Do I approach it literally with the layers of a macaron or a cafe breakfast?
Or stacked container layers, gone awry in high winds?
More broken layers?
Or maybe layers in art?
And then there are layers created by the two-dimensional nature of photography; compressing landscapes into bands of colour and texture.
Not to mention layered images; double-exposures, super-impositions.
Obviously, I couldn’t decide which to focus on.
There is quite a lot of evidence that engaging in creative activities improves health — mental and physical. Writing, drawing, painting, making crafts or music, even doodling and colouring in — they can all help to focus our thoughts, increase our happiness, boost our immune systems and even help treat dementia.
I’ve experienced periods of depression for most of my adult life. Of all the treatments I’ve tried, what seems to work best is making stuff; focusing my mind and hands and energy on some creative project, however small. At the moment, it’s Christmas cards.
I’m always a bit reluctant to recommend anything, especially for something as serious as mental health, but there is a significant body of research behind this — and it works for me.
Posted to Six Word Saturday; hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent.
I spent much of the weekend in my friend Claire’s studio, photographing the painting and drawing workshops she was running.
In the quiet moments, I turned my lens on the studio itself, including the contents of a shelf tucked away in a back corner.
Regular Random is a photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. If you’d like to join in:
- choose a subject or a scene
- spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
- try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
- have fun!
- tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
When photography took on the role of offering verisimilitude from painting, it freed painters to experiment with new forms of artistic expression.
Now, the ubiquity of photo-editing tools offers photographers a similar chance to experiment, play, and test the boundaries of the medium.
In the past, “camera shake” and blurring made a photograph seem less valuable. Now such shots are just a starting point for creative play.
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso
I’m spending a long weekend with the Big T in Melbourne; one of my very favourite cities. Here are a few shots from my first couple of days here.
There are definite themes that emerge; my growing fascination with the minutiae of the natural world, my frustration with neo-liberal political and economic systems that devalue both human life and the earth upon which we depend, and a growing interest in the interplay between memory and image. And of course art; particularly sculpture. This last has also provided an excuse to indulge in another love — travel — taking me to Wellington for LUX Festival of Light, Gibbs Farm on the Kaipara, and Sydney for the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Bondi.
At Bondi, I noticed an alarming number of visitors treating works of art as little more than backdrop for selfies; this became the basis of my post Putting yourself in the picture: how to experience art in the 21st century.
A rainy day visit to the monumental sculptures at Gibbs Farm left me feeling renewed and awed at the juxtaposition of art and landscape (Art in the Outdoors: a vigorous antidote to melancholy)My friends Turtle Donna Sarten and Bernie Harfleet took their beautiful and thought-provoking work Feed the Kids Too to Wellington’s LUX Festival where it proved once again to be a hit with visitors.
Marx’s “all that is solid melts into air” graffiti’d onto rusting pipes beside London’s Thames provoked a piece on urbanisation and unchecked growth — a theme I had already visited in an earlier challenge — On the Half-Gallon, Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise.
Politics was never far from my thoughts in 2015, as the Big T and I joined many thousands of people around the world protesting at the proposed TPPA agreement.
Photo-editing as a tool to explore the relationships between image, emotion and memory became increasingly important to me, as I began to focus on the natural world and my place in it.
And sometimes I managed not to over-think and seek deeper meaning. Sometimes, I was able just to enjoy the moment and the images that captured that moment — particularly when it meant spending time with my son.
To Sally, many thanks for hosting this challenge. Thanks too to everyone who takes part and makes the experience so interesting, sociable and rewarding.
Wishing you all a very happy new year.
ngā mihi o te tau hou
I’m finding it difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the tragedies that engulf so many in the world. I’m thinking not only of acts of terrorism and the on-going refugee crisis, but the less visible evils that are visited upon us. In my own country government policies work hand in hand with corporate greed to create and exacerbate homelessness, poverty, welfare dependence, child deprivation and the long-term consequences of these for physical and mental health.
If feels sometimes that society, instead of being a strong membrane that holds us together, has become infected — a weeping sore through which evil seeps.
Not a cheery thought I grant you, and probably not what the artist who created the sculpture above was thinking. But I found myself looking at the shot with that gloomy thought in mind. Then I found Brecht’s poem below, reminding us that things are always more complex and nuanced that we might want to believe.
On my wall hangs a Japanese carving,
The mask of an evil demon, decorated with gold lacquer.
Sympathetically I observe
The swollen veins of the forehead, indicating
What a strain it is to be evil.
The Mask Of Evil
It is also a reminder of how much art and beauty can help heal us.
This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. This week’s theme is black and white.