Marja-Leena Rathje
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urban textures 3



More man made textures and colours from the same area as urban textures 2.

Below is another man made object from the same spot. A different character altogether. It is much smaller and lighter and seemingly less permanent. But is it really? A question of permanence and impermanence.


Marja-Leena | 08/12/2012 | 12 comments
themes: Photoworks, Urban


These are very beautiful and tactile images - especially those first two. The Earth element is, fundamentally, solid matter everywhere that has condensed throughout the universe. It is the body of this planet that also encompasses all those things that arise from or are extracted from it - whether old cement blocks or discarded tea boxes. I wish we were more wise as a race but your ability to find and show the beauty of common objects is a treasure. One day all will again be stardust but in the meanwhile our only duty is to enjoy the magnificence of creation in its every appearance.

Lichens were the first living inhabitants and will likely be last.

The bottom one might be proof that urban trash has now gone upmarket and foodie-conscious.
A squashed can of Thé Vert Ginseng?? On a city street?


Love the squashed tin. I did a whole series once on wayside rubbish which I still hanker after reviving. The contrast of the rusty iron and concrete is powerful.
That's an interesting comment about lichens.

Susan, thanks so much. It seems to me that our race is bent on using up everything on this earth as fast as we can and when it's all one huge trash bin, we'll wipe ourselves out. May the lichen take over!

Natalie, I didn't know this is an upscale product. (I don't buy drinks in cans.) Being on a university parking lot, maybe it shows the tastes of some students or instructors, though I'm not impressed that it was tossed on the ground.

Joe, I like the flattened can image as a photo but not what it represents, which is a powerful theme to explore, as you have.

Those aren't upscale cans where we are--there's a 24-oz can size that sells for 99 cents...

Interesting contrasts. You and Lori Witzel are the queens of urban contrast and decay!

Am back from Atlanta, Georgia and now in North Carolina... Shall catch up with you when I get back to New York.

Marly, I have no idea if they are upscale or common! Just rather liked the image. I know and admire Lori's work though she hasn't updated her blog in a while. My, you really are travelling these days - hope you are enjoying it!

There's almost no way to know what will be permanent (which is a relative term anyway). What will remain for archeologists of the future to find when they dig up mounds of our rubbish?

Rubbish makes wonderful images in your hands.

Anne, yes, you are right. I sometimes wonder if anything will be left for future archaeologists if they did survive, and if there is, the rubbish will be more than anything ever left by our ancestors... shudder. Thanks, I'm glad you like these images which are not about beauty.

Thought of you as I was touring a glass exhibit--one man had a fantastical piece that managed to look ancient and corroded.

Yes, still in NC...

Marly, you have aroused my curiousity with this "fantastical piece that managed to look ancient and corroded". Gad, I'm getting an ugly reputation :-)

Have a good rest of the trip and arrival home safely!

Something about isolating these objects in photographic images makes works of art out of them. At least when you do it!

Hattie, thanks, you are so kind. Gosh, I'd better get something a little more seasonal up on this page. I'm so busy: just finished up in the studio yesterday, am still writing cards and letters, finally got some outside lights and the wreath up this morning, and still more to do. Must get back to the blog soon.