Graffiti Alley

 

P1010493

Graffiti was one of the first art forms I was interested in as a kid despite at the time it was considered nothing but vandalism. As a child in the 80s I poured over books and articles of 70s and 80s NY subway art, incorporating the influence into some of my own art work now and then, intrigued by stories of gangs of artists risking arrest and possibly even life to express their art form but judged by society as nothing but vandals and degenerates!

P1010489

Wherever you go, which ever city you set foot in there will be graffiti or street art as it sometimes now referred to. Some of it crude and slap dash, a territorial marking and some of it intricate and well planned out but these days these days graffiti is a little more respected as an art form.

P1010541

On our last day in Toronto when we have to find something to do between checking out of our hotel and checking in to our flight, we headed down to graffiti alley in The Fashion District and I noticed a real nostalgic theme when wandering down the alley, there was a real 80s influence to some of the work.. Here is a little of what I caught my eye.

P1010593

P1010551

P1010532

P1010536

P1010587

P1010505

P1010576

P1010567

P1010513

P1010599

P1010598

P1010570

P1010572

P1010496

 

Nemophilist

Is someone who likes being in the woods.

mont royal 4

Ever since I was a child I have had a fascination with the woods, not in a fairy tale kind of way, I feel instantly connected with nature, way more than I do with humans.

mont royal 13

Humans assume too much, they go against the grain, they require too much energy to deal with. Nature is the opposite, it is restorative, it offers no opinions or criticism, it just lets you be.

mont royal 2

I like being in the woods, I like the solitude, I like the peace it gives you.

mont royal 1

Psithurism is the sound of leaves rustling as the wind blows through the trees, it is the one of the most comforting of sounds to me.

mont royal 3

Sunlight glimmering through the leaves, the Japanese have a word for that – Komorebi.

mont royal 6

In German the word for the feeling of being alone in the woods and connected to nature is Waldeinsamkeit

mont roayl 8

Shinrinyoku is the Japanese word for having been forest bathing, ie taking a relaxing trip to the forest to improve health and well-being.

mont royal 12

mont royal 11

mont royal 10

mont royal 9

mont royal 8

Location: Mount Royal park in Montreal (not technically a forest but close enough especially for city dwellers like me!)

Photos: By me.

The Broken Angels of Highgate

broekn angels 17

Abandoned but not quite forgotten

broken angels 18

These guardians stand over their wards watching

broken angels

Whilst they sleep the eternal sleep.

broekn angels 11

And slowly overtime, they decay and crumble as

broken angels 2

Mother nature slowly devours us bit by bit,

broken angels 8

Subtly reminding us

broekn angels 22

That even though we look to the heavens for comfort

broken angels 12

The ones below just remind us

broken angels 20

That we’re all just food that hasn’t died!

(Location: Highgate Cemetery)

Beautiful Brutalism

sunshine

A long, long time ago in my late teens/early twenties I worked in a little restaurant/bar next door to Moorgate Station. There was a sister restaurant just behind us above another entrance for the station that led into the Barbican Estate and this was when I was probably first properly introduced to Brutalist Architecture. I would spend many a lunchtime wandering round and admiring the estate. Both restaurants and the escalators and walkway above the entrance on   street are all gone to make way for the Crossrail but the estate is still their in all its brutal glory.

look up

defoe house

tower

al fresco

On the estate is also the Barbican Centre, a cultural arts centre that houses exhibitions, has a cinema and theatre amongst many things. There is a restaurant and a terrace that you can also enjoy as a visitor but pretty much most of the estate is closed off because it’s a private residential area. It is one of my favourite places in London, smack bang in the city and a serene little oasis anyway from the hustle and bustle. I always dreamed of living there but property prices these days have killed that off! A three bedroom flat on the 12th floor will set you back at least £1.6 million!!!! You can read more about the history of the estate here.

barbican centre

stairwell in the centre

side balcony

On Saturday we went to an exhibition at Arts Centre, followed by some lunch and walk round the accessible parts of the estate so I could get some pictures. I did have my main camera with me but stupidly forgot to put the SD card back in it, so I ended up using my phone instead, so not the greatest quality but I can still show you what I saw. Mainly for me I love the shapes, the curves, the line, the way the towers loom over the city. How the estate has its own florist and residents adorn the concrete balconies with foliage. On a cloudy day it looks mean and moody and on a sunny day it’s actually quite beautiful.

look up 2

frobresher crescent

barbican terrace

stairs

semi circles

curves

hanging

barbican balconies

balconies

private

barbican fountains

curved stair

blue stairs

cross rail

This last picture is where the old walkway into the estate above the entrance on Moorfields which is just behind the entrance on Moorgate, to make way for the new crossfields. I was kind of bittersweet about my old work place being demolished, on the one hand it introduced me to a beautiful part of the city which I would explore on my breaks because I had to get away for my idiot boss, on the other hand I actually hated working at that restaurant because I had an idiot boss who used to pick on me!

Things never really the same or they get stagnant, so it is always interesting to see how the new evolves around the old. By any means the Barbican isn’t an old estate, construction was started in the 60s, so quite young by compared to some but for me it still one of my favourite places in the city. I have to visit the conservatory in there, it’s usually open on Sundays and Bank Holidays, so I will definitely be returning whether it for this or an exhibition.

I plan this summer to take more walks and photos, and next time I’ll remember to put the memory card back in my camera!

Please note that all photos remain my property, please do not use without permission or credit.

I Went For a Walk and Saw…

I was going to the usual monthly round-up post but I’ve spent most of the month trying to catch up with work and so not much to report after what I’ve already blogged about already, so I though instead of doing monthly round ups as I plan on blogging a lot more anyway, doing photo posts.

Anyway here a few shots from our walk round Kensington and Chelsea.

SAM_7025
SAM_6999SAM_6988
SAM_7031SAM_7032SAM_7037SAM_7040SAM_7043SAM_7044SAM_7056SAM_7063SAM_7066

I know I’m not the world’s greatest photographer but I just like to share some of the things I see on my travels.