Eclectic - from social documentary to "painterly" and abstracted pictures.
On many edges - leadership development - social development (esp children's education) - photographer - writer - web - ideas - marketing - networks - love music - customer 1st
- On The Pond’s Edge
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- The artist, the photographer and the rain
- Personal Brand – Imagery & Philosophy
- Golden tresses hung on clay
- The Saturday Market at Walcot Street, Bath
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Clouds like nymphs fleeting heavenward.
High above in childish fantasy,
Pictures melting, fast deserting
Loosing glory, gaining solitude.
Bursting forth as living water.
Sometimes grey, looming ominous.
Coloured scarlet by dying embers.
Broken by light, blue beyond.
Where are they going, or coming from?
Written Summer 1967
Last weekend I was at the ICEHOTEL, just outside Kiruna, Sweden. It’s about 200km north of the Artic Circle, which makes it Lapland. Approaching from the south, the land looked cold even before he touched down. Reminded me of a song by Billy Joel.
“… we were strapped against those Scandinavian skies
The landing gear came down and touched the Swedish ground
And we were all so paralyzed”
For once, passengers took their time leaving the plane, to be sure their coats were fastened, and that fingers wouldn’t freeze so they could take happy snaps of the last hour of the sun.
It was cold. But then when something is planned for and anticipated, it feels good. Warm coats. Thermals. Lingonberry juice. Everyone tried to be nonchalant, like they had done this a thousand times. But no one quite knew what to make of the parking signs outside for the huskies and their sleds. Locals looked bemused.
As in all hotels, one constant is the bar, the centre of conversation and amusement. This one was no different, though it had a million glasses made of ice.
“Would you like to keep yours, sir?”
Warm lips created soft indentations, and the light sparkled on a myriad bubbles, both in the liquid and in the ice. Bubbles everywhere.
At each turn, artists created their visions in ice. Some stark, some complex. Most magical. And all thought provoking.
“Eternity”. A frozen couple, standing together, staring into the near distance. Guardians of ideas and hopes. Standing at the foot of a bed of ice.
Every year huge blocks of pure ice are taken from the Torne River. A building is created. Art inspired. Glasses used. Beds made. An ice church welcomes all faiths, and vows are exchanged. And every year it all slides gracefully back from where it came. The ultimate “eco-hotel”.
Much inspiration. Very hard to capture, despite the technology everyone brings. Nikon, iPhone. Somehow the ice decides its own brand, how it will shine, what colour it will be. Thousands of images. All fleeting. Like some grand impressionist attempt to define the cycle just fails, because nature itself is in charge, not the artist.
However there is nothing uncertain about sleeping on a bed of ice. It’s real. And it does tend to focus the mind. Why did we do it? I guess because somehow it had always seen a challenge, something unusual.
“Come to the desk when you are ready. Just wear your thermals (and boots of course) – and get your sleeping bag. Run like hell and get tucked in! Don’t worry, it’s a constant -5C, so it can’t get as cold as outside. And we have alarms installed. We don’t want anyone to drown if there is a fire.”
We were hoping to see the Aurora, and we learnt how to chase it on snowmobiles. But freezing fog made that impossible. The clouds were not quite ready to drop yet another load of snow. Nor were they keen to leave. Instead they swooped low onto the land, to be sure everyone knew who really was in charge.
Other times the clouds gave moments of magic. Blue. Wispy clouds. Sunset and sunrise. But not now. Not when we were searching for the Lights.
I reflected, remembering past poetry, past events. Past vistas. It seemed that the clouds were defining everything, not the ice. The artists could work with the ice. It was solid and had clarity of view and purpose. But no one could work with the clouds. They were imperious.
The clouds decided what colours he saw. How much we saw. What we felt. Whether we were warm or cold, grumpy or happy. And the clouds were the mother and father of all we saw. They created the water that froze. They hid the landscape. They pampered the trees.
And they changed at will. Whenever they wished. However they chose.
“Happiness is like a cloud. If you stare at it long enough, it evaporates.”