Wordless Wednesday

“Men Looking” — cast glass sculptures by Graeme Hitchcock


But is it art?


Gnome sweet gnome? Su Leslie 2018

“There is no abstract art.  You must always start with something.
Afterward you can remove all reality.” — Pablo Picasso

Picasso also said “we all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth”, while the American art philosopher, Arthur C. Danto described art as “embodied meaning” — apparently to distinguish Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes from actual Brillo boxes.

So is my image art? It contains a stripped-away (and colour-inverted) image of  art — a cast-glass sculpture by Gregor Kregar (Creature exhibition, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui.)

Is it whimsy? A comment on homelessness? Or is it nothing more than a collection of pixels to which you each will respond in your own way? Please let me know.

Debbie at Travel with Intent started me on this train of thought with this week’s quote-inspired challenge. If you haven’t already, pop over to see her wonderfully abstract images.



Antony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’ — with a few visitors. Image: Su Leslie, 2013


‘The Angel of the North’ 1998 — artist Antony Gormley. Situated on the hilltop at Birtley, in Tyneside. Image: Su Leslie, 2013

If I’d looked more closely at Deb’s One Word Sunday last week, I’d have rationed my “huge art, tiny people” shots from Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park, Auckland, so as to have some left for this week’s word | Dwarf.

But I found these (pre-DSLR) shots of the magnificent ‘Angel of the North.’ At 20 metres tall, it definitely dwarfs its human visitors.

Art on a giant scale

As an art form, sculpture often plays with scale. At Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park north-west of Auckland, twenty seven world-renowned artists were given carte blanche to create works on a giant scale.


Richard Serra. Te Tuhirangi Contour, 1999/2001 (56 Corten steel plates 252m x 6m x 50mm). Located at Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2015

For example, Richard Serra’s wall (above) is 252 metres long and six metres high, while Bernar Venet’s corten steel arcs stand at 27 metres in height. Dismemberment, Site 2 by Anish Kapoor is an extraordinary 85 metres long and lies nestled between two hills.

One Word Sunday | Giant

Ironic juxtaposition?

Ironic juxtaposition? 'What Makes a Real Aussie?" poster showing 1916 ID photo of Monga Khan from Afghanistan situated next to "NO ENTRY" sign. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

‘What Makes a Real Aussie?” poster showing 1916 ID photo of Monga Khan from Afghanistan; poster campaign by artist Peter Drew. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.
– Ansel Adams

Posted to Debbie’s weekly quotation-inspired challenge, at Travel with Intent.


The Changing Seasons: June 2018

Low cloud hangs over hills and the Whanganui River at Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie 2018

Late afternoon rain clouds, Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie, 2018

While some months can certainly be summed up in a single image, June hasn’t been one of them.

The first part of the month was shaped by my father’s admission to hospital. He’s nearly 86 and has a series of medical problems. On the plus side, this means that any change in his condition is taken seriously by his doctors and he receives swift and usually excellent care; on the minus side it’s incredibly worrying for my step-mother and for me.

Visiting my dad entails a six-hour drive through some of the North Island’s most beautiful countryside (well it would be six hours if I didn’t stop to take so many photos). Whanganui itself is a lovely place and turned on one day of glorious sunshine during my visit.

My drive home was also favoured with brilliant — if not particularly warm — sunshine. An early morning stop in the small town of Hunterville revealed these beautiful frosted roses in a series of little gardens lining the main street.

Back home, and relieved that my dad is recovering, I could turn my attention to a project I’m working on with artist Claire Delaney to document the life of her studio over a year; this month hanging out at a couple of weekend workshops as well as a regular weekday class.

June has been particularly special in the studio as it’s where Claire hosted the launch of a book she illustrated. Dining with Vikings, written by local chef Penny Webster, is part cook-book, part family memoir.

The shortest day has now passed, and while the weather will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better, we are now heading back towards a time when the outdoor furniture will be covered in food rather than leaves.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.


See how June has played out for other bloggers:

Max at Cardinal Guzman

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Garry & Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Joanne at My Life Lived Full and Following a Bold Plan.

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Klara who’s joined us again from Brussels.

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Deb at The Widow Badass

Mick from Mick’s Cogs


Tote-ally chuffed (yep, pun intended)

tote2 (2)

Weekend craft project; my new tote bag. Su Leslie 2018

I’m doing the happy dance today. My feeling-a-bit-meh-stay-in-and-sew project from the weekend has turned out way better than expected.

Sewing is one of the many things I do with considerably more enthusiasm than skill. But for all that I often hate the results of my labours, I do really enjoy the processes.

The tote was meant to be a simple solution to my twin problems of having a) lots of art and craft materials, and b) no dedicated space in which to use them.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that my stuff was  dispersed through pretty much every room in the house. A huge tidy-up followed (you know the one that includes thoughts like “so, that’s where the screen-printing ink ended up” and “hm, don’t remember buying 10 metres of white satin ribbon”).

tote2 (1)

The art bag. Su Leslie 2018

My tote isn’t quite that ambitious. It is designed to hold an A4 watercolour pad, paints, pencils, brushes and assorted painting doo-dahs and I’m happy to report that it does this rather splendidly.

BUT … it’s also much nicer than I anticipated and it seems a bit sad to keep it at home, lurking in a closet or corner.

SO … I’ll probably test-drive it as a new handbag. And I guess I’ll just have to make myself another art bag.