Friday, January 15, 2016

Sculpting with Light

I'm kind of embarrassed about that last post.

Instead of complaining about our neighbor, again, I should be bridging the gap between us. Shouldn't I? Perhaps I should talk to her about the trash cans, even.

But first things first. I took my photos of our collapsed bush yesterday morning, and I also knocked on the neighbor's door and talked to her about which bushes she's unhappy with. Turns out she's targeted the tall Italian cypresses in front of the house, which she says are blocking light to her front window. (For the record, her window is about 10-12 feet away across two alleys between our houses.)

So I photographed those too, and sent the pictures to the landlord's agent. I said that I couldn't see how the cypresses could be pruned without ruining them, but I'm leaving it all in the agent's hands. At the end of the day, they are not our shrubs. (I did say that the rest of the front garden needs some pruning, which is true. Maybe if they tidy it up, that will be enough to please the neighbor.)

Last night, after work, I had a Royal Photographic Society meeting. But it didn't begin until 6:30 near Baker Street, and I got off work at 5 p.m. There's an exhibit of light-based sculptures and artworks at Canary Wharf right now, so I decided to hop on the tube and go check it out. I knew the schedule would be tight but I thought I could do it.

What I failed to remember is that Canary Wharf is a huge banking and business center, and everyone gets off work at 5 p.m. or soon after. So the tube station was immobilized by crowds of people trying to get home. It took me much longer than I expected to get out of there, and I was late for my meeting.

The sculptures were cool, though -- at least the few that I was able to see. The one at the top, "Fantastic Planet" by Amanda Parer, consists of a huge inflatable humanoid figure crouching as if "it has just landed and is quietly and gently exploring our fantastic planet." (According to the exhibit's web page.)

When I visited, it was sitting back on its haunches a bit, as the evening was very windy.

And this one, "bit.fall" by Julius Popp, creates a waterfall of words taken from live newsfeeds. It was mesmerizing to watch! See it in action in my video here.

As I said, I was late for the RPS meeting, but as it turned out that wasn't a big deal. I was there long enough to see a few people and have some quick conversations. We had a little mini-photo exhibit and competition based on London open spaces, and I entered this photo (top) of Olga, but it didn't win. One guy immediately recognized it as mine, though, based on our famous dog!


Elizabeth said...

Great shots! I have to catch up and read more about the neighbor issue, but it sounds like a drag!

Mwa said...

Don't be embarrassed - it's good to hear that other people have the same problems as we have.

Marty said...

I think you're showing great forbearance with your Gladys Kravitz. Not a whole lot can be done with people like that.

ellen abbott said...

well, those were cool. and I do like that shot of the misty trees with Olga.

Sharon said...

Wow, this must have been fantastic to see. And, this must be a different show than the one called Lumiere that Mo featured today on Fresh Eyes on London. Good luck with your landlord (and neighbor) problems. Reading them remind me how thankful I am that I moved when I did.

Lorianne said...

Amanda Parer is the same artist who created the giant inflatable bunnies that invaded Boston this past summer. (They too were illuminated after dark, although I only saw them during the day.) Apparently giant inflatable creatures is her thing?

The Bug said...

I've caught up with your blog now after not reading anything for a week (oops - although, same as it ever was these days). I think you SHOULD talk about things that are annoying, as well as Olga - you're such a thoughtful person that I like to "hear" you work through issues. I can learn from your process!

Love the waterfall of words - it WAS mesmerizing!

e said...

I like the waterfall of words---a wonderful concept! Good luck with speaking to the neighbor. No need to feel embarrassed.

jenny_o said...

What The Bug said :)

alphabet soup said...

Can we see a photo of the offending tree in relation to the whinging neighbour's window?

We had a similiar problem at the Our Street apartments, only to have it solved by the complainants property manager talking to her at home, to find the room was painted dark colours, the furniture was dark, the curtains were thick and blocking the light. He said - lighten up lady. No, he didn't say that - but he did tell her the problem was not caused entirely by the tree. And the tree and the day was saved.

Good luck

Ms Soup

Steve Reed said...

Elizabeth: It is.

MWA: I suppose it's to be expected whenever people live in close proximity!

Marty: I am trying, but sometimes I hold entirely fantasized rage-filled conversations with her in my head. Which can't be healthy.

Ellen: Thanks! :)

Sharon: Yes, the Lumiere show is centered on Oxford and Regent streets, as I understand it. I haven't seen that one yet.

Lorianne: I remember those bunnies!

Bug: Thanks for calling me thoughtful but I'm not sure that's always true!

E: Thanks.

Jenny-O: And thanks again!

Ms Soup: I'll post some in my next entry. God only knows what this woman's house looks like on the inside, but she's such a neat freak I suspect it's fairly pristine.