Posts Tagged ‘beach’
I couldn’t resist getting a snapshot of this rather overdressed (for the beach) man as he clambered on the rocks. There was something dramatic about the silhouetted figure against the bright seascape, dark overcoat flapping in the wind. Then I realised why the scene, as unusual as it was, seemed familiar. Nearly three years ago now I posted an image of an old favourite, The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Casper David Friedrich. As well as the original, it’s an image that is often referenced or parodied as well. A google image search for the title brings up plenty of contemporary examples.
These aren’t your average rocks of course. They are the Moeraki Boulders, on Koekohe Beach near Moeraki on New Zealand’s Otago coast. One of the famous boulders seemed particularly happy that day.
We humans just can’t help ourselves can we. We just love to make things. If we find some scattered raw materials, we just love to gather them up, re-arrange them and create some sort of order out of the previous dis-order, even if the resulting construction is entirely useless. We like to try to reverse the universes natural tendency towards greater entropy. For whatever reason, there always seems to be a bit of driftwood about on the beaches of the south coast of NSW, and mostly sawn timber rather than tree branches etc. (Or maybe the real question is why is driftwood less common on the beaches further north?). I’ve been to two beaches on the south coast recently, and both had these driftwood tripods on them. Above is Mimosa Rocks National Park, and below is Seven Mile Beach near Nowra.
I’m starting a new category of post today – it’s called Found Art. What IS art – it is a question that has been asked many times before but what the hell, I’m going to go right ahead and ask it all over again.
My interest in what I am going to call found art comes in part from thinking about how people might respond to the work I have been doing if they came across it while they were out walking. Would they see it as art? Maybe, maybe not. I am interested in the many ways in which people engage with the physical world as a form of expression or creativity – and I’m not just talking about professional artists – anybody. Perhaps it is time to illustrate so you know what I’m talking about. All of today’s pictures were taken near Depot Beach in southern NSW recently (and none of them were made by me).
So who made these piles of rocks? Did they think of it as art, or of themselves as artists? Actually, having passed this spot several times over a couple of days I happen to know it was added to over time (and I think by different people). What is the impulse that causes some people, when confronted with a pebbly beach, to make piles of rocks? You see it a lot on mountain tops too – and again the additive process – once one person makes a cairn, others will feel compelled to add to it. This is actually formalised within religious practice in some places, such as the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.
This pebble face was just plain funny! A lot of this beach art seems to be akin to doodling, but with material things instead of drawn lines of pen or pencil. So you can start to see the kinds of things I’m going to be posting under this new category. Of course graffiti might qualify, but that’s not really what I’m interested in here – for starters it is ubiquitous and has been discussed at length already by others – it is also a more self consciously creative activity. I’m interested in the stuff that is a little more ambiguous in it’s purpose or creative intent. Today’s pics are fairly clearly the work of someone being creative – other posts will be more of a stretch.
Was this made by an Andy Goldsworthy fan? Or an expression of the innate human impulse to sort and categorize?
I’d love to hear your comments on this post. (I welcome comments on any post of course). Have you seen something lately that might be found art? Send me a pic and I’ll post it up.
This image was taken recently at Depot Beach on the NSW south coast. I’d spent Christmas camping there amongst the spotted gums. The last morning started warm and sunny – and then suddenly this rolled in. I don’t think I’d ever seen such thick fog when it wasn’t either cold weather or up in the mountains – certainly not my usual mental image of summer at the beach. I overheard someone say it was a sea fog.
A quick bit of searching shows this is indeed the case. Sea Fog is in fact the most common form of Advection Fog, which is caused by walm, moist air being slowly blown accross a cool surface (the sea). While this is not all that common in eastern Australia, in some locations it is – think of all those images you’ve seen of the Golden Gate Bridge surrounded by fog – that’s sea fog.
My search also turned up this well known painting by Casper David Friedrich (1774-1840). I’ve seen images of this painting before – but I hadn’t remembered the title – “Wanderer above the sea of fog”
Of course that’s more likely to be radiation fog than advection fog but I figure that a) you don’t really care about the technicalities of fog and b) It was a good enough excuse to slip Casper in. I figure if you like fog, you may well enjoy the work of CDF too. Here’s one that most likely is sea fog. This is one of my favourites – though there’s no fog.