On windy days and disappointment

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Apple blossom. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Snapseed and Aviary Photo Editor.

It is proving to be a miserable Spring here. Too cold to work in the garden for long and so windy that the blossoms which so recently promised so much, are struggling to remain on the trees. The lawn is spread with prematurely browning Kowhai flowers and I fear for the Tui who should be feasting on them. And although it’s getting dark later in the evenings, I’m not at all tempted to go out into the blustery twilight we are experiencing night after night.

So much for the season of rebirth and renewal.

My melancholy; my general grumpiness and sense of being somehow cheated, actually surprises me. Once upon a time — when I had a career and ambitions of corporate greatness — my life was lived so entirely in the artificial world of offices, bars and cafes that I hardly noticed the passing of the seasons. Now — when I can no longer answer the question “what do you do” according to the employment-related expectations of those who ask such a question — I am constantly and acutely aware of the natural world.

Of all the photos I have taken recently, this one captures the discontinuity and perplexity in my world right now. The flowers look staged, as though the branch has been chopped from the tree and taken indoors. It looks like an imitation of nature, re-created in the studio, and rendered in black and white for artistic emphasis.

But the shot was taken in a local park; real flowers on a real tree.

It’s just that, like our Spring, it really doesn’t seem that way.

This week the theme of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge is black and white.

Playing with line and shadow

Could it be more black and white? This sign at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand repeats the words of a World War I recruiting poster.

Could it be more black and white? This sign at Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand repeats the words of a World War I recruiting poster. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, colour-edited with Pixlr Express.

Amongst the visual arts, sculpture is one of my favourites. I also love the interface between two and three dimensional art. The piece above sits high above an exhibition space at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand in Wellington. The words are from a World War I recruiting poster. At the time, New Zealand was a British Dominion and was swift to follow Britain in declaring war on Germany and its allies. Almost ten percent of New Zealand’s population served in that war, and this tiny country of around one million souls suffered a casualty rate of 58 percent – amongst the highest of any nation in the conflict.

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Coiled wire sculpture fixed to a white wall. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, colour-edited with Pixlr Express.

With some embarrassment I admit that when I took these shots, I didn’t note down the name of the artist, or the work – something I feel quite bad about as I know how important it is to acknowledge the creativity of artists.

I loved these two pieces; elaborate coils of wire attached to a white wall. As the light changed throughout the day, visitors experienced different patterns – and indeed different sculptures.

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Coiled wire sculpture fixed to a white wall. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, colour-edited with Pixlr Express.

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Kerrie Poliness, ‘Black O’. Installation at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. Photo: Su Leslie, 2013. Shot with iPhone4, colour-edited with Pixlr Express.

Kerrie Poliness is a Melbourne-based artist. This installation at the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, NZ consists of lines drawn directly onto the walls with black marker pen – creating the illusion of three-dimensionality.

This week at Lens and Pens by Sally, the challenge theme is black and white. You can join in here.

Six Word Saturday: Christmas shopping all finished

Photo: Su Leslie 2013

Photo: Su Leslie 2013

After the rush; time to relax.

Here are some other Six Word Saturday posts I liked:

http://whenwordsescape.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/six-word-saturday-121413/

http://sandraconner.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/six-word-saturday-my-life-today-in-6-words-2/

http://moreatforty.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/six-word-saturday-6ws-5/

http://lingeringvisions.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/six-word-saturday-its-snowing-again-time-to-make/

Six Word Saturday

http://genealogysisters.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/six-word-saturday-a-portrait-by-bachrach-but-who/