Saturday, February 6, 2010

Not My Photography Project

I went out today to work on a photography project. I've been working on it for a couple of weeks now, and keep not being happy with the results, but I'm not giving up quite yet. In the meantime, though, I saw a whole bunch of other cool stuff today when I got cold and frustrated and decided to do my grocery shopping and go home.

First, I saw some railroad graffiti on my way past the back side of campus:

topless flatcar lady

It was kind of hard not to see that while driving by, but when I got out to get the picture I also saw some smaller pictures on some of the train cars:

lunar eclipse

I don't really know what that picture means, but it interested me. Obviously someone was trying to tell some kind of story, but I can't decide if the spine of the drawing is a train track or a fish skeleton, and I can't read any of the words besides "lunar eclipse", so I'm not really sure what was going on there.

After I was back in the car and continuing around the back side of campus, I noticed that the university gardens have installed a rusty truck:

rusty truck installation (1)

I couldn't pull over and hustle into the gardens fast enough. I've acknowledged several times that I love decay, but I really can't explain why a rusting automotive carcass in a field is like catnip to me. If I was a moth, that would be the electric zapper light hanging on the corner of the deck.

On my way to the truck I noticed some new sculptures in the gardens: giant metal insects made of other metal objects. The propane tank bee is pretty cool:

propane tank bee (1)

propane tank bee (2)

but the mosquito has already fallen over:

downed mosquito

The thing that really surprised me, though, was how enormous the grasshopper is:

large grasshopper sculpture

There's nothing near it to give a sense of scale, but the grasshopper's head is the bucket (barrow?) of a wheelbarrow. I think the whole sculpture is a little larger than my car. I'm surprised by that because most of the art in the gardens is stuff along these lines:

the view from the nymph

Small, unobtrusive accent pieces. Even the larger ones have always been put near plant beds or groups of trees, so the sculpture never seems to be the focus, but that grasshopper is enormous. I think they'll have to put a rainforest around it to make it fade into the background, and look forward to seeing what happens with it when spring and summer roll around.

Once I got past the giant bugs, which were interesting but not my goal, I found the truck and rusty gas pump:

rusty truck installation (4)

It's beautiful. There's a thin layer of algae on some of the glass:

rusty truck installation (2)

and the truck bed is filled with dirt and planted, and the whole thing is rusty and busted and spectacular:

rusty truck installation (3)

rusty truck installation (5)

rusty truck installation (7)

I can't wait to see it in the summer in bright sunlight with plants all around. The rusty truck installation might be my new favorite part of the gardens.

Take that, herb garden.

I looked around the rest of the gardens, but they're pretty muddy, and there's not really anything to see. Most of the beds are just dirt, and nothing has really budded yet. Winter has apparently also been a little rough on some of the sculptures, as one of the rabbits has lost his ears:

earless rabbit

I'll stop by in a couple of weeks and see how things are looking, as we should start seeing a little green by then.

I took an alternative to my usual way home because I wanted to cut around some one lane construction that is really horrible on the weekend and because I saw this moon emblem on that street yesterday and wanted to go back and look at it more closely:

crescent moon

I couldn't stop to see it yesterday because Jeannie was driving and it was raining, but the bonus of stopping to see it today was that the place where I parked also had a sad sign:

_arber shop

and a tattoo parlor with bright murals on the walls:

tattoo goldfish

All in all, it was a really good couple of hours, even if none of those things were the things I set out to get pictures of.


Skald said...

What exactly is the project you're working on? Is it a secret?

Joel said...

It's not a secret. I just haven't uploaded any of the pictures for it yet, and it's hard to explain without them.

strong cookie. said...

I can't wait to see pictures of that garden when it is in bloom!!