For my 2020 Photos in Review I wrote:
“My COVID walks took me along less-peopled back alleys, side streets and busy thoroughfares, just myself and my camera. There wasn’t much to photograph and I doubt very much I’ll be writing those up.“
During the winter my COVID walks became even more boring. To amuse myself I started taking shots of abstract textures layered onto dumpsters, lampposts and other urban objects, along with endless macros of tree bark.
In the spring of 2021 I noticed these two photos sitting next to one another in my photos of Mexico City and saw an interesting dialogue happening between the two of them.
After combining them into a diptych, I soon saw other connections from my COVID walks and realized that those long months of alley hopping were not such a waste of time when it came to doing art.
White fungi on a half-dead tree collaged with one of my favourite rusty dumpsters.
The first diptychs came together very quickly, which I thought of as conversations between two very different objects, natural and unnatural.
Trying to find a quote that encompassed my ‘vision’ I came across this:
On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds.Mark Tobey (1890–1976)
Mark Tobey was a contemporary American artist of the ‘Northwest School’. His work is very different than mine, almost calligraphic, and reminiscent of East Asian art.
More local COVID walk amusements…
Abstract diptych of cracked paint on a rusty bollard combined with the peeling bark of a Paper Maple tree.
Abstract diptych combining the texture of rusty scratched metal with fissured tree bark.
Bark on a fallen tree in Pacific Spirit Park combined with a rusty cement mixer outside a construction site.
A collage of tree bark with scratched posters on a black lamppost.
Abstract diptych combining the texture of rusty corrugated metal plus a strip of blue together with fissured tree bark.
This abstract of a rust patch on a dumpster combined with a fissure in peeling birch bark that one reader described as ‘soulmates’.
Tree bark with orange lichen combined with a rusty dumpster with cracked metallic blue paint.
Diptych of rain dripping down green lichen-crusted bark & spray paint city locker.
The discovery of an accidental ‘art gallery’ created with used concrete forms at a construction site opposite my studio and the first appearance of spring in the form of Pussy Willow catkins at a nearby duck pond came together to form this image.
The exciting discovery of these used concrete forms made me remember some other concrete forms that were at UBC many years earlier. With their rich orange coloration they were a perfect match with arbutus tree bark photographed over on Vancouver Island.
Another UBC concrete form together with another arbutus.
These two images were taken over on Vancouver Island in February 2020 just before COVID restrictions hit. Here peeling paint on a rusty dumpster is combined with the peeling bark of an Arbutus tree.
While I was going through my photos of Vancouver Island I found this image of the shaggy tree bark of what I think is a young Spruce and combined it with an abstract of telephone pole covered with torn and stapled posters.
The exploration continues, an interesting journey at a time when travelling isn’t allowed…
More of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Getting to Know You.