Weeds are organic rebels. They grow where they want to grow. They are hardy and relentless. They seem small and conquerable but ask a gardener how much effort he or she has to spend fighting them. You will see how formidable they are.
On the day I took these photographs, the sunlight hit them in such a way that I could respect and admire them for the first time. And it made me question whether this, like most other wars, was a war worth fighting. The images I saw answered my question for me. I expect nobody else will agree, but maybe it’s time to make peace with weeds. I hate false dichotomies, straw men and making enemies where they are not needed. So I decided that I didn’t want to wait for the obliteration of my green crack-dwelling friends before I could fully enjoy how beautiful it was to be in my garden bathed in light, sitting on a badly constructed patio.
This made me realise that we should never wait to feel joy at being alive and sharing particles or structures with all that surrounds us.
We are all one big simultaneously smelly, ugly, beautiful, broken, delicate, intelligent, contrary, wilful and mysterious bunch of things lumped together in this world so we may as well like and respect one another.
Here you get the Edwardian Police Station reflecting on its much younger commercial neighbour, Smithfield House.
As I snapped this quiet grey building, I was reminded of many other underused buildings. It’s a shame, especially in the current financial climate, that we are not getting the full value of our assets as a city. Of course, I’m really talking about my beloved library (again).
My meditations were soon interrupted by these chaps indicating that they wanted a photo.
Conclusion: Brummies are great and we should make the best use of what we have.
Today I visited my first love, the old Central Library and took a few photos.
My view of this place may be rose-tinted, but I love it. Saying this, I love the interior even more than the Brutalist exterior. There were orange carpets, exceedingly well laid out books and great desks. The place is currently closed and soon to be demolished so the interior shots below are old.
I took these a couple of years ago in my favourite corner: the intersection between Foreign Literature, Architecture and Art History on the second floor.
I would come to this spot to grab books on Dostoyevsky, Haiku and Calligraphy. They were all located in conveniently close proximity. But a clever Greek once said: ‘without change, there would be no World’.
This is an action shot of what scaffolding does. Don’t worry, I learned this a very long time ago, and I realise that it is a bland fact. However, as I walked to the shop that I did not buy my new camera from, I was drawn to the billowing fabric covering a large corporate building. Eventually I realised that it was the exact spot where I had photographed the faded turquoise scaffolding months ago. It had fulfilled its destiny, also known as its function.
With frozen fingers I clicked attempting to capture the movement, the colour and the things evoked in my mind. I saw fake oceans, of the kind you see in school plays, and a building hiding til it was ready to be seen. I also tried hard to ignore the heat of the stares piercing through my peripheral vision.
This is what I got today, I enjoyed looking at it. If you click on the image you see what holds it together.
Happy New Year.
I have been experimenting with a very basic form of glitching. For me, the main appeal of glitch art is colour. I have combined this with a photograph I took of the old Birmingham Central Library. I love this brutish concrete building more than any other in the world, but my photographs have never portrayed the beauty I see in it. Using a glitch generator has reaffirmed how amazingly bold this structure is, as the concrete Ziggurat asserts itself whatever the distortion.
I am currently busy with an assignment, but today I went for a walk into the city. This is a minor Birmingham artery on a quiet day. Today it made me think about whether we needed more roads and the changing meaning of connectivity. I came to no conclusion other than the realisation that I am lucky to live in such a well connected area, as are most of you. This comes following a week where I learned that the Phillipines has 7,100 islands many of which are inaccessible.