Last Saturday I went to The Barbican in London to an exhibition of photographs by Dorothea Lange. For those who don't know her work, she photographed the hardship endured by farmers and others in the dustbowl of America during the depression of the 1930s amongst many other things. It was an amazing collection of photographs and showed that the poor will always be those who suffer most. Something that has never changed. I am always looking for the right words to use when I want to say something and it doesn't always come easily to me. When I use a quotation from someone it is because they have managed to put into a few words something I wanted to express but they did it better. Dorothea said many things in her long life and she always knew how to cut to the chase. I always say you should live each day as if it was your last and she has been able to put that in a way I never could.
" One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be struck blind. " Dorothea Lange
As someone living with an eye condition this really struck a chord with me. Although it does not weigh heavily on my mind occasionally I do wonder what I would do if my left eye developed the same fault that my right eye has. I would be registered blind if that happened. Of course, I have been living with this condition for a while and there is no indication that anything is going to happen to cause that but it is there......deep in the background. Maybe it is one of the reasons I never stop. I am always thinking ahead to the next adventure. You never know when your time is going to run out for whatever reason. This is why I am already planning trips a couple of years in advance. It also makes me feel happy to know there is another adventure in the pipeline. I always have something to look forward to and more times to bank into my vault of experiences. This is not about sadness or worry, it is about filling your life.....but not with things......with feelings and excitement and anticipation and experiences. With places and people or with remoteness and solitude.
I have recently come back from a trip the the Orkney Islands which are just off the North Coast of Scotland. I flew to Aberdeen then got a connecting flight to Kirkwall on the largest of the Orkney Islands called Mainland. This connecting flight was a much smaller plane. You arrive at Orkney in strong crosswinds as it is so flat and exposed. You land sideways with a bump so you know you have landed. As they say "Any landing is a good landing". Orkney is a magical collection of islands packed with ancient history. Many Neolithic sites around 4,000 to 5,000 years old. You really get a sense of perspective when you stand before something that old. At Skara Brae you can see inside the dwellings of the neolithic people as their homes were buried for years and have only relatively recently been excavated. First signs were discovered as the result of storm damage in 1850 then the first proper excavation was started around 1925. www.orkneyjar.com/history/skar…
The people of Orkney were so lovely and friendly. I stayed in two different places on the mainland and one place on a smaller island called Rousay. They were such wonderful places to stay. I loved all of it. From ancient sites to cliff top drama Orkney had a lot to offer me. Maybe lacking in mountains but you can't have everything
I came back feeling totally refreshed and my head full of new experiences and my heart full of the new people I had met. Just what I needed. Sometimes you do get what you want and what you need.
And now I look forward to my next trip which is Iceland in September.
Now it is time to share some of your creations as I have been collecting hard over the last few weeks. Before I do that I am going to share another quote by Dorothea Lange.
"Seeing is more than a physiological phenomenon...We see not only with our eyes but with all that we are......The artist is a professional see-er. "
It is always such a treat to see your art. I know when I look at your work that there is something of you in each and every image or each line of prose. You invest of yourselves in your work and I love that. I love that I have a little piece of you in front of me, not just the image itself. So sit back and enjoy things I have seen recently. As always, if you like something particularly, please let the artist know. They will appreciate you taking the time.
Freedom - for sureAs the cold wind blows from the north and the cold bites deep
Those with coats shiver and the street people, they do freeze
Even the birds with their natural quilts huddle up for warmth
And the short days ensure loneliness invades the spirit again
For inside those bland and featureless rooms we, once again
Hibernate our bodies, to hold on through this deep winter of life
Whilst our souls talk to us in whispers grown loud of freedom
Of pain and courage, of longings and loving, of living and dying
But forget not that your life comes with a price, no discounts
No guarantees given of winning, for all is a lottery played daily
So why care that the freedom to choose your own path could
Cost you everything you have, for you have so little to loose
It is freedom that drives you, that beckons you step forward
The same freedom that pulls you towards an unknown place
And the journey is your one, for others cannot tread with you
Though the tears that are shed will be shared; joyfully my friend
That's all folks
I hope you enjoyed this selection. It was quite a large feature as I was away and had some catching up to do. I've tried to feature as many artists as I could. I hope I haven't missed something I wanted to include. Anyway, it is always a huge pleasure for me to make these features and I hope some of you will either find something you loved or found that other people found your art and loved it.
My love to each and everyone. You are all professional see-ers. Remember that. The words of a much greater photographer than I will ever be.
Spread the love....the world needs a lot of love right now.....and keep creating your magic.
Until the next time.................