On our way down to the sea on the second day we saw a fair amount of red kites all swarming and swooping in on something in a field so we were able to get some photos of this creating nice silhouettes in the air against a really interesting sky of clouds. After a few weeks of bright blue skies without a single cloud I was glad to see some in anticipation for the sunsets too as I find them to look more dramatic and interesting with a cloudy sky.
We also encountered quite a few creatures while rockpooling and crabbing. The blennie fish were calm and had an interesting texture to their skin, we caught over 50 crabs too a lot of which were intricately detailed and coloured like I have not noticed before. I tried to hold one but they remind me too much of spiders!
I think my favourite part of crabbing was releasing them all at the end, instead of dropping them back in we took them to the ramp that flows into the water and let them all scuttle away down there.
Having just got back from holidays with friends I spent my time there taking photos that could potentially inspire my work, including textures of rocks that I thought looked really good with the quality of my camera. I focused on some close ups as well as some distance shots which I think show the textures quite well.
The beach we were staying right by was a nice pebbled beach as shown in the first couple of photos, we went down the first day at rockpooling time when the tide was low so it produced some interesting images with the seaweed and the waves still coming in lightly.
The next day we went on a day trip to New Quay and got to the end of these rocks to watch the dolphins which were right infront of us jumping around and putting on a show. The way the rocks formed were quite interesting too with all the flat surfaces and the way they jut out. We also found a cave under the cliff which had been slowly eroding away opening more and more, what was worrying was the houses that were built on the top of the cliff were pretty much directly above this forming cave. There were also bits of debris in the cave which was decaying and made for a good picture.
A simple walk from the train station to the city centre shows a range of street art which I thought was interesting for such a rough area as some of it was really beautiful, especially on some of the older looking buildings. I thought the elephant was particularly great as the detail put into it on such a large scale was tiny.
I actually really like how these photos of the beach turned out, after an already full day it was an unexpected visit and had started to cool down a bit from the stupidly hot weather we had been experiencing already. Beaches produce a lot of texture, from the sand where the waves have been in the past, and the rocks which can be eroded away. Footprints as well can create some really strong textural patterns in the sand which at a distance look interesting too.
The Glynn Vivian gallery in Swansea holds a large collection of art collected by Richard Glynn Vivian and some other temporary collections on the lower floor. One artist that was displaying was N.S Harsha, an Indian artist exhibiting internationally. His work spans across many different mediums, such as painting, sculpture and site specific artwork.
The first piece I saw which I was really interested in was ‘Reclaiming the Inner space’, a large scale wall installation using cardboard, mirrors, paint, but the twist being that the whole installation is being held together by hand carved elephants, the wooden statues are in fleets of hundreds across the piece, some visible and some not, but really do make the piece that more interesting and complex. It is very space influenced, with the cardboard depicting a view of the universe. I read that the elephants represent the natural world, ‘carrying the weight of human interventions’ on the earth, which I think is very interesting.
The other piece I found upstairs that caught my eye was a whole room installation, that we had to take our shoes off to view as we would actually be walking on the artwork. The artwork is painted onto plywood pieces which had been attached together on the floor, then the ceiling is mirrored, which made for some great photos of the room with Polly viewing it, but also when you look up at the artwork in the mirror, you kind of blend in with the rest of the characters on the floor, which are very multicultural, and no repeat in the pattern at all.
The Women in Art exhibition was also very interesting, showcasing a range of women throughout different eras in history in a couple of styles I really liked. These three were my favourites, the swiping brush strokes on the two smaller ones are so interesting and how the level of detail from a distance has been made up by different coloured sideways strokes. The bigger one I just love the use of colour in the image and how subtle and gentle her face looks.
The museum was something I was looking forward too immensely, as I had heard about the actual Egyptian mummy they had there. I did not think there would be much textiles there, but as I do find Egyptian history quite interesting I thought this would be well worth a visit.
The mummy was displayed in a dark room, suspended above the actual case so the bottom of the case was visible with a design that had not been seen before it was brought to the Swansea museum. The top of the case was also displayed in a case next to it and a plaster cast of a mural above it, sticking to the Egyptian theme in this room. The artwork on the top of the mummy was really detailed and interesting. I also really liked that they had managed to get an x-ray of the mummy on the inside. I thought this was really incredible to see the arms crossed over like they do and how big he actually was, it can be quite hard to grasp that inside this casing is an actual human body, which due to the processes they use, is not like a skeleton but far less decomposed.
The mummy was called Hor, which the writing on the coffin says. Back in his day in upper Egypt in around 200BC, he was a priest like his father was as well, and was an important man to be mummified. The x-ray revealed he died at around age 40.
Some other parts of the museum that interested me were some of the fabric pieces I managed to find, the dress being a very interesting pattern and the other dress being a child’s dress influenced by adult clothing at the time. The two photos of heads show the study of phrenology, which I thought was interesting and something I wanted to find out more about. It basically uses these maps of the head and wherever there is a raised bit or any other kind of abnormality, indicates a certain part of your personality or emotions that relates to you.
The museum was quite small but worth a look around, especially in the Egyptian part, and it showed me little bits of welsh history that I hadn’t heard of before.
Plantasia is a small place in a Swansea retail park that I thought was a nursery type plant business or a DIY store. Turns out it actually houses exotic plants, reptiles and some other animals.
Some of the plants were very vibrant, especially these red ones which I thought also had a great range of tone within them. I also found the leaves which I thought was very pretty with the texture on them.
The animals there ranged from meerkats, to snakes, to piranhas. I thought the scales of the piranhas was actually very interesting due to the sparkling nature of the scales. The colours pop out too which I never thought would be something I would find so inspiring on a fish. The other fish which I think was an Angelfish again I just found the colour popping out from the image and the detail in the scales was really interesting.
Overall a really nice visit for only £3 as well, I think for the next thing I’d love to go to the national botanic gardens again and focus in on some different more ornamental plants.