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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sunday Selections

Time for Sunday Selections again! It seems that this is all I am getting time for! However, I am making a Sunday trip to see a living hand-press today, so some photos might be in order!

These photographs need to be introduced with a little story. It was approaching 3am on our final night in Craiova, Romania, before our holidays. We were in the smoky depths of Pub's Pub crowned with tequila sombreros, dancing and singing, when a student suggested we might get on their 3.30 train to the beach. In a tequila-fuelled panic we rushed home, packed our bags, woke up our friend and fellow traveller and bought the last standing seats on the train to Costinesti. The train was 11 hours long. Without a seat, tripped over like a piece of luggage in the aisle, our adventure began to seem less and less like a good idea.

But it was worth it, for the story and for the memories. These photographs are from the first night when we went to a big concert on the beach to see some Romanian music stars. That is the longest I may have ever gone without sleep and by the end of the show the strobe lights were lulling me in to a dance-floor-dream. I think the strange abstract catches of light recreate the sense of excited exhaustion. It's a shame that so many arms and heads manage to get in the way of the magic.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sunday Selections

Here is the ebb and flow of my contributions to Kim's Sunday Selections. I felt particularly inspired by her architectural photographs this week, but got distracted by other things when I was looking through my own photographs. Sometimes the devil is in the detail, see something from slightly off-centre and a new perspective emerges. These photographs reveal the strange focus of a trip to Rome. Strange details found at familiar sights. An odd collection of tourist shots.

From the roof of San Pietro the sculptures signal.

Mussolini's name, partially erased from a monument. Still etched in stone if not in red.

The view from Castello d'Angelo across the city of Rome and the headless bust which oversees it.

The stairs in the Vatican.

Crowds at the Trevi Fountain, observed.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Trumpington War Memorial

It has been too long. I have been getting very slack, or perhaps just busy. The dissertations are winding down but I have been sneaking in a few last field trips as a reluctant goodbye. When the sun appeared in the afternoon on Tuesday I cycled to Trumpington in the manic winds. In this small village is a war memorial designed by Eric Gill.

In full view of the incongruous cars I took a few photos on the dying batteries of my camera as I circled the War Memorial. It turned out to be a longer trek into the suburban backs of Cambridge than I had imagined so I made a careful and ponderous loop of the memorial to justify the trip.

It makes me wonder how many monuments and memorials designed by Eric Gill lie forgotten in the unassuming rural fringes of Britain. I wonder now if I have passed sculpture and carved stone without realising what I was seeing, and, if in the future there will be recognition.

My various pilgrimages to seek out the work of Gill have proved how deeply embedded he is within a not so distant, still influential, British culture. The mark of Gill is there on some subconscious level, a lens through which we view sculpture, inscription, typography and architecture.