Faces at the exhibition

Now the Arts Festival is all over and the dust has settled it’s time to share a few of my faces from the exhibition.

My former student, Meagen, was a welcome visitor towards the end of the 11 day run.  The eyes in the frame behind give a fun effect to her picture. The young woman with the tree earring came in one day and kindly agreed to pose in front of the Green Men pictures – Harry Owen pointed out that the Green Man appears to be looking back out at her!  Outside every day was Desmond, , our friendly car guard, ready to greet you, help out and very much part of the scene.  One morning I experimented with some new effects and did an overlay of two festinos studying my pictures as the light angled across them from the window.  Then, in the last picture, I had a chance to photograph one of the Rhodes’ Fine Art students (I’m afraid I don’t know her name), she is the red head who is posing in front of the aloes.

It was opportunistic but I think I’ve got some nice pictures and they bring out the memories of #NAF17.

Catalogue: Symmetry Exhibition, National Arts Festival 2017

Here’s the complete catalogue of the photographic artworks for my Symmetry exhibition. Click on the images for a full-sized view.  If you want to purchase, or would like further information, please use the contact me form and I’ll respond to your request.  Print orders take 24 hours and will then be couriered to your address: the price includes courier charges.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Johan Carinus Art Centre.  The exhibition runs daily throughout the National Arts Festival from 29 June to 9 July: 9am to 5pm.

The Grahamstown Winter Series

I thought it was fitting to have six pictures from my Grahamstown Winter Series in the exhibition. They are all taken looking north, into the low angle winter light, through the mist and smoke so typical of this time of year.

 

Summer Webs: Symmetry Exhibition, National Arts Festival 2017

One of the things I wanted in the exhibition was a small set of pictures that show off my love of harmony and beauty.  The dryad series covers a whole wall and they’re quite dark.  So I set about shooting some much lighter pictures with clean lines that can be simply mirrored.  I’ve combined them into one mosaic image here but in the exhibition they are four separate pictures.

Webs Mosaic

Three of these pictures are of spiders webs. The water droplets from the early morning mist pick out the graceful shapes of the webs in the cosmos and aloes.  I think the lines give nice tension and balance: the backgrounds are very pale because of the mist.  I took the pictures one late summer morning at Tsitsa Falls backpackers.  The fourth picture is of hornbeam trees in the beautiful forest below Tureborg in Uddevalla, Sweden.  In this picture the curved shapes of the tree trunks are balanced by the branches and the shape of the valley sides.  It complements the other three pictures nicely even though the subject is different.

The Dryad series: Symmetry Exhibition, National Arts Festival 2017

This post’s about the Dryad series.  They are the seven images that make up almost a quarter of my exhibition – Symmetry – which is at the Carinus Arts Centre for the National Arts Festival from 29 June to 9 July 2017.  I wanted to explore what happened when I placed a person into my images – rather than finding a Green Man or a fantastical pattern in them. I did that by projecting some images I’d prepared on to Natalie – she’s the dryad in the shoot – as she stood in front of a screen.  When her back’s turned she becomes enigmatic with a big shadow playing across the forest.

Stained Glass Dryad Original

I must say that technically this was really tricky to do.  Fortunately the mirrored organic shapes I’d chosen could be draped down her spine and that was really evocative.  The next picture’s from the exhibition. It shows the filigree of a tree-like skeleton in/on her dryad body.

Dryad

Some time later I decided to mirror the dryad images and construct a triptych.  The two pictures here have the mirrored dryads on either side of the original.

Stained Glass Dryad

Green Dryad

All of the pictures so far have shown a dryad within a scene but I also projected one of my favourite tree images on to her so she became the screen.  In Scarab Dryad I love the way the tree branches burst out of her neck whilst a runic scarab perches on her shoulders.

Scarab Dryad

When I made the runic tree image smaller – so that it just fitted in her back – it makes the curved shape of an angel’s wing.  You can see there’s a wing on the back of each of the mirrored dryads in the Angel Dryad triptych.  The wings reappear as overlays in the original runic tree in the centre.  The contrast of the burning wings on the slender body reminds me strongly of William Blake’s etchings.

Angel Dryad

Lastly I did something quite fantastical.  I made Dryad Fantasy by overlaying the runic tree with the Angel Dryads in a multiplicity of mirrored images.  So it’s a re-composition of the originals: re-imagined shapes with new patterns and forms.

Dryad Fantasy

I wrote about some of these pictures last year when they were still a work in progress. If you are interested there are more pictures and descriptions in these posts.: Triptychs 1: Stained GlassTriptychs 2: The Figure in the ForegroundTriptychs 3: Angel Wings.

The Three Green Men: Symmetry Exhibition, National Arts Festival 2017

My solo exhibition – Symmetry – is at the Carinus Arts Centre for the National Arts Festival from 29 June to 9 July 2017. I’ve decided to write a series of posts about the images that are in it so that you can see what it is about.  When you walk into the exhibition you’ll immediately pass by the three green men.  One of them is so striking that I chose it for the poster and advertising.  Here he is.

Äsperöd Green Man Final

It’s an image of a Scots Pine tree (tal in Swedish) deep in the forest near our apartment in Äsperöd, Sweden.  I’ve mirrored it into two and also overlaid the image on itself.  This is the original.

Äsperöd Green Man Original

I took the picture one evening last September (early autumn in Sweden) when the light was soft and diffuse.  That meant I got an image with lots of detail and I could increase the contrast and saturation in post production to give the final picture more impact.

The Green Man is thought to be a pagan symbol of rebirth – that’s according to Wikipedia anyway – and found in architectural motifs right across Europe.  It’s usually a face made of branches, leaves, fruit and vines.  That’s certainly the case with the second green man too.

Göta Green Man Final

This image’s of an oak (ek) tree showing the first autumn colours and I’ve used the identical processes of mirroring and overlay on it.  The foliage is far more dense and so the image is much more richly textured.

Göta Green Man Original

I took the original at lunchtime whilst walking in the nature reserve above the Göta River in Trollhättan.  Once again I made sure that the light was soft and diffuse.  The third green man is a little different.  He’s an artefact made of driftwood in Lars Vilk’s amazing construction called Nimis  located in Skåne.

Nimis Green Man Final

I like the way he just stands there with his arms on his hips.  There’s something oriental, almost samurai-like, about his presence as though he’s covered in armour. Here’s the original picture.  It’s taken with a fish-eye lens from the walkway that tunnels between the towers.

Nimis Green Man Original

It was an overcast, drizzly October day so I managed to get all three images to complement each other nicely in terms of light conditions.

Autumn harmonies

We’ve been having lovely autumn weather with clear air, blue skies and low angle light that brings out all the changing colours. I’ve tried to capture this in these images and combined them into one pattern of autumn harmony.

Autumn Harmonies

Going clockwise from the top right the inspiration was a bare tree in front of the after sunset glow. At bottom right is a red leaf in a sea of green foliage.  The bottom left picture is a flower in the bracken and the top left is the bark of a birch tree.  Here’s how the bare tree looked.

Bare Tree and Belt of Venus

And here’s a detail of how it looked after combining and overlaying the image eight times.

Autumn Harmony detail

I’m often asked if my images are for sale and the answer is yes.  I’m exhibiting again on the fringe of the National Arts Festival at the Johan Carinus Art Centre, Grahamstown from 29 June to 9 July.  If you’d like to purchase one of these, for example, then just email me using this contact me link and I’ll provide a quote.  Cost for a high resolution 50cm width print of Autumn Harmonies will be approximately R1000 including packaging and courier to South African destinations.  I have also organised having prints made and delivered overseas.