Saturday, 27 February 2010

Mind meanders

Some more notes on meandering in the footnotes of the mind.....

Photographer/illustrator Peter Blegvad used to run a column in the Independent, called The Pedestrian (link on the right) illustrating a series of oblique and incongruous connections between found imagery.  Subtitled 'Encounters in the course of an expediton on foot', his photographs of banal objects and discarded items often illustrate the link between what is observed and what is imagined.  He has described the streets as a 'vast wunderkammer of changing exhibits' and cites as one of his influences the German writer Robert Walser who celebrated a pedestrian's pleasures in his short story The Walk.  Walser wrote "With the utmost love and attention the man who walks must study and observe every smallest living thing, be it a child, a dog, a fly....a cloud, a hill, a leaf, or no more than a poor discarded scrap of paper on which perhaps, a dear good child at school has written his first clumsy letters."

Here are a couple of examples that caught my eye the other week.....

observed in Lewisham

.....imagined by a graffiti artist across town in the City

Walking down an Islington street the other day, my eye was drawn to this exquisitely composed still life in shades of black, white and red.....


Moments later I chanced upon the red Christmas tree air freshener and crucifix through a car window.....


When I got home, I remembered an earlier photograph from a previous visit of a discarded Christmas tree on a London street......


....who says there is no underlying pattern to the universe?

Post Script
Driving into my local town yesterday, my thoughts as usual going off on various tangents, I noticed that the car in front of me sported an identical red Christmas Tree air freshener.  I wondered idly what perfume it was and as we stopped at the traffic lights, I craned my neck to get a closer look.  Was it Wild Cherry, like the one in the picture above, or some other perfume - maybe Vanilla, Pine or Apple?  Dangling next to it was, not a crucifix, but a miniature trainer - perhaps the smell of the one was to cancel out that of the other!  Try as I might, I couldn't make out the words.  The woman driver adjusted her hair in the rear-view mirror and caught sight of me looking - how to explain it away if challenged?  She indicated right to go into a car park and I was seized with a sudden urge to follow her and find out the answer to my query.  But I had to be somewhere, so the moment passed and now I will never know.....  Life is full of unanswered questions.

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