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.

Aloes, webs and cosmos

There will probably be autumn mist tomorrow morning, our host at Tsitsa Falls backpackers (Adrian Badenhorst) told us around the camp fire, you often get them when a hot day follows.  He was right.  The whole Tsitsa valley was dark with mist at sunrise but it soon began to clear as the sun burned through.

Mist in the Tsitsa valley

The backpackers is on the site of an old Transkei border trading post so it was surrounded by big banks of krantz aloes.  They were already beginning to flower and during the day attracted beautiful malachite sunbirds.  This morning, though, the mist gave an unusual backdrop for a photo shoot of the spider webs.

Old trading store

Unusual because there’s no background to the pictures I shot.  I was on the hillside looking down into the mist and far below you could just make out the bridge over the river.  In the distance was the muted roar of the big waterfall.  In the foreground spiders’ webs arched gracefully between the conical aloe flowers.

Further down the bank, beside the drainage ditch, there were entanglements of cosmos.  Most of the flowers were gone and the spiders had made delicate webs between the dead heads remaining.

Once the sun had come out I took a walk down the valley and went behind the waterfall.  A short scramble through the rocks below and you get a fantastic swim in the pool wreathed in clouds of spray from the falls.  A stunning place to visit.

Behind the falls