Hard to imagine now, as we shiver in our woolly socks and zip ourselves into cagoules. Didn't venture out at all today until I took my younger daughter to her Street Dancing lesson at the new Mersea Dance School at 6 pm. The classes have only been running for a few weeks, but with ballet and tap lessons on Wednesdays, as well, Small Doyle No 3 is loving it.
Good to see that Laura Frankstone has posted up some more of her Suffolk/Essex sketches on her gorgeous Laurelines blog. Today's collection are mostly of the famous Friday night Jazz club at The Fleece, Boxford but there's another one of West Mersea too.
Just been looking at the latest work by one of my favourite contemporary photographers, Jean M Laffitau. Jean is a Parisian (descended from a line of notable painters), now living in Saarbruecken, Germany. Dramatically striking, intense black and white images of musicians, dancers and actors, absorbed in their work, are the images for which he is probably best known. If you visit his website, though, do take a look at his nudes as well - he approaches the subject in a way that's completely different from the tedious norm.
From one of today's great photographers to one of my favourites from days gone by. A few weeks ago I mentioned another Parisian, Eugene Atget, whose legacy is at once a systematic cataloguing of the features of his great city and an anthology of the most elegiaic visual poetry imaginable. He was my first photographic love! Next came Edwin Smith. One especial favourite of mine is his Didmarton Church, Gloucestershire, 1961. Apart from those published on the sites linked above and here, there is a dearth of Edwin Smith's images available to view on the net. The best way by far to appreciate the essence of his work is by browsing through Evocations of Place: The Photography of Edwin Smith by Robert Elwall, published earlier this year. And as if my recommendation were not enough, here are reviews by Hugh Massingberd and Paul W Faust which I hope will convince you that this needs putting on your Christmas list.
It was only quite recently that I discovered what a remarkable artist Edwin Smith was in other media - for example his wood engravings and lino cuts. If you've had the time to click on them, you will have noticed that several of these Edwin Smith links take you to a wonderful site run by photographer Roy Hammans. You will need a few spare hours to browse through his black and white and colour photographs, but they will not be wasted hours, I can assure you. Of particular interest to muddy islanders (and friends of muddy islanders) will be Roy's series of Mersea photographs: from boat hull landscapes (also here), to his special takes on the rather more familiar views of the island.
Actually, I'm now wondering why I prefaced this post with three such lousy, amateurish snaps - hardly an appropriate taster for the feast of photographic mastery on offer to those who care to get clicky with all these links. Oh well . . .