I was privileged to go to Japan last November and witness autumn in several cities. That is a hard act to follow! However, London is teeming with beauty and colour at the moment, and I thought I’d show some images of urban nature that have caught my eye in the last few weeks. I’ve always believed that you don’t have to travel far to witness beauty and that you can find it in different ways on your doorstep. Here’s a picture of a graffiti and foliage covered wall at a London Overground train track:
There’s a wall in Kentish Town which for a short amount of time is ablaze with colour. This is ironic as behind it is the grey brutalist tower of the local fire station. I like the contrast between the two and am struck by this each time I see it:
I was walking with some friends last Saturday when I saw this spectacular “doubling’ of decorative imagery. A Persian carpet laid out on the pavement alongside the rug store, beneath the very same blazing wall of red leaves. I asked the shop keepers if I could photograph it with my phone, adding in my best Farsi kheili ghashange – which means it’s very beautiful. They were chuffed and amazed that I knew Farsi. I’ve also added the image to my Persian Kentish Town project which I’ve updated this week with several new images.
Last week I went to see the Abstract Expressionism exhibition at the Royal Academy. It’s not my favourite genre, though I’m into both Expressionism and Abstraction. In terms of 20th Century painting I love a lot of the work from the earlier part of the century, particularly around the years 1905 and 1906! However I did spend time standing in front of Jackson Pollock’s 1952 painting Blue Poles.
I don’t know if I consciously referenced this painting when I took the image below, but I know that in both cases I was drawn to the luminous splashes of orange as well as the strong repeated linear verticals and diagonals:
The above picture was taken a few days ago at Kew Gardens. I decided to get yearly membership after prevaricating for a while. I’m really glad I did; I found the whole experience pleasurable, including the overground journey there. The following pictures were all taken at Kew. It was a fantastically sunny day and looking up could see the deep blue sky in between the jewel-like leaves of the Chittamwood American Smoketree:
These turquoise and purple berries also caught my eye, looking almost synthetic and reminiscent of artificial candy:
Autumn is very much about beauty and transience; here’s a capture of the moment a leaf is shed:
Fallen leaves on and beneath the bench are illuminated by the afternoon sun, looking fiery. The pillar on the left is dappled with light and leaf shadows:
Here are a couple more images on the theme of autumn colour and leafy shadows: