In the last few years most of my landscape photography has been based on rural images. However during the summer I have spend some time staying in Sandymount, Co.Dublin.
Staying in a city again is a blast of fresh air and a welcome break from rural Kilkenny. I lived and worked in London for some 20 years starting in the mid nineteen eighties. In Between visits to Dublin or London it is easy to forgot the visual differences that a city can offer over the countryside.
The main things that stand out to me are the elements of structure and form. Fields and mountains offer a more open and natural combination of structure to the eye. However this structure is less natural than most of us care to remember, you have to search the nation of Ireland very hard these days to find much land that has not been changed by farming of one kind or another.
Standing at Grand canal quay, Dublin however visually sent me back some ten years or so, I would pass buildings like these every day on the way to my office and then on the way home again. The lines, glass and the interaction of the architecture just hits you as a photographer like a visual feast and as I say is a breath of fresh air.
Many people would think this visual enjoyment to be completely mad, it’s not something that most Irish people experience every day. The idea of modern architecture has yet to reach most of the small towns that make-up the nation, after all the development of Grand canal quay was only started in 2003.
Personally this kind of cityscape is something I miss seeing these days, I do love the open air and space even if most of it is farm land. I feel that the modern city however brings you forward into the new world and the life it has to offer. Standing in the country side to some degree is more like being located in our past.
A very interesting personal issue raises it head here, why do I find the older cityscapes of Dublin or Kilkenny a little less interesting to photograph?
At some point the older architecture must have been modern and visually interesting; however somehow it’s just not personally as interesting. This is something I should explore and will come back to in another post.
Are we just draw to the new, the modern around us?
Do we need to be surrounded by the new in order to be driven forward; do we also have to personally respect those new things for the elements they contain?
In summary – visually the country side offers a more fixed if not permanent view of the world for those who live in it, the modern city offers new visual challenges. The question that arises from this is, do we as people advance more if we live with new and modern or stand still with the old?