunch, and generally enjoy the luxury of a few days away from the routine of everyday life.

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

I love art, and sculpture in particular, so visiting Sculpture by the Sea was a real treat. I feel very privileged to have seen so many great works in such an amazing setting.

I’ve already shared some photos of the exhibition in these posts below …

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Careful

wordless

picture

 

 

 

 

 

… so I’ll only add a couple more.

Ben Fasham, BJF13. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Ben Fasham, ‘BJF13’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

photo-4

Michael Purdy, ‘Kings and Queens.’ Seen at Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015. This shot has been shared by @sculpturebythesea on their Instagram account. An honour — and a treat — for me!

When I told my son I was planning to meet up with fellow blogger, Margaret Rose Stringer (of Adjusting my Background), he (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) repeated back to me all the advice I’ve given him over the years about “real world” meetings with online friends. I guess this is the bit where I have to confess I, um, didn’t take my own advice — unless you consider the door to M-R’s building a “safe, public meeting place”. But I’m happy to report that Margaret Rose is for real; and as cool and interesting as her online persona. We had a delicious lunch, lots of laughs and set the world to rights. Thank you M-R — spending the afternoon with you, Jocie and the beautiful, reclusive Lui Stringer was a treat indeed.

Darling Harbour, Sydney, from Piermont Bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Late afternoon walk, Darling Harbour, with Piermont Bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

My first trip to Sydney was in 1988, not long after the Queen Victoria Building had reopened. Occupying an entire city block, George McRae’s Romanesque Revival design of 1898 was refurbished in the 1980s and is now home to lots of interesting shops and cafes. Architecturally ornate, I fell in love with its elaborate, luxurious magic on that first trip and always feel the need to revisit.

Queen Victoria Centre, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Interior, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This time around, the building was already decked out for Christmas, with a massive tree occupying the full height of the central atrium.

Detail, Christmas Tree, Queen Victoria Building. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Detail, Christmas Tree, Queen Victoria Building. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

However simple, fresh food, prepared with care is always a treat. In the foyer of a city building I was served this folded, toasted flatbread with tomato, and a rocket salad dressed simply with olive oil. Food like this inspires me; simple, thoughtful, visually attractive and delicious to eat.

IMG_6824

Tomato piadina with rocket; perfection. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week the theme is Treat.

Putting yourself in the picture: how to experience art in the 21st century

#bros #beach #OMG_sculpture. Taking selfies with works of art; is this how to enjoy art in the modern world. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.

#bros #beach #OMG_sculpture. How to enjoy art in the modern world. The sculpture is Dust by Norton Flavel. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

My post for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge is very late this week. I’ve been in Sydney to visit the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, and found posting from my iPad more than a little challenging!

Sculpture by the Sea is an annual outdoor exhibition that locates around 100 works of three dimensional art along a stretch of coastal walkway from Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach, Sydney*. The exhibition is free to attend and attracts many thousands of visitors — most of whom (like me) seemed to descend on it last Sunday.

photo 3

Visitors to Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2015, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

Experiencing art amongst a crowd is never particularly easy. It’s almost impossible to get an uninterrupted view of a work, and as for quiet contemplation ….

The flip-side of course, is that there is pleasure to be had in watching and listening to others’ enjoyment of particular works — especially children, who haven’t yet developed the self-censorship that inhibits adults.

But what I noticed about the Bondi exhibition that I didn’t see (or at least register) at last year’s NZ Sculpture OnShore exhibition in Auckland, was the huge number of visitors who seemed to regard the artworks as little more than a backdrop for their selfies. Now, as someone for whom photographing art has become a major passion (and who travelled over 2000km to Sydney to do just that), I’m hardly going to criticize other camera-wielding visitors.  But I watched group after group race up to a work, pose themselves with a smart phone at arms’ length, snap a photo and move on, barely glancing at the sculpture itself. Some posed themselves (or their children) on works — despite the prominent “do not climb on sculpture” signs — to get “better” photos.

photo 1

Did you get the shot? Tamarama Beach, NSW. Background sculpture is The Bottles, RCM Collective. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

The experience of art is uniquely personal, and free exhibitions like Bondi make it possible for many people who would never dream of visiting a gallery to see and engage with the creative output of a large group of talented artists. How sad then, that for some visitors, the focus seemed to be on themselves as central characters in a landscape that contained so much else to appreciate.

photo 2

Flying fish, by Gillie and Marc Schattner forms the backdrop for a photo. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

One sculpture in the exhibition specifically referenced the way mobile technologies have changed our world-view. Fabio Pietrantonio has sculpted two figures; boys playing video games on hand-held devices. Set against the backdrop of dazzling blue water, their focus entirely on the object in their hands, the work acts as a reminder of how easy it is to turn inward and ignore the beauty of the world around us.

IMG_6743

Figure from Fabio Pietrantonio’s Quotidanity “the brothers” Image: Su Leslie, 2015

—-

*There is also a sister exhibition at Cottesloe, Western Australia.