Saturday, June 06, 2009

Building an Ice Cairn

Building an Ice Cairn, originally uploaded by e s c h e r.

Grim weather here today so I have spent all day in front of the computer (the whole working week was just not enough!) trying to get my book finally done.

I wish I had gone out and made something now but I suspect if I had done then being cold and wet with numb fingers would have convinced me that I wished I had stayed indoors.

Anyway here is a film from when I made this (other pictures 1, 2, 3). It was an interesting experience building it because its form was dictated by the conditions.

I started in it the evening before and the temperature meant that the ice was a cm thick and it was possible to extract it from the pond. I had forgotten a torch so when it got dark I had to go home expecting to return early the next day. When I got there before dawn the ice was now frozen solid to the ground and I couldn't retrieve any more. I had to complete it with frozen snow instead.

The way nature dictates and constrains what you can make is another aspect of land art that you find out about through the process of making things. I suspect that these factors are not obvious by looking at the resultant photo. But when you are making something you can't make exactly what you want and because of this you learn about how the temperature, the wind, the structures of the materials and so many more things dictate what you can do.

This is why I now don't plan what I will make. I used to write notes and come up with new ideas when I am not actually making something but these days I like to just turn up and see what the materials and conditions allow me to make and that way I learn even more about nature, feel even more connected to it and better reflect those things through the end result and photo. At least that is what I hope.

This a tribute to Andy goldsworthy's cones and to all you lovers of ice cream. (Hagen Dazs Pecan and Maple is my favourite ;-))

PS. The hills at the beginning are Snowdonia behind Blackpool. And I reposted this as I wasn't happy with the first one.


DJ said...

Your photos of this in Flickr are absolutely STUNNING...
Any chance of entering a photo competition?

Richard Shilling said...

Thanks DJ. Not sure. Do you know of a competition or are you saying I just should find one and enter it? I am not entirely sure which category it would fit in. I am really trying to spread the word about my stuff and one of my plans was to write to every photo magazine I could find to see if they want to do an article, but photo competitions might be another angle. Must add it to the list of the thosuand things I want to achieve!