Local Heart, Global Soul

August 11, 2015

Take A Pew… Take In The View…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I sat in the pews of the Basilica of Saint  Servatius in order to take photographs of the beautifully decorated ceiling.

What I forgot to mention, is that the pews themselves are works of art, most of them are stunningly carved.

As far as I could make out they are all different, but I didn’t get as many photographs as I’d have like to because I was tired and appreciated the quiet sit down, and also this was the spot where photography would be most intrusive to other visitors who were sitting in quiet contemplation.

I kept them out of the photographs and didn’t parade up and down the isle of the church taking photographs because I didn’t feel that it was appropriate at that point.

Many of the pews in this area have a prominent carved end points, and I’m guessing that it’s possible that some of these are “family” pews, that may have been the regular seats of generations of regular worshippers. They are comfortable too (well as comfortable as pews can be) so that’s a bonus. Me, I just love the carved work on them…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 Basilica of Saint Servatius / Maastricht

September 1, 2014

This Is A Place Where People Toiled For More Than Just A Daily Wage…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One thing that the deep shadows inside the church at Kissos  could not hide, was the mind numbing detail of the alter.

My eyes were in overdrive, the sheer scale of the detail was too much to take in, in just one visit.

I think  if you were to make a detailed photographic study of it all, you’d be there for a lot longer than you bargained for…

…certainly photographs are no substitute for the human eye, because nothing except seeing them in person could every do these artworks justice.

There are more icons recessed and framed by the decoration, some are painted, one or two are in the shiny metal work of yesterday’s post, but all are beautiful.

The carved pieces cover everything else in sight, columns, frames, background areas, the supporting bases, all of it are inundated with patterns: flowing vines, flowering blooms, swirls, twirls, circles, squares and far too many to mention or display here.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The extreme low light in general, coupled with the strange situation where certain parts of the church were in deepest shadow whilst small  adjoining areas was in brilliant sunlight made for strange reactions from my camera, it was almost as if it couldn’t figure out how to even out the extremes and try as I might, most of my photographs of this area of the church were completely out of focus.

The ones that where left were I think worth showing so that you could get the general idea, the sheer overwhelming volume of decoration and detail, and around the church there were also other objects that I felt deserved a little spotlight of their own.

This is the post where I tidy all of these items into one post, detail in extremes of scale, from one end of the spectrum to the other…

It inspires me, I adore it all… but no photograph will ever prepare you for the feeling you get then looking at craftsmanship on this scale. This little church on the Pelion peninsular is a place where people toiled for more than just a daily wage, creative genius, skilled minds and hands all combined to produce a place that has emotion, exudes peace and tranquillity and is restful for the human soul. Many levels of detail are here, all of them amazing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

March 23, 2014

Seeing What’s In, On And Around The Windows… Doors and Walls…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the things that always piques my curiosity when looking at old  buildings is the seemingly “standard” practice of the architects of centuries past to infuse their designs with tiny details that are extra to the overall design of the building.

Sometimes these additions are decorative roof  touches, patterns in the brickwork,  window adornments, stone carved details, tiles or plaques.

I often find that new, modern building are completely devoid of embellishment, they are rarely tactile and for me are the equivalent of a visual desert, compared with the packed rainforest of detail that exists in their centuries old counterparts.

Sometimes the details are stashed away like tiny treasures, waiting to be noticed and enjoyed only by a very observant few, but in general you don’t have to look too hard, there is plenty of “building bling” on show  so you can quickly spot the embellishments that give these buildings  additional character and  charm.

Back in the summer of 2012 I was walking around central Delft with my visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine”. As usual  since she also loves architectural detail, old historic stuff and photography we have our respective cameras in hand and are kept busy by the sheer abundance of possible shots.  I will admit that a few extra photographs crept into this post: flowers, window ornaments and the like, but they are detail too so hey, why not?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 25, 2013

The Art of Hiding Something In Plain Sight… The Trick Is Knowing Where To Look.

Filed under: ART,Canterbury Cathedral,ENGLAND,Funny — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s considered completely normal for artists to sign their work and many have gone a step further and quietly incorporated their own self portraits into one of the members of a crowd scene, but it’s usually harder to to find a signature on a stonemasons work.

I heard once that often there would be the practice of leaving a signature, or a particular identifying mark or initials in the base of a statue or on the backside of a wall carved piece of stone.

But here in Canterbury Cathedral, in Canterbury Kent, England, one stone mason in 1908 went a step further and left his initials right on the front of the commemorative plaque he had worked on.

Naturally, probably knowing that the person paying the bill for the stone would appreciate this rather less, he decided to be discrete about it and so neatly inscribed his initials “JLL” and the date “1908” in millimetre high letters within the letter “G” of the word “Wynberg” third row up from the bottom. The position of the plaque and available light help hide the evidence too…  and make photographing it difficult. It really blends into the colour of the stone.

The sneaky trick of “hiding something in plain sight” was never more true than here… his initials are literally on the front page, but only visible to those in the know. Second class vandalism or a masterful and cheeky  first class artistic licence? You decide.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

 

 

 

September 23, 2013

I’m Probably Reading Too Much Into It, But I Think The Last One Is Hiding Something…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post, I’m visiting Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, England and busy admiring the beautiful figures carved in stone all around me.

Yesterday’s post was about the mortals in stone, this post reaches a little further and is all about the angels.

The expressions on their faces are all very different, they range from the infant cherubs type to the more adult sort and come in both realistic and very stylised forms.

One poor angel is in desperate need of restoration, and is clearly praying for a new nose and a few extra fingers please.

Some are playful, some are serious, a little group of three appear to be sleeping, and one at the base of a large stone plague is definitely not amused (but probably you’d be rather cheesed off too if you had a plaque resting on you head).

Another group of five, all in a row, hold shields with various emblems on them, but it’s a different one, also with a shield that hangs from a gallery that impresses me the most. This one manages to look not just contented but mischievous and full of character at the same time. This is the kind of angel that you could imagine has a secret catapult hidden behind that shield. Had there been a sudden ping and a pea whistling past my ear once my back was turned I would not have been at all surprised.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and is this one really a little angel?….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/visit/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_Cathedral

September 22, 2013

Some Are Big, Some Are Small, … All Are Beautiful

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

I’m busy documenting our adventures of last summer when visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” joined family Kiwidutch on a whirlwind tour that included as many new places and experiences as possible.

At this point of my travel diary we are visiting Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, England, and whilst Himself and the kids are off shopping for gifts and local food treats, Velvetine and I are enjoying photographing some of this amazing, almost nine hundred year old building.

There are many decorations to look at:  carvings of human figures that pay homage to fallen service personal,  or to individual persons or are representations of notable people who are entombed below the statuesque forms.   No matter what the style,  the figures never fail to draw attention. Some are large, some are small, all of them are works of art.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph ©Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/visit/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_Cathedral

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