Ongoing goings on

Have started a tumblr as a means of viewing, organising, grouping and collating photographs and images of artworks, sketches and items of interest. From both digital and analog cameras, home and abroad. An excellent method to find new patterns and narratives within images and creating previously unrecognized links to other photographs, some long forgotten.

follow the continuous stream here

Unintentional film stills


Looking back through the images taken from Rome's Eur district I was struck by a sort of half-formed narrative slowly appearing within the shots. The place was deserted, the whites and greys of the buildings adding an unsettling stillness upon the entire area - the only sign of life was the traffic on the wide boulevards, and Italy's small Fiats swerving around roundabouts at speed looked nearly comical in comparison to the towering architecture above. (which, out of habit or disinterest, the drivers ignored.)
These starkly impressive monuments to fascism loom over you like a held-in breath. It creates a cinematic and palpitating atmosphere; there is the sense that this stillness, stagnation, is temporary, a bell will sound
and streams of animated people with surge out of the buildings and populate the avenues - but simultaneously an air of resignation weighs down upon you like the stifling summer heat: a knowledge that it has always been like this, it will always remain like this. 

Michelangelo Antonioni shot L'Eclisse here in 1962. 

The individual becomes what everyone fears around these structures - miniscule, alone, insignificant. Still photographs reflecting the sensation of a place frozen in time, a stranger in a strange land, Chris Marker's La Jetée; Picnic at Hanging Rock. Déja vu, two people in the same place in different times - don't hold your breath here. 

These photographs were taken with no thoughts lingering behind them; but environments will make one act differently, walk differently and impress their presence upon a place in sometimes unnatural ways. Being in the Eur instilled a sort of reverence in me, and deliberateness of manner: every move I made felt slowed down, considered, paced to accommodate the nature of my surroundings. 

You just have to stand there and take it all in - it's not about you anymore. 

From the photo collection 'In Italy', Rome June 2014.

Pantheon, after Bruce Wild

I knew the Pantheon was the one place in Rome I needed to see, because of The Moon. A photograph which hung in the hallway of the family home throughout my childhood. For many years I had believed this photograph to be depicting the moon, and was very impressed at my father's ability to capture the moon up so close, a looming, perfect sphere suspended in the inky matte darkness.

I don't remember when I became aware that the photograph was not of the moon, but I had grown; grown tall enough to see the detail in the image: the visible rectangles of the coffered dome. Clearly this was no moon. How I managed to learn this was in fact a building, a large dome, and my moon was in fact a 9m diameter skylight, I don't recall.

My dad was in Italy in 1981 - he was in the crowd when the Pope was shot. In June, I went to the Pantheon to attempt to recreate his original image from memory. I had last seen the photo over a year ago, and had not studied it closely for more than five. I am not even certain I got the angle right.


Stone details seen around Rome - mound of cobble stones on the streets of Trastevere, striped foundations in white and grey and filled in arch both stumbled across in the Roman Forum.

'Rome wasn't built in a day' seems an apt cliché to fall back on.

From the photo series 'In Italy', June 2014.

Snap happy

I have been enjoying the immediacy of documentation with my new smart phone, something I finally succumbed to purchasing. Hopefully now I will be better at capturing images of Sweden as part of my daily life, not just when I am on holiday, which is my current avenue for photography exploits. While I do not want to be a person attached at the hip (or the hand) to this mobile device, collating images of items of interest/daily curiosities can now become an ongoing occupation (for me along with the rest of the world).

FYI I am now present on Instagram under the moniker bruceanddeirdre.

Above are three buildings of interest - Heleneholms gatukök in dying light, small balconies on Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen, and the new mall monstrosity which is Emporia, Malmö. Actually I take the mall monstrosity comment back, I find the structure of Emporia quite fascinating.

More images to follow

A day trip

Boogie boarders in the surf at Port Waikato / tyre tracks in the black sand / Parents posing outside the Mercer Cheese shop / Tuakau Bridge, which leads to Port Waikato / a Bayleys exclusive property for sale / blurred Mercer cheeses / rough waters at Sunset Beach

While visiting New Zealand I generally limit myself to Auckland - apart from a week spent at the family beach house on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula (which is pretty much part of Auckland these days anyways) the main priority is to catch up with friends and family. However I do like to fit a day trip in at some point. Last time my parents and I motored northwards to Brick Bay Sculpture Park and the Scandrett Regional Park, both places I had never been to before, and both now with my seal of approval. This time I put forward the notion of heading in the opposite direction, as I never seem to venture southwards a great deal.

Driving south these days seems to take about half the time it used to, and the smooth sheen of the motorways  detract a little from the sense of adventure (as adventurous as one can be, when your parents are sitting in the front seats chauffeuring you), but as long as you take some pit stops along the way, you feel like you are off the main drag a bit, even if technically you are not out of Auckland.
We stopped in Mercer, to buy some Mercer Cheese, one of those small towns where they are all known for something. I wish we had also stopped in Pokeno, for some Pokeno Bacon. We nibbled on our mature Gouda with slices of apple as we took a scenic route of our own invention towards Port Waikato, the small settlement on the West Coast which is the mouth of the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest.

Port Waikato doesn't have any of the glamour of Piha, Bethells, or Muriwai. It's decrepit, the houses falling apart, single storied, single roomed, they all seem hunched over, sheltering themselves against the stiff breezes that pound them with salt. The surf beach goes by the rather misleading name of 'Sunset Beach', perhaps trying to trick innocent tourists into thinking it's New Zealand's answer to Home and Away's Summer Bay. But it is so unspoilt, and it's bleakness is to it's benefit. The beach was empty except for a few boogie boarders and perhaps a dog, and the surf lifesavers camped between the flags sitting in their buggy.
An overcast day, one could just stand on the beach at look out to sea, and see nothing.
I stared out into the distance as the clouds and surf spray merged with the sand dunes at the end of the spit which curves around into the mouth of the river. Apparently there is a walk you can do around there, and in the springtime sightings of dolphins and seals are possible.

We stopped at the local café/restaurant/takeaways (it was maybe the only shop at the beach, there was a sort of general store by the old wharf) and in a fit of New Zealand patriotism indulged in an L&P and a Hokey Pokey ice cream. We drove around the streets before leaving, I think I noticed a library, half the houses seemed to be for sale. If anyone wants to join me in setting up an art commune there, pretty sure we could buy the properties on the cheap.

On the return trip we crossed the Tuakau Bridge which spans the Waikato River, stopping for mandatory photo documentation. Built in 1933, in a way it served as the 'bridge' (what other word can I use) between the 'island time' of Port Waikato and the pounding repetition of everyday life.

Dust settling

Dust Breeding, 1920, Man Ray

Man Ray's 2 hour long exposure of Duchamp's masterpiece The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915-1923), covered in a years worth of dust.

I am at present reading Man Ray's autobiography, appropriately titled Self Portrait, published in 1963. My favourite passage so far concerns his first meeting with Duchamp, around 1915.

"Visitors continued to descend upon us, one Sunday afternoon two men arrived - a young Frenchman, and an American somewhat older. The one was Marcel Duchamp, the painter whose Nude Descending the Staircase had created such a furor at the Armory show in 1913, the second a collector of modern art, Walter Arensberg. Duchamp spoke no English, my French was nonexistent. Donna acted as my interpreter but mostly carried on a rapid dialogue with him. I brought out a couple of old tennis racquets, and a ball which we batted back and forth without any net, in front of the house. Having played the game on regular courts previously, I called the strokes to make conversation: fifteen, thirty, forty, love, to which he replied each time with the same word: yes."

The Large Glass is most likely the one work of art I ardently desire to see in the flesh in my lifetime. 

Travelogue - horizontal

A collection of horizontally orientated photographs taken from my 2nd hand 60kr Konica camera. Having this camera is one of the best things, and I am happy to eschew a little bit of technology for something which forces me to be more restrained, selective and patient when documenting. It also gives me a chance to actually enjoy physically inhabiting a space, to have a chance to actually see things without another lens in front of my eyes.
My ability to 'point-and-shoot' is also improving I believe, if that is actually possible.

Horizontal images of Malmö, Frederiksborg, Stockholm, plus Claire.

And coming soon: Travelogue - the second installment. Vertical.