Tag Archives: Local & Bath

Buskers in Bath – Jerri Hart

Jerri is a popular “fixture” on the Bath busking scene, with a unique combination of jazz style, musicianship and melodic crooning.

I was out yesterday with the M9, and asked Jerri if I could take his picture.

Jerri Hart

 

When I got back, I really liked the image. As usual, decided to process in black and white, with Silver Efex Pro.

Doesn’t this capture Jerri’s spirit better?

Jerri Hart

Even after all these years, I am always intrigued to see the “character strength” in black and white.

Find out more about Jerri at jerrihart.com

Posted in Leica, Live Music, Local & Bath, Music, Photography, Street photography, United Kingdom | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Coffee, whisky and reflecting icons

Levitation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Way to go, way to go, isn’t it?

What happens to the pond when the stone falls into disrepute?
And what happens to the stone when the water turns to vapour?
Is an Icon real or is reality an Icon?

People meet by chance and the diversity sits heavily on their shoulders, but placed by others.
People meet to discover their reality and truth by their own hands, but touched by others.
People meet to stare and concede the dark necessity of their contact, but hidden from others.

Is an Icon true or truth an Icon?
Way to go, way to go, isn’t it?

Extract from a poem written in March 1999

It happens all of the time. Everywhere on earth, the “catch up” meeting is a ritual. Let’s have coffee, outside, somewhere so daily work does not intrude. Much is practical – what’s going on, what should we share, what can we learn? We have work to do, and the rules get in the way. But much is about Icons.

There were many bars in Japan. There were evenings of peace. Evenings of excitement. Evenings of pain.  Yet every time, the rules changed. Tatamae became Honne, expected opinion and public facade became truth and personal fact. Whisky fuelled the conversion. Arguments ensued, and laughter became tears. Painful futures were hammered out across the table, hostesses supplying the fuel. It went on into the small hours, until the last train called.

Hardly a catch-up. More a catch you. More a catch them.

London might not be Tokyo. New York is not Moscow. And how do you translate from Japanese?

The Icon realises the one consistent truth. Catch Up. Honne. Tatamae. It’s all about staying connected with Icons. It’s circular.

Smoke needs a chimney to go up” Michael said, many years before. And he is still right. Icons are chimneys for smoke. Icons are respected, feared, looked at with awe and also dismay. Icons provide context and focus. Icons can create. Inspire.

Yet Icons can also be destroyed. The stones of Tatamae can be brushed aside by the flows of truth. Honne can turn the water to smoke and vapour. Icons are moved around like flotsam on the tide. Some recover, some crumble. They navigate as best they can around the stones, across the waves.

In the early morning, on the train, the mind changed. What was said was then. Today is now. Today is always Tatamae.

The Icon is still safe, then. Intact, no change visible from the outside. But inside, it’s different. The smoke has been absorbed into the chimney.

People expect you to know what you are doing. Not surprising, really. And they make you an Icon of truth, of practicality, of ideas.

But if you are a poet, or a musician, people don’t want to “touch base”? Yet you are still an Icon. Artists are Icons to admire, to copy, to learn from, to compare, and to hold in your mind.

To inspire.

Did any of them ever have “catch up” meetings? No. Yet are they smoke or chimney?

They are both.

Picasso said

“I am only a public entertainer who understands his time.”

And Warhol noted

“In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

Both are icons. Beacons of ideas and inspiration. Definers of new truth. Pathways to the soul. The Honne of art set against the Tatamae of daily life. And their chimney made them into smoke.

Rothko is an Icon. Turner. Proust. Tolstoy. Icons are of the moment. Diana. Lennon. Gandhi. Mao. Yet Icons stand forever.

Richard the Lionheart. Saladin. On opposite sides yet their histories stand intertwined. Icons defined by each other. Both noble and chivalrous, enemies yet respectful. Defined by reflection.

Constant yet ever changing. Smoke and Chimney. Tatamae and Honne.

Icons. Respected.

Reflecting.

…………………………….

Wikipedia:

Honne refers to a person’s true feelings and desires. These may be contrary to what is expected by society or what is required according to one’s position and circumstances, and they are often kept hidden, except with one’s closest friends.

Tatemae, literally “façade,” is the behavior and opinions one displays in public. Tatemae is what is expected by society and required according to one’s position and circumstances, and these may or may not match one’s honne.

Posted in iPhoneography, Japan, Local & Bath, London, Photography, Prose, United Kingdom | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

The artist, the photographer and the rain

Rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I, The Painter

I paint with the magic brush of a new vision
My work is such, as the world has never seen
I attempt to capture life’s meaning with solid colour
But really I can never crave fame nor loathe it
I simply paint those pictures that I see

July 1970

 

There was rain everywhere. And it went from last Sunday to this day. The photographer knows that the light after the rain is the best … deepening colours, accentuating shadows, brightening the contrast. The technology always gets in the way, but the eye can still see. The photographer loves the rain.

Yet the artist can’t manage. It’s so fleeting and ephemeral, yet so persistent. A brush paints a stroke, and when it’s finished the moment has moved on. No instant. No instance. The rain stops the enjoyment, makes him focus on it and not getting wet, rather than celebrate the moment and capturing the view.

Rouen kept Monet busy for so long. He kept coming back to see the shades, the colours, the nuance of light. He helped found an entire genre of art. But did he ever catch the rain? No, he saw through it, ignored it, focused on the subject. The rain was an irritation, not an addition.

Everyone tried to ignore the rain.

Rain, rain, rain.

The wipers tried to control it all, and the tempers frayed. Cars moved along at frightening speed, no one thinking that the “two second rule” might actually be applied, never mind extended. But the rain ignored everything, and just did what it does best.

It rained.

The town was full of people. It couldn’t have been locals, as the car park had no queue, and, after all, we all knew where to go. Restaurants pretended that the inside was sunny. Shops offered space for umbrellas, yet the supermarket struggled to deal with it all – where were the batteries, anyway? Everyone was trying to adapt. The locals nonchalantly ignored the tourists, and everyone ignored the rain. Or at least they tried to. Scarves got wet, hair got wet, everything got wet.

Rain.

People were taking pictures of buskers with no tune. There was a very odd couple. One was a guitarist with a bluesey tone, probably in his thirties. And there was his partner who looked like he escaped from Hippie heaven, playing percussionist spoons. People walked past.

Even time seemed to shrug things off, as the rain continued.

The stalls showed their art, with much creativity hidden by the awnings protecting against the wetness.  The market was replete with vinyl. How many carpets can you buy, and where did all those old hats come from? Victorian glasses, anyone? And every face, every feather, every coat suggested that Sergeant Pepper lived in Bath.

Yet the rain had no mercy.

It cared not for history. Beatles 50 year celebration? Maybe, as the boys did write a song called Rain.

When the Rain comes down.
Everything’s the same.
When the Rain comes down.
I can show you, I can show you.
Rain, I don’t mind.
Shine, the world looks fine.
Can you hear me, that when it rains and shines,
When it Rains and shines.
It’s just a state of mind?
When it rains and shines.
Can you hear me, can you hear me?

It rained.

And then. It stopped. From one moment to another. Like someone turned a really big on-off switch. The rain evaporated to its home in the sky, where it belonged.

The sun won – and the crowd regained the advantage. Even the pampas grass decided it was time. Stand proud, stand tall. And stand for the moment. Embrace the sun and shake off the rain.

The artist was pleased. Now he could do something of interest. He could capture the light, capture people, imagine life, and show his true colours. The artist now had a chance, at least to create an impression.

The photographer, though? How many times can he use the same f-stop? Where’s the challenge in that? Nothing moves, the light is even, the image looks as it did a month ago, a year ago.

The photographer wants the challenge of the rain to start again. He wants to struggle, to perservere and to win.

Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass … It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Vivian Greene

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The Saturday Market at Walcot Street, Bath

iPhone & Instagram

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The Weir at Pulteney Bridge

iPhone & Hipstamatic

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