England

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Photography

Tides and Tempests: Photographs from the English Coastline Document the Rhythms of a Tumultuous Sea

January 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Clearing Fog.” All images © Rachael Talibart, shared with permission

To introduce her new body of work, Rachael Talibart writes that “the rhythm of the tides, tethered to the waxing and waning of the moon, shapes our very sense of time.” The U.K.-based photographer captures the ebb and flow of the English coastline through photographs that frame both erupting waves and the days surrounding violent storms. An extension of her previous collection that framed what appears to be otherworldly creatures jumping from the water, Talibart’s recent work has culminated in a book titled Tides and Tempests.

While her subject matter is similar, she shares with Colossal that limiting herself to southern coastlines has been fruitful. “I think that what at first may seem like a restriction has actually made me more creative—it has forced me to dig deeper and look for images where I might perhaps not have found them if I was more of a generalist,” she says.

While Tides and Tempests at times displays the mythical qualities and creatures of the water, it also includes the quieter moments. Talibart writes that this broader focus has taught her patience and to find as much interest and delight in the slow sunsets and discarded shells as the frenzied storms. She expands on how the lengthy and varied story of the ocean has shifted her view of time:

The tidal cycle, the sound of waves, the shapes carved by wind and water on the shore, the call of sea birds, the curl of seafoam around a pebble, the shape of a shell, these all have a rhythm or pattern that I find both energizing and soothing. But they don’t always reveal themselves to you straight away—you have to be willing to invest time.

If you’re in the U.K., Talibart teaches photography workshops that focus on various aspects of her coastal subject matter. Otherwise, pick up a copy of Tides and Tempests, which features more than 120 images, from Kozu Books, and follow Talibart on Instagram.

 

“Apollo”

“Etain”

“Jade”

“Makara”

“Fringe II”

“The Lost World”

“Surf Study”

“Touch”

 

 



Photography

Enchanting Photographs of a Misty English Wood by Neil Burnell

January 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

British photographer Neil Burnell captures striking environments void of human subjects, often traveling to remote areas far outside of civilization. His ongoing series Mystical takes a look at the fairytale-like atmosphere created by the thick fog, gnarled trees, and moss-covered stones of Wistman’s Wood in Dartmoor, Devon, England. This particular wood has long been the subject of folklore and myth, with many writers describing it as the most haunted location in Dartmoor.

Despite the supernatural tales, Burnell is attracted to the atmosphere and photographic challenge of the English forest, and often visits the site at “blue hour” or the hour before the sun rises in the morning. “I have probably visited the woodland around 20 times in the last year, but unfortunately it has only had the required mist on two occasions,” Burnell explains to Colossal. “Photographing it without the mist/fog is a hard task and almost impossible to make images with the atmosphere I am looking for.”

Burnell continues to travel to Wistman’s Wood to seek the right environmental factors for a perfect image. You can follow his photographic adventures on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Eccentric British Houseboats Built from Decommissioned Ambulances, City Buses, and Airplane Parts

October 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Tucked into the estuary of the River Adur in the coastal town of Shoreham-on-Sea in Sussex, England is a row of houseboats in dazzlingly slapdash designs and bustling with the creative energy of its residents. One such person is Hamish McKenzie, an older man with swirls of gray hair shaved into his short beard and a laid-back attitude that comes from spending most of his days living inside of a docked boat. McKenzie owns seven of the uniquely designed vessels that line the riverbank, which include a renovated boat ambulance topped with a black and white checkered public bus and an airplane nose that caps off the bow.

McKenzie explains to Great Big Story that he had been searching for a nose cone for quite some time, and finally ran across one in a farmyard down the way from his houseboats. This ingenuity speaks to the freedom McKenzie and the other owners have while crafting their homes, which include microwaves as mailboxes and giant tractor wheels as windows.  “I can safely say that there is no two identical,” explains McKenzie. “To a large degree, they exhibit the character of the people who live on them.”

You can watch the full story behind McKenzie’s houseboats on Great Big Story, and learn more about the history of the riverside community on Facebook.

Photo: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shoreham-by-Sea_houseboat,_Riverside_Moorings,_West_Sussex_04.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Acabashi</a>

Photo: Acabashi

Photo: Olivia Howitt for BBC

Photo: Olivia Howitt for BBC

Photo: Olivia Howitt for BBC

 

 

 



Photography

Mythical Creatures and Greek Gods Leap From Waves Captured off the South Coast of England

June 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Sedna,” all images provided by Rachael Talibart

As a child, photographer Rachael Talibart would sit on a deck near her family’s home on the South Coast of England and imagine the mythical creatures that would form and instantly evaporate inside the crashing waves. As she grew older she studied the sea monsters described in Homer’s Odyssey and used this education to fuel her current series, Sirens. Instead of merely capturing the haphazard way waves might form during violent storms, Talibart uses a fast shutter piece to freeze the water into sculptural shapes that appear like gods or monsters rising out of the sea. 

In several images, faces can be seen at the forefront of the wave, charging above the sea in a powerful arc. The faces are hauntingly present, as if a monster is truly locked in the tumultuous sea. “For me, the ocean will always be a potent source of inspiration,” Talibart explains. “It makes small, unimportant things of us all yet, at the same time, it is exhilarating and profoundly life affirming.”

The series has shifted and evolved since its start in 2016, including the creation of a fine art book by the same title published by Triplekite. Talibart’s photographs are included in an exhibition titled Tides + Falls at Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts, which opens on September 7 and runs through November 11, 2018. You can see more examples from her Sirens portfolio on her website and Instagram. (via Wired)

"Goliath"

“Goliath”

"Ceto"

“Ceto”

"Aphrogeneia"

“Aphrogeneia”

"Hippocamp"

“Hippocamp”

"Loki"

“Loki”

"Medusa"

“Medusa”

"Thetis"

“Thetis”

"Mishipeshu Roars"

“Mishipeshu Roars”

"Pounce"

“Pounce”

"White Walker"

“White Walker”

 

 



Design History

The Fine Art and Craft of 1960s Wallpaper Manufacturing

February 17, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

This short film from 1968 demonstrates the newest technologies in wallpaper manufacturing, the narrator exclaiming that some of the processes found in the footage are nearly science fiction! The almost 50-year-old video demonstrates factory workers etching designs into sycamore wood, hand mixing large batches of psychedelic colors, and observing machines as they automatically screen print complicated patterns onto long stretches of wallpaper.

The film was shot at a factory in Perivale, just ten miles west of London. All of the wallpaper designs found in the video are garish and bright, shot in a time when people were intent on matching their wallpaper to their curtains, couch coverings, and clothing. One particular shot shows a woman reading a magazine at home amongst her patterns, demonstrating how pervasive prints were in the home during the time period.

Continuing with a nearly poetic cadence the narrator ends the short video exclaiming, “Designs in profusion, kaleidoscopic colors—interior decorating has come a long way since father first papered the parlor!” British Pathé, a once leader in cinematic journalism, has uploaded several thousands films like this one to Youtube. Make sure to search their channel for other historic documentation of cultural events from curtains to political crises.

Factory 5

factory7

Factory1.jpg

Factory2

Factory4

factory6

Factory3

 

 



Science

Extreme Winds Cause a Waterfall in England to Blow Upward

October 22, 2014

Christopher Jobson

waterfall-2

waterfall

Hikers exploring England’s Derbyshire Peak District earlier this week stumbled onto a rare phenomenon caused by extreme winds. The River Downfall, a 30-meter (98 foot) waterfall was blown back almost vertically by a powerful updraft, making it seem as if the waterfall was simply flowing into nothing. Very cool. (via Twisted Sifter)