Week 23: Texture

Happy New Year, you dog you! Actually, that is only for people born in the Chinese Calendar Years are Dogs: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and, drum roll, 2018! The Chinese New Year doesn’t begin until Feb. 16, but since today is our New Year’s Eve, we will explore that idea now, with a photo of the “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” installation on the Ringling Museum grounds in Sarasota, a creation of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, sculptor, photographer, installation artist, architect and social activist,

Each of the bronze animal heads measures approximately 4 feet high and 3 feet wide, elevated to between 9.8 and 12 feet high on their columns. Each sculpture weighs approximately 800 pounds. This group of works has been exhibited worldwide since the official launch of the Zodiac Heads in 2011, making it one of the most viewed sculpture projects in the history of contemporary art.

The bronze statues are quite textural, and I converted them to gray scale to play up that element for this challenge. If you haven’t seen the Zodiac heads, they are on display through June 1, 2018. And because they are on the grounds and not inside the museum, you can view them for free. Or go to the museum on Mondays when the museum is free, too.

Chinese Zodiac Heads BW



Week 22: Part Of A Face/Head

No one goes to Havana without seeing Cristo de La Habana, the Christ of Havana, which, at 66 feet of white Carrara marble is seen from anywhere in the city, and especially from a ship as you sail into and out of Havana Bay. I stood at the foot of the statue and shot directly toward the sky, capturing only a part of the statue’s face. The statue is the work of Cuban sculptor Jilma Madera, who won the commission for it in 1953. The Cristo weighs approximately 320 tons. It was built from 67 blocks of marble brought from Italy after being personally blessed by Pope Pius XII.

Cristo CU

Week 20: Isolated Objects

I have no hibiscus in my yard, but luckily, my neighbor does, and I get a glimpse of them from my lanai. Two weeks ago they were at their peak and I couldn’t resist crossing across the lawn to shoot them. They were isolated in their shrubbery, and I further isolated them in post.

Gayles Hibiscus Four

Week 19: Broken

We parked in a side parking lot in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and were making our way to the main street for our dinner reservation at the St. John Restaurant. As we walked past a park bench there along the walkway, I noticed this torso attached to the wall of the building. There’s a lot broken going on here, what with the brick and the cracks and broken extremities in the torso itself (rendering it a torso, I suppose). So there you have it. The dinner was fabulous.

Torso in Chattanooga

Week 18: Urban Exploration

The small town of Gadsden, Alabama, doesn’t exactly leap to mind when one thinks of urban exploration. But when I found this urban art a half a block of the town’s main street, I felt like an urban explorer. The mural is across the entrance from the local art center, which may explain the presence of this piece of art. Why the female piano player is naked, I don’t know. But she is wearing a smile!

Note: I have since learned that Gadsden is the hometown of the infamous Roy Moore.

Urban Exploration in Dardren Ala

Week 17: Mono

The small town of Williston, Florida has seen better days, and this pawn shop is proof of that. I converted it to black and white and gave it a spooky edge because it came across that way, with the overgrown weeds and unpruned trees.

Pawn Shop Platinum

Week 16: Rows of Brick Rows

The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is a placed not to missed if you are in this city near the Georgia border. The unique, modern design is worth seeing on its own, but it houses impressive aquatic exhibits from river to ocean. The exterior rows and rows of bricks, light and dark, are almost mesmerizing and nearly windowless. What you don’t see, as we are allowed only one photo per challenge, are the huge triangles of shard-like glass triangular shapes that sit atop the structure. But you can Google it!

rows of rows Tennessee Aquarium Exterior Wall

Week 15: Simplicity

This whitewashed staircase with its simple black iron banister is in the atrium of the Field Club in Sarasota. I always take my camera with me when I am there, as there is always a shot or several to be had. This was my first time even noticing the staircase in the context of a photo, and were it not for this challenge of Simplicity, it may not have occurred to me.


Week 14: One Shot with Three Shapes

I found the Field Club to be a treasure trove for my challenge theme one Sunday this fall. The former winter home of Chicago’s Marshall Field family boasts a beautiful, large atrium, and this doorway is just off of it. I see squares, long rectangles, circles, arches and triangles, many more than three shapes. Do you see them all? Did you find more?

Three Shapes