Just 1.5 miles off the south west coast of Ibiza lies the mysterious island of Es Vedra. The island ha no human inhabitants – although a Carmelite monk spent a brief period there in retreat in 1855. Its steep slopes and caves are populated only by wild goats. But it is also home to a sub-species Ibizan lizard and to a colony of an endangered bird of prey, the Eleonora’s falcon.
Es Vedra also seems to attract its own micro climate, its peak frequently being cloaked in low cloud or swirling mist.
Not surprisingly, the island has been the source of many myths and legends: it was said to the the home of sirens and sea-nymohs who tried to lure Odysseus; it was the holy island of Tanit, the Phoenician lunar goddess; more recently there have been numerous sightings of UFO’s. There is also a fable about the Giant of Es Vadra.
For me, Es Vedra has always had a strange fascination.
A celebration of rising temperatures
In Spring, the orchards of Ibiza are carpeted with wild flowers.
This mask is the largest in the collection introduced in Faces of Africa (1), and measures 45.5 cm in height. I was particularly intrigued by the two smaller faces in the upper part of the mask.
The animal mask below is also one of the larger masks and measures 37 cm in height.
At this season of the year woodlands are often gloriously carpeted with extensive areas of blue. It is bluebell time. Surely the individual flowers that combine to create such magnificent spectacles must be blue? But closer examination reveals that this is not always so. Although the overall effect may be blue beyond doubt, individual flowers can comprise a variety of colours and shades – as in the example pictured below.
(Originally posted 26 May 2012)
My interest was in the studied concentration of the spectators as much as in the artist and his sitter.
Perhaps the most beautifully ‘designed’ flower in the Spring garden is the Aquilegia. For balance of shapes, clarity of lines, elegance and lightness it is unsurpassed.
(Previously posted in May 2011)
A few years ago, at an auction sale, I bought a collection of, what I think are, African masks and carvings. They fascinated me although I knew (and still know) nothing of their true ethnic origins. They were bought purely for their decorative properties. It seemed a good idea at the time but I have never found a use for them, nor was I able to raise any interest on ebay! Perhaps their hour has come!
The average height of the originals is around 30cm. Because they are individual items I have ‘created’ backgrounds that I feel to be appropriate and have occasionally adjusted saturation and contrast levels to make details a little more clear. It is my intention to post the resulting images in small groups under the heading Faces from Africa. This post comprises the first selection.
A favourite hunting ground of William the Conqueror.
The Sango Kaku (the Coral Bark bush) is bursting into life at this time. Its pale, almost lime green leaves fringed with red, provide a delightful contrast with the deep coral bark.
Today is the fourth anniversary of this blog and I would like to thank all who have visited the site and, particularly, those who have ‘stayed the course’ and passed comment. Your support is valuable and is truly appreciated.
I am marking the occasion by re-publishing below the very first post. Unsurprisingly, at the time it was scarcely noticed – just a handful of views and no ‘likes’. Here you have it.
‘May is the month when the poppy brings a vibrant splash of colour to the garden. Often, overnight, the furry green protective shell of the bud explodes, exposing the tissue-like petals of the new flower. Backlit by the afternoon sun, the petals produce a palette of shades ranging from yellow to deep red.
There is about the anemone blanda a delightful sense of innocence and purity that contrasts with some of its noisier neighbours in the early Spring garden.