Greetings from the queen of coffee and procrastination. (Writing word count: 38 words…) As I’m hosting a lovely model friend tonight, that’s all for now but tomorrow is a designated writing day. *glares at computer*. Luckily, I have other things to show you! 😉 I mentioned a few days ago that I couldn’t wait to post pictures from Belgium- well, as some of them have just been published in NIF magazine, I can now publish them right here.
As I haven’t done much true urbex (see my other blog) I’m still not used to “how these things go”… Often “how these things go” is seeing a location that looks impenetrable or slightly uninteresting, expending quite an effort (and risking skinned knees) to get inside and then being completely awestruck once you’ve clambered up/come out of the tunnel/caught your breath.
Over the weekend, we saw several amazing places but there was something truly striking about this one- in an unnerving way. It’s an old cooling tower with a (comparatively) small opening high above us and a deep dark well below. Our voices echoed no matter how softly we spoke, the floor was littered with pieces of birds in varying stages of decomposition, and as we were shooting, I heard the calling of birds of prey that rang around us, amplified by the structure. Two buzzards then soared directly above, just for a second before the walls of the tower blocked them from sight. I could suddenly see them hunting in here in my mind’s eye- which would explain the bird remains.
Everything around us was made of lines- straight and curved, and the troughs lining the areas between the walkways had been claimed by green ferns and moss. I loved seeing the natural world creating its own slightly disturbing oasis in such an imposing man-made place.
I’ll say right now that my maths skills are horrible but I understand that there are certain numbers and geometric forms that keep occuring in nature- some religious people see this as proof that the universe was made by intelligent design and the same measurements and patterns are often used in the design of religious buldings and in artwork (often unconsciously)
For example: nautilus shells and romanesco broccoli grow in logarithmic (equal) spirals. Bees construct hexagonal cells to hold honey and larvae. Young trees often look like miniature versions of their full-grown selves. (Look at pine saplings, for instance). The word “geometry” literally means “the measurements of the earth”. There’s an interesting article with pretty pictures right here. 🙂
On that note, here I am being both angular and curvy, in an old office building which is not religious and has about as normal a layout as you can find… except for this bizarre arty staircase.
The shot from the side is by Odin’s Raven photography, and the shape reminds me a little of M.C. Escher’s “Optimists and Pessimists”! If there’s anyone who used the mathematics of nature in his work, it was Escher. I always thought he was a mathematical genius but as I found out at an exhibition on him in Edinburgh, he wrote to the science and maths magazines to discuss shapes and form and was often frustrated by his own lack of understanding! If you get a chance to visit the exhibition yourself, go- it is mindblowing!!
Mog is snoozing away on my knee and I appear to have been burbling away for an hour now(!) So I’m going to bed. Night night, everyone!
Photos by Magpie Tommy, urbex and model photographer.