A Motif

Regular readers of this blog will know I was skiing recently in Whistler. I was not blessed with good weather and spent more time than expected exploring Whistler village.

Whistler is a modern ski resort less than 60 years old and as you walk round the resort you become aware that although there is considerable variety in the individual design of  buildings, there are also architectural features that all buildings have in common, and there are motifs that have been employed that provide a sense of cohesion.

One of those motifs is rock-faced columns or stacks.  They are a feature of the facade and portico of the hotel  where we stayed, where I first noticed them; and then I realized that they were also to be found throughout Whistler village. The majority, and the most photogenic, of the columns were of a warm-toned rock. I particularly liked their seemingly random appearance. No attempt to ‘layer’ individual rocks as you would with bricks, and no attempt at  a uniformity of colour, shape or size. The result is an abstract design that I found pleasing on the eye. And the more I looked, the more I was aware of the subtle differences. At a glance each column conformed, and yet on closer inspection each column was unique.

I photographed forty-eight of them (and there were more). And today you see just five of them. It seemed to me that there was only one way to display them – in a panel. Side by side you see the motif – the same but different.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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10 Responses to A Motif

  1. shoreacres says:

    Those are beautiful rocks, perfectly used. I like the way you’ve presented them. The “same but different” motif appears in so much of nature, and applying it here gives the rocks an unusual sort of liveliness.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks you Linda. These ‘columns’ were repetitive in situ and it seemed appropriate to imitate that in the presentation. I admired the way that the workmen combined large and small elements to create patterns and designs. And all the free standing columns in the shopping areas had four sides – so there were a lot of ‘sides’ unexplored.

  2. Heide says:

    What a marvelous idea, Andy — I love the way you’ve presented these images. I can see at once how these rock columns would be a distinctive feature that contributes to Whistler’s unique “personality.” Great photo idea.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Heide. For me, these columns were the ‘stand out’ element in the village. I like your use of the word personality. Sometimes it can be a simple element that transforms the mundane into something special

  3. Sue says:

    A great panel!

  4. paula graham says:

    These builders created of work of art, seemingly without realising!

    • LensScaper says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Paula. Well said. To my mind this is a form of ‘art’, a collection of abstracts. Sadly unrecognized as such by the vast majority of passers-by.

  5. bluebrightly says:

    I’m glad to hear you used the down time well. This is a great idea, and showing them side by side is really nice, too. I’ve always liked this kind of thing – I admire dry wall construction and all manner of rock use in construction, not to mention rocks in the landscape, which I know you admire too. There is so much to be found when you care to look.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn. This became a mini-project. An unexpected, added dimension to our time in Whistler. Textures, patterns, all types of ‘form’, have growing appeal to me and I seem to be seeing more of this when I slow down and soak up the environment.

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