Wordless Wednesday: Pretty Lit Prettily
It’s the first proper week of the WexMondays challenge and for this week only we can include images from throughout the festive period! I thought I’d focus on the light installations that I went to at both RHS Wisley Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. They were both beautiful, but I was most definitely inspired by the incredible artists who created the various installations at Kew! The experience of both sound and light working in context with the surroundings was simply stunning. My favourite pieces were from artists at Ithaca Studios in Brighton and TILT from France.
I’m leading with a piece that captures elements of the final display at the Palm House at Kew. It’s a multiple exposure created from four different parts of the display, blended together using Nik Analog Efex. From across the lake a story of Wintertime enfolded before our eyes. Illumination of the glass Palm House, laser beams and a jaw-dropping projection onto a screen of water from the fountain in the pond, all accompanied by seasonal music and a bit of a crowd sing-a-long to Let It Go from the film, Frozen.
RHS Wisley Garden lights
ShareMondays2018 – The Deep Shadows
I went to the Tower Of London last Wednesday, to witness the commemorative sound and light display, Beyond The Deepening Shadows: The Tower Remembers by Designer Tom Piper and Sound Artist Mira Calix. Yeoman Warders, members of the armed forces and a team of volunteers proceeded to light the installation, gradually creating a circle of light, radiating out from the Tower as a symbol of remembrance.
It was so evocative, eerily beautiful and a thought provoking tribute to those who fought and died during the First World War. With an estimated 40,000 visitors watching on Wednesday evening, I felt lucky to have a view and was delighted to be able capture some images, so that I could portray the emotional impact that this event has had on me.
As the Yeoman Warders directed the many volunteers to their areas, I couldn’t help but think of prisoners of war, paraded in line, heads hung low, their steps measured and cautious. Under spotlight and the wavering flames of the torches, shadows appeared on the Tower wall. They could have been the shadows of lost soldiers. Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce et Decorum est came straight to mind:
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
I felt like I was looking down into those dreadful trenches, transported into the past and standing witness to the extraordinary sacrifice of so many. The music was hauntingly beautiful, an extra dimension to this evolving installation. You can download it free HERE to hear the words of war poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets to a Soldier in this specially commissioned piece of choral music.
Set against the backdrop of the Tower with it’s own history as a palace, a fortress, a prison, a museum, with the walls covered in so much of the symbolism associated with wartime, this was a stark reminder of the tragedy of war. I want to say a personal thank you to the Historic Royal Palaces, the Tower Of London and all those involved in the production from it’s conception through to the final note, the extinguishing of the last flame. I was moved to tears.
The Sound Guy
When you go out to listen to live music, whether in your local pub, community centre or at a big arena, there’s more than just the musicians at play! This is Bern, he’s one of the volunteer interns who have been trained to play their parts at the Fiery Bird in Woking, as a sound or lighting engineer, stage manager, production crew, front of house for example. Bern isn’t new to sound engineering, running sound for The Loft in Basingstoke, assisting at various local open mics and for his partner, singer-songwriter Celia Barrett, at her performances. My hubby, Simon, has also been training with the new sound desk at Fiery Bird. I’ll stick with my photography, or “magic camera” as Celia refers to it! I just loved Celia’s reaction to a quick edit I did of this image using my phone and Snapseed. She shared the image saying “Bern takes real pride in getting the best sound for musicians and this photo reminded me that we should never forget to thank the Sound Guy. Thanks Bern”. Actually, it was the most liked image from the entire Acoustic Sessions set that I posted to Facebook. The Acoustic Sessions are a new, regular music night, hosted by Claudia Stark, local singer-songwriter and long time member of The Phoenix Cultural Centre (who run Fiery Bird). This and a monochrome from the sequence I shot of Bern were my favourites from the night too. Just something magic about the rim light from the simple desk lamp! I shall post the muted-colour image for this week’s WexMondays as a thank you to all the hard-working sound guys out there at music venues across the country.
ShareMondays2018 – The Look Of Love
My little brother got married on Saturday! I have a new sister and she’s lovely. There’s really nothing else that comes close to this as a photo-of-the-week for me. That includes photos of birds and butterflies, I’ll have you know! All of them truly beautiful but THIS is the beautiful moment that I HAVE to share with you all this Monday, the looks of love and happiness as they shared their first dance. What more can I say really! Just that I’m so thrilled for you, Robin and Mo, I’m still buzzing from your wonderful WedFest and very happy that our family has grown once again.
ShareMondays2018 – CAPTION COMPETITION!
Firstly, I must thank Cian for agreeing to let me use this candid image I captured of him, covered in parakeets, in Hyde Park on Friday. I hadn’t met Cian or his family before! If I am planning on posting recognisable images of complete strangers, I try my best to actually speak to them, get their permission and just explain what I am using them for. It’s a great way to start a conversation with people. Sharing a bond with wildlife is another fantastic ice breaker!
I was in Hyde Park, for some nature therapy, after a London Hospital appointment and followed the sound of parakeets toward what I assumed was a roost. Just through the trees a shady glade was filled with people, parakeets, laughter and smiles. Everyone was chatting and sharing bits of fruit or birdseed to offer up to the equally chatty parakeets. Hyde Park itself is a wonderful oasis in the big city but here, in this little glade, it was almost as if I had been transported out of London and into a jungle paradise. Here, within the city that never stops, where people are always in a rush, tempers are frayed and patience is just a card game, we all stopped and lost track of time.
I have so many different potential titles that I decided to throw it out there and see if any of you can guess any of mine! So here’s my challenge to everyone on WordPress and those also taking part in ShareMondays, Wex Mondays and the Fotospeed challenges. Gold stars to anyone who guesses correctly!