Art, Creativity, Photography, Travel, Writing

Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

In the name of …..

Once upon a time, on a sun-kissed island in the Middle Sea the people worshipped different gods. In spite of their differences they lived and worked together, married and brought up families in an atmosphere of peace of goodwill.

One day, in one of the more remote villages, a group of people decided that their god, a newer one than the old god worshipped by most of the older people in particular, should be the one and only god and that everyone should henceforth worship that one.

They decided to build themselves a new place of worship. In the meantime, because they didn’t think the original place of worship was right any more, they decided to change and adapt it to their new way of thinking.

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They also had radically differing views on suitable decoration. It was time to get rid of the angels, birds and animals that originally adorned the place. In future only geometric designs would be permitted. They tore the carved peacocks and angels off the wooden screen and disposed of the pulpit, removed the altar and seats and laid bare the floor. They dragged a set of steps into the gap in the screen. The (probably) beautiful windows were smashed. Little remained of its former glory. In the grounds they erected a small building to serve as a wash-room.

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Work on the new building continued apace while they used the adapted building until the new one was completed. Then they abandoned it.

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Today the walls and window embrasures are still there and it is home to the swallows, sparrows and pigeons.

The youngsters of the village have found a new use for it …..

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Perhaps their games will re-unite them once more.

travel theme: paper

some of my paper-themed photos

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a carrier bag made of recycled magazine pages in Thailand

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paper parasols on sale at the Sule paya in Yangon, Myanmar

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paper boats in a shop window in Zieriksee, Holland

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paper heart decorations in a shop window in the UK

see more paper via Ailsa’s blog

Lest we forget

Today is Armistice Day, a day whose memory is celebrated in the UK and Commonwealth countries. Poppies have become a widely recognised symbol for those who lost their lives. The world as we know it now bears no resemblance to the world when they were fighting and events are now shaping ours in ways that were unthinkable until recently. We should give thanks that we have enjoyed peace for so long here in Europe and pray that it will continue.

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The published version of the poem reads:

In Flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By John McCrae

“The reproduction of the autograph poem is from a copy belonging to Carleton Noyes, Esq., of Cambridge, Mass., who kindly permitted its use.”

I couldn’t decide whether I preferred the version with the black or white writing so I have included them both.

travel theme: enlightened

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Luang Prabang, Laos

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whirling dervish, N. Cyprus

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enlightened by sunrise in Yala park, Sri Lanka

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enlightened in Austria’s Losium

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A Vietnamese poem hat – you can only see the figures when the hat is held up to a light source

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Hoi An lantern festival, Vietnam

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young lantern sellers in Hoi An

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awaiting the enlightenment of Angkor Wat at dawn

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sunset at Bagan, Myanmar

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Shwedagon pagoda at night, Myanmar

Did you illustrate Enlightened?

one word photo challenge: curtain

A few of my curtain photos

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curtains are used to protect the icons in chapels from the glare of the sun

See how other people interpreted this challenge from the links here

Travel theme: sound

Some years ago we visited a sound installation, called “Harmonic Fields” in Dorset. If/when the wind blew the various “instruments” suspended on wires were supposed to reverberate or make a sound. Unfortunately on the day we visited there was very little wind, but it was still beautiful to look at.

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In Myanmar we saw one the largest bells ever cast, I can’t imagine what it might have sound like when struck. As you can see, most people feel the urge to bend down and creep inside the bell and then stand up and touch its interior. I love the girl standing behind my husband, just peeking out with a cheeky grin on her face.

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These smaller bells, hung around the eaves of a temple in Thailand, were much easier to hear.

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This is a print by a friend of mine entitled “bouche à l’oreille” which could be loosely translated as “gossip”

Find out what “sound” means to Ailsa and co.

Sally D’s mobile photography challenge: black and white

This extraordinary sculpture is in the grounds of Hauser & Wirth’s gallery in Somerset, UK.

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Taken with an iphone 6+ and edited in Filterstorm Neu and DistressedFX.

The foliage is made from saucepans and kitchen implements. Not only do they have an art gallery – with a truly awful exhibition the day we went there, but an excellent restaurant and a perennial meadow garden, designed by the renowned landscape artist Piet Oudolf

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You will find other inspirational black and white photos on Sally’s blog.