Blue skies and art

I’m a fan of Ramon Robertson‘s work. The Glasgow-born, Auckland-based sculptor explores themes of urbanisation, mass production and human engagement with the built environment, often placing stylised human forms in structural contexts.

Gravity Bag (above):

… is a black timber tower standing at 280 cm with a group of 15 concrete figures standing on top.

The figures depict senior architects, junior architects, planners and contractors who are experimenting with the idea of wearing sand bags to work out an alternative way of assessing the gravity pull on built structures. (Sculptor of the Week — Ramon Robertson, Our Auckland, 11 February 2016)

Because much of his work involves figures — often garbed in unusual ways — atop plinths, to see it close-up means looking upward into surprisingly characterful faces molded from concrete and resin.

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In context. Gravity Bag, by Ramon Robertson, installed at the Auckland Botanic Gardens for Sculpture in the Gardens, 2015-6.

We visited Sculpture in the Gardens on a perfect blue day, and I love the contrast between the intense blue sky and the figures — which themselves are a contrast of light and shadow.

Posted to Ragtag Daily Prompt | contrast, and Lens-Artist Photo Challenge | look up

 

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The Changing Seasons, September 2018

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Detail, Diminishing Returns, sculpture in bronze by Bing Dawe. Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay, NZ. Image Su Leslie 2018

Spring flowers and art.

Both of these things make me happy, but throw in good company, good food and some wine — and I’m positively beaming.

September has delivered on all of these things, almost simultaneously in the last few days while the Big T and I have been on holiday in Napier.

On the east coast, about 400km from Auckland, Napier is a city in Hawke’s Bay. In February 1931, it was at the epicentre of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake which killed 256 people, injured thousands, and devastated much of the region, including destroying most of the buildings in central Napier and the neighouring town of Hastings.

Both Napier and Hastings were rebuilt, with much of the new architecture in the Art Deco style. Today, Napier is considered one of the finest Art Deco cities in the world.

Five major rivers flow into the Hawke’s Bay region, providing huge areas of fertile land for agriculture, and more recently viticulture. Local vineyards produce award-winning wines, so naturally T and I tasted a few (along with locally brewed beers and ciders).

It would have been wrong not to.

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.

UPDATE

Here is what September looked like for some other bloggers

Max at Cardinal Guzman

Sarah at Art Expedition

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Deb at The Widow Badass Blog

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Lee at Ladyleemanila

Klara over at lessywannagohome on Blogspot

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Ju Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Little Pieces of Me — who joins us for the first time.

 

 

 

 

But is it art?

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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.

Dwarfed

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

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‘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.

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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.