DP Photo Challenge: solitude, final take

Woman dwarfed by Bernar Vernet's sculpture '88.5 degrees ARC x 8. At Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Bernar Venet, ‘88.5 ARC x 8′. Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park, Kaipara Harbour, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Apologies to those who have seen this photo before, but when I think of how joyous solitude can be, it is to be alone with my thoughts before great art.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | solitude

DP Photo Challenge: ambience, take 3

Interior shot of art studio. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Studio interior. Inspirations, materials, colour and a space to create. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I mentioned in yesterday’s post about spending time in my friend Claire‘s art studio. It was an interesting experience for me, sharing a creative space with others, but working on my own project.

Studio interior with finished works. Claire Delaney, artist. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Finished work by Claire Delaney, artist. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I’m sure the space itself — well-lit, colourful and joyous — helps the creative process.

Daily Post Photo Challenge ¦ Ambience

The Changing Seasons, October 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Close up shot of single gannet grooming itself.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perhaps it’s the improving weather, but October has definitely been a more active month than I’ve had recently — dodgy knee notwithstanding.

A still morning at Greenhithe Wharf. Looking up Lucas Creek towards Albany.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Early morning, Greenhithe Wharf. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Although there has been plenty of rain, it has seemed less relentless and the lowering cloud formations have often been photo-worthy.

Still water and lowering clouds at Otarawao Bay (Sullivans Bay), Mahurangi Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

A quiet afternoon at Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I’ve managed to escape the city a few times this month; for a couple of afternoons exploring local(ish) beaches, and a road-trip to Whanganui to visit my dad and do a glass-art workshop.

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

There are plenty of signs that spring is truly here; baby ducklings seen at Otarawao Bay, and nesting gannets at the Muriwai gannet colony.

Ducklings and adult duck. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Family outing, Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Close-up shot of nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I love glass as an art-form and have long wanted to try my hand at some sort of creative glass-based activity.

Whanganui-based artist David Traub runs one day workshops in glass slumping and fusing — both techniques within the capabilities of beginners.

Over the course of the day, we made two brooches/pendants, two slumped bowls and a glass tile.

Coloured glass pieces laid into a mould lined with kiln paper. This is the first stage in making a fused glass tile. There is no real way of knowing how it will look when the glass rods and shards melt in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Before. Making a fused glass tile was a total pitch in the dark. We laid coloured glass pieces into a mould lined with kiln paper, having no real idea how it would look when the glass rods and shards melted in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Fused glass tile. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After. Quietly pleased with the result. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The pendants aren’t quite finished — I have to glue on the bails, but the bowls have already been put to use. One of the advantages of the improving weather being that the Big T and I can enjoy a beer outdoors while bemoaning the size of the lawn we have to mow (ok, he generally does it), and planning our escape from wrong-sized living.

Slumped glass bowls holding nuts and olives. Perfect for pre-dinner snacks. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perfect for holding pre-dinner snacks. Slumped glass bowls, decorated with glass powders. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post is my contribution to The Changing Seasons, a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinal’s month, and find links to other participants.

There are two versions of the challenge:

Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

Portraits of the spirit

Detail: 'Jockey' by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Jockey’ by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

A gallery of clay figures; posed, painted, dressed. All different, but at the same time strikingly similar. One face in many disguises?

This gallery of characters forms part of the exhibition Jealous Saboteurs — a survey of work by Francis Upritchard, a New Zealand-born, London-based artist. They are clever and whimiscal — drawing on motifs and imagery from many sources.

Detail: 'Mandrake', by Francis Upritchard, Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Mandrake’, by Francis Upritchard, Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

In sculptures of the human form, the eyes are almost always blank — there is no discernible pupil or iris to give us the visual cues we draw from living people. So if eyes are “the window to the soul” — how do we read statues?

Detail: 'Potato Seller' by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Potato Seller’ by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Without the clues provided by body and clothing, what can we say about these figures, who all seem to share the same facial features. Can we discern, or perhaps imagine, emotions? Is it possible to create meaningful portraits of a statue? I’m interested in your views.

Detail: (name unknown) by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: (name unknown) by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: 'Yellow and Black Gown' by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Detail: ‘Yellow and Black Gown’ by Francis Upritchard. From the exhibition, Jealous Saboteurs. Seen at The City Gallery, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.

The title is from Robert Louis Stevenson, who said:

It is not likely that posterity will fall in love with us, but not impossible that it may respect or sympathize; so a man would rather leave behind him the portrait of his spirit than a portrait of his face. — Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

 

… a cube of sunlight

 

Black and white shot, Oriental Bay boatsheds, with St Gerald's church in the background. Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Oriental Bay boatsheds, with St Gerald’s church in the background. Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

I recently spent a long weekend in Wellington; the world’s southernmost capital city and one of my favourite happy-places.

Wellington is a small city, full of art and culture and great places to eat and drink coffee. Bounded by the sea and the hills, it works on a human scale. Everywhere is walkable, even in one of the howling gales for which Wellington is famous.

I arrived in the midst of such a storm. Throughout the flight from Auckland the captain warned that we might be in for a “bit of jostling” as our plane approached Wellington airport. He wasn’t joking.

Girls pose with the Max Patte sculpture, 'Solace in the Wind.' Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Waterfront sculpture. Max Patte, ‘Solace of the wind‘ — with admirers. Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Although the wind dropped a little over the weekend, it remained a grey and windy time — perfect for black & white photography.

Wellington street sculpture. Terry Stringer, 'Grand Head', Victoria Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Wellington street art. Terry Stringer, ‘Grand Head‘, Victoria Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Sculpture on Wellington waterfront. Michael Tuffery, 'Nga Kina', sculpture at Kumutoto Wharf, Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Michael Tuffery, ‘Nga Kina‘, sculpture at Kumutoto Wharf, Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

After the movies. Coffee and cake at kaffee eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After the movies. Coffee and cake at kaffee eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

'The Beehive', NZ Parliament building, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

‘The Beehive’, NZ Parliament building, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Indoor sculpture. Francis Uprichard, 'Mandrake', from Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

More sculpture indoors. Francis Upritchard, ‘Mandrake‘, from Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

The title of this post comes from the Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s poem ‘Blue Rain.’ An extract, below,  is included in the Wellington Writers’ Walk — a series of “typographical sculptures” placed around the city. It occurs to me that the phase “cube of sunlight” might also be applied to photography.

“Blue rain from a clear sky.
Our world a cube of sunlight –
but to the south
the violet admonition
of thunder.”

— Alistair Te Ariki Campbell. From ‘Blue Rain’ in The Dark Lord of Savaiki: Collected Poems, Hazard Press, 2003

Posted to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, at Lens and Pens by Sally.