Regular Random: five minutes (or more) in the artist’s studio

Claire Delaney, artist, illustrator and teacher at work on a portrait in her studio. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Claire Delaney, artist, illustrator and teacher at work in her studio. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Another session photographing my friend Claire‘s studio. She was teaching a class, but until I have permission from the women attending to post images of them, here are a few of Claire and the minutiae of the studio.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is 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 see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!
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Regular random: five minutes with a hibiscus

Close-up shot of apricot hibiscus flower, partially open. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Hibiscus flower. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Life is particularly full at the moment, as the Big T and I juggle work, family, friends and some home maintenance.

I’m off to Whanganui in the morning to visit my dad for a couple of days, but between rain showers today, I captured some shots of the sole hibiscus on our tree.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is 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 see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

Regular Random: five minutes in the flower beds at Albert Park

Close up shot of fly sitting on white daisy-like flower. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Right; this is a bit roundabout, so pay attention.

The other day I read Anabel’s (The Glasgow Gallivanter) post Hidden Histories (1) — about the ways in which women and our achievements are publicly commemorated — and it occurred to me that I could only think of a couple of public monuments to women in my city — Auckland.

One of them — the Practically-Compulsory-in-Former-British-Colonies statue of Queen Victoria — is in Albert Park, in the CBD. (Fun fact: we also have a Victoria Park, but it doesn’t contain a statue of Prince Albert.)

It’s Auckland’s Anniversary Weekend right now, and the city is busier than usual. That’s why I found myself in Albert Park yesterday morning at 8am. I duly photographed Queen Vic (post about monuments to women to follow). But since I’d paid for parking, I decided to hang around and take photos of the flower beds, which were bursting with these lovelies.

I think they are Cosmos, but I totally defer to all the gardeners who’ll probably tell me otherwise.

It would be a nice neat narrative if, at this point, I unveiled a connection between the flowers and Queen Victoria.

But I don’t have one. So here’s a monument to a powerful woman; the only one I’ve found who never set foot in New Zealand and who got her job by outliving her relatives.

Bronze statue of Queen Victoria. Made in 1899 by Francis John Williamson, and sited in Albert Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Bronze statue of Queen Victoria. Made in 1899 by Francis John Williamson, and sited in Albert Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is 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 see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

(1) Actually a guest post for Donna at Retirement Reflections — but the sentence was already getting waaaay too long and complicated.

Regular random: five minutes with strange fruit

Close up shot of detail from installation entitled 'Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. Seen at Sculpture in the Gardens, Auckland Botanic Gardens, 2018. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Detail, Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. Seen at Sculpture in the Gardens, Auckland Botanic Gardens, 2018. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Strange Fruit (Revisited), by Auckland artist Donna Sarten, is currently being exhibited as part of Sculpture in the Gardens at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. 4000 tags representing NZ's Vietnam servicemen hang from a tree in the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Strange Fruit (Revisited), Donna Sarten. 4000 tags representing NZ’s Vietnam servicemen catch the breeze at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Strange Fruit (the title references Abel Meeropol’s song, famously sung by Billie Holiday), consists of almost 4000 military-style dog tags hanging from a tree. Each tag is engraved with the name of a New Zealander who served in the Vietnam War.

I’ve written about this artwork in more detail in Strange Fruit: remembering Vietnam, but it loses none of it’s power in being shown again in a new location. Indeed it encourages a whole new audience to engage with New Zealand’s military past.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is 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 see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

 

 

Regular Random: five minutes with some upholstery materials

Shot of armchair seat with cover removed, and assorted materials to re-upholster. Hessian, platform cloth, cover fabric, needles, scissors and tape measure. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Getting started. The seat of my $5 project chair — ready to be re-up-holstered. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Last week the Big T and I deconstructed our $5 charity shop armchair, removing the old upholstery and stripping layers of yellowing varnish off the wood frame.

Yesterday, I began the process of re-staining and varnishing the wood; and collected the upholstery materials together. I plan to start with practice on the chair seat. It detaches, and because the whole wooden frame will be fabric-covered, it doesn’t need to be varnished.

Wish me luck!

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. Her latest post captures beauty in decay through a delicate pink peony. The images are stunning, so do pop over and take a look.

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

Friday flowers | regular random

Close-up, purple agapanthus buds against dark background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Close-up, purple agapanthus. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

…  five minutes with some agapanthus

I’m really enjoying that delicious lull between Christmas and early January, when the city’s commuters are granted an extra couple of hours in bed, and my early morning walks are free of the usual traffic noise and pollution. In that calm, I find myself much more aware of the world around me.

Not that the agapanthus is easy to miss.

It seems that every garden and roadside, every park and verge is home to clumps of these large, mainly purple, flowers.

Cluster of purple agapanthus flowers against dark green background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Agapanthus flowers. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

And, standing at waist-height, they are ridiculously easy to photograph — even for “she-of-the-dodgy-knee”. Easy to spend five minutes photographing in fact.

So my Friday Flowers are also a  RegularRandom offering this week.

RegularRandom is a challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Desley Jane Pictures. If you would like to join:

  • 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 this post

 

Regular Random: five minutes with some Christmas decorations

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Christmas decorations. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Enthusiasm for Christmas is a bit thin on the ground here. The Big T is exhausted from his almost constant business travel, the boy-child has been sick with a throat infection and I’m — well — I’m just not that into it.

I did hunt out the box of decorations with the intention of putting some up around the place.

Instead, I ended up photographing them.

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. Or next year.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. Her latest post showcases her gorgeous Christmas decorations, so do pop over and take a look.

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!