Filed under: photography
Due to an accidental drop of my camera in Rotterdam that was hugely limiting on it’s manual capabilities it is time for a new camera. Currently have a nikon d70 on loan to tide me over till decision time. Why must the things I like be so heavy and expensive.
I arrived home yesterday and well it looks nothing like this.
From every street the largest cathedral in Germany looms at you from above, a menacing form filling the skyline. Straddling the Rhine massive bridges branch across the watery expanse. Thousands of locks engraved with love notes hang from the rail bridge professing eternal love and devotion. I wonder if the keys are thrown into the water as a symbolic gesture, has anyone gone back with bolt cutters in the dark of night. My choice of destination was based on the density of art galleries and type of works collected. The most fascinating was Kolumba raised from the ruins of a cathedral with architecture reaching back to the roman occupation it contained a curios mix of medieval and contemporary art. Underneath the gallery was a chapel still in use, candles lit in prayer and women weeping for the gone, yet tourists still took photos with flash and all.
A little more drawing towards another little drawing. In the morning I’m across the border and off to Cologne for more gallery explorations.
I have been utterly romanced by Germany. Berlin was beyond contemplation, a flood of artworks has entered my mind, many which I have waited years to see. Overawing landscapes from the 19th century, artistic explorations of Berlin post the fall of the wall and some of the best German art made in the last 50 years. None of that is in my post but if curious standout artists were and always are Caspar David Freidrich, Constable, Courbet, Arnold Boklin, Carl Gustav Carus, Deiter Roth, Joseph Beuys and Anselm Keifer. The majority of my time was involved in these indoor pursuits but in walking from gallery to gallery I was immersed in Berlin’s history, monuments and memorials. Most touching was Kathe Kollwitz’s sculpture of a mother cradling her dead son, dedicated to all innocents who have been touched by the horror of war and persecution. During they Daytime Berlin was nothing but grey at night it was something else entirely.
With blue snow raining down and psychedelic dioramas at the maritime museum it’s not surprising that Rotterdam is the birthplace of hard techno. The center of the city appears to be under reconstruction, I wonder if European cities are under constant redevelopment or if they save it all for wintertime. A parade of historical ships with loading cranes and light house arrange themselves outside the maritime museum. The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen contains an overwhelming collection including Bruegel the Elders Tower of Babel and a beautiful Hans Memling. These two were the paintings I stayed with longest attempting to absorb their image. An Edward Hopper exhibition at Kunsthal provided a stark contrast. A sumptuous breakfast was had at Hotel Bazar, 1,000 hole pancake, marinated feta, cream cheese, clotted cream, jam, honey, sliced turkey, cured and fried slices of lamb, a boiled egg, fresh fruit with yogurt, a basket of bread, juice and strong coffee all for 8 euro.
Worn and mud spattered train windows filter the landscape unifying colour and tone.
The past few days have been devoted to my new embroidery. Taken from an antique map design of Amsterdam it captures the central canal network that branches off the Ij encircling the city. I am quickly running out of thread which I believe is a blessing as I’ll have to put this ambitious work down.
Filed under: photography, travel | Tags: amsterdam, construction, nemo, photography
It is always worth demanding the bus driver drop you off ‘in the middle of nowhere’ despite their incredulity. The middle of nowhere being under a train bridge fifteen minutes away from city center. It’s a pleasure to discover the construction and demolition that’s constantly happening behind the sweet facade of this historical city. I’m heading to Rotterdam in the morning then to Berlin In two days. Short trips will hopefully still allow a peek behind the tourist districts.
Across the other side of the world I just discovered that Rowland S Howard has passed away, so out has come the Boys Next Door, Birthday Party and his beautiful solo work.
And here is more balloon puppy to brighten our days after sad news.
Artis Zoo one of the oldest and largest zoos in Europe. A showcase of colonial trophies thrown into a jarring landscape of frozen moats and skeletal trees. A sense of melancholy permeates the landscape in which animals appear to stagnate in boredom. A place that is stunning in its contradictions and juxtaposition.