You can take the city girl to the country but if you take the city girl to a farm and expect photos of cows, mountains, and grass…you may be disappointed. Yes, it definitely was beautiful…the mountain, the cows, the sea glistening, the mountain against a clear blue sky….stunning!
But what really excited me (on a Sunday ten kilometre fund raising cross-farm walk) was none of these…it was the walls of an old dairy factory we visited. Others may have seen some old concrete, some run-down old farm buildings, some exterior walls in need of repair, or just ignored the building (in favour of the water and biscuits), but I saw striking shapes, interesting colours, lots of texture, dramatic angles…I saw shadows and light play on the wall and I knew that to me, this was beautiful. How typical of me to find inspiration in a building when I am surrounded by absolutely stunning rural farm, coastal and mountain scenery.
Sunlight, movement, and flowers…or were they actually weeds? Do I care?
Not really. I enjoyed their late-summer, dried and near dead spent blooms (seed pods?) as they swayed in the wind along the farm fence-lines, as I zoomed by.
Smoke covered the fields. While the smoke was creating an interesting vista, the only clearly visible and somewhat strangely located item was a trailer parked in the field and seemingly abandoned. I also liked the line of power poles leading to the homes by the sea. I was glad I had my camera with me.
We had been at the WOMAD festival all day and not seen any music…too many demands and request from children for face-painting, rock climbing, food, toilets, drinks, tree climbing, market stalls, kid zone activities, ice creams and more drinks. These requests had filled our time almost completely….we arrived home with happy and tired kids, but feeling like we had missed a whole lot of something…the music and dance!
A couple of hours later, sans children, we were back. The scene had changed….It was dark, still hot, the crowd was throbbing and uninhibited and dancing and socialising more freely. We searched out some great international music and joined the crowds…soaking up incredible sounds, interesting people, and walked, ate, people watched and soaked up atmosphere and sounds from all places….A perfect evening.
Sometimes you get to witness something special.
A monarch drying out its new wings and preparing for flight. Some, I understand, fly thousands of kilometres from North America to Mexico and back, while our New Zealand ones prefer to stay home!
“Don’t you get bored photographing the same thing?” It was a question I was asked today. And I smiled. Yes, it is the same road that I travel almost every week, backward and forward. A road I know every well now. Travelling the same road along the coast for nearly an hour each way. But bored?…No! Every moment offers a new photo opportunity…different light, different weather, different time of day, different season, different focus, different mental state, different camera lens and settings…so many variables…so many opportunities to get that one image that is the elusive “one”.
So, yes, it may be the same old road. But for a million other reasons, it’s a new day…and a new photo.
That’s our role, isn’t it as artists…to look at the same old thing as if we are looking at it for the first time?
It is certainly going to be interesting!
Reflections of the church buildings across the road… as seen on the first of many stainless steel curving panels forming the exterior of our new contemporary art gallery and Len Lye centre. It’s currently under construction in our city centre – not without controversy I might add.
Will it last? Will it stay shiny? Will it rust in our sea and salt laden air? Will it blind drivers and pedestrians? Will it get too hot? What will our high rainfall do to it over time? Who knows…certainly not me….but who cannot fall in love with the idea of a unique, original, elegant building? I personally cannot wait to see how it looks finished. There is a place in cities for protecting heritage and old buildings and there is also a place for new and innovative approaches and fresh, risk taking ideas…the best cities celebrate both!
The last of the summer days…it feels like it. Yet it is only mid February. Surely we have another month or so of glorious weather to go still? I hope so….But this image of my daughter made me feel like summer was ending soon….the longer sleeves, greyer sky, only keen surfers out in the water. My daughter still however, black footed and sandy handed from exploring the beach.
The sea and sky merge in this image, one is barely able to see the difference, apart from some small islands in the distance. Apart from that, it is a cliff of green, and then endless pale blue sky and sea…magic! The two barrels a not so subtle hint of the area I am in…But, what is not to love – vineyards, grass, cliff top views, big sky and sea…a dramatic, romantic place.
To the right of this path, if you were to glance to the right, is a large concrete pathway and beyond that is the blue, blue sea. But you don’t really notice these, as the large coastal trees and the winding leaf-strewn path through them distracts your attention away from the sea and into the forest of branches, greenery and birdsong. The path leading beyond where you can see, so you keep walking (or scootering!) to see what lies beyond the next corner…a mystery loved by young and old alike..