Ruminations of an everyday creative

January 12, 2021

The Embankment

Tonight I took myself off for a wander around the local countryside which has fallen quiet of late and played with thoughts of my favourite new word: Ostranenie.  Quite a thing isn’t it. Hails from Russia. Fitting really as we were blasted with Siberian chills today. I can imagine those air currents tumbling over the steppes, across the icy wastelands, down through the neighbouring European provinces to briefly play with my hair and make my nose run before heading off to Ireland. What a life!

So, back on topic... ostranenie refers to the defamiliarisation of something, making something seem wild or out of the ordinary so that the viewers look with more intent and fall in love with it that bit more. I do rather like the idea of that.

That and Yugen fairly sum up my approach to my art on a good day as I do my best to catch some of the mystery of life and land, yet leave some aspects politely obscure so that the magic still has room to manoeuvre.

Following a long day working on the Mac (again, I know) my walk brought some welcome respite and cleared my head as I pondered on the way ahead for my work throughout this period of lockdown. And this image of a lone, very socially distanced dog walker somehow sums up my thoughts, or at least my feelings at that precise moment.

It’s the embankment of a local reservoir, the most beloved place of my late dog Tommy, and I’ve tried to portray the sense of isolation and the unknown by rendering the late evening shot dark and desaturated. I’m not sure if it’s worked at all as I’ve only just got home, processed it and decided to share it raw and on the hoof so to speak.

But sometimes a light touch, not too much reflection or intention can work wonders. For me anyway the shot has a certain magic.

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