Monday, 22 August 2011

Harvest of 2010 Part Five - A Revolutionary Change of Scenery

Continuing my review of 2010...

You may notice a certain unity amongst the images this time - they were all taken in and around Ironbridge in Shropshire, England, as were the last few in Part Four. The area played a big part in the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s, and much of the architecture around is historic, preserved for posterity in a 'heritage' fashion as museums. The marked change in the content of the pictures from my usual subjects is really noticeable to me.

3885 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
One of the interesting juxtapositions I found in Ironbridge was that whilst so much of the town is authentic with aged bricks and tiles everywhere, it also has to cater to the tourist trade, and also to the needs of its residents, all in a very small space. So buildings of completely different construction, age and usage butt up next to each other. This image looks for all the world like two pictures cut together, but I assure you it is real!

3886 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
I love lonely objects, and pushing them to one side of the image or the other tends to highlight their situation. This is another exhibition in the making!

3887 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
3888 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
Two sets of windows right next to each other, absolutely irresistable to my eye and my lens, and ignored by everyone else. Often I'll stop to take a minute to look at something like this whilst everyone else is walking by, asking myself if anyone else sees it.

3889 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
A real favourite this one. I like the quality of mystery, carefully composed to create an image, whilst (initially at least) disguising the subject. It gives me two layers of effect, one initially stemming from the image itself and how it looks, then another from the divination and realisation of what it is.

3890 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
It doesn't get much simpler than this, but for me all the more pleasing for it.
3895 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
3896 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
A pair taken from a set of railway trucks - only in these two spots did this little setup appear exactly like this. The similar composition makes for a visual appeal, but hopefully also says something more about the replication that industry brought about.

3898 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
I've shown this one a few times, and people either grasp what it is straight away, or are baffled - so I'll leave it up to you!

3901 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
A balanced composition here, looking to give equal weight to the two surfaces. It's hard not to try to imagine how splendid those hexagonal tiles would have looked on the day they were completed. So long ago now, but just as compelling and impressive now, for the story they tell.

3906 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
After all the greys and decay of industry - a lovely blast of colour. I really like this one, so much so that it adorns the Business Card drop box that you'll see at my shows.

3907 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
3908 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
3909 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
3910 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
When I was an art student, I whiled away an afternoon tracing shadows in chalk as they slowly crept across the tarmac hour by hour. This situation reminded me of that, the beautful crisp reflections becoming a kind of shadow, a projection of the sunlight. As always when I work in series, it's about the differences.

3911 - Jackfield, Shropshire, England, 2010
An actual shadow this time - interesting how that, rather than the object itself, is telling you what you're looking at.

3912 - Coalport, Shropshire, England, 2010
Of course, peeling paint and worn bricks are very much an easy option in photography, and I am always careful not to get too carried away. There is an intrinsic appeal to the naturally random uniqueness of decay, but it is an easy option. What appealed to me here was the pipe drooping out through some relatively new concrete - it brings in a whole new element of history and meaning.

3913 - Coalport, Shropshire, England, 2010
It sometimes seems as if the Industrial Revolutionaries were so enamoured of their new skills, and the new potentials for building, that they got a little carried away. I found this wonderful little achievement down on the ground, round the back.

3914 - Coalport, Shropshire, England, 2010
Again, a majestic and beautiful curve; the tiles resembling a vast set of curving steps.

3915 - Coalport, Shropshire, England, 2010
There were lots of strange unexplained things to see too - what is this all about?

3917 - Coalport, Shropshire, England, 2010
Strange again - a consequence of semi-ruined buildings being preserved but also squared off and made safe from future dilapidation.

3920 - Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England, 2010
Letterbox again. This one busted through a window frame, making an interesting image of squares and rectangles.

3923 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
A cousin to 3882 from Part Four of this review. Compared to many of my quiet contemplative images, these seem very noisy and busy to me, angles flying everywhere, lines crashing and crossing over.

3926 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
This shot seemed too good to miss. The aerial has become an elaborate arrow pointing toward the greenery, the roof turned into a solid base.

3928 - Ironbridge, Shropshire, England, 2010
There has been a lot of tiles of late, reflecting the locale of the shots. Someone else has done the work fo me in this shot - each tile placed by hand, creating a roof that does its job, but also tells the story of its creation.

That's it for Shropshire, next time we're off to Kent and Hampshire for a different feel again.