Sublime Decay

Tuesday 28 August 2007

It was back to the day job today – a day in which I had interesting conversations with two different colleagues – two who separately declared themselves not to be artists but their artistic interests and opinions were as valid as any professional artist I have met. One had visited my website and was interested in my abstract photography and complimented me on my style of writing. He then talked of taking photographs of old shed doors and the ripples in mud flats. My other colleague asked me at what point I had become interested in all things weathered and rotten(!) to which I replied it is really about decay, the sense of seeing a reflection of one’s own mortality in all living and dying things – a need to seize the moment or vision, for tomorrow it be no longer be, look or feel the same.

The passage of time is an elusive but relentless force, forever retreating into its past, framed only by our memories of it (perhaps helped by writings, images, objects). Time ahead, although perceptible, will still throw up an unforeseen event – prediction or foresight is not a science. Of course, sublime means something which inspires awe or wonderment, perhaps leading to a spiritual enlightenment or personal insight – and so why not the ripples in mud, evidence of other powers at work – an image which will be erased by the following day. My other colleague had taken a number of photographs of fire jugglers and the moving lights at a festival (taking the advice of sometimes shooting from the hip) and it caused me to think back to my own ‘light drawings‘ from 2003, images which I had never thought to post here as I couldn’t see any obvious connection to my other work…

light drawings

I am not sure that they are at all sublime, but they cannot be captured again – like mist, rainbows or vapour trails in the sky, captivating yet intangible, a beauty seemingly devoid of actual substance. The last image displayed here was the best of many attempts to draw a star shape at night time. I think in truth, its visibility was born out of a process of decay – wisp-like forms slowly weakened, furiously burning through a phantom trail of its own making; I just enabled its geometry with a slow-exposure….

light drawings
Little Star December 2003