Marja-Leena Rathje
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photo expedition


Much of my art practice since the later 1980's has been photo-based. I have often expressed in these pages my desire and need to go on photo expeditions to build up my image library, and the more exotic and archaeologically interesting the better.

In the meantime, it's amazing what one can find around the places we live and work. For years I've eyed the concrete floor in the printmaking studio with its rough textures such as embedded metal rings, cracks from former wall joints, and general rough patches left behind as traces from its previous life as an industrial shop of some kind.

A couple of months ago when I had our older digital camera with me in the studio, on impulse I took a number of photos of the floor markings. I wasn't entirely happy with the results, though the idea still attracted me. Today, I took in our new camera which I'm still learning to use, and took lots of shots. Hey, most of them are really great, like abstract paintings with textures, some even show the patches of colour from various accidents. These images may well appear in some new prints in the future. It was a good day.

Later: I've been doing some housecleaning in the older entries, eliminating a strange diamond shaped icon with a question mark inside it that has peppered itself here and there. I was intrigued to reread this one on creativity, centred on a wonderful post by Beth of Cassandra Pages. It seems to fit in with what I was doing with the camera today, don't you agree?

Marja-Leena | 29/03/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Photoworks, Urban


They look almost like tracks. I like the color, too.

Yes, I agree completely. With the wondrous invention of the digital camera we can immediately capture glimpses of delight and pursue our visual whims to joyous ends - whether temporary, developmental, or 'big' work. Far from destroying contemplation I think that the way the digital camera encourages opportunism allows us to appreciate seemingly inconsequential detail.

Dave, you are right, they do look like animal tracks, now that you mention it! Interesting, coming from manmade activit, isn't it?!

Olga, you expressed it so much better than I was able to, thank you!

Heh, right under our noses - or feet, as it turns out. I wouldn't have thought it was a concrete floor but some print or found imprints - yes, perhaps animals. Interesting!

Leslee, welcome back! Yes, it is interesting that when the image is taken out of its context (the floor of a room), we read it very differently! It might have been a fascinating exercise to just post the picture and ask readers to guess what this was. Actually I did do that a couple of times...but only a few people ventured answers.