Sunday, April 09, 2006

I just went and checked the weather in Chicago; 31 degrees at 1am. I am so definitely taking my wool coat on this trip. I packed light last time and froze solid.

Seeing there's no sewing going on here I've been trying to find old photos that may be of interest. There's this one, of a wall in Kansas City, down by the river. John and I were wandering, and found ourselves in a very isolated spot. It was probably perfectly safe, but you know how it is when you suddenly realise that no-one knows where you are, and the only groups of people around are staring at you as if they can't believe their luck..... Well we got out of there quick smart, only stopping long enough to take a few interesting photos. Wouldn't this make a great crazy quilt?

The next photo is of a headstone in a tiny graveyard outside Camden, in country New South Wales. It's one of the oldest graveyards in Australia, and they certainly had a talented stonemason at work. The carving was fantastic, but what fascinates me the most is the obvious symbolism of the elements of the designs. There must have been a book available, because I've seen these same elements in headstones the length and breadth of Australia.

The small flowers outside the circle are forget-me-nots, the hand points to heaven, the three-lobed leaves represent the Holy Trinity. I don't know what the rose growing from the finger means, maybe eternal life? Other headstones feature oak and apple trees intertwined, which are a symbol of marriage, and passionflowers which are a representation of Christianity. I could spend days documenting these fantastic works of art. The circle has lettering that reads "Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the Cross I cling." Which is part of an old Hymn.

The last photo is of an abandoned building in Port Adelaide, South Australia. It's an amazing mix of textures and angles. The original brickwork was quite decorative, but then it's been added onto with bits of tin and wire, and what looks like an old stone boundary wall incorprated into the building itself. This would be a great place to photograph on a dark and stormy night, but it's not a 'nice' area at all.

I think I like both cemetaries and abandoned urban landscapes because they are both monuments to man's endevours. The people who built this huge building and laboured here could never have imagined that it would end up a useless shell. I think this is slated for redevelopment, which means they will paint it in 'Federation' colours and put dress shops and coffee bars in there, and all that atmosphere will vanish. Bit sad really.

4 comments:

Darcie 7:55 AM  

Beautiful architectural photos once again, Keryn! You really have an eye for this. Ever thought of a book? Or at least a journal for your kids?

Kansas City is one city that I'd love to spend more time in. When you go to Overland Park, do you wander over to KC and sightsee?

mereth 2:32 PM  

I've just come back from a trip to Pt Adelaide and the city, and the building is still gloriously neglected, and I found a heap more places we'd love. I couldn't stop to take photos because the roads were too busy, but next trip home we'll go and explore at dawn, ok?

Sharon 11:00 AM  

And just when were you in KC? I live in the suburbs south of there - and I can tell you that this wall you fell in love with abounds all over the area. It is mostly made with local stone - a lot of it is limestone. The University of Kansas in Lawrence has a lot of building like this too. Love the photos!

Dawn 6:38 AM  

Oh I just love your photo's! Actually the last 2 days in chicago are BEAUTIFUL! Around 70 degrees (F) and sunny! But of course by the time you get her it could be freezing again! :)

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