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

Seven day black & white photo challenge: day three

Detail of statue seen in Aigantighe Art Gallery, in Timaru, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2018

I’m joining Sarah at Art Expedition in taking part in the Seven Day Black & White Photo Challenge.

The rules are:

Seven days. Seven black & white photos of your life. No people. No explanations. Challenge someone new everyday.

I know the rules say “no people” but truly, despite appearances, he’s not real.

And I don’t really do the “challenge someone” thing, but I invite anyone who’d like to join in to do so.

Three day quote challenge, day one

Detail, Future Islands, New Zealand’s exhibition at Venice Architecture Biennale, 2016. Seen as part of travelling exhibition at Tauranga Art Gallery, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

I have learned that to be with those I like is enough. — Walt Whitman

Ju-Lyn at Sunrise, Sunset has invited me to participate in the Three Day Quote Challenge. I’m very happy to be part of this; other people’s wisdom often finds a place in my blog and it’s always good to have an extra reason to share quotes that are meaningful to me.

The Rules of this Challenge:
1) Thank the person who nominated you
2) Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 post each day )
3) Nominate 3 bloggers each day

So first of all, thank you Ju-Lyn.

I have an on-going problem nominating people to take part in challenges.

On one hand, it’s an acknowledgement that I am interested in what you have to say, and on the other, I know that we’re all pretty busy and don’t necessarily welcome an extra “opportunity” to blog.

And then there is my concern that the people I don’t ask might feel slighted … and on top of that, when it comes right down to it, we actually occupy quite a close-knit blogging community and there’s a good chance that many of you reading this will already have been invited.

SO … if you haven’t already been shoulder-tapped and would like to join in — please do.

I for one am happy to read all the extra words of wisdom (or fun) that are sent my way.