Friday, January 11, 2008

More about Nempf - and 'judging' !

More from Wollaton Hall. This delightful chap has been keeping his beady eye on the Nottingham peasantry for centuries. He looks remarkably modern doesn't he? Not sure about the curly hair and beard though.

Picture 2 is called 'moon dust' and nothing clever, the flared bit is my flash reflected in the glass case that this lady was standing in.

I did the right thing and asked about photography because so many historic houses are a little precious about it. But at Wollaton a curator lady said, "Fine. Go ahead and take as many as you like" And I was using my big Nikon as against my compact, which often worries secutiry people. Ergo, Nottingham welcomes happy photographers.

Y has gone to Palmers Green for a few days, her monthly visit, and she has already rung to announce her safe arrival.

After dropping her at the tram I went to Durban House and had a long look at the Nempf Exhibition. I veer strongly into the AnonymousRob camp. Although some very fine images, notably some by our own Paul Alexander, had been selected, there were, in my opnion far too many clichés. We had the statutory wizened black faces, preferably with a turban (in my opinion there is more than a sniff of racism about the incessant inclusion of these pictures), the candyfloss water (it's so passé; why not let water look like water?), the trees that have been stretched in Photoshop; wildlife photographs with the backgrounds completely blurred (nary a hint of context or environment) sunsets so unreal that normal chocolate-box manufacturers would reject them. A good Picasso quote springs to mind:-

"There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun"

I'm afraid that in the Nempf Exhibition the former category were the winners. Maybe my comments are too academic but, as Bungus and Rob know, my Art History qualifications are sound. The trouble with that sort of photography is that it doesn't have legs. At least people's holiday snaps and family photographs will be of interest to future generations, whereas, after the death of the authors, most photos of the type I am knocking will find their spiritual home in the bin !

This picture, by last night's judge, Bill Hall, was quite rightly accepted by Nempf as part of a prize-winning panel. Most holiday snappers try to avoid having Doric columns sprouting from people's heads, but Nempf know better. I've already gone on far too long for our readers who aren't fascinated by photography. Little to add now to my comments of yesterday - his remarks were, in my opinion, too severe and quite off-putting to those brave souls who had submitted pictures. For instance a portrait of a little oriental girl (white skinned) attracted his criticism because she wasn't smiling. As I've said before, what would they make of Don McCullin's 'Confused Marine' ? And it's got a burnt-out sky. In the opinion of many though, it is one of the defining pictures of the 2oth Century

Paul's pictures as mentioned above were first class, and Brians motorbike, and others were really good. But some of the epithets he used would be more accurate if discussing Nempf. Last year one of our members, Lesley, described the Exhibition as 'formulaic' - no need to change your view this year Lesley !!

Comments.....Thanks for the nice words about the Wollaton Hall interior pictures. And I didn't realise that you too Jill had had 'hedge' problems. We are like Rob in that our neighbours are lovely, helpful and reliable. But whether or not that will survive this 'drain' problem disclosed during the house-survey, I do not know.

.....This smiley is just for Bungus who seems to have lost his proper googlemail page. I'm sure it's fixable. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow..........

p.s. A lovely quote, courtesy of AnonymousRob, seems appropriate today :-

"You can’t depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" – Mark Twain

And that is a live link.



Jill said...

I don't think it has stopped raining all day, we had friends come to lunch, I made individual fish pies which turned out well followed by rhubard crumble and custard.....then later on I went to have a cup of tea with a friend who lives in a first-floor flat overlooking the river. On a tree at about eye-level from the flat there must have been about a fifty-strong flock of goldfinches, we looked hard to see if there were any other sort of finch, but the ones we thought looked a bit different I think were last year's youngsters. At one time they all took off in a twittering crowd, then came back and settled down for the night. Never seen so many altogether before. Is the collective noun a 'charm' of goldfiches? Very appropriate!

Anybody else watching 'Masterchef'? I am enjoying this, I know that the one person's food I actually fancy eating is the one who will lose....

bungus said...

Sorry to hear that Jill has also had neighbour problems. They don't go away, although with luck the neighbours might. This is the first time that we have ever had a major problem with a neighbour. The worst previosly was when our rabbit ate the neighbours bedding plants. But we didn't fall out over it.

I think my only comment on the lengthy and, to me, obscure, photography statement is that the columns are not Doric but Ionic!

The word I would choose is not 'fixable' but it comes close. I 'fixed' it earler this evening (by opening yet another account with a different username; my fourth) but now it's gone again. And I never found the screen picture that Graham wanted me to send him.

On a happier note, I liked the following item by columnist 'Browser' in The Observer last Sunday (I have only just read it).
"Often when Browser is troubled, he sits in his back yard for a quiet Scotch with Jesus.
He might say, 'Jesus why do I work so hard?'
'You work hard to have a beautiful place for your friends and family.'
To which the Browser replies: 'I thought money was the root of all evil.'
'No, love of money is the root of all evil. Money can be used for good or bad.'
But there is still one burning question. 'Why are we here?'
Jesus says: 'That is a question many men ask. The answer is in your heart. I would love to chat with you more, Senor, but, for now, I have to finish your lawn.'"

Shopping at Tesco late evening can be very worthwhile. Last night Sandra called in and bought 6 croissants, 2 Pain aux Raisins, 6 400g loaves of various types, 2 Eccles cakes, 2 doughnuts, 4oz Farmhouse Pate and 4oz chorizo, all for £2.02!

bungus said...

It looks as thought the lady in the picture is catching a Star Wars hand grenade (or something).