Window Grain

Something rather mundane today.  An old building in Kennington, South London, awaiting renovation (with no evidence of progress on that front in several years).

It’s a building that I pass on a regular basis. Not far from the Oval cricket ground.

I glance at it usually – casually without taking it in – but this time I paused and really Looked. And this is what I saw. Window glass replaced by window grain. It was that sheet of boarding resplendent with the grain of the wood that caught my eye. Well past its best and highly likely to de-laminate if a developer doesn’t get a move on, but in its current state, I saw a form of beauty. A repeated pattern of lines and shapes and knots in the wood.

Beauty doesn’t just mean something that exhibits a ‘classical’ form of beauty. I believe that there is beauty in the mundane, in the simple lines of ordinary objects. At least, that is what my eye sees here. Does it attract you too?

 

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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'.
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18 Responses to Window Grain

  1. Jenn Mishra says:

    Love the textures – amazing where you can find them.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Jenn. We can sleep-walk our way past familiar scenes without a second glance, and then something happens. We tune in and see potential. That’s something special.

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  2. Zezee says:

    With the ledges above and below, I get the impression that it’s a painting of wood grain that is elaborately framed and placed on a brick wall.
    I really like this: a spark of nature’s beauty in the mundane.
    I would have walked past this and not notice anything interesting about it.

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    • LensScaper says:

      I know exactly what you mean Zezee. It is framed – I agree. Many decades ago this was part of an impressive facade. Sadly no longer. I must have walked past this 40 or 50 times in the last few years, it’s close to where my son has a flat that he has renovated very impressively. I’ve walked past it without a second glance and then suddenly I saw something there…

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  3. shoreacres says:

    The patterns in the plywood remind me of those left by water running through sand at the beach. Wood and water, connected — who would have thought?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your question is difficult to answer, Andy, because as soon as you (you Andy) photograph the ordinary, it becomes extraordinary, Window Grain being a case in point. I like how the magenta board goes with the orange bricks above it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you so much Linda. I don’t know whose idea it was to paint the boarding Magenta. Maybe it was the 1960s. This facade (overall it is thirty to forty yards long) must have been quite impressive when new. One day it will be restored and I hope the developer won’t ruin the ornamental flourishes in the process.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. paula graham says:

    Yes, absolutely, just depends how you look at it and portray the beauty in ugliness!

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  6. Jane Lurie says:

    You have seen and captured the beauty in the mundane, Andy. The lines, colors and textures in this image are wonderful. The patterns in the plywood are mesmerizing and contrast so well with the brick and the magenta at the bottom makes it. Terrific work.

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  7. oneowner says:

    I always thought that there was nice grain to plywood but this aged plywood is really special. And it’s framed so nicely by the rest of the building. Nice work, Andy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LensScaper says:

      You can see from the framing that this building, originally, had a certain style to it. I’ve discovered plywood like this before – a sheet of ordinary wood can become a thing of beauty!

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  8. Absolutely. There is beauty in those curving lines, in the repeating patterns, but also in the decorative brick and its various hues. I like the way the two are juxtaposed in your composition.

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  9. bluebrightly says:

    Yes, no question, I see that beauty too, and you did a beautiful job of honoring it. It’s a like a little lesson in aesthetics, this scene, with the echoes of nature and man-made forms, the textures, the shapes, colors….wonderful!!

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn. 90 percent of the windows in this facade are boarded up and painted purple (they look ghastly), just a handful have bare wood and most of those are what we call chipboard, only two or three are wood with the natural grain.

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