Friday, February 28, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
This is just a staircase in a shop, probably in Grafton Street. It may even be from the recently demised HMV store. I collect these for collage purposes but occasionally they offer a nice geometry. I use the word "nice" as mathematicians do when they want to describe something elegant, useful or even easy to work with. According to Abhijit Mehta, "nice" describes a way in which a mathematical function feels. In this photograph I feel I know the way the lines are moving and I know I can work with this picture to produce something ... well, nice! The word nice was one that was subject to amelioration - it was upgraded from the Middle English meaning of foolish or absurd. Delving back to 3500BC it could have its origins in the Proto Indo-European "skei", meaning split or divided. This moved through Latin to its current form. The spiral itself is universal in all cultures and describes a single movement which is both in equilibrium and disequilibrium. Maybe you can feel that when ascending a spiral staircase - it's not for nothing that the spiral became a motif of animated films in portraying an altered state such as dizziness or drunkenness. To walk on a spiral staircase in a dream involves something of a journey. It does have a predetermined start and finish, but how does it feel to be on that path? Many ancient societies believed that was the journey of the soul - unknown but preordained.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Cinecittà Roma. I'm not sure what they're for exactly. This is basic carpentry for something temporary and the bits look sturdy enough. Wood is quite a fascinating material, because although it may not last as long as stone or bronze, it's closer to a living thing. Malleable and lightweight, wood remains the choice for much building. Symbolically it has always been associated with life and renewal. Lyle, an Ancient Greek word meaning wood, implies primordial matter. It's certainly versatile. I've seen a car made from wood and recall that Second World War Mosquito fighter planes were made mostly from wood. It was lightweight, which gave extra speed to the craft If you dream of wood, you are in good company. Regarded as a source of regeneration, wood often featured in the dreams of ancient Romans. Supposing you were to have a dream about this stack of wooden supports. Are you looking at it or in you inside it? Do you feel anything concerning the stability of the structure? Are you happy to be there or do you feel anxious? And of course if you were keen on Do it Yourself, you might add another layer of meaning to your interpretation!
[Photo: Camilla Galli da Bino Pentax Q]
[Photo: Camilla Galli da Bino Pentax Q]
Thursday, February 6, 2014
This is another shot from the archives. A few years ago, I took a trip to Islay for New Year and since Laphroaig is one of my favourite whiskies, a visit to the distillery was top of my list. On the day I visited, there were no tours, but it was possible to wander around on a crisp winter's day and take in the scene. It's hard to ignore the giant letters of the name on the wall. Letters can make up a word or a name, but they descend from the Word. The Word is about law, but the name is something else entirely. The ancient Egyptians felt that the name was much more than identification. It was an essential part of a person. There is a primitive belief that to know someone's name is to have power over the person and in ancient China, naming a person was to exercise control over them. I'm not certain about having power over a whisky. Some do and some don't. But if whisky has power over you, then it ceases to be what it is - an enjoyable drink. Yet if drunkenness ensues, that may also be a symbolic state. Drunken states were once considered spiritual and constituted a renewal of the life force. Uisge beatha is the water of life, aqua vītae in Medieval Latin. Group drinking filled in gaps between calendar years, a tradition carried on at Scottish Hogmanay. And for this good reason, the 2nd of January is also a public holiday in Scotland!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
I was passing a station entrance in Rome and I liked the angles and stripes. Then somehow I lost track of the photograph but although I couldn't locate it, I remembered the image. It's in a shopping district not far from the Vatican, but you wouldn't ordinarily pass it unless you had an appointment there for something or other! Geomancy was something of a long serving cosmological tradition - the art of shapes and locations. Design on the ground was supposed to be in a relationship with the positions of stars in the sky and the shapes here reminded me of exactly that. It's a linking of earth, space and heaven. Bachelard thought that "The Zodiac is the Rorschach Test of mankind in his infancy." (1943) Humans projected their stories onto cosmic structures where object shapes were part of the stories - and somehow the shape in the photograph reminded me of the constellation Aquila, the eagle. Constellation is a term much used in psychoanalysis and it means roughly the same as in astronomy. Psychological factors constellate to form a complex, just like stars cluster in a group within a galaxy. In building terms we have something of a complex in the photo. So what might be constellating here, amongst the lines and stripes and shapes? And in a dream what might it mean to stand on that point of intersection?