Back to the Mountains

It’s the season of short days and long nights; time to work on the image archives. I’m busy preparing a new iteration of a talk about Alpine photography titled ‘High ‘n Wild with a Camera’ and in the process re-living many memorable days in the Swiss Alps.

The image you see today is one of my favourite views of the Mischabel range of mountains. The range is visible from many viewpoints but this one allows one to frame the peaks between the shoulders of the Almagelleralp valley (a side valley off the main Saas valley).

This view spans 8kms from left to right, and the central summit is 10kms from where I am standing. The high point on that long ridge line is the Dom, the highest mountain within Switzerland. The range is part of the dividing line between the Zermatt valley beyond it, and the Seas valley in front of it.

I was lucky to be here on a day when the weather was changing, and the clouds girdling the  peaks and the high wind-blown wisps of cirrus clouds portend that change.

Posted in Black & White, Swiss Alps - Summer | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

The Sustainable Movement

I want to talk to you today about Sustainability and ‘The Sustainable Movement’. The concept of Sustainability is critical to our response to Climate Change. We must move away from the ‘buy today and throw away tomorrow’ society and value the scarce resources of our planet; and more than that, design, build and live with Sustainability at the forefront of our planning and thinking.

‘The Sustainable Movement’– is a book written by our son Richard that addresses these issues and I am very proud to be promoting it to you today. Richard is a well-respected graphic designer aiming to self-publish ‘The Sustainable Movement’ through crowd-funding using Kickstarter.

Please read on to hear what Richard has to say about his book:

This book is an urgent call to anyone working within the creative community. Not just all artists, designers and architects, but engineers, economists, technologists, agriculturalists and so on.

It’s intended as the start to a much longer journey of engaging the design and creative communities in the ideas of becoming more aware; and building on more mindful enterprises.

This book looks at the journey taken to get us here, to the beginnings of a new movement – The Sustainable Movement – which despite remaining an unproven theory, has for some time now, shown great potential. Then shows how only as a brightly lit community in action, might we collectively set ourselves on a healthier long-term trajectory.

So how do movements like this happen? Where do they come from and what exactly are they made of? How far back do the origins of The Sustainable Movement really stretch? 

Not since the early twentieth century and the post-war building programmes of WW1 & WW2 have we needed such a wholesale reappraisal of all the systems by which we live, and by which society functions. Including not just the methods by which we design, make and build, but also the values through which we ‘see’.

In 1934, the poet Ezra Pound declared “Make it new!” A simple mantra which once captured the bold dynamic energy from which the Modern Movement sprang. This simplistic mindset is still useful today as we continue to reject the obsolete culture of the past and embrace instead the spirit of constant change. But it has equally become a way of thinking no longer adequate to guide us through the complex and increasingly precarious circumstances in which we presently find ourselves.

How the Modern Movement came together to ‘be’ – kick-started initially by the Arts & Crafts Movement, and catapulted forwards through the tuition of ground-breaking schools like the Bauhaus (and later the Ulm) – does offer us more than a few useful clues for how we might move forwards today. 

It’s achieved partly through a process of repurposing history. This book takes some of the most relevant design and cultural thinking from the last century and remoulds it according to our present-day context and pressures; repurposing the thoughts and ideas from design international heavy-hitters from Theo Van Doesburg to Bill Moggridge. The interlinking story created, demonstrates that many of the foundations for how we think and act both now or in the future, already lie in our shared past – helping to show that somewhere out there, everything is connected.

How do we make a movement finally fit for purpose in the 21st Century? One that works effectively to solve the most pressing of today’s human needs, whilst meeting and fulfilling those of nature too. These pages don’t hold all the answers, but they are very much written and designed to inspire and get you thinking, in action!

Will The Sustainable Movement one day rise to define the path taken by this 21st Century? We won’t find out for some time to come. But one detail which is for certain, even now – is that the future will need to become more Sustainable by our Design.We are all artists now!

Richard Hooker is a London based, award winning multi-disciplined graphic designer, who’s been working in the brand, advertising, design, and technology community for almost 20 years.

Whilst collaborating with big global brands (Honda, Nike, Adidas, Uber), small venture-funded technology start-ups (audio streaming startup Mixlr), and most scales in between, he’s seen plenty of room for improvement into how we design, build and organise the objects and systems by which we live.

Founder of ‘The Sustainers’ (2017) he also curates an online platform of stories of people pushing the boundaries of a future which is more Sustainable by Design

Want to know more about Richard’s book? Please search for ‘The Sustainable Movement’ on Kickstarter, or click the link here.

If you like what you read – then consider making a donation, better still buy a book or pass the message on to people you know. Books have been pre-ordered in USA, Canada, Australia and across Europe. Thank you for reading this far – it’s appreciated.

[Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. To date, tens of thousands of creative projects — big and small — have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community. Kickstarter is an enormous global community built around creativity and creative projects. Over 10 million people, from every continent on earth, have backed a Kickstarter project.]

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Woodland

A walk in woodland is always a joy. From the translucent greens of spring, to the multi-coloured feast of autumn. For the quietness. And for the woodland itself – the straight trunks that create a kind of order and depth.

This was taken in the summer and has been softened slightly in processing, in part thanks to Topaz Clean. It has produced an image that has a slightly painterly feel to it.

Posted in Landscapes | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The White Coat

How often do you shoot an image, get back home and load the image onto your screen, and see something you never thought was in the frame when you pressed the shutter.

That’s what happened with this shot taken earlier in the year. And what I spotted back home was the white coat in the shadows on the right edge of the frame. For some reason I immediately thought of the classic film ‘Blow Up’ from the late 1960s starring David Hemmings as a professional photographer who spots what he thinks is a man with a pistol in the background of images from a photoshoot that he processes in his darkroom. I’m sure there was nothing spooky with the ‘white coated’ person but my subconscious mind made a connection.

It’s over three months since I last posted, and those of you who follow me may well have given me up for dead. I’m not dead – as you will observe! It’s just been a rather crazy year and once you get out of the habit of doing something, it can be very difficult to get back into doing it. But here I am, and now I’ve started, I aim to continue.

After surgery earlier this year (for the first time in over 65 years I was the patient rather than the doctor), then three months of chaos in the house thanks to a combination of a leaking pipe and an ant nest (resolved), we finally had something to celebrate. A grandson – Zachary. And he has occupied a lot of our time because he lives not far away from where we live and we just love seeng him regularly and watching his progress.

Now I must catch up on some of your blogs.

Posted in Black & White | 17 Comments

Table Talk

What goes on above one’s head is often missed. And when I see something like this, there’s always that little niggle that wonders if one of them will look down and see me pointing my camera up at them. These two didn’t look like they were going to break their concentration any time soon.

Posted in Seen on the Street | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Window art

Previously I posted an image of the stark exterior of the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne (click here to view it).

If you were to turn around and view the opposite side of the road then there is likely be something special to see.  This is what I saw on that day, by now I guess the display will have changed.

This is the window of what I assume to be the art department of Eastbourne College, and it is an impressive window display of the work of their students.

Posted in Art and Scultpure | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Shapes

This is the exterior of the Towner gallery in Eastbourne. On our first visit, I was captivated more by the exterior than by the content of the interior. A sparse, almost minimalist, concrete facade that when reduced to two dimensions is purely about the inter-relationships between two oblong windows and the shadows thrown by light. Enjoy!

Posted in Black & White | Tagged , | 13 Comments