Image of the Week: Heron


I have ditched SmartPhones because I just kept breaking or losing them and I was getting repetitive strain from complusive scrolling. While it;s the best move I have made in a long time – its terrifying how entranced people are by their phones – I still love taking snap shots for references so now I carry a small digital camera with me everywhere. Though I only bought it last year it is in bits, held together by tape. The LCD screen doesn’t work any more so I never know what picture I have taken until I get home. I like this ‘blind photography’. It reminds me of using film cameras and the anticipation of seeing what emerges. As an artist it also forces me to give up control of what images emerge, to allow chance to have a say.

I saw this perched on a tree stump in a bog when I was stuck in traffic during the week. Along with all the other issues with the camera, before I could even point it in the right general direction, I had to locate it from the bottom of my bag and then find the SD card which was in my laptop which was zipped up in another bag. By the time I was able to shoot, the heron was nearly out of I was surprised that I liked the resulting picture. It vaguely reminds me of a Japanese wood cut, an impression underlined by the poplar trees that were twisting and shaking in the wind along side the road.


This might sound odd, to draw a comparision between classic print and a modern day snap shot but it has been done before and perhaps this large colour photograph by artist Jeff Wall, A Sudden Gust of Wind (1993), which recreates a Japanese print by Hokusai Travellers Caught in a Sudden breeze at Ejiri (1832), one of the 36 prints of Mount Fuji, is what made me think of Japanese prints in the first place.



Works like this emphasise that there is no difference between us and people of the past, that recording modern culture in modern ways is as important as honouring and preserving classic works, that they are all of piece.

(I knew I wouldn’t be able to just post one image and not write…)


(New!)Image of the Week: Hare

Whoo hoo. I’m back. Again!As I wrote in my last post in April I had thought of deleting the Mermaids Purse blog but I still want to publish a book of illustrated essays connected to the work here before I move on and – full disclosure – I neeed a place to advertise it. But I don’t want to regurgitate old posts and, as it turns out I am a bit too busy for new posts so, inspired by my blogging pals Rocking Fraggle and Traci York, I am going to kickstart my posting with an image of the week. If I write at all I will hopefully keep it to a minimum – famous last words! These photos will not be technically brilliant as I am notorious for my bad treatment of my cameras but they will be wide ranging of subject. First up an early morning sighting of a hare.

Incidentally this week a disease which is fatal to rabbits and hares but of no risk to humans, has been confirmed in the wild in Ireland for the first time. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) causes death within a few days of infection, with sick animals having swollen eyelids, partial paralysis and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. This disease emerged first in 1984 and can spread quickly and devastate hae and rabbit populations. The public have been asked to report any incidents of it they see or any unusual behaviour. It has to be said I was surprised to see this hare being so visible for so long after the sun came up and behaving a bit like a ‘mad March’ hare. Fingers crossed that its only a sign of high spirits…