In The Little Book of Contemplative Photography, the author, Howard Zehr, suggests that once a week we spend at least 10 minutes with a selected photograph and then, he instructs;
‘As you do, consider three topics in this order:
1 I see (Describe: examine each object, each detail, the light etc. Associate: what are you reminded of by the shapes, juxtapositions etc?)
2 I feel (What do you feel as you look at the image?)
3 I think (Interpret and analyse)’
The first picture is a (colour exaggerated) photograph of light reflecting from the ripples produced by the wake of a swimmer in a swimming pool.
The second picture is the same image rotated ninety degrees anticlockwise – but,interestingly, it seems to take on the appearance of a grazing animal! There is a moral here – something about appreciating that on many occasions there is more than one point of view!
‘It is Duchamp who is to blame for the whole “is it art?” debate. As far as he was concerned the role in society of an artist was akin to that of a philosopher; it didn’t even matter if he or she could paint or draw. An artist’s job was not to give aesthetic pleasure – designers could do that; it was to step back from the world and attempt to make sense or comment on it through the presentation of ideas that had no functional purpose other than themselves.’ Will Gompertz
February has the reputation for being a particularly wet month – hence the expression ‘February fill dyke’, implying that the dykes will be filled either by heavy rain or melting snow. But this winter we have received unprecedented levels of rainfall, producing extensive flooding across much of the country and bringing disruption and misery to many thousands.
Initially the ‘human’ reaction was to identify someone to blame – the local council/the Environment Agency/ the Government/ the Meteorological Office etc – but such knee jerk behaviour is unhelpful. We have limited experience of such severe weather conditions in this country and it is self-evident we have been caught ill-prepared. Nothing can change what has happened but it would be unforgivable if we failed to analyse our shortcomings and undertake appropriate action to avoid a recurrence.