Categories
Fine Art

Coat of Arms

Cleaned up scanned image
Commercial shield
Photo lab’s upload portal
Print: Fuji Fine Art Museum Rough 300GSM
Measurements
Template ready to cut out
Print cut to template
Sticking print to shield
After trimming print
Sword | Blazon | Crown
Categories
Music

Scarborough Fair

The traditional folk song, Scarborough Fair, dates back to Medieval times and refers to an old fair in Scarborough, Yorkshire. The market fair included traders, merchants, entertainers and food vendors, starting from the 14th century until the 18th century. Today, several fairs are held in remembrance of the original.

‘Scarborough Fair’ Lyrics

The lyrics in ‘Scarborough Fair’ are about unrequited love; a man trying to attain his true love. The young man requests impossible tasks from his former lover, saying that if she can perform them, he will take her back. In return, she requests impossible tasks of him, saying she will perform hers when he performs his. In the Middle Ages, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love and thyme was courage.

Simon and Garfunkel’s Version

“Paul Simon learned the song in 1965 while visiting British folk singer Martin Carthy in London. Art Garfunkel adapted the arrangement, integrating elements of another song Simon had written called “Canticle,” which in turn was adapted from yet another Simon song, “The Side of a Hill.””

History of the Folk Song ‘Scarborough Fair’ – LiveAbout

My Version

In my re-imagined/re-composed version and recording of the traditional tune, thought was given to the costume and the videography. During the editing light balance and overall visual appearance were adjusted to convey a dreamlike, fairytale atmosphere. When I was recording the vocals it seemed, at times, as though I was fighting an invisible enemy. This gave my voice a different quality: (a) a sense of weak, youthful innocence similar to a feeling of indolence (Scarborough Fair), (b) a strong, macho/masculine presence similar to a military officer recounting events on a battlefield (Canticle).

Click here for the video: Scarborough Fair/Canticle

Categories
Fine Art

Saint Mark’s Church – Floating Quadrature (Inversion)

Dissertation submitted for the Degree of Photomedia BA (Hons)

Chapter 1 (extract)

The opening paragraph of Chapter 4 will give a taste of some of the meanings and aspects of Christian art and design.  The next paragraph will outline what type of analysis the chapter’s images will go under, which Christian ideas, history and principles occur regularly, where Peirce’s semiotics theory connects with the analysis, and how being equipped with the right knowledge can aid personal understanding and experience.

Following this, there will be some pages of essential groundwork necessary to be able to read the photographs, such as the meaning of numbers, shapes, colours, halos and auras.

The first photograph to be analysed is a stained-glass window, which is a panel (perpendicular) tracery design.  “Tracery is the term used to describe the varied forms of stone and glass decoration of the window head during the Middle-Ages…” (Dirszlay, 2001:231).  Following this, attention will be given to the three scenes depicted in the window with any related Bible references.

The next photograph that will be analysed is one representing the Erpingham Chasuble.  After its definition there will be a selection of details concerning what the design and the representation on the front communicates, and who it may have been made for.  The last photograph that will be analysed shows the top section of Bishop Fox’s crosier.  As before, there will be a definition followed by a selection of the details concerning what the design communicates.

Chapter 5/Conclusion will expand on the recipients of the messages expressed in Church art and design, how Church art and design can assist and enrich the Christian experience, and what the features of that experience are.  This chapter/conclusion will also look at why iconic art is symbolic and what it is based upon.

This will be followed by an examination of the invisible, yet visible essence of the Church.  Invisible because only the Omniscient God can see the true spiritual state of people; and visible because this spiritual state is proved, to a point, by the change in life style of people, and be photographed.  Also, the extent to which photographs of Church art and design communicates Christianity will be written about.  To finish, there will be a suggestion for possible future studies.

Saint Mark’s Church – Floating Quadrature (Inversion)

From:

TO WHAT EXTENT CAN PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHURCH ART AND DESIGN COMMUNICATE CHRISTIANITY?

Categories
Fine Art

Saint Mark’s Church – Floating Quadrature

Dissertation submitted for the Degree of Photomedia BA (Hons)

Chapter 1 (extract)

Although Christianity is a worldwide religion, this dissertation uses photographs of Church art and design based in the UK.  When deciding which images to include, history will be no barrier, and where the message is most clear, illustrative, interesting, and that the pieces of work are photographed to a high standard, it is more likely to appear within these pages.  These images are record photographs and are ‘representations of a representation’.  That is, they portray, depict, symbolise or present the likeness of the subject matter using photography, and are therefore secondary sourced material (as apposed to primary sourced material); the subject matter itself also portrays, depicts or symbolises something, in this case, aspects of Christianity.

‘Aspects’ of Christianity in this case means not the whole of Christianity.  The whole of Christianity involves believing unseen persons: God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Aspects of the church are also unseen.  The Church here means a community of believers, and God is the only one that knows who the true believers are.  In this respect the project is limited.

Having said this, the project will attempt to investigate what can be registered on film, and submits an analysis of what is being communicated.  The contents of the message can bring about a particular understanding or revelation that results in change, which can be seen as evidence.  (This will be looked at later on in the dissertation).

Chapter 2 looks at the meanings of the key terms that appear in the central question.  It opens with ‘Christianity’ but within the first sentence a connection is made to ‘religion’.  Religion is then discussed before moving onto the next key term – ‘Church’.

The term ‘Church’ with an upper case ‘C’ means something different from the word ‘church’ with a lower case ‘c’.  This is unpacked starting with its Greek origins and continues with biblical references.  What emerges from this chapter is that the Church is the local or worldwide collective of Saints.  (A Saint is a person recognised for the holiness of their life (holy means dedicated to God and applies to all true Christians)).

The Church is also, amongst other things invisible, yet visible.

The origin of the church will also be traced and means the building where the Church meets.  Chapter 2 also looks into orientation of traditional churches (e.g. facing east for worship), the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and a synopsis of Christianity, Christianity being the last key term in the central question.

In Chapter 3 the communication theory of semiotics will be looked at.  (Semiotics being the study of signs and the way they work).  The examples used to illustrate the theory are taken from the terms in the central question e.g. photographs, church art and design, communication and Christianity.  The three main areas of study within semiotics are: the sign itself, the codes or systems into which signs are organised, and the culture within which these codes and signs operate; each of these will be explained more fully before moving on to the status of the reader and what the reader brings to any reading of texts.

The founders of semiotics – Peirce and Saussure – will also be looked at, but the focus will be on the former.  Peirce has divided his theory into two models and both will be explained.  The first is called ‘elements of meaning’, while the second is called ‘categories of sign-types’.  In the second model the categories are not separate or distinct.

Saint Mark’s Church – Floating Quadrature

From:

TO WHAT EXTENT CAN PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHURCH ART AND DESIGN COMMUNICATE CHRISTIANITY?

Categories
Poetry

‘A Natural Virtuoso!’

I went to the National Poetry Library in London earlier this year. I was on a mission: to find out which magazines published similar poetry to mine. For the next two hours I looked at everything that was available. All, bar one, had absolutely no poems about music — not even remotely! In my first poetry book ‘Soaring Higher’ (see ‘books’ page) there are six full length poems with such tasty flavours!

This poem is about a musician — and no ordinary musician at that — but a Virtuoso. “But what is a Virtuoso?” I hear you cry. According to Grove Music Online:

Virtuoso ( It., from Lat. virtus : ‘excellence’, ‘worth’ ) A person of notable accomplishment; a musician of extraordinary technical skill. In its original Italian usage (particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries) ‘virtuoso’ was a term of honour reserved for a person distinguished in any intellectual or artistic field: a poet, architect, scholar etc. A virtuoso in music might be a skilful performer, but more importantly he was a composer, a theorist or at least a famous maestro di cappella. In the late 17th and 18th centuries a great number of Italian”

“A Natural Virtuoso!”

“Just a few words I’ve penned over tea

That I hope will warm your heart and bless

Who in all the wide-world could it be?

An appreciative music lover no less…”

A piece of music that requires virtuosic technique is J. S. Bach’s famous showstopper: Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Fragments of the Toccata are included in a video of myself performing the poem.

For the full poem click here: A Natural Virtuoso!

This video is one of eighteen poems available in my VideoBook. Click here for more details: Soaring Higher (videobook)

Categories
musical poetry

‘The Ultimate Renewed Environment’

What are your thoughts and opinions on the world around us? Are you happy or content with life, the universe and everything? What would you change? Considering the history of everything around us, would you change anything and everything? Do you long for everything to be perfect? And, do you want this to never end?

In my poem, The Ultimate Renewed Environment, I include an interpretation of the universal state beyond the end of the world.

The Ultimate Renewed Environment”

At the end of time

When the new order has begun

And everything as we know it

Has been changed in the twinkling of an eye…”

The music in this video is Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Although the piece is known world-over for its ‘fate knocking at the door’ opening, the second movement is comparatively serene, with elements of a longing tranquility. As if to say that there is a beautiful existence beyond cosmic judgement that will be well — very well, indeed!

For the complete musical version of this poem, click: The Ultimate Renewed Environment

Categories
musical poetry

‘My Peace’

Quotes about ‘peace’ from the worldwide-web:

“People have been trying by all means to gain peace. Therefore history of human beings, in one aspect, is the history of searching for peace. Peace has been talked, thought, taught and studied in many ways and many aspects”

“It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart”

“tranquility with harmony”

“love”

“authenticity”

“intuition”

“freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”

“the state of peace within man himself that means there is no conflict inside one‘s mind’

Below is the first verse of my poem about peace followed by the full YouTube musical verson.

“My Peace”

🍊  Before my eyes open in the morning

        At the instance of emerging from sleep

        Even before I am aware of anything external

        I experience something so powerful and so deep…”

The music in the audiobook version of this poem, as here, is Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1.

Click here for the full poem: My Peace

Categories
Music

Greensleeves + 3 Variations

After this traditional tune, I play three variations on the piano. I composed these variations in 2020.

Analysis:

Variation 1

The title of variation 1, is: “The Twos”. This name comes from a two-note chord in the right hand which acts as punctuation, whilst the left hand plays the melody in the lower part of the keyboard emulating a sonorous cello. These two-note chords are a tone or semitone apart throughout, except on one occasion. These rather terse sounding chords are always forced. The whole variation sounds like a tussle between mellow and sour.

Variation 2

The title of variation 2, is: “The Slide”.  In this variation, the left hand literary slides up and down the keyboard as fast as possible. After each slide, the right hand plays a single note which is held for a judged length of time, acting as a distinct contrast to the quick notes of the sliding left hand. The struck single notes are held depressed for as long as artistically possible. Imagine these notes being played on the down bow of a violin. NB: the slides are flamboyant, free and need not be accurate.

Variation 3

The title of variation 3, is: “The Agitator alla Toccata”. A translation of this would be: “to be played agitatedly in a manner where touch and virtuosic technique is required”. This is firmly a postmodern variation on the traditional Greensleeves tune. The pulsating left hand hammers out the melody and combines obsessively repeating notes at certain key junctures with continuous sweeps of passagework. It can be seen, and heard, as relentless driving machine-like kinetic movements at a moderately fast pace. Although the right hand retains some resemblance to the vertical movement of the melody, the notes are dissonant. On their own, one could hear a logic but, when played with the left hand the whole piece almost does not make sense. Highly entertaining with an emphatic end.

Click here to hear me play: Greensleeves + 3 Variations

Categories
Fine Art

Christ Central Church – Abstraction

Dissertation submitted for the Degree of Photomedia BA (Hons)

Chapter 1 (extract)

Christianity started in the Roman province of Palestine (present-day Israel, Palestine and Jordan) and is based on the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Although Jesus only taught for three years and died an apparently humiliating and painful death on a cross outside Jerusalem, his birth is now celebrated around the world and is the point from which time is measured.

Keene writes that:

“Christianity grew initially as a radical movement within the much older tradition of Judaism.  Jesus was a Jew and remained faithful throughout his life to the Jewish faith, but, after his death, the new religion spread more widely among the Gentiles than the Jews.  Christianity soon developed a life of its own, apart from its mother faith, although the link between the two remained complex and problematic for a long time.

“As Christianity spread beyond the Roman Empire, the life and teachings of Jesus remained at the heart of the faith.”

(Keene, 2002:6)

Christians believe that Jesus is God, or the ‘Son of God’, who became incarnate to restore the relationship between God and mankind that had been broken by human sin.  They believe that when Jesus was crucified and rose again, he broke the hold of sin and death, and that today he reigns as Lord of all creation.  Christians can: have a personal relationship with God through Christ, live in the power of the Holy Spirit, be grafted into a community of believers, and respond to the radical teachings of Jesus.

On Church membership Keene observes:

“Today Christianity is the world’s largest religion… with some 1,500 million followers throughout the world.”

(Keene, 2002:7)
Christ Central Church – Abstraction

From:

TO WHAT EXTENT CAN PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHURCH ART AND DESIGN COMMUNICATE CHRISTIANITY?

Categories
Fine Art

Saint Mark’s Church Bell Tower – Abstraction

Dissertation submitted for the Degree of Photomedia BA (Hons)

Chapter 1 (extract)

Human communication is something that everyone recognises:

“[it] is talking to one another, it is television, it is spreading information, it is our hair style, it is literary criticism: the list is endless.”

(Fiske, 2001:1)

All communication involves signs and codes (more on this later).  In this dissertation communication is seen as the production and exchange of meanings.  Messages, or texts, interact with people in order to produce meanings, i.e.:

“it is concerned with the role of texts in our culture.”

(Fiske, 2001:2)

Therefore, the message or text is an element in a structural relationship whose other elements include external reality and the producer/reader.

“Producing and reading the text are seen as parallel, if not identical, processes in that they occupy the same place in this structured relationship.”

(Fiske, 2001:3)

In history, Church art and design was the pinnacle of human creativity and the inherent message of Christianity was communicated to people who were illiterate or poorly educated.  The arts, including photography, is not restricted by the barriers of communication, and can reach deep into people’s hearts and minds causing an experience of Christianity…

Saint Mark’s Church Bell Tower – Abstraction

From:

TO WHAT EXTENT CAN PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHURCH ART AND DESIGN COMMUNICATE CHRISTIANITY?