Abstract Nature / Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head

After a few weeks of unprecedented sunshine and warm temperatures in locked-down London it’s become more typically cloudy and rainy. Yesterday I was walking back home after doing some exercise on Hampstead Heath. It had been raining; my trainers were soaked and annoyingly my mind persisted in recalling Sacha Distel’s version of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head.

I walked down a passageway parallel to Highgate Road. There was a woman walking her dog going in the same direction. Glancing down I registered a bright fuchsia-coloured rose petal, covered in raindrops, even more vibrant against the shades of grey of the pavement. But because of social distancing I thought I ‘d better not stop and block the path. I walked on but felt compelled to retrace my steps once the woman and the dog passed by. To me there is a relationship between the accidental positioning of the petal and the geometry of the pavement manhole cover. I felt as if I were reading the image from right to left and in that sense reminded me a bit of the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets. :

A few years ago I wrote a blog entitled Beauty and Sadness featuring images of roses in the rain. In this post I am looking more at abstraction and accidental juxtapositions, primarily concentrating on found compositions incorporating fallen petals, flowers and leaves and raindrops.

Below are a selection of photographs I’ve taken on this theme dating from 2011. That summer I came across this intense orange flower early one morning in Golborne Road, on my way to work in Portobello Road. I like the way the flower rests just above the crack in the marble:

A gingko leaf with a raindrop in its centre – it looks very Japanese to me but I think I saw it on a pavement near Maida Vale:

A found abstract where a petal had become separated from the body of the flower. The three different stripes of background colour connote a section of a flag, contributing to the sense of underlying geometry:

A monochromatic dog rose:

Would the next photograph be an appropriate or symbolic image for lockdown London? The leaf, covered in raindrops, is trapped – sandwiched between the rusty beam and wire fence:

Lastly a photograph taken in a residential street in Hackney, where the dripping green figs in a front garden echo the form of the green paper lanterns. The photograph is different from the others, where I’m either looking down and/or the composition is more directly abstract. I’m including it because like it; the layered complexity of the reflections a variation on the theme of abstraction – more illusion than pavement still-life. Maybe I’ve still got the Raindrops song on my mind and trying to manifest the last line of the lyrics* in terms of both the coronavirus lockdown and creativity … I am free, nothing’s worrying me.

Link to Beauty and Sadness blogpost

*Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On my Head, originally released in 1969 for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was composed by Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Hal David.

2 thoughts on “Abstract Nature / Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head”

  1. Good morning Mish,
    Wonderful blog piece. I love your description of exactly what you were focusing on and how you achieved it. How wonderful to revisit a subject in a new way. Look forward to more of your blog! Thanks for the connection.


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