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.


Also published on Medium.

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.

    Reply

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