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Showing posts from February, 2014


I appear to have had Scandinavia on my mind recently, I've no idea why but it seems to have filtered into my brain and come out in my photographs. I only realised when I started reviewing my images from Nottingham and Sherwood, maybe it was all those trees bringing back memories of visiting my family in Sweden.  When I was a child my uncle and aunty from Stockholm seemed like the most exotic creatures on the planet, they brought beautiful gifts that looked like nothing in England, taught me strange words and spoke of seeing Abba walking the streets of the city. Since then I've been to visit and swam in lakes and slept in the forest, eaten a cake made of fish but never saw Agnetha, Frida, Benny or Bjorn. In adulthood I've also visited Denmark and Finland and absolutely loved these small sophisticated nations with their own elegant aesthetic and way of living that seems in balance with the natural world and our human needs. I've gathered a few ima

The Forest

Four of us have just spent five days in Sherwood Forest in a wooden lodge. This was our view from the deck, a scattering of silver birch and the forest beyond. It was west facing and so  each evening we  were treated to a sunset, the light subtly pulsing through a spectrum of hues before dimming to reveal the stars. We nearly always gravitate towards the coast for holidays and so initially it seemed strange to be inland, until I realised that being around so many trees can have a similar grounding influence as staring out to sea; Swaying trunks in strong winds replace the lapping rhythm of the tide and listening to the power of nature, whether it is shingle being dragged across a beach or branches rustling and creaking, is still humbling and awe inspiring.  We stayed just on the edge of Edwinstowe where Major Oak stands, a tree that is believed to be more than a thousand years old, and is part of the Robin Hood legend. It is quite something to stand before a living, growing th

Wrapped Up

I received a Valentine gift this morning, yes I know I'm lucky to feel loved. I opened it in haste before dashing off to work and left the wrapping sitting on the table. It was only when I got home this afternoon that I realised what a thing of beauty it is, posing in the threatening light of another brewing winter storm.  The wind is already whistling down the chimneys and around the windows, clouds chasing across the sky, trees swaying. Stay wrapped up folks.


Two photographs shot through glass, one is a shop window the other a display case in a museum. One is deliberately obscured to try to hide the cable mess of the modern world, to present a slick front. The other a perfectly crafted cube designed to display treasures, accidentally smeared by the cleaning process. The natural world creeps into both images; a reflected sky, a burst of sunlight. Both pictures make me think about human fallibility and our attempts to control the world,  someone ordering the wrong window film,  the cleaner doing their work and leaving their mark.

Spiders and Snakes

Photography has the ability to reveal layers of complexity in what might appear to be our everyday, mundane reality. It is also a way to glimpse the world through the eyes of another, as we are effectively seeing the world as experienced by the photographer. I've often been surprised to look through my own photographs taken the day before and notice something revealing about my state of mind on that day. This is one of those cases, as I subconsciously spotted two creatures crawling across the Liverpool streetscape. I don't remember thinking spider or snake when I took the pictures, but then I was feeling pretty spaced out after a week of being poorly and house bound. However on viewing later it was the first thing I saw and I've been pondering ever since what this might mean as they are also both common phobias. I believe the phenomenon of projecting animal qualities onto objects is termed Zoomorphism, well that's what the internet is telling me anyway. 

Hold Your Hair In Deep Devotion

At last after a week of being indoors, I walked into the light! I went solo and had a photography day in Liverpool, just what the doctor ordered, as they say. I'm a bit out of words at the moment and was going to include a Philip Larkin poem, but I've been thinking that Alex Turner is my modern day poet hero and this is my favourite track on AM, tucked away at the end. He's in his twenties and yet the words suggest a time before he was born, filling my head with images and memories. I've included a link to the track if you want to listen to The Arctic Monkey doing their thing whilst taking in my pictures... UPDATE Well since writing the above it has been pointed out to me that the song is actually based on a poem by John Cooper Clarke, which makes sense of the time frame (being written in the early Eighties) and the fact that I responded to the lyrics like a poem. Apparently Alex Turner first heard it read by his English teacher whilst at school. So mayb