Monday, March 12, 2012

God of Weather and Powerscourt

I confess that my original photo featured such a dull grey sky I had to pull in something with colour. A grey statue on grey sky just didn't work. My partner complained that her photographs were all "flat", but I looked around and saw that the whole scene was, in reality, woefully flat. Without shadow, there is minimal relief and things start to look two-dimensional. We photographers scuttled underneath that uniform, leaden sky like disordered vampires. Then, having completed the shot I thought nothing more of the weather until I came to give the image some work. So who is the figure in the statue? The leaflets and web site of Powerscourt Gardens are of little help so I speculate that this might be the winged Nike or even Apollo - given the laurel wreath. Perhaps this is the way of Gods, to look similar and fool us all. Gods constitute a symbol, so lets consider the matter! Gods are manifestations of the Absolute even if polytheistic societies gave individuality to each one. Gods are supernatural beings conceived as omnipotent. They are somehow perfect, even if they misbehave as much as the Greek ones. It is people who create Gods and subsequently endow them with a knowledge of their own making. I do like the Greek Gods though, because they have the whims and faults of ordinary people. And of course, they interfere outrageously with human beings. Perhaps this God could interfere with the weather on my behalf, the next time I visit Powerscourt Gardens. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Under the Killiney Rainbow

I find it quite difficult to capture rainbows well. This one presented itself quickly and I had a long lens - so this was the result. They never say stay where you want them, because rainbows are a matter of optics and standpoint. It depends where you are and I was happy enough with where I was. It was one of these days when you could see the rain falling on other parts of the coast and the light was quite delicious. Of course, the rainbow is a symbol of some stature. The leprechaun's crock of gold is quite elusive because the rainbow's end is never available to the onlooker. But the "end of the rainbow" myth is not that old and seems to have originated in medieval times. It's is a jolly myth though, and good fun because rainbows are ambivalent symbols in many cultures and can as much a portent of doom as good fortune. For many, they are a disturbance in the harmony of nature and signify the approach of some dire happening. Death, disease and all manner of sickness and pestilence can follow the advent of a rainbow. The Sandaman Negrito hold that a when a python serpent bathes, it tips perilous water from the bath, poisoning humans below. The Inca thought that rainbows were death worms that demanded  human hearts to eat. So they should be hunted and killed. In the process of the rainbow's killing, birds would bathe their feathers in the blood and so acquired their colourful plumage. And in some parts of Asia, rainbows were thought to drink the waters of lakes and could carry people into the clouds as they drank. Me? I think I'll stick with the leprechauns.