Urbanities III

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‘Urbanites III’

The final tranch in a mini-series of local cityscapes.

This older art deco specimen  is a real favourite of mine and the shot shows its facade captured in the last rays of sun.

And as with the buildings shown previously, there is much glorious repetition to be had in the many windows and grids that form the facade.

Mention of repetition is as good a way as any to leave things, with my days on continual repeat in lockdown. I will aim for something different tomorrow, I promise…

 

Urbanities I

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‘Urbanities I’

Enough nature; I feel the need for some good old fashioned concrete and steel today.

I shot this picture of a downtown apartment block on the way to work a couple of months ago, back when I could still freely commute into the city.

Ah, nostalgia.

The man made extreme repetition of the building is mesmerising in its own way; cubes – all harsh lines and angles – stacked high against an opaque cobalt backdrop.

Somehow, for all its sterile design perfection, I am left with the nagging feeling of something not completely resolved…

 

An All Seeing Eye

20191005_071548 (3)Skylight, Edinburgh Waverley Station

The restored ceiling and glass work of the ticket hall at Edinburgh’s principal rail hub is a wonder, that escapes due attention as travellers scurry for their trains, or the exits.

If they do glance up, it is only as far as the electronic schedule boards announcing arrivals, departures and British Rail’s inevitable delays.

My own hurried phone photograph was an exposure fail, but it serves to emphasise the ceiling’s stunning design.

In silhouette, the dome appears as a great eye.

All seeing.

Omniscient.

I wonder how many sojourners have passed under the skylight’s gaze?

How much motion silently observed from above?

I didn’t have time to look up again, but am glad I did in that moment, before moving for the exit, eyes ahead.

 

Complicated

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Calton Hill, Edinburgh    October 2019

This hotchpotch building, with its quiltwork of bricks and windows caught my eye in Scotland late last year.

Quirkily fascinating.

And complicated…

It’s as if there was more than one hand in the plans, or perhaps the cash ran dry at some point and they started up again later, with whatever was around at the time.

Much is made of having a focused “design for life”.

In reality though, most of our somewhat random lives resemble this sort of thing, more so than any sleek, linear design!

 

 

 

 

Eighties Palm Regret

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Palm fans, shot on the weekend, get  some (probably regrettable) 1980s neon  hues.

No idea why, as I spent most of that decade running from that particular art and fashion tendency.

Possibly it’s a bad flashback to a time that had no regrets about itself, even though it damn well should have. I am looking at you, Boy George and Wham…

And I had a thing for potted palms at the time, thinking they were the height of  interior decorating sophistication, dragging them around from one short term abode to the next.

Ah, good times…

 

Two Catalan Flags

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In the interest of balance ,and because I said I would ( see the previous post Two Spanish Flags ),here is  the Catalan flag.

Well, two of them to be precise. Perfectly balanced then…

The flags fly in Barcelona as a political statement in an age old pursuit of freedom from Spanish governance and of an independent Catalunya.

Very interesting  to observe firsthand (and get caught up in at times) the recent separatist unrest there.

But, regardless of politics, the Catalan flag wins over its national rival in terms of simplicity and sheer drawability.

Both however, are the bold and vibrant designs and symbols of proud peoples.

Turret House

20190818_193001Cool house turret in Ponsonby, inner Auckland City.

Turrets are alluring to me.

Why?

Gothic charm, for sure.

Any shape, as long as it fits the bill – round, square, hexagonal, octagonal even; flat- topped or pointy like a witch’s hat.

Something left over from ancient times; a throwback.

A detached but special view over the world below.

Exclusive – most of them are not built for a crowd. Party for one, or two, maybe?

They reek of twisted fairy tales. A friend recognised a house from a photo I took of another turreted specimen nearby to this one, and told me it was known to him as the ‘The Tin Man House’.

Lastly,the very fact that they are not essential to the structure of whatever building they are tacked onto, but utterly transform the place when added. A paradox of design!

Gothic Chandelier And Bars Of Light

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Lots of contrasts and signifiers in this image for me.

The vintage gothic stylings of the chandelier against the modern florescent lighting behind it.Complexity and simplicity juxtaposed.

Dark and light – the candle bulbs at the end of the twisting ,intricate arms of the lamp. Light at the end of our labyrinthine paths.

The chain the chandelier is suspended from.The birdlike ornaments dangling from it. Connection of all things.

The bars of the modern light, like an illuminated prison window. Hope provides brightness.

Light. Connection. Hope.

Those are some of the simple things that get us through this complex life…

 

Ponsonby Mansion

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In Ponsonby during the week having a catch up with a friend and walked past this beauty. Not sure what purpose it has now , but whoever had this built knew what they were doing. Amazingly well preserved, solid as the proverbial brick shithouse but with fiddly, ornate wrought iron work and wooden balcony, plus a turret at the top, like a cherry on a cake. It is not like a turret is an essential, but they push the heights and limits of a design without changing the whole thing, adding no doubt amazing views.So much more  than just a finishing touch – they are ineffably cool and I adore them ! All boxes ticked for me then…

A Design For Life

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I apologise to any arachnophobe having to suffer through this post and the previous one today, ‘Silken Castle In The Air’. This is fact the same web as in the last photo. Different angle, background and treatment .So, sinister or beautiful? Depends on your perspective, as the spider may have whispered to the fly.

It is not International Spider Day or anything…. but as the spider historically inspired Scottish king Robert the Bruce in his fight against the invading English when he was in defeat and despair, the creature has something to teach us now.

Assume for a moment that you are like the spider. You find or get yourself  in some major life difficulty – the web you have woven is tangled, as the saying goes . Matters appear hopeless. But here’s the thing – it is your web, you created its silk, you gave it a unique design and built it all yourself. And only you can navigate your web like you can ,straighten the tangles and repair the tears in the strands.

Whatever driving force or spirit you had in the creation of the cobweb will also help save you now. Trust in it.